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Title: A Treasury of Heroes and Heroines

Author: Clayton Edwards

Release date: May 30, 2008 [eBook #25652]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Mark C. Orton and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (


E-text prepared by Mark C. Orton
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team (



Front cover






FROM 500 B.C. to 1920 A.D.







Copyright, 1920, by Frederick A. Stokes Company

All rights reserved. No part of this
work may be reproduced without the
written permission of the publishers
Printed in the United States of America


It would be pleasant indeed to gather the characters of this book together and listen to the conversation of wholly different but interested couples—for this is a book of contrasts and has been written as such. Lives of the most dramatic and adventurous quality have been gathered from all corners of the earth, and from every age in history, in such a way that they may cover the widest possible variety of human experience.

The publishers believe that such a book would not be complete without some characters that are no less real because they have lived only in the minds of men. No explanation is needed for semi-historical characters like King Arthur, Robin Hood and William Tell, while Don Quixote, the Prince of Madness, and Rip Van Winkle, the Prince of Laziness, have been included, not because they were essentially heroic in themselves (although Don Quixote might well have claimed the laurel) but because they became heroes in the opinion of others through the very qualities that brought about their downfall. As involuntary heroes, they furnish a pleasant contrast to the more serious, actual and transcendental figures of saints, martyrs, warriors, discoverers and statesmen with which these pages are filled; they enrich the "Treasury," widen its range of colors and perform the necessary function of court jesters in the Hall of Fame.



I Buddha 1
II Julius Cæsar 12
III Saint Patrick 26
IV King Arthur of Britain 33
V Mohammed 42
VI Alfred the Great 52
VII Robin Hood 65
VIII Saint Elizabeth of Hungary 72
IX Dante 80
X Robert Bruce 89
XI Jeanne d'Arc 100
XII Christopher Columbus 114
XIII William the Silent 127
XIV Queen Elizabeth of England 137
XV Sir Francis Drake 146
XVI Henry Hudson 156
XVII Peter the Great 165
XVIII George Washington 172
XIX John Paul Jones 187
XX Molly Pitcher 196
XXI Napoleon Bonaparte 201
XXII Giuseppe Garibaldi 216
XXIII Abraham Lincoln 223
XXIV Grace Darling 236
XXV Florence Nightingale 241
XXVI Father Damien 248
XXVII Catherine Breshkovsky 254
XXVIII Theodore Roosevelt 262
XXIX Edith Cavell 272
XXX King Albert of Belgium 278
XXXI Maria Botchkareva 286
XXXII William Tell 297
XXXIII Don Quixote 304


"Jeanne d'Arc drew the arrow from her breast with the courage of a veteran" Frontispiece
"King Arthur grasped the magic sword that none but the bravest might hold" 36
"Robin Hood's band made merry by killing the King's deer" 68
"'I have not yet begun to fight,' shouted Paul Jones" 188
"The cannon balls fired by Molly Pitcher fell squarely in the British lines" 196
"Don Quixote suffered nobody to draw water from the well" 276





About five hundred years before the birth of Christ a mighty king reigned in India over the land of the Sakyas, from which the snowy tops of the Himalaya Mountains could be seen. His name was Suddhodana and he had two wives called Maya and Pajapati; but for a long time they bore him no children, and the King despaired of having an heir to his throne. Then Queen Maya bore a son and after he was born, the legends tell us, she had a dream in which she saw a great multitude of people bowing to her in worship. Wise men were summoned to interpret the dream, and they told her that the King's son, so golden in color and so well formed, was destined for greatness as surely as rivers ran to the sea—that he would become either a mighty conqueror who would subdue all the people of the earth, or a holy saint, a "Buddha" (the word for one enlightened) who would have more power over the minds of men than the mightiest conqueror could gain over their bodies.

All this was confirmed in the minds of the wise men on account of the wonderful portents that took place at the birth of the child: flowers bloomed in barren places and springs gushed from dry rock on the day when the Prince was born. He was named by the King, "Siddartha,"—a word meaning one who always succeeds in what he undertakes—and because of the portents at his birth the King himself bowed down to his own son and did him homage.

Now the King desired greatly that the first of the two prophecies should come to pass. He wished the Prince to be a conqueror, not a Buddha, and extend the power of the Sakyas by the sword through every part of the world. And he did everything in his power to bring this end about and to weaken the possibility that his son should ever be a holy man.

When the child was still very young a further prophecy was made to the King—namely that the Prince would only become a Buddha after he had seen four common sights which for him would be four omens—an old man, a sick man, a dead man and a holy man in the yellow robe of a beggar. Then and then only, said the prophecy, the Prince would leave his country; furthermore, if he remained at home for a certain length of time he would never leave at all, but would turn all his attention to the art of war, and his armies would sweep over the face of the earth like a devouring flame.

The King summoned his counsellors. He commanded them to make sure that no sick men or old men, no funeral escorts or beggars should ever be allowed on the streets of the city when the Prince was passing. All ugly sights were to be kept from him; he was to be surrounded with such pleasures and such beauties that he would never desire to leave his home; he was to know nothing of the meaning of death; poverty was to be hidden; suffering and sorrow of all sorts were to be concealed in his presence. In these ways, thought the King, any desire to be a priest would be stifled in the Prince, and he would at last become a mighty conqueror as the prophecy had foretold.

In pleasure and luxury, surrounded by beautiful attendants, fed on the most delicious viands, hearing no sounds save music, laughter and the voices of delight, Prince Siddartha passed his boyhood. The King allowed him to study under wise men (who taught him only the most carefully prepared lessons), and it was notable that he easily learned all that was imparted to him and in a short time appeared to be wiser than his instructors. It was notable too that he possessed extraordinary skill at arms, for the King sent to him also the keenest archers and the mightiest swordsmen in his dominions, to teach him the art of war. These men whispered to each other that no more terrible warrior had ever been born than Siddartha, who soon was more than a match for the best of them and whose strength in comparison with theirs was as three to one.

When a young man the Prince was married to his cousin Yasodhara. His mother had died in his earliest childhood, but that sad event took place too early for him to remember. Now he was happy in the possession of the most beautiful wife in all his father's dominions, for Yasodhara had been chosen for him on account of her great loveliness as well as for her sunny and gracious nature. Truly in all the history of the world no son of fortune had more in the way of love, treasure, beauty, and all things that make for happiness than the blessed Prince Siddartha!

Up to his twenty-ninth year no sorrowful sight had come before his eyes, and he knew nothing of Death, Sickness or Old Age. Then, however, he stepped into his chariot one day to visit the pleasure grounds of the city, and on his way thither an old man ran across the street and fell in front of the horses and barely escaped death. Siddartha was startled at the sunken eyes, the wrinkled yellow cheeks and the gray locks of an old man, and turning to his attendant asked him what terrible misfortune had brought such a fate upon a fellow creature. And the attendant, inspired, we are told, by Heavenly spirits, said to the Prince that what he had seen was nothing but old age and the lot of all men—a lot to which he himself and the Prince with him must surely come in time.

Sadly the Prince rode back to the Palace with his appetite for pleasure spoiled for the day, and when his father heard what had taken place he was greatly alarmed, for the first of the omens had now been fulfilled.

It was not long before Siddartha looked also on Sickness. Try as he might the King could not keep sorrowful sights from the eyes of his son any longer. One day as the Prince went out behind his splendid horses, a man, writhing in the agony of disease, lay by the roadside, and the Prince was told that he suffered from some complaint of the body such as all men are heir to. And again he returned to the Palace more sad at heart than on the occasion when he had seen Old Age.

When the Prince next went to drive in his chariot another terrible sight met his eyes. He beheld a still form carried upon a bier and asked his companion what it might be. He was told that he was now in the presence of Death, who came at last for all men, cutting them off from their friends and relatives and bearing them away, none knew whither. And the Prince returned to the Palace in deeper sadness than ever. Of what worth were all the joys that surrounded him if they were to be taken from him after he had learned to love them, and how might a man take pleasure in Love and Life if these were to be snatched away as soon as he had grown to realize their full value? The Prince could no longer take delight in the pleasures that surrounded him, or even in the love of his wife, who was about to bear him a child. And he was sick at heart with the fear that he would lose the things that he loved.

When the King heard that three of the four omens had been fulfilled, he trembled with apprehension and stationed guards at all the city gates to intercept the Prince should he fly from home; for now that the prophecy had so far been fulfilled the King was sure it would soon be completed. Nevertheless he sent his soldiers to scour the streets for beggars and holy men and drive them away from the city.

Only a few days afterward, the Prince again went forth in his chariot just as a beggar in yellow robes approached the walls. There was an expression of great peace upon the beggar's countenance, and he seemed far happier than the Prince himself. Siddartha asked the attendant who the man might be and what he did, and he received the reply that the stranger was a priest and sought happiness through giving up all the joys of the earth and begging his bread from door to door—and it seemed to the Prince as though a great light had suddenly burst through the clouds of his unhappiness, and he knew that he too must give up his palace and his pleasures, his wife and his future child and fare forth as a priest. Surely, thought the Prince, all the things that he enjoyed were no better than wraiths of mist that rose from the river in the morning, since like the mist they were forever changing, and must surely be terminated in sickness, old age or death itself; and he resolved to search for things more lasting than the happiness and pleasure of his youth.

He also resolved to leave his kingdom and become a beggar in a foreign land, attempting to find through fasting and contemplation the truth that must lie behind the changing forms of life, for he knew well that there must be some deep cause for all the things that he had witnessed and some impelling force behind the universe. Otherwise the whole earth and all that was in it and all things that breathed upon its bosom would be idle and wicked delusions. And the Prince knew too that in him lay the power to discover the truth if he should search for it diligently and give his whole heart and mind to this one purpose.

Just then a messenger came to him telling him that his wife had borne him a son. On hearing this the Prince cried out that he wished it were otherwise, for his new-born son would be a hindrance to his design and an added bond that he must tear from his heart before he could go away.

That night, however, when all lay sleeping the Prince and one faithful servant made their way secretly from the Palace. It had strangely come to pass, perchance through the work of spirits, that all the guards at the Palace and the city gates were asleep, and the two went forth unhindered, riding on horse-back; and they spurred their horses to the utmost so when the morning came they would be far away. Then the Prince gave his attendant, who was named Channa, all the money and jewels that he possessed and told him to return to the Palace and tell the King that he, the Prince, had gone forth in search of enlightenment and would some day become a Buddha.

When Channa departed, the Prince gave his fine clothes to a beggar who was passing and took in return the beggar's faded yellow robe, and he, who had been used to all the luxuries of the Court, went from door to door begging his food and eating the bitter bread of poverty.

He crossed the river called the Ganges and came at last to a city named Rajagha. And here he soon attracted attention because his appearance and mien were so noble that even his coarse clothes and his new way of life could not disguise him. He called himself a prince no longer, but instead took the name of Gotama, this being one of the names of the family from which he sprang.

In course of time the King of the new country where the Prince was begging his bread and meditating on Life and Death desired to see the holy man of whom he had heard much talk, and he offered the Prince lands and riches. But the Prince told him that he had already laid aside far greater riches than these, and that nothing in life mattered to him except his quest for the truth, which one day he would surely find. And the King, whose name was Bimbasara, asked him when he had found the truth to return and teach it to the people of his country—and this the Prince promised to do.

For a long time the Prince lived in a cave not far from Rajagha and studied the faith of India as it was then taught, but his studies brought him no nearer to gaining the truth. So he went into the wilderness, where, he believed, fasting and meditation might bring him the things he sought.

He traveled southward for many miles and entered the very heart of the great Indian jungle, teeming with poisonous snakes and filled with savage beasts. Here he prayed and fasted, seeking enlightenment; and he carried out his fasts with such severity that he nearly died as a result of them.

While in the jungle the Prince met five other holy men who were so much impressed with his fasts and his thoughtful demeanor that they became his disciples. But when he ceased to fast because he did not come any nearer the truth by going hungry, these disciples left him, believing that he had strayed from the path of the truth and never would gain the enlightenment he sought.

After several years the Prince left the jungle and commenced traveling through the country, begging his food wherever he happened to be. And now he was close to gaining the vision that he so greatly desired, for without his knowledge his years of thought and of self-denial had borne their fruit.

One day, bitterly discouraged, and heartsick with his many failures and temptations, he seated himself beneath a peepul tree with the firm resolve that he would not stir from the spot until he gained the truth that he sought. And while he sat there, the legends tell us, he was assailed by all the powers of darkness and evil, and devils crowded upon him so thickly that they darkened the sky and threw all Nature into convulsions in which the earth shook and the air was filled with thunder. All night the Prince sat motionless and all through the night the evil forces strove to turn him from the truth that they knew he was about to achieve. In the morning they departed, and the Prince as he sat, saw flowers spring up and blossom all around him with miraculous swiftness. The air seemed purer than ever before, the sun was wonderfully bright and a peaceful serenity seemed to enfold the entire earth. And when night came and the stars awoke, the truth for which the Prince had been seeking flowed into his soul. He had indeed become a Buddha.

Gone were the temptations and the sorrows in a divine peace—a peace that became the reward of all disciples of the religion that he founded. This peace was called by him Nirvana and his disciples say he is the only man who attained it in his lifetime, for Nirvana is supposed to come only to the spirits of the dead, who have purified themselves not in one life, but in many. In Buddha's belief (for as Buddha we shall now know him), human beings live many times and receive the reward or the punishment of past existences in those that follow. This belief is known as "the transmigration of souls." It is the foundation of the faith of Buddha which is believed in to-day by millions of persons in India and China, as well as in other countries.

In the truth that Buddha had acquired he learned many things. Chief of them, as he believed, are four great facts of life and nature from which the soul cannot escape—that there will always be sorrow and suffering in the world; that these are caused by clinging to things that are always changing or dying; that the only way to obtain peace is to renounce these things and care for them no longer; and that the only way to live is to walk in the paths of righteousness, honesty, virtue, and to believe in the Buddhist faith.

Buddha also believed that animals have souls just as men do, and that by some good action these animal souls become the souls of men. Then the souls go through many existences. If they are righteous they approach the peace of Nirvana, which is attainable only when they are entirely purified; if they are unrighteous they are cast down again into lower forms of life and once more have to struggle upward toward the truth. There is no escape from the consequences of sin in the Buddhist faith. Just so certainly as a man sins he will be punished for it—if not in this life in the next one—and if his sin is sufficiently deadly he will lose again the form of a man and return to the shape of a snake or a lizard to expiate his wickedness through countless generations.

Heaven and Hell have a place in the belief of Buddha also. They are different from the Heaven and Hell that Christians know because in the Buddhist religion they are only temporary abodes for the spirit between its many existences on earth.

When his new faith had come to him, Buddha left the jungle to preach it to mankind. On his way he met the five disciples that had deserted him and he told them that the truth had indeed come to him and that he was now a Buddha. After they heard him preach they were converted, and after three months the number of Buddha's disciples had increased to sixty, who, like himself, gave all their worldly possessions to assume the garments of beggars and ask for their bread from door to door.

Buddha then told his disciples that they must go in different directions and teach all that desired to learn. He himself went back to Rajagha where King Bimbasara, who desired to know the truth, was living. And he preached to King Bimbasara and converted him, and the King presented Buddha with a bamboo grove in which he might hold his assemblies and preach to the many thousands that now came to hear his sermons.

The fame of Buddha's teachings soon reached his native city and his father, the old King Suddhodana, yearned to see the son who might have been a great conqueror but who had chosen to be one of the most enlightened teachers that the world has ever seen. So he sent a retinue to greet Buddha and ask him to return to his native city. One thousand men went forth upon this errand, but none returned, for all were converted by Buddha and remained to listen to his teachings and then to spread the faith themselves. Then King Suddhodana sent another thousand, and these too remained with Buddha. At last, however, he sent one messenger, the same Channa who had accompanied the Prince when he left the city, and the faithful Channa bore the message to Buddha.

Buddha decided to visit his father and see his family once more, for he desired to bring the faith to the land of the Sakyas. With thousands of his followers accompanying him he went to the royal city and met his father without the walls. And the father's heart was heavy to see how the son had changed, for Buddha was no longer young, strong and handsome, but wrinkled and emaciated, with gray hair and a bent figure from the hardships he had endured in many years of wandering and preaching.

Buddha would not enter the city of his countrymen but preached in a banyan grove without the walls. And when he preached he converted many of his former friends and relatives. His wife whom he had deserted and who had grieved for him ever since, gained happiness once more, for she too, became converted to the Buddhist faith, and entered the Buddhist sisterhood, becoming a nun. Even the King himself was finally converted by Buddha's teaching, and we are told that he too entered the faith and became a disciple. The son that Buddha had only seen once when a day old became a disciple also, and, when he had mastered the teachings of Buddhism, was made a monk in the Buddhist order.

Buddha lived to be eighty years old and all the rest of his life was spent in traveling through the world and preaching the faith wherever he went. The land that he visited most frequently lay on both sides of the river Ganges and for thousands of years has been called the Buddhist Holy Land. Wise men of all ages have believed in the faith as he taught it, and even to-day and in modern European nations there are those that profess to be of the Buddhist faith.

The order of monks that was founded by Buddha is the oldest existing religious order in the world. For nearly two thousand five hundred years these monks have practised renunciation and high thinking and have worn the yellow robes of the holy man and the beggar.

Many tales and legends sprang up concerning Buddha even in his lifetime. In fact it is only through legends that we know he was ever a Prince at all. He had a marvelous faculty for controlling the anger of wild beasts and once tamed an elephant that had killed many people, simply by speaking to it in a quiet tone, at which the great animal, which had been raging through the streets of Rajagha, followed him like a dog. A tale of his great wisdom that is still told by his disciples, is of a woman who had lost her child through Death and who came before Buddha maddened with grief, begging him to bring the child back to life or at least to provide some comfort from the sorrow that tortured her. And Buddha told her to get mustard seed from a house that Death had never visited and when she had done so to bring it to him and he would bring the child back to life.

The poor woman went from door to door asking if Death had visited there, and in every home the answer was "yes!" Nowhere could she find a house that was free from the blight of Death. Then the woman saw that the only happiness lay in renouncing the ties that bound her to other human beings and in seeking the peace of Nirvana, for Buddha had taken this way of teaching her that Death is the common lot of all; and she entered the Buddhist sisterhood and found there the happiness that she sought.

Buddha was supposed to have lived many times and there are many tales of his deeds in previous lives. Some of them tell of happenings when he was an animal and how he finally acquired the human form. Others tell of his good deeds when his spirit had entered the human body but was not yet ennobled sufficiently to become a Buddha.

There are hundreds of such tales in the Buddhist faith. Some deal with Buddha himself; some with his disciples. In all the stories, however, the virtue of self-sacrifice and of renunciation is strongly painted. It is the cornerstone of the Buddhist religion.

When Buddha grew very old he called his disciples around him and enjoined them to preach the faith after he had passed away for he knew that at last the hand of Death was near. He died in a little town in the depths of the jungle, and heavenly music sounded and the trees burst into blossom as his spirit passed away. He was given a funeral with all the honor due to a mighty king and after his body was burned, eight cities requested a share of his ashes. These were placed in eight great tombs, and the ruins can be seen to the present day.

After the death of Buddha the religion that he preached rapidly spread through Asia. To-day it is taught in very different forms in different countries, and the Buddhism of Thibet in China has many elaborate ceremonies attached to it that the Buddhism of India lacks completely. Unlike most of the great religions of the world, Buddhism has never been spread by the sword, but has crept into the minds of men through its own power. And everywhere it is granted that Buddha was a great man and a great teacher, and that many of the principles he taught are second only to those included in the Christian faith.




Once in a great while a man is born with such a temper of brain and will that he seems like a bright star among other men and can do things easily that are impossible for others to accomplish. One hundred years before the birth of Christ such a man was born in the city of Rome. His name was Julius Cæsar and he came from a long line of Roman noblemen which ran back so far into history that it not only reached beyond the beginning of Rome itself, but was believed to have sprung from the goddess, Venus. Cæsar's father died when he was little more than a boy and his mother was partly responsible for the greatness that he later maintained, for she strove constantly to develop in him those qualities of mind and character that were an inheritance from his family, although they were brought to far greater light in Cæsar himself. Little is known of Cæsar's boyhood. It is probable that it was not very different from that of other young Romans who belonged to the nobility, or, as it was then called, the patrician class. He had a tutor named Gnipho who was not a Roman by birth, but a Gaul—that is a man who came from one of the less civilized tribes that lived to the north of Italy in the country that is now called modern France—and received from him the usual education.

Apparently Cæsar was not a prodigy when a young man, and there seemed little to distinguish him from any other young nobleman who went about the city in dandified apparel with hair oiled and perfumed,—but Cæsar had quietly made up his mind to be the first man in Rome and to surpass all others in greatness. Occasionally he showed this resolution. And once on his birthday, when passing the statue of the great conqueror, Alexander, he wept because he had reached an age when Alexander had conquered the entire world, while he, Cæsar, as yet had done nothing.

Rome, in Cæsar's boyhood, was embroiled in civil war, and the leaders of the Roman armies were constantly fighting among themselves. There had been a great public man named Marius who championed the rights of the common people, or the plebeians, and who was greatly loved by the more humble men of Rome, but Marius had been overthrown by a fierce, cruel nobleman named Sulla, who made himself the head of the Roman State and slew every one who stood in his way.

Here appeared the first sign that Cæsar possessed the qualities of greatness—for while still a young man, he dared to defy the terrible Sulla. Cæsar had just married Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna, and was ordered by Sulla to divorce her. But he resolutely refused to allow the word of the dictator to come between him and his wife, and was obliged to leave Rome by night to escape Sulla's vengeance. He fled into Samnium, but was followed there by Sulla's soldiers, taken prisoner and brought back to Rome. And Sulla would certainly have put him to death if some powerful men had not interceded for him and asked for his life. "I will grant this boon," said Sulla, with a glance that made them quail, "but take heed for this young man who wears his belt so loosely," meaning that he saw in Cæsar dangerous qualities that might one day threaten the elaborate machine of Roman government.

As all young Romans were obliged to serve in the army, and as Cæsar was not safe in Rome where Sulla at any time might send assassins to murder him, he went to the far east where a Roman army was waging war against a king named Mithridates. At the siege of a town called Mytelene Cæsar so distinguished himself for bravery that he won the civic crown, for saving the life of a fellow soldier in the face of the enemy.

When Sulla died, Cæsar returned to Rome, and became one of the leaders of the party that had been against Sulla and his government. And Cæsar did everything that he could think of to win power for himself and damage Sulla's adherents. He became an orator and a lawyer and prosecuted certain men who had misused the money of the people. But although it was clearly proved by Cæsar that these men were no better than common thieves, the Roman senators and judges were so corrupt that it was impossible for Cæsar to have them punished as they deserved.

Cæsar was not discouraged, however. He believed that if he had been a better orator the men would have been brought to justice in spite of all the obstacles that stood in his path; so, on the advice of a friend named Cicero, who was the greatest orator in the world at that time, he started on a journey to Rhodes to study rhetoric under a great teacher of that art named Appollonius Molo.

Travel from Rome was as dangerous as going to war, for there were bandits everywhere and the seas swarmed with pirates. And when Cæsar took ship to go to Rhodes, the pirates swarmed about his vessel and took him prisoner. Because he was a nobleman and an important person the pirates did not put him to death but demanded ransom for him. They told Cæsar the sum of money they had asked and he agreed to obtain it for them, and haughtily told them that he was even greater than they had supposed and worth three times the money they had demanded. So the pirates trebled the amount called for, and told Cæsar that if they did not receive it he would be put to a cruel death, but he waited unconcernedly; and while in the hands of the pirates he treated them almost as companions and shared in their games and exercises.

At times he even read to them poems and compositions of his own. But the pirates did not understand the highflown Roman phrases and did not give Cæsar the applause that he believed his work had merited.

"By the Gods," he said laughing, "you are ignorant barbarians, unfit to live. When I am freed you had best look to yourselves, for I shall return and nail you to the cross."

The pirates were angered by these words, but they did not slay their bold-tongued captive on account of the money they expected, and when Cæsar's ransom came he was set free. But, true to his word, the first thing he did when set ashore was to gather some men and ships and pursue them. Setting upon them with the swiftness of lightning he killed a great number and took many prisoners. And the pirates then found to their cost that he was a man of his word, for Cæsar had every prisoner crucified, as he had warned them he would do.

He then continued his journey to Rhodes as if nothing had happened and studied rhetoric under Molo; and so apt a pupil was he that in a very short time he became an orator second only to Cicero himself.

Rome was in great turmoil and confusion at this time, and the vice of the men that ruled had weakened her power. There was a great revolt of slaves not only at Rome but throughout Italy, and the slaves formed into an army strong enough to defeat the Roman legions.

The slaves barred the roads from Rome, captured their former masters and made them fight as gladiators in the arena. They set towns afire, killed women and children, plundered, murdered and cruelly ravaged the country, until they were defeated in battle by two military leaders who were sent against them—a rich man named Crassus, who was one of the most powerful men in Rome, and a soldier named Pompey, who was considered by the Romans to be one of the greatest generals that their city had ever seen.

While these things were being accomplished Cæsar had finished his course in rhetoric and returned to Rome, and made his plans to win a glory greater than that of Pompey and Crassus, who were high in public favor through their victory over the slaves.

To succeed in Rome without money was impossible in those days, for large sums had to be expended in bribery and in gaining the favor of the idle and dissolute Roman people, who refused to work but demanded to be amused at the expense of others, and would always follow the man who treated them with the greatest display of liberality. So Cæsar borrowed huge sums of money which he planned to repay from the sums he could gain when once he was elected to public offices. It is not to be thought that Cæsar always was honest and just, and it has already been shown that sometimes he was heartless and cruel—but in his favor it must be said that he never wantonly injured anybody, as so many others did in the cruel times in which he lived—and that in all things, except where his own power and future were concerned, he was merciful and temperate.

Cæsar became an official known as quæstor, going to Spain in charge of certain affairs pertaining to Roman government, and later on he was made a curule ædile.

In this office his generosity delighted the people. Cæsar, with borrowed riches, made a lavish display to ensure future political favor at their hands, and was more magnificent than any of the ædiles who had preceded him. At one time he displayed in the arena three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators who fought with swords and spears and with the net and trident,—and he would have brought in a greater number had not the Senate feared to allow so many armed men in Rome at one time. But Cæsar did something else that delighted the people even more than the show of the gladiators. One morning they beheld the statues of Marius, that had been overthrown by Sulla, set up once more in their old places, bright with gold and ornaments. Marius had been the people's idol, and Cæsar by this bold stroke gained much of the popularity that had formerly been attached to that beloved leader.

Another office that Cæsar attempted to win was that of Pontifex Maximus—that is, the High Priest and leader in all of the religious ceremonies of the Romans, an office with great power and prestige and the stepping stone to greater things by far.

Cæsar staked everything on winning this office and he increased his debts, which were already enormous, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in our money, to bribe and flatter and make sure of enough votes to win the election. He was so deeply in debt, he told his mother, that in case he did not win the office he would be obliged to leave Rome, never to return. But luck was on his side and he succeeded, making his term as Pontifex Maximus notable by revising the Roman calendar so thoroughly that, with only slight changes, it is used to-day.

Later on he was made Prætor, and by means of these various offices he succeeded in becoming one of the leading men in Rome—although his greatness was not yet as bright as that of Pompey, who had, as he said, only to stamp his foot to fill Italy with soldiers.

Then there befell in Rome what was known as the conspiracy of Catiline, in which Cæsar had a narrow escape from the intrigue and malice of the noblemen who hated him because he was a foe of Sulla's and a champion of the people. Catiline was a nobleman of violent temper and bad reputation. With many companions he strove to win public office in Rome, and plotted, if unsuccessful, to raise an army, set fire to the city and place his party in power by rioting and violence. And under Catiline's government Cæsar, who probably knew nothing of the affair, was to be elected to public office in the new government.

The conspiracy was discovered, chiefly through the vigilance of Cicero, who was Consul at the time. Catiline had fled from Rome and was raising an army, but a number of the other plotters were arrested. The noblemen who hated Cæsar did everything in their power to have his name included in the list of the conspirators, but Cicero resolutely refused to believe that Cæsar had been in league with them and would not press the charges against him. Through the gifted oratory of Cicero, however, a sentence of death was brought against all the prisoners, who were promptly put to death in Cicero's presence.

Cæsar's wife, Cornelia, had died sometime before these events took place, and Cæsar had then married a relative of Pompey. At the festival of Bona Dea, where only women were admitted, and which was held at Cæsar's house because he was Pontifex Maximus, a great scandal took place owing to the fact that a young man, dressed in woman's clothes was discovered hiding in the house while the festival was going on. This bade fair to injure Cæsar's name in the city, and partly on this account he divorced his wife, Pompeia, saying that while nothing evil had been proved against her, yet Cæsar's wife must be above even the breath of suspicion.

After this Cæsar went to Spain to govern that land for the Romans. While there he had much military experience that helped him to become one of the mightiest generals the world has ever seen, and in his struggles against the wild, hill tribes he laid the seeds of success for his later wars in Gaul,—wars in which he was to carry the Roman eagles into lands that had only been known by hearsay and legend.

When Cæsar returned from Spain he did his utmost to cement the bonds of friendship between himself and Pompey and Crassus—with Pompey, because he was the greatest man in Rome and because Cæsar hoped to rise through his patronage,—with Crassus because he was possessed of fabulous riches, that Cæsar would have great need of in fulfilling his ambitious designs. To strengthen his friendship with Pompey he forced his own daughter to marry him. The alliance of these three men is called the First Triumvirate.

Cæsar was eager at this time to be elected Consul, an office that would give him great power in the Roman state, and with his usual success and some luck he succeeded in doing so. With him was elected another Consul named Bibulus, who was put into office by the noblemen to check Cæsar and limit his ambitious designs, which included doing all that he could to better the condition of the common people. But Cæsar soon had the upper hand in all the affairs of the consulship, so that the people said jokingly that the two consuls for the year were Julius and Cæsar, instead of Cæsar and Bibulus.

Among other things that Cæsar accomplished was the passing of a land law that provided land for all of Pompey's old soldiers, and was also designed to give land to the people at Rome who were without occupation and often on the verge of starvation. Naturally this law made Cæsar even more popular with Pompey, as for the people they cheered him lustily and said among themselves that this Julius Cæsar was certainly a most noble and generous leader. Had he not been the follower of Marius and replaced his statues which were overthrown by tyranny? Had he not provided games the like of which the people had never seen before? And now, by his land law, had he not shown that he was devoted to the poor, ready at all times to fight their battles and to provide generously for them?

Such were the means by which Cæsar endeared himself to the Romans. And now was to come the opportunity by which at a single leap he placed himself above all others. The province of Gaul which lay to the northwest of Italy, and included most of what is now modern France, was an extremely rich and fertile country, occupied by wild tribes that were hardly friendly to the Romans. Through his political power, and much scheming, Cæsar had himself made governor of all Gaul for five years. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, for he could not only make himself famous as a conqueror by subduing the Gaulish tribes, but could raise an enormous army, devoted to his interests, by which he could take by force the entire control of the Roman State as Sulla had done before him.

Naturally Cæsar did not voice these designs, but he entertained them just the same, and began a series of wars in Gaul in which over a million of his enemies are said to have perished on the battlefield.

When Cæsar entered upon his duties in governing Gaul, certain tribes came to him with complaints of a people called the Helvetii, who were leaving their own country, or what is now Switzerland, to enter upon the more fertile and less mountainous lands of their neighbors. Cæsar mustered his soldiers and marched against the Helvetii, meeting them at a place called Bibracte. Here he showed how skilfully he could direct the Roman legions, for in a comparatively short battle the Helvetii were entirely overthrown, and a terrible slaughter followed. Cæsar himself, in writing of this battle, says that out of three hundred and sixty-eight thousand men, women and children, who composed the tribe of the Helvetii, only one hundred and ten thousand were left after the battle. The poor beaten remnant of the tribe he ordered at once to retrace their steps into Switzerland and to enter Gaul no more.

His success in dealing with the Helvetii turned the eyes of all Gaul upon the conqueror. Many tribes then asked his aid against Ariovistus, a German chief who came from across the river Rhine and with his yellow haired followers, clad in the skins of animals, was plundering the Gaulish province. Cæsar, with the quickness that always won him success in battle, advanced against Ariovistus and completely defeated him, driving his men in confusion back across the Rhine to the lands they had come from.

In the following spring there was great danger that all Gaul would revolt to free itself from the control of the Romans. Of all the tribes that were opposed to him, Cæsar considered that the Belgæ, the people who lived in what is now Belgium, were the bravest and the most dangerous enemies against whom he must fight. So he marched against them and placed his legions behind strong fortifications until he could gain a favorable moment to come forth and attack them. The Belgæ tried all sorts of tricks and ruses to draw Cæsar from his position, but they did not succeed in doing this. Then, perhaps because they had not sufficient food, they commenced a retreat back to their own country, from which they had issued to attack Cæsar. On their heels rode the Roman cavalry, who harassed them constantly, darting in and killing stragglers and attacking the rear guard whenever the opportunity offered.

One night, however, when the Romans were about to encamp in some wooded country on the River Sambre, three tribes of the Belgæ fell upon them in a surprise attack that came so swiftly and so violently that the Roman legions were almost routed. Cæsar's force was not wholly composed of Romans, and all the soldiers under his command except the Romans fled pell mell from the field, but the Roman soldiers, in spite of everything, stood firm, displaying the marvelous discipline that had conquered the world, and soon had victory in their grasp. But the Roman soldiers were seldom merciful and scarcely a foeman escaped the slaughter that followed.

That winter Cæsar returned to northern Italy, leaving his legions in Gaul under the command of his lieutenants. In his winter retreat he enjoyed himself and spent enormous sums of money, listening eagerly to news of everything that had taken place in Rome since his departure.

In the following spring his friend and political partner, Crassus, was killed while engaging in battle with the Parthians in the east, leaving Pompey and Cæsar the only two men of first importance in Roman affairs. In that year also the Roman Senate prolonged Cæsar's rule of Gaul for five years more.

When spring came Cæsar led his legions from their winter encampments to battle against their enemies once more, and this time the victims of his skill were two German tribes who had again crossed over the Rhine to invade Gaul.

Cæsar routed them and chased them back across the Rhine, building a bridge to pursue them into Germany. Then he came back to Gaul, destroying his bridge behind him; and made his plans to invade the island of Britain, which is now England, Scotland and Wales. In Britain there lived tribes that were considered to hold the last extremity of the earth. Beyond them was nothing except mystery and darkness.

Boats were built by the Roman soldiers, who had been trained by Cæsar to turn their hand to any kind of labor, and the Roman army rowed across the English channel to the island where the warlike Britons awaited their coming. The Romans sprang from their boats into water up to their necks and waded ashore to battle, killing and capturing a large number of Britons, many of whom Cæsar took back with him into Gaul to adorn his triumphal entry into Rome when his term as governor of Gaul had come to an end.

The Roman Senate was astonished at Cæsar's success and all Rome rang with his fame. The island of Britain was held to be the last extreme that Roman arms could reach, and hitherto had been nothing but a place of fables and wild sea tales, and the Senate declared a thanksgiving in Cæsar's honor that was to last twenty days.

That winter Cæsar again returned to northern Italy, leaving his army under the command of his lieutenants, for, possessed of a great ambition to become the ruler of Rome, he desired to learn everything that was taking place there. His absence was taken by the Gauls as a sign that his power was weakening, and they considered that they had a splendid chance to revolt successfully and throw off the Roman power. And among them there sprang up a leader named Vercingetorix, who in his way was almost as great a genius as Cæsar himself, possessed of boundless courage and hardihood.

A revolt in Gaul at that time would endanger all Cæsar's chances for success in Rome. Should his army be overcome he would have no means of enforcing his power there, and a defeat would utterly destroy the prestige that he had built up among the Romans at the cost of so much money and labor. So Cæsar hurried across the Alps and after maneuvering his legions in a manner that showed to the world he was a genius in the art of war, he succeeded in surrounding the greater part of the forces of Vercingetorix.

To save his comrades Vercingetorix gave in to Cæsar, and galloped out of his stronghold to give up his sword. He laid his arms at Cæsar's feet and surrendered himself as a captive. Cæsar kept him as a prisoner for a number of years, after which time he was taken to Rome and forced to walk in the triumph of the conqueror. Then he suffered the fate of the captives of Rome. He was shut up in a dungeon and strangled, and his body was thrown upon one of the refuse heaps of the mighty city.

Continued success in Gaul had by this time made Cæsar's name so great in Rome that the Senate had grown to fear him. Pompey too was jealous of his growing power, and Cæsar was finally ordered by the Senate to disband his army. The two officers of the people, called the tribunes, whose names were Antony and Cassius, vetoed this act on the part of the Senate, and were hunted from Rome and fled to Cæsar's camp for refuge.

Then the Senate, wildly afraid that Cæsar would return at the head of his troops and become a tyrant like Sulla, declared war against Cæsar and put in Pompey's hands the task of humbling his former friend. Cæsar had no intention of disbanding his troops. His soldiers loved him deeply and would follow wherever he led them. And Cæsar exhorted his men to stand by him, promising them honor and riches if he should succeed in overcoming his enemies at Rome, and the men with wild cheers swore that they would follow him to the death.

At the head of a powerful and well disciplined army that was devoted to him, Cæsar advanced on Rome. When he came to a stream called the Rubicon, which marked the limit of his power as governor of Gaul, he hesitated for a brief time, as there was still time for him to draw back from his tremendous venture had he seen fit to do so—but at length he plunged into the stream with the remark, "The die is cast," and advanced upon the city that he intended to win for himself.

Pompey had been through an exceedingly hard time in getting soldiers to follow his banner, for the reputation of Cæsar was very formidable and his army even more so. Finding that it was impossible to make a stand against Cæsar in Italy, Pompey fled across the Mediterranean Sea, leaving Cæsar the master of Rome and Italy as well. Cæsar, however, was not in the habit of leaving an enemy to fly unmolested. He pursued Pompey to Thessaly and there fought a battle against him in which Pompey was utterly defeated and his soldiers scattered and routed. Pompey fled to Egypt, where Cæsar followed him—and the first thing that was brought to Cæsar when he arrived was Pompey's head. The once great Roman had been treacherously murdered by the Egyptians, who believed that in so doing they would curry favor with Cæsar.

In Egypt there was a beautiful queen named Cleopatra, who used all her great art to force Cæsar to fall in love with her. She believed that when he loved her he would place her firmly on the Egyptian throne and send the Roman soldiers against her enemies. So completely did she succeed that Cæsar, who never had been averse to the charms of beautiful women, remained at her court for a considerable time and led his armies against a king named Pharnaces at Cleopatra's bidding. After this he returned to Rome, where he was made dictator, with absolute power, and was as great as Sulla had ever been.

But there were still a number of Romans who refused to submit to his power, and Cæsar was compelled to go once more to Africa to vanquish Pompey's friends, Scipio and Cato, who were raising a new army against him. With his usual military genius, he overthrew them easily and returned again to Rome.

Nothing in Roman history equalled his welcome there. He was received as a returning king and the honors that were heaped upon him were greater than had been given to any other Roman in all the long centuries that Rome had been a city. He was called "Father of His Country" and had a bodyguard of Roman noblemen to accompany him wherever he went. His person was considered sacred, and the month of Quintilis was called after his name, July, for Julius, the name it has borne from that far time to the present day.

Now, in his hour of triumph and greatness, Cæsar showed himself of far different mettle from any Roman who had previously gained power over the state. He did not mar his success by murdering his enemies as Sulla had done, but rather sought to be the friend of all, and busied himself with good deeds and public works that would benefit the people. And while a royal crown was offered to him many times,—notably by the same Marc Antony who had fled to his camp as a fugitive when the Senate rose against his power—Cæsar refused to accept it, believing that he could govern wisely and temperately without the name of King, which was bitter in the ears of all true Romans.

However, his kindness did not save him, and his glory was short lived. Certain Romans considered that their state had fallen under the power of a tyrant, and believed that Rome could be brought back to its former freedom by Cæsar's death. A conspiracy was hatched against him among the senators, and one of its leaders was a man named Brutus, to whom Cæsar had shown every kindness. Brutus, with his comrade, Cassius, and some sixty others held secret meetings at night in which they discussed the best way to murder Cæsar, and it was finally decided that they would fall upon him with swords and daggers when he entered the Senate House.

In connection with this evil plot a strange thing happened. Cæsar was approached by an old man who claimed to be a prophet or a soothsayer. This man warned him that on a certain day, which began what was called the Ides of March, he must not stir out of his house or evil would come to him. Cæsar laughed at this prediction, but on the night before this very day, his wife, Calpurnia, had an evil dream in which she beheld specters walking in the streets of Rome; and she begged Cæsar as he loved her to remain at home. Cæsar was about to give in to her request when Brutus called at his house to take him to the Senate, and, knowing of the conspiracy, of which he was one of the leaders, Brutus ridiculed Cæsar for being frightened by the dream of his wife and persuaded him to go, although Calpurnia wept bitterly when he departed, believing that she would never see him again.

On the way to the Senate Cæsar passed the soothsayer, and remembering his prediction called out to him that the Ides of March were come.

"Aye, Cæsar," replied the strange old man, "but not yet past." And Cæsar entered the Senate.

As he took his place he was surrounded by the conspirators who crowded about him with their weapons ready to hand under their cloaks and robes, and while one of their number presented a petition to Cæsar, and drew his cloak aside, Casca, another conspirator, stabbed him from behind. Then, as Cæsar turned and grasped Casca's arm, the whole murderous pack of them set upon him, crowding and jostling each other to drive their weapons into his body. And when Cæsar saw the hand of Brutus, his best friend, treacherously raised against him, he drew his cloak over his face so that he might keep his dignity in the agony of death, and exclaiming "You, too, Brutus?" fell at the base of Pompey's statue, which was stained with the life blood of the man who had conquered him.

So died Julius Cæsar, whose name is even brighter after two thousand years than it was in the time when he lived. As to the conspirators they profited nothing by their deed, for the Romans, inspired by an oration made at Cæsar's bier by Marc Antony, set fire to their dwellings and drove them from the city. Within three years not one of them remained alive. Rome soon proved that she could not live without a master, and the power that Cæsar had won passed into other hands that were not so great or worthy as his own.




No saint's name is more familiar than holy Saint Patrick's. Legends have sprung up around it as thick as the grass of Ireland from which he is believed to have chased the serpents into the sea—but in all the calendar hardly a saint is known less about than this marvelous man, who carried the Christian religion to every corner of the emerald island.

Saint Patrick was not a native of Ireland—he was born, perhaps in 373 a.d., in the little town of Banavem Taberniæ, a Roman town in ancient Scotland not far from the modern city of Glasgow. Rome had ruled the world for hundreds of years and the swords of her soldiers had been uplifted in every known land. Hence it was that Saint Patrick came into the world as a future citizen of Rome and the son of a wealthy and respected Roman colonist. His father was named Calpornius and was a deacon of the Christian church in the town where he lived, and the mother of the future saint was also a devout Christian, the niece of the renowned Bishop Martin of the city of Tours in France.

Calpornius and his wife were so ardent in religion that they spent day and night in teaching their son the story of the gospel and the psalms. They desired first of all that he should be a good Christian and a bearer of the faith—but they wearied the growing boy with long hours of study and monotonous recitals of religious hymns and proverbs when he was eager to be ranging the hills or playing with his fellows. At that time he had no particular desire to be a priest, and, like most boys, was far more interested in the stories of heroes than the stories of saints, preferring to hear of the wild Scottish chiefs and the Roman Generals with whom they had engaged in bitter warfare.

He thirsted for adventure, and adventure was to come to him. Those were wild days, and law only reached as far as it could be upheld by the sword and the arrow. Pirates harried the seas and from the north the galleys of the sea robbers were soon to range southward in search of lands where plunder was to be found and men and women to be carried into slavery.

One night, when a gale was blowing from the northeast, St. Patrick, we are told, sat with some friends in the glowing light of a great peat fire, where they warmed themselves at the same time that they told stories of adventure and sang Scottish songs as wild and melancholy as the wind that was scouring the hills. Saint Patrick was now a lad of sixteen, with well knit limbs and a powerful body that made him appear older than he really was, and at the same time gave promise of greater strength to come. He listened keenly to the singing, but at the same time gave ear to sounds that he heard without the hut, for the rough voices of men speaking an unknown tongue seemed to be mingling with the noise of the storm. At last he sprang up with a shout of warning, a shout that was answered by a battle cry from without. A pirate galley had made its way to the shore and the crew were engaged on a raid to capture slaves. Some of Saint Patrick's companions were clubbed or cut down where they sat, but he was thrown and strongly bound, dragged roughly to the shore and tossed on board the robber craft that quickly made its way to sea in spite of the tremendous surf that broke over the backs of the oarsmen.

For several days they fought the sea and at last came to the coast of northern Ireland, where Saint Patrick was sold as a slave to an Irish chief named Miliuc. It is probable that the pirates gained a rich reward for the clean-limbed boy, whose strength and ability were evident to all who saw him. When the bargain was finished they boarded their vessel and sailed away, leaving the luckless boy in the hands of his new master.

And straightway there commenced for Saint Patrick a bitterly hard life, for little kindness was wasted on those who were sold into bondage, and slaves were compelled to labor terribly with aching muscles and empty bellies, beaten and cuffed at the whim of their master—who had a perfect right to slay them if he so desired Hunger, blows and fatigue were Saint Patrick's portion and were added to the homesickness of a young man torn from affectionate parents.

And then Saint Patrick found consolation in the religious teachings that had been drummed into his unwilling ears, and in the midst of his suffering he turned to his faith for comfort. He remembered the psalms that had been taught by his father and mother and said them repeatedly, and he even forbore at times to eat his meagre rations, thinking that by fasting he might prove worthy in the eyes of the Lord.

And one night he had a dream in which he heard a voice, which said to him: "Fast no more, but fly, for a vessel now awaits you to carry you away from your bondage. Truly you shall behold your parents again and once more be free and happy."

Saint Patrick woke in amazement after this dream, but he was so certain that the voice which spoke to him was real that he did not hesitate to obey it. Watching his opportunity he slipped away from the chief who had held him for six years in bitter servitude, and walking and running by turns he made his way southward in search of the vessel that he knew must be awaiting him.

He did not concern himself about the path, for he felt that Heaven would guide him; and indeed after he had marched for two hundred miles, he came to the coast, and just as he had dreamed a vessel lay at anchor near the shore and some of the sailors were standing on the beach.

Saint Patrick ran up to them and implored the captain to carry him away from Ireland back to his own country. His wild appearance startled the master of the vessel, but after considerable doubt the captain consented, and Saint Patrick boarded the ship where he was to work his passage across the channel.

They set sail at once and bent their backs to the oars, for in those days ships were moved over the water by rowers as well as by sails; and after three days they came not to Scotland, but the shore of France, landing in a wild and desolate region where no human habitation was to be seen. Their provision had run low and they were in danger of dying of hunger, when the captain, who had closely watched Saint Patrick during the voyage and observed his piety, asked him to pray to the Christian god to bring them food, for the captain himself was not a Christian and believed that his own prayers would be worthless on this account. And Saint Patrick knelt and prayed, and before he had risen to his feet again a wild boar ran from the thicket and then another and still a third, all of which were promptly slain and the meat roasted on sticks.

Then Saint Patrick bade farewell to his shipmates, and made his way to the city of Tours, where to his joy he met Bishop Martin, who was his own great uncle. And he stayed at the home of the Bishop for four years.

After this time he tried again to reach Scotland, to which he was drawn every hour by ties of blood and affection; and at last he embarked on a vessel bound to a port very near his own native town. He found his father and mother still living and they rejoiced mightily to see him, for to them he was as one who had returned from the dead. In place of the boy they had lost there appeared a tall and finely built man with a face hardened by toil but made noble by thought and suffering. And they had a feast to celebrate his return and wept for joy because they had their son again.

But the dreams that Saint Patrick had experienced in Ireland once more came to him, and in his sleep he heard the Heavenly voice telling him that he had been rescued from slavery for no mean or ordinary purpose, but must go again into Ireland as a priest, and teach the Christian religion to the savage Irish clans. So Saint Patrick knew that he must return to Ireland, and, bidding his parents farewell, he departed to become a priest in preparation for the labor that lay before him.

He studied to such purpose that he became a Bishop, celebrated for his learning and famous among the clergymen; and when this was accomplished he set sail once more for Ireland with a retinue of priests and clergymen accompanying him. But although he was going to a savage land where he had already experienced much bitterness and sorrow, he went unarmed, and among his entire company there was not so much as a single sword or lance.

He came to a place called Strangford Lough and there landed with his band of missionaries. The Irish fled at his approach, for they feared that the tall man who bore the cross was the leader of an invading army, and also that he possessed the arts of magic by which he would do injury to them.

Many of the Irish believed in the religion of the Druids—a strange faith that brought in the magic arts and endeavored to teach above all other things that a man's soul when he dies enters another human body. This belief was widely established throughout the world, and it is true that many persons beside the Druids believed in it; but the Druids had other beliefs that were cruel and dangerous. They were said to perform human sacrifices and their priests to practise black magic. These priests wore about their necks the "serpent's egg," a ball formed of the spittle of many poisonous snakes; they knew many strange things about animals and plants and held the oak tree to be sacred. For this reason they worshipped in oaken groves, and considered the mistletoe that grew around oak trees to have divine powers. It was cut by white-robed priests with golden knives in an impressive ceremony.

It can readily be seen that such people, who believed in such a faith, would not easily become Christians. Their priests were clever and knew how to place the stamp of fear and wonder on their minds. And—in company with all other people in those days—the Irish distrusted outsiders and were far more ready to believe them coming in treachery than in friendship.

When Saint Patrick and his followers set foot in Ireland it was the time of a great religious festival in which no lights were allowed to be lit or fires to be kindled for several days. Saint Patrick knew this, for he was well versed in the religious customs of the Irish, and he knew, too, that the penalty for disobeying the priestly order was a terrible death.

None the less, and in spite of being unarmed, he ordered his followers to build an enormous fire that could be seen for miles. When the great logs and the faggots were piled together Saint Patrick kindled the pile with his own hands and the flames shot high in the air, throwing strange shadows on the trees and causing the Irish to cry out in fear and astonishment. The Druid priests were greatly angered and perturbed at what Saint Patrick had done, and they went at once to the King, who was named Laoghaire MacNeill, telling him that the foreign band had desecrated the Druid faith and must be punished with death. Then the King told the priests to go and fetch Saint Patrick and bring him to judgment, but the priests feared the fire that had been kindled, thinking that it had magic powers. So they went as far as they dared and called out to Saint Patrick, summoning him to appear before the judges of the land.

Promptly and with fearless demeanor, Saint Patrick joined the priests and was taken before the King. And when the King demanded of him how he had dared to disobey the laws of the country and profane its religion, Saint Patrick answered that he did so because the light of the Christian faith was infinitely brighter than the light of any fire that he or any one else had power to kindle; and that the fire he had built was merely a sign to call the Irish to the worship of the true God. Then he preached, and his words were so wise and spoken with such weight of eloquence that many that heard him became Christians on the spot, and the work of converting Ireland was soon well under way.

There were many of the Irish that loved Saint Patrick, but he had many bitter enemies. On one occasion a powerful Irishman, who was enraged at the Saint for having taken a stone sacred to the Druids for a Christian altar, vowed that he must die. So he lay in wait in a patch of woods near a road over which he knew Saint Patrick would pass, with a sharp javelin to pierce his heart.

Saint Patrick had an Irish boy for his servant and this boy knew of the threat and the place and was greatly afraid for the life of his beloved master. But he knew, too, that it would be useless to ask Saint Patrick to go by another road, for fear was unknown to him. So the boy pretended to be weary and asked Saint Patrick to take the reins of the horse that they were driving; and the brave lad seated himself in his master's place. They came to the wood; there was a sudden stirring of the bushes and the hiss of a javelin which imbedded itself in the boy's heart, killing him instantly. The assassin had taken his master for the ordinary driver and Saint Patrick's life was saved.

Ardently the Saint set to work to bring about the conversion of the Irish, and he did his work so well that when he became an old man there were no heathen left in Ireland, and his name was loved and venerated from one end of the island to the other. And the legends grew up so quickly about him that it is hard to separate the true from the false.

He had written a famous hymn which was called "the breastplate," being as he said the best and strongest armor he or any other Christian could bear, since it was a confession of his faith in the Christian religion. On many occasions, when men sought his life, it is said he chanted this hymn and they let him pass.

Saint Patrick is said to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland into the sea—and it is notable that there are no snakes there to-day. And the other marvelous things he is believed to have accomplished are manifold. He died at a ripe old age and from the day of his death to the present one no man has been more revered in the land where he labored,—for the name of Saint Patrick is in every Irish heart and Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated by Irishmen in every part of the world.




More than fourteen centuries ago there lived in the Island of Britain a very wise king named Uther Pendragon. And at his court there dwelt an enchanter of great art whose name was Merlin. Now Merlin, among his other arts, had the power of seeing into the future, and what he could not prevent he could often foretell; and looking forward with this art of his, Merlin saw that after the death of King Uther there would be war and confusion in Britain; and the only one who could save the land would be the King's son, Arthur. But Merlin knew that the King would not live very long, and that Arthur was too weak to govern as a child—nay more, that unless Arthur were concealed he would be murdered by the noblemen that sought to obtain the kingdom. So he told this to King Uther, and they agreed to hide the child and have him reared in secret. And for this purpose they gave him to a nobleman named Sir Hector de Bonmaison, who was possessed of a good heart, telling him that the child, though of noble blood, was no better than a waif whose parents were both dead.

Everything that Merlin foresaw then came to pass. King Uther Pendragon died, and war and confusion seized Britain. For eighteen years there was no peace or safety in the land, and at the end of this time the people were weary of bloodshed and sought a King who should govern them with a strong hand.

Merlin was known to be the wisest man in the entire land, if not in all the world, and the Archbishop of Canterbury came to him and sought advice concerning a worthy King for Britain. And Merlin, thinking of Arthur, prepared by enchantment a test whereby the rightful King of Britain should be known. In front of the cathedral there appeared a great block of marble with an anvil upon it, and into the anvil was thrust a great, bright sword that shone full as brilliantly as the stars themselves; and on the handle of the sword was a legend saying that whosoever could draw the sword from the anvil was the rightful King of Britain.

A mighty tournament was then proclaimed, and after the tournament all the nobles were to attempt to draw out the sword from the anvil. All the great men in the land were to be present and the one who drew the sword was to be proclaimed as King.

Sir Hector de Bonmaison went to the tournament, and with him went his rightful son, Sir Kay, and the boy, Arthur. Sir Kay was a powerful knight famous in war and he intended to win the tournament for the credit of his house. And it seemed as if he would indeed succeed, for with his sword he struck down all that were opposed to him—until the sword snapped and left him without a weapon.

Then Sir Kay called Arthur to his side and bade the boy get him another sword, and quickly. And Arthur, who knew nothing about the sword in front of the cathedral, except that he had seen it there, ran to that spot and sprang upon the marble block—and when he pulled upon the haft of the sword it came forth from the iron block into his hand as easily as though it had been thrust into a pat of butter, and with it he ran to Sir Kay.

But Sir Kay when he saw it looked strangely upon Arthur and bade the lad say straightway where he had obtained it; and when Sir Kay heard how Arthur had pulled it from the anvil he fought no more, for an evil scheme had come into his mind,—and going to his father, he said that he himself had drawn the sword from the anvil and so must be the rightful King of Britain.

Marveling greatly, Sir Hector with Arthur and Sir Kay went to the cathedral and Sir Kay tried to thrust the sword back into the metal, but could not do it. Then Arthur took the sword and thrust it in as easily as though the iron were soft earth, and for all his efforts Sir Kay could not draw it forth again. But Arthur drew it forth and thrust it back—and then did so once more—and at this Sir Hector knew that the child whom he had reared was no other than the son of King Uther Pendragon, and kneeling at Arthur's feet, both he and Sir Kay offered him their homage.

And then all the nobles and the kings and the great men in the land gathered about the cathedral and tried one after one to draw the sword. And none could stir it. But Arthur drew the sword so easily that he needed but to lay one hand upon the hilt to have it come into his grasp—and after much amazement and doubt and further trials the people of Britain proclaimed Arthur as their King.

It was soon seen that this lad who had been reared in obscurity and was hitherto unknown, was to be a greater King than even his father had been before him. For Arthur quelled the wars that had been ravaging the country and brought justice and peace to all the land; and those that rose against him he punished with a hand of iron. But all the people loved the young King, who was knightly and chivalrous, and the fame of his deeds rang through his dominions. For in all Britain there was no knight better than he with sword and lance,—no surer horseman or bolder warrior than the King himself. And for a time he conducted himself according to the fashion of noble knights and rode abroad combatting evil and conquering all those who sought to oppose him.

Everywhere that Arthur went the enchanter Merlin watched over him, and on more than one occasion Merlin saved his life. And the wise old man with his enchanter's art looked into the future and saw where Arthur would gain the strength and power that has made his name live down to the present day,—aye, and that will make it shine long after those who read this book are laid away in their own tombs and forgotten!

Merlin knew that in a certain lake that lay in a land of enchantment in Arthur's dominions, there was a marvelous sword called "Excalibur," possessed of such great power that all those who fought against it must fall,—while in the scabbard of the sword there rested the healing virtue that nobody who wore it could ever be wounded or lose any blood in battle.

Many knights had tried to gain this sword, but a terrible fate had befallen them without exception,—for nobody could claim it who was not true at heart, and who knew not the meaning of the word fear. The sword itself was held in a mighty arm that uplifted itself from the center of the lake, and this arm was clothed in the purest white, marvelous to look upon.

Merlin took Arthur to the edge of the lake, and the King beheld the great arm holding the sword above the water; and when he saw it he was possessed of the desire to have it for his own, for the blade gleamed like the sunlight, the handle was bright with the purest gold and jewels, and there seemed to be a greater strength and a luster in it than the work of mortal hands could bring about.

While the King with Merlin stood at the edge of the lake and wondered how it would be possible to obtain the sword, all of a sudden a barge appeared in the shape of a beautiful white swan. In it stood a radiant lady, clad all in green with white pearls in her hair and pearls like drops of weeping mist all over her garments—which themselves appeared like woven and intermingled rushes. The boat made its way through the water without motive power, until it grated gently on the sands where Arthur and Merlin were standing. And the lady spoke to Arthur and told him that she was no other than the Lady of the Lake and that the sword, Excalibur, should be his own. And Arthur stepped into the boat, which promptly left the shore and glided straight as an arrow to the place where the sword appeared.

Although the King had never felt fear in his life, he felt a wonder approaching to fear at the mystic, white hand that grasped the handle of Excalibur so firmly; but leaning from the boat he took the sword, and the hand at once disappeared in the waters of the lake. And due to Merlin's gifts of magic, Arthur himself was able to look into the future at that time and see one thing—namely, that when his reign was over and he himself sore wounded and near to death, he must return Excalibur to the hand that gave it to him, casting it back into the lake before he died.

With Excalibur at his side, Arthur was invincible in war and he struck down all that opposed him—but he was so chivalrous that he never used the sword except against the wicked, and from that time on forbore to do any battle in the way of sport, but fought only against his enemies.


King Arthur had beheld a lady named Guinevere at Cameliard, and was smitten with love for her and desired to make her his bride. But first of all he wished to be near her, and he asked Merlin to furnish him with some disguise by which he could accomplish this without her knowledge.

Merlin agreed and gave Arthur a cap on which he had cast a spell. For when Arthur put it on he appeared to be no longer a king, but a simple gardener's boy. On pain of discovery, however, he must always wear the cap, for when he took it off he showed himself once more as Arthur the King.

So Arthur went to Cameliard disguised as a gardener's boy, and he sought work in the castle grounds where he might often behold the Lady Guinevere. And for some days he worked in the gardens while she walked there and looked upon her to his heart's content—and every time he saw her she seemed to be more beautiful than before.

One morning, however, while he was bathing at the fountain with his cap laid aside, the Lady Guinevere looked out of the window and saw him. She did not know he was the King, she only knew that a very handsome knight was bathing at her fountain,—but in a trice the King put on his cap again and became the gardener's boy, who said that none had been there save himself.

At last, however, Arthur was discovered by Guinevere, although even then she knew not that he was the King; and after this had happened he went forth on a quest in her behalf and overcame four knights whom he sent to her as his captives, with orders to serve her and do what she desired.

These knights were well known to Arthur and were his friends; but like Guinevere they had not known him, because he kept down the visor of his helmet when he did battle with them. And they returned and told Guinevere that they were conquered by an unknown knight who had ordered them to come to her and do her bidding.

Guinevere was guarded in the castle of Cameliard by a knight named Sir Mordaunt of North Umber who was greatly desirous of wedding her. And at last he kept her a close prisoner and with six companions mounted guard before the castle proclaiming that unless some champions came forward in her behalf he would marry her against her will.

At this Guinevere was greatly distressed, for she had grown to love the unknown knight that she had seen in the garden, and she asked the four that were in her charge to go forth and do battle with the knights that guarded her. But they would not, although they were bound to do her word, because they were angered that she should demand this of them when she knew that they were only four against seven. When Arthur returned, however, he placed himself at their head and they charged the seven knights so fiercely that three were slain in their onslaught and the others fled. And shortly after this Guinevere was brought to Arthur for marriage, and he disclosed his state as King, and their nuptials were celebrated with gorgeous pomp and ceremony.

Merlin told Arthur to ask from Guinevere's father, whose name was Leodegrance and who was himself a king, a marvelous round table that he possessed. This table had magic powers, said Merlin, and Arthur would add greatly to the strength of his kingdom by possessing it. The table had many marvelous properties,—and the chairs that went with it were equally marvelous. The names of those who should sit in them appeared in letters of gold when such knights approached, and disappeared again when they rose to depart. There was also a seat richer than the rest for the King himself—and another chair, wonderfully carven and wrought with gems, that was called the "Seat Perilous," where even Arthur might not sit—for that chair was reserved for the knight who should look upon the "Holy Grail," a vessel containing the blood of Christ that had been taken to Heaven on his death. It could only be beheld by the purest knight that went in quest of it, which Arthur could not do, because he must rule his kingdom.

Then Arthur gathered all the best knights in the realm about him and they were called "the Knights of the Round Table" and they bound themselves by vows to noble deeds and gallant conduct, to redress wrongs, to think no evil or allow it to appear in any guise at the Round Table. And through the deeds of his knights of the Round Table Arthur's name became even greater in his kingdom than it had ever been before.

But little by little doubt and suspicion began to appear among Arthur's knights, and these were fostered by the evil plots of Arthur's nephew, Modred. Above all, Modred hated a knight named Sir Lancelot, who, with the exception of the King, was the bravest knight in Britain. Sir Lancelot was loved by Queen Guinevere, and loved her in return. And through Modred's schemes it befell that fighting commenced between Lancelot and other knights of the Round Table, in which many were slain. And then the whole kingdom of Britain was torn apart and Arthur's former glory was lost; and at last the unhappy King even found himself at war with his former friend, Sir Lancelot himself, who had stolen the love of the Queen.

After bitter fighting Sir Lancelot went back to his own country of Brittany, taking Queen Guinevere with him, beyond the sea, and Arthur pursued him there. And while Arthur was laying siege to Sir Lancelot's castle, the false knight Modred rose against Arthur in his own country, hatching a rebellion against the King, so Arthur had to give up the siege of Lancelot's castle and return to Britain to fight against the traitors that had risen from the ranks of his own subjects.

This was the last war that Arthur ever engaged in. Merlin had foretold that when the seats at the Round Table had all been filled, Arthur's kingdom must gradually decline. The seats had been filled long since, and the decline had come about through the distrust and the evil deeds of Arthur's own knights. And now he must fight a number of them both in the ranks of Lancelot and under the banner of Modred.

In a battle with Modred's forces King Arthur's army fought so fiercely that when dusk fell almost all the men on both sides who had engaged in that fight were slain, and none were left but the leaders of the opposing forces. And Arthur engaged in personal combat with Modred just as the sun was going down. Now Arthur had long since lost the scabbard of his sword, Excalibur, so it was possible to wound or slay him in battle, although he that stood up against the stroke of that sword must also be slain. And this very thing came to pass in Arthur's battle with Modred. For as Arthur ran him through, Modred struck him so terrible a blow on the head that his helmet was cut in two and the sword sank deep in his skull.

Grievously wounded, Arthur was carried from the field by one of his few remaining knights, named Sir Bedivere; and Arthur, seeing that he must die, gave to Sir Bedivere the sword, Excalibur, telling him to throw it in the lake.

When Sir Bedivere approached the shore of the mysterious lake, which lay not far from the spot where Arthur had been wounded, his heart misgave him at throwing away so beautiful and magical a sword. Therefore he hid the sword in the rushes and returned to the dying King, telling him that he had done as was commanded. But Arthur did not believe him, and asked him what he had seen when Excalibur sank beneath the waves. And Bedivere told him that he had seen nothing except the rippling of the water under the wind and the rustle of the reeds at the margin of the lake. And Arthur told Sir Bedivere to return and do as he had been commanded, for the King knew well that he had been deceived.

Once again Sir Bedivere returned to the lake and once again he came back to Arthur with a lying tale that he had obeyed the King's commands. Then Arthur in high anger commanded him to deceive a dying man no longer and Sir Bedivere at last went back and threw Excalibur into the lake.

As Excalibur hurtled through the air and approached the water a great hand arose from the depths and caught it by the hilt, waved it thrice in the air and vanished beneath the waves, and Sir Bedivere returned to Arthur and told him what he had seen.

Then Arthur knew that Sir Bedivere had indeed spoken the truth, and the dying King put one more command upon him—namely to bear him to the shore of the lake where he had thrown Excalibur.

As they approached the shore a barge was seen cleaving the water without visible motive power, and on the barge which was draped all in black were four damsels who wept bitterly. When the prow of the barge reached the shore, Arthur commanded Sir Bedivere to lay him on it—and at once it moved out into the mists of the lake with the black robed figures bending over the King. And Arthur called out to Sir Bedivere in farewell, telling him that he was going to Avalon either to die or to be healed of his grievous wound, and he asked Sir Bedivere to pray for his immortal soul.

From that day Arthur was not seen again, although many believed that he would come back and rescue his countrymen when dangers beset them; and to-day the legends of Arthur leave it doubtful if he will return or not. But the great King as well as the realm that he ruled over have been lost forever in the mists of time. And the story of Arthur is ended.




The Arabs are a dark skinned people that live near or on the great deserts of Arabia, one of the hottest and most desolate regions of the world. They have lived there for thousands of years in roving tribes and many of their traits and manners have come from their association with the desert, and the hardships that they have been obliged to undergo in making their journeys upon its fiery sands.

Thousands of years ago the Arabs had a religion that was not entirely different from that of the Jews. As the years passed, however, they began to turn away from the old beliefs and to worship stone idols. These idols were set up in their principal cities and villages, notably in the city of Mecca, where there also remained a temple, built in the time of the older religion, that the Arabs still held to be sacred.

As the Arabian tribes were very different from each other in many ways, it was only natural that their religion should grow different also. Some men worshipped the fire and some worshipped the stars. Some became Jews or Christians. For the most part, however, they worshipped stone images and many wise men preached and labored among them in vain to bring back the old religion of their fathers.

Such was the state of affairs when a child was born in the city of Mecca who was destined to become one of the greatest prophets of the world, and draw all the Arabs into a single religion that would spread as far as Spain and India. This child was named Mohammed, and he was born five hundred and seventy years after the death of Christ. His father, Abdallah, died soon after he was born, and Mohammed's mother, according to custom, gave the baby into the charge of a nurse who might rear him in the free, open air of the desert where Arabs believed that children became strong and vigorous.

Mohammed was strong in many ways, but had one great physical failing: he was often seized with fits of a kind that nowadays would be ascribed to the disease called epilepsy. In those days, however, these fits were thought to be the work of devils who entered into and possessed the body. When he was six years old his mother died and he was brought up by his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, a poor man, but one who was greatly respected by everybody that knew him.

Abd al-Muttalib put him to work. When he grew old enough, he watched the flocks of the people of Mecca, and gained a meager livelihood by doing this. He had no schooling, but once or twice had the opportunity to travel, when he went with his uncle to southern Arabia and to Syria, where he saw people different from those of Mecca and learned of many different forms of religion.

When Mohammed was twenty-five years old there befell a change in his fortunes. In this year he entered the service of a rich widow, whose name was Kadijah, and went with her to the great fairs and bazaars on which journeys, perhaps, he acted as her camel driver. Kadijah soon fell in love with the young man of bright, piercing eyes and thoughtful demeanor, and one day she drew Mohammed aside and told him that she loved him, offering to become his wife and to give him her hand in marriage. By marrying Kadijah Mohammed became rich. He managed his wife's affairs at Mecca with great success, and became greatly respected there as a man of business. He and Kadijah had six children, four girls and two boys, but both of the boys died in their infancy.

But Mohammed was soon marked as being different from other men. He spent a great deal of his time in religious contemplation and would go off by himself into the solitude of the mountains, to think and ponder without interruption.

When he was forty years old he went one day to a mountain called Hira which was not far from Mecca. And here a trance came upon him and in the night he believed that he saw the angel Gabriel. The angel was surrounded by a flaming aureole and in his hand he held a scroll of fire from which he commanded Mohammed to read. Now Mohammed knew not how to read or write, but to his amazement he found that the words on the scroll were quite plain to him, and he read a wonderful message that proclaimed the glory and the greatness of God, whom he called Allah.

Mohammed was frightened by what he had seen; he thought that perhaps the form of the angel had been taken by some evil spirit to lead him on to his undoing. But at last he had another vision in which Gabriel came to him again and called upon him to arise and preach the word of Allah throughout the land and bring back to the Arabs the faith of their fathers and the worship of a single god. And then for the first time Mohammed believed his visions and thought himself God's Prophet, and he called the new faith that he was to teach the faith of Islam, which means righteousness.

Mohammed went back to Kadijah and told her what he had seen. He said he was chosen by Allah to spread his faith over the land, and he himself was a prophet greater than any other in the world. Kadijah was a true and faithful wife and loved Mohammed better than herself. She believed that he spoke the truth, and looked upon him as some one who through God's means had become more than a man.

At first Mohammed did not try to preach his new faith to the people of Mecca, but contented himself with teaching the word of Allah to his nearest relatives. Most of them believed in him, but one of his uncles called him a fool and would have nothing to do with the new religion.

After four years of teaching Mohammed had only converted to the new belief forty people, who were mostly men of low degree or slaves. He then thought that Allah called upon him to go forth publicly and preach his new belief to the entire world. And soon afterward Mohammed could have been seen in the market place preaching the word of Allah.

The faith that Mohammed taught was very much like the faith that we ourselves believe in. That is, it was much more like the religion of Christ than the worship of idols or the belief of the Romans and Greeks in gods and goddesses, or the worship of fire or the stars. Mohammed preached that there was one God only, and that this God was greater than all things. If you died and had led a righteous life you went to Paradise; if you had been wicked you went to the lower regions to undergo eternal punishment. And there were a great many things in Mohammed's religion that any one would do well to follow, for he preached that God was merciful and his people on earth must be merciful also, that cleanliness was next to Godliness and that all his followers must wash themselves before they prayed.

In many ways, however, the Mohammedan faith was not so pure as the Christian faith, for the Heaven that Mohammed believed in was a place of feasting and merriment, but little else, and Mohammed also believed that it was right to teach his religion by the sword. In this, however, Mohammed's followers became more zealous than he had ever thought of being, and we must remember also that Christians of those days did not hesitate to use the sword, themselves.

To spread the faith Mohammed set about preparing a great book which was to be the bible of those who believed in his religion. This book was called the Koran. Because Mohammed could not write and still produced this marvelous book, which contained the word of Allah, he claimed that he was divinely inspired. It is thought, however, that he was helped in preparing the Koran by one of his disciples who could read and write.

When Mohammed prepared the Koran there was no paper, and writing materials were far removed from the Arabs who made little use of them. So Mohammed was compelled, as we are told, to write the Koran on any material that came to hand. He wrote it on pieces of stone and strips of leather, and on dried palm leaves,—and some of the verses were even written on the bleached shoulder blades of sheep. Anything that could hold a mark was used by him as writing material, and the verses were later collected and made into a book by his disciples.

When Mohammed commenced to preach before the people, the citizens of Mecca looked on him as a madman. They did not molest him, however, because they held him to be a worthless dreamer who could do no harm to anybody. But as weeks went by, and the number of those who became converted to his faith grew larger, the wise men who still believed in the great stone idols named Hubal and Uzza began to grow afraid.

They were too cowardly to molest Mohammed, because he was a rich man and was protected by his uncle who had much influence among them,—but they vented their spite on the humbler people who followed him and who were unable to protect themselves. So it came to pass that the poor men who were Mohammedans, particularly the slaves, were made to suffer dreadful tortures. They were scourged with whips and placed all day in the burning sunshine without a drop of water for their thirst. At last, however, the people of Mecca became bold enough to go to Mohammed's uncle and tell him that Mohammed must cease preaching against their idols. Mohammed, however, indignantly refused, and went on preaching, and his uncle continued to protect him.

At last Mohammed's enemies became so afraid of the success he was gaining that they decided they must have his life at all costs, and a plot was hatched against him. He was saved by being warned of this and hidden away, but at last he and all his relatives who believed in his teachings, as most of them did, were driven from Mecca and were made outlaws.

His uncle's influence was so strong, however, that after Mohammed had lived in the mountains for three years, he and his relatives were allowed to return to Mecca. But a great misfortune fell upon him, for his faithful wife Kadijah, whom he had loved deeply, and who was the first person to believe in him as a prophet, died, and left him inconsolable. His uncle also died, and Mohammed lost his protection.

Without the influence of his uncle Mecca again became too dangerous for Mohammed to remain in. When he tried to preach he was pelted with stones and mud and mocked on every side. He was consoled, however, by a dream in which he thought that he was preaching to certain spirits whose bodies were made of fire and who were known to the Meccans as Djinns. And these spirits listened attentively to what Mohammed said and did him reverence.

Because he had converted a number of men from the nearby town of Yathrib, Mohammed decided that a better opportunity was given him to teach his faith there than in Mecca itself, and in the year 622 a.d., he and his followers fled to Yathrib and were made welcome. This flight was called the "Hegira," and the date of it is very important to the Mohammedans, for their calendar dates from it, and for them is practically the beginning of time.

In Yathrib the faith of Mohammed spread quickly and he received attention and reverence wherever he went. And when he had a large following he desired to put up a house of prayer, or a temple which he called a mosque. This was done, but the first Mohammedan mosque was a very simple affair indeed and the roof was supported by trees that were not removed from the earth where they had been growing.

And then for the first time began to be heard the call that to-day rings through so large a part of Asia and Africa, when the muezin, or crier, summons Mohammed's followers to prayer five times a day. They must all face toward Mecca as they pray, for that is the sacred city; and Mohammed so considered it because of the mysterious temple or Kaabah that was in it, and because, before the days of the idolaters, this temple had been connected with the religion of Abraham. And every morning since that time up to the present day, Mohammedans have been summoned to prayer with the following words:

"God is great; there is no god but the Lord. Mohammed is the Apostle of God. Come unto prayer! Come unto salvation! God is great. There is no god but the Lord."

Another change was effected by Mohammed. Since Yathrib had been the first place to take him in and receive his religion, its name was changed to Medinat al Nahib, the city of the prophet, to do the place honor. And in Medinah, as it was later called, Mohammed spent the rest of his life.

It was not long before word came to Mecca that the man whom they had driven out had become powerful and mighty in a city not far off and that he was considered greater than a king among the disciples that followed him. Then the Meccans were again afraid, for they feared that some day Mohammed would appear with an army before their walls and revenge himself for the injuries that they had worked upon him. So, when a frightened messenger brought word to the Meccans that a number of Mohammed's followers were plundering the Meccan caravans, the people of Mecca raised an army to raze Medinah to the ground and put an end for all time to the man that had so troubled their affairs.

Mohammed, however, had already designed to march against Mecca and had raised an army for that purpose. And he came upon the Meccan soldiers at a place called Badrh. There were a great many more Meccans than Mohammedans, and should have won the day, for the odds against Mohammed and his followers were huge, but Mohammed had the advantage that every one of his soldiers was glad to die for his leader and his army had the fierce, fanatical zeal which religion inspires in eastern people.

It was a wild fight, for the battle was fought in a furious storm of rain and wind that beat like whips upon the faces of the soldiers as they dashed against each other. It was desperate, too, and lasted nearly all day—and it was one of the important battles of the world, although the numbers engaged in it were not large. At first the fray went badly for the Mohammedans, for the enemy with their superior numbers forced them back. Everywhere Mohammed himself might have been seen, encouraging his followers and urging them to greater efforts. Then, when it seemed as if his forces were breaking and that nothing could be done to hold them together any longer, he stooped to the ground and picking up a handful of gravel, hurled it against his foes.

"May confusion seize them," he cried loudly, and at that the Mohammedans in the vicinity who had seen the act, rushed so furiously upon the Meccans that they recoiled. That was all that was needed. The entire Mohammedan army charged, shouting the names of Allah and Mohammed, and the battle was won. Many horses and camels and much valuable plunder were captured, and word was sent back to Medinah that a great victory had been gained.

The Meccans swore vengeance and in due time another army was advancing against Mohammed. He was engaged in prayer when the word was brought to him that the Meccans were coming and at once he summoned his followers and exhorted them to do their utmost and to die in defense of the faith.

With his army at his heels Mohammed went forth from Medinah and pitched his camp near Mount Uhud, only a bowshot away from his enemies. As soon as it was dawn both sides were drawn up ready for battle—and then the Meccans saw a sight that had never before taken place on any battlefield—for at the call of the Muezin, which took place as though the Mohammedans were at home, the entire army bowed down in prayer.

At first the fight went well for the Mohammedans, but when a group of archers left their post to engage in the pursuit of the defeated Meccans this gave some of the enemy's cavalry a chance to surround or outflank Mohammed's soldiers. The Meccans rallied and attacked him in front and the rear at the same time, and the day was lost. However, the Meccans were too exhausted to pursue his men for a time and they believed that Mohammed himself had been slain, which was the first of their desires. So they returned to Mecca.

For about two years there was little fighting, and then the Meccans planned an attack against Medinah, and advanced upon it with a large army. And now Mohammed showed great military skill, for he conceived a plan that had never been known to the Arabians and that is still employed in modern warfare,—namely that of fighting from the protection of trenches. With the hostile army almost upon them the Mohammedans worked furiously digging a deep ditch around the city, and so well did the ditch answer their purpose that the Meccans could accomplish nothing against them, but were obliged at last to turn tail and retreat to their own city.

In this siege there was a Jewish tribe in Medinah that had been treacherous to the Mohammedans, deserting them in their hour of need, and going over to the enemy. This caused Mohammed great difficulty and might easily have brought about his defeat. So, when the fight was over, he took a large number of soldiers and advanced against this tribe which had taken refuge in a stronghold in the mountains. When they saw the numbers that were against them a great fear came upon them and they surrendered to the Prophet without a fight, throwing themselves upon his mercy. They found, however, that from that mercy they could expect nothing, for all the men were put to death, and the women and children were sold into slavery.

Warfare between the Mohammedans and the Meccans continued in scattered outbursts until at last when both sides were weary of the struggle a treaty was made, and the Mohammedans were to be allowed to make a three day pilgrimage to Mecca to worship at the Kaabah or holy temple which was a part of Mohammed's religion.

This was considered by Mohammed as a great triumph for his cause. Determined now to spread his faith to the uttermost ends of the earth, he sent messengers to the rulers of all the civilized kingdoms that he knew. One went to Heraclius, Emperor of the Romans, who was in Syria at the time; one to the Roman Governor of Egypt, one to the King of Abyssinia and one to each of the provinces of Gassan and Yamam that were also under Roman control.

Then a ten year peace was agreed upon between the Meccans and the Mohammedans. This, however, was not kept long, for the Meccans killed some of Mohammed's followers. In fear for what they had done, they sent a deputation to request that he overlook what had taken place and allow the peace to continue as before, but Mohammed would give them no promises, and told his followers that the death of those who were slain by the Meccans would be amply avenged. With great secrecy he prepared an army and went forth once more against the city with which he had been engaged in warfare for so many years.

So swift was Mohammed's advance and so secret had his plans been kept that the Meccans knew nothing of his approach until they saw the camp-fires of his mighty army shining about their walls. They had no way of resisting his force for they had been surprised, and even if they could have prepared against him, their numbers were now far inferior to his own. And then came the greatest triumph of Mohammed's entire life, for the Meccans surrendered without conditions and promised to embrace the Mohammedan faith.

With ropes and axes Mohammed's followers tore the stone idols of Mecca from their pedestals and hewed them to pieces, while the Meccans sorrowfully beheld the destruction. And from that day to the present there has resounded over the city of Mecca five times each day the cry of "Allah Hu Akbar"—God is great, and the rest of the ritual calling the people to prayer.

Soon after this one desert tribe after another came under Mohammed's power, and finally all of Arabia had acknowledged him as God's prophet. He was planning to extend his religion still farther when a misfortune fell upon him that probably caused his death. With one of his followers he had partaken of a dish that had been prepared for him by a Jewish girl who hated him and all of his sect. The food was poisoned, and while Mohammed discovered it at once and ate but a single mouthful, the poison remained in his body.

Feeling that he was about to die he summoned his followers and preached to them a last sermon in which he exhorted them to obey all the rules of his religion, to treat their slaves and animals kindly and to beware of the works of the devils that were leagued against them. Not a great while after this the Prophet fell ill of a fever, and at last died, to the great grief of those disciples who had known and loved him. Although he had always given his wealth to the poor so that he lived as meanly as the humblest of his followers—for this was one of the first things that he preached,—he was worshipped as being divine and had more than the homage of a mighty king. In the hands of his fanatical followers the scimitar became the symbol of the Mohammedan faith and hundreds of thousands were conquered and made to acknowledge its power. To-day Mohammedanism is still one of the great religions of the world, and the name of the Prophet still sounds from thousands of mosques, when the muezin calls the people to prayer with the same words that were used while Mohammed was living.




More than a thousand years ago England was composed of a number of small kingdoms, which were as separate and distinct as the nations of the world are to-day. They were either making war upon each other, or looking on at the wars of their neighbors; and it seemed impossible, and nobody ever dreamed at that time, that England and Scotland and Wales would be united into one great state.

Among these people were the yellow-haired Saxons, who had entered England as invaders and driven the Celts to the westward. The Saxons brought with them the ideas that they practised in the region north of Gaul, whence they came. They refused to live in walled towns, and tore down or abandoned the buildings left by the Romans, erecting their own mud huts outside the ramparts. Their homes were rude indeed, and they had few comforts and luxuries. Glass was unknown to them, and the cold rain and wind swept through their dwellings. They had no books in their own tongue, and got all their learning from a few scholars and priests. But in spite of all these drawbacks they were a brave and hardy people, lacking only a great leader to become a nation whose influence would be felt throughout the world.

For a time, however, no such leader appeared; and it seemed as if they must be swept away entirely by a new enemy that came upon them from the north—a people called respectively the Danes, the Northmen and the Vikings, who lived on the shores of the creeks and fiords of what is now Denmark and the Scandinavian peninsula—a wild and hardy race of sailors, who loved fighting and gained their livelihood by piracy, sweeping forth in their open boats upon unprotected shores and burning and plundering wherever they went.

The Northmen, who were great seamen, speedily found out that because the British Isles were divided into numerous small nations, there would be no concerted resistance when they came to plunder; and forthwith the people in the English kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia beheld to their dismay a number of strange, piratical craft upon the shores. The prows of the boats were shaped like dragons' heads, and round shields ran along the gunwales beside the rowers. From these boats came pouring out a wild horde of gigantic and bloodthirsty men, heavily armed, ravens' wings attached to their helmets and long hair streaming over their armor. The Saxons quickly learned that it was well to flee when these men appeared. Otherwise they would be mercilessly slain. Even the women and little children were not spared, for the Northmen used to make a sport of butchery. And when they fought with the English armies they were nearly always victorious, for they were trained soldiers accustomed constantly to war, with better weapons and better armor than the English.

Such was the state of affairs in England when Ethelwulf reigned over the kingdom of Wessex. Ethelwulf was an easy going king who loved prayer better than fighting, but was forced again and again to defend his kingdom from the Northmen. He had a wife named Osburgha, and five sons who were called Ethelstane, Ethelbald, Ethelbert, Ethelred and Alfred. The two oldest of these, Ethelstane and Ethelbald, aided their father in defending the country, while the others were trained in hunting and warlike exercises with the same purpose in view,—but Alfred, when only five years old, was sent by King Ethelwulf upon a pilgrimage to the holy city of Rome, to receive there the blessing of Pope Leo the Fourth, who was head of the Christian Church and a ruler far mightier than any other in the world.

It is not to be thought that so young a child was sent alone on such a journey which would require months to finish and on which many dangers would have to be encountered. With Alfred were many soldiers and retainers, and also a famous churchman called Bishop Swithin who later became a saint. The object of this journey was to have the Pope's blessing brought back to England by Alfred, and to show the Pope by sending a Royal Prince so far for such a purpose what devout Christians the people of Wessex were.

Ethelwulf himself had desired to go to Rome, but the danger from the Danes was too great and too near at hand. However, after some months he believed he could safely join Alfred, who, although so young, could never forget the marvels that he beheld in the Holy City. Ethelwulf also desired to seek a wife in France, for Alfred's mother, Osburgha, had died since her son departed for Rome.

In due time Ethelwulf and Alfred came back from Rome to Wessex where great troubles awaited them. Ethelstane had died and, during Ethelwulf's absence, Ethelbald had revolted and was trying to take the kingdom away from his own father by force of arms. A number of nobles had joined Ethelbald because they believed that he was the better soldier and would protect them more sturdily against the Northmen. The people were also enraged against Ethelwulf, because, when crossing France, he had married a French Princess named Judith, who was only fourteen years old; and had caused her to be proclaimed Queen, which was against the laws of the Saxons.

True to his peaceful nature Ethelwulf refused to fight against Ethelbald. He said that he would never draw sword against his own flesh and blood no matter what wrong had been done to him—moreover that it behooved the English to draw their swords against their common enemy, the Northmen, rather than to wrangle among themselves when the invader might appear upon their shores at any moment. And Ethelwulf agreed to divide his kingdom with his son, to whom he gave the more important and valuable part, and spent the rest of his life in following the church and its doings—still a king in name to be sure, but with little of the kingly power remaining in his hands.

The baseness of his son in turning against him, however, broke the heart of the old king. And Ethelwulf soon died, leaving the small part of his kingdom which he had continued to rule to his son, Ethelbert. Like his father, this prince was of a peaceful disposition, and did little to stop the raids of the Northmen, never appearing himself against his enemies, but spending his time in prayer and divine worship. Nor was his disposition changed when the base Ethelbald died and the entire kingdom was reunited. The Danes once made a bold raid against the city of Winchester, burning a large part of it and escaping with much plunder—but before they were able to return to their boats they were cut off by a force of English men-at-arms and archers led by the aldermen of Hampshire and Berkshire, and almost all of the invaders were slain. Even in this grave conflict, King Ethelbert was not present, and the victory of the English was not due to their King.

Alfred, however, who was now eleven years old, gave signs that if ever he gained the throne of Wessex his enemies would have good reason to fear him. Although a young boy he used to love to go on foot in the dark forest to hunt the fierce wild boars that lived there—a dangerous sport even for a grown man. He also gave every promise that some day he might be a great ruler and bring the people of England to peace and safety, for not only was he bold and proficient in arms and manly exercises, but a diligent scholar, who spent a great part of his time in acquiring wisdom. And of all his brothers Alfred loved Prince Ethelred best, and when he grew older the two brothers fought side by side against the Danes.

When Alfred was nineteen the Danes raided England again, but did not enter the kingdom of Wessex. And there was so weak a bond between the small English kingdoms that none of the untroubled states felt it their part to go and help their neighbors. After this the Danes invaded East Anglia and captured the king of that country, whose name was Edmund. They offered to spare his life if he would give up Christianity and believe in their own gods whose names were Odin and Thor. He refused and they beheaded him. Later the head was found watched over by a wolf and all the people believed that it had been preserved by a miracle. So Edmund became a Saint, and many churches throughout England were built in his honor.

Then the Danes raided Wessex and terrible trouble began. Ethelred was now king, and Alfred was old enough to go to the wars and take command of an army. So he and his brother went forth against the Danes together at the head of every available fighting man who could be mustered to bear a spear. The Danes had rowed up the River Thames and captured the town of Reading. Ethelred and Alfred attempted to recapture it from them, but pouring out of the gates of the town they routed the English forces. They then marched along the banks of the Thames where they had an idea of settling and holding the land.

The King and Alfred worked desperately to collect their scattered soldiers and lead them again to the combat. At last they gathered a sufficient number and moved against the Danes on Berkshire Downs.

They were advancing to the attack when the Danes poured down the hillside toward them. King Ethelred was at prayers and refused to fight until he had finished—but Alfred, seeing that the English would be defeated if they did not attack at once, took command of the entire army and charged fiercely against the Danes, himself in the foremost rank, a target for the arrows and spears of all his enemies. So fierce was his onslaught and such was the enthusiasm of the soldiers whom he led that, although the Danes outnumbered the English, the pirates were put to flight with terrible slaughter. A Danish king and five earls were killed in this fierce conflict, in memory of which the people of Berkshire cut into the white chalk of the downs the giant figure of a horse—a figure that can be seen at the present day in honor of the victory of more than a thousand years ago.

The Danes, however, though checked, were not sufficiently weakened by this fight to give up thoughts of capturing Wessex, and soon were harrying and plundering again. In another battle with them King Ethelred received his death blow, and upon his death, Alfred, who was still a very young man, became king.

It was a sad entry into the powers of kingship. Practically all of England except Wessex was at the mercy of the Danes, who came so fast and in so many different directions, that when the King had started against one hostile band he would get word of others who had landed and perhaps were burning and plundering the very country he had just left.

Alfred was as shrewd as he was brave, and he knew that if his people could not have a respite from wars and a chance to organize themselves, they must end by submitting wholly to the Northmen, so he offered the Danes a large sum of money to leave Wessex in peace for four years.

This was accepted by the sea-robbers. They believed that they could find rich booty elsewhere and return to Wessex when they chose. And with the English gold in their pouches they sailed from Alfred's dominions.

Now the young King had not bought the Danes off because he was too cowardly to fight with them further—rather did he plan to strengthen his nation for future fighting, and the Danes were highly foolish to accept his terms. No sooner were their sails out of sight than Alfred commenced to build a navy so that he would be able to meet them equally when they next came against him, and he studied the Danish craft to serve as models for the English boats.

The galleys of the Northmen were pointed at both ends and could be rowed in either direction. There were generally from fifteen to thirty rowers on either side, and the boats also carried a number of extra soldiers. They were provided also with square sails pitched about amidships and were steered by a large paddle. These boats were excellent in creeks and rivers, but owing to their low bulwarks were somewhat unseaworthy, and it was necessary for the Danes to cross the sea and the English Channel in fair weather.

For four years the Danes left Alfred alone, but after the time agreed upon had expired they sent a powerful army into Wessex. Alfred at once marched against them and came upon them in Wareham, where he was able to surround them in their camp and starve them until they cried for peace. He then made a treaty with them agreeing to allow them to pass unmolested back to their ships in return for which they were to trouble his kingdom no more.

The Danes, however, like most barbarians, were extremely treacherous. They pretended to fall in with Alfred's plans but in the night, when the English had relaxed their vigilance, they stole past his army and fortified themselves in a strong position, preparing for a siege of many months. At this all the English thanes and lords became discouraged. They came to King Alfred and told him that they could not fight any longer. It would be better, they declared, to submit to the invaders rather than to undergo the ceaseless war and bloodshed that tortured their land. And Alfred, as he listened to them, knew that every word of what they said was the truth.

But the stout-hearted king had no intention of submitting to the Danes. When his nobles were through speaking, Alfred cried: "As long as there is a single man who can wield a sword, I will fight on. Nay, I will fight alone with none to help me, sooner than surrender my kingdom to the barbarians."

At this a lad who was at the gathering drew his sword and shouted: "And I will follow you, my King, wherever you lead me." And the nobles returned to Alfred's side, and took heart to continue the unequal war.

At the head of his army Alfred pursued the Danes to Exeter and laid siege to it. And now it was manifest that he had shown great wisdom in building a fleet, for the English ships prevented reenforcements from joining the Danes, who finally were forced to surrender and were driven from the country. And many pirate ships were sunk by Alfred's vessels.

In the winter, however, the Danes came again in such numbers that the English could not withstand them. The coast swarmed with the pirate galleys and bands of marauders entered Wessex, plundering and burning in every direction. Alfred knew that for the time being further resistance against them was hopeless, and with his wife and only a handful of faithful followers he fled into the marshes of Athelney where he remained in the strictest hiding. To all intents and purposes England had become a Danish country and even the English nobles did not know what had become of their King.

While in hiding Alfred had numerous strange adventures which are told in various old chronicles and legends. On one occasion, when caught in a snowstorm, he sought shelter in the hut of a swineherd who knew him, but who was so faithful to him that even his wife was not taken into the secret. Alfred, who was poorly dressed, was given the task of watching some loaves of bread which were baking at the hearth, but, troubled with gloomy thoughts, did not give as strict an eye to them as he should have done, but suffered them to burn. When the swineherd's wife came back and found the burning bread, she rated the king soundly for his carelessness.

"Idle lout," she cried, "thou couldst not keep an eye to the bread although thou wouldst be glad to fill thy belly with it. Play another trick of the kind and I will thwack thee on the snout."

The king said nothing, but in better days when he had regained his kingdom, he is said to have presented the honest couple with a fine house and land as a reward for their hospitality, if not for their politeness.

While in hiding Alfred was constantly planning how it would be possible to vanquish the Danes, and another story tells how he disguised himself as a musician and boldly entered the Danish lines, to learn for himself how great their numbers might be. Here he wandered from one camp-fire to another, harping and singing, all the while keeping his eyes and ears open and escaping at last with information that would ensure his victory when the cold weather departed.

In the spring the King came forth from his hiding-place and sent forth messengers with a proclamation to the Saxons that they were to join him at a place he gave them word of, for once again they would fight to free their country from the foreign yoke.

The place where he commanded them to meet him was by a rock in the midst of a forest which was known as "Egbert's Stone." Here the thanes assembled with their forces, and great was their rejoicing when they beheld Alfred again, for they believed that he had been killed or had fled to France or Italy. With drawn swords they swore undying devotion and fealty to him and shouted for him to lead them as speedily as possible against the Danes.

In spite of their patriotism, Alfred's army was far smaller than that of the Danes, and he knew that to succeed he must surprise them. The Danes were at a place called Ethandune, and Alfred came upon them by night marches and by passing so far as possible through little frequented paths. When the sea-robbers finally saw the army of the Saxons they could hardly stir for amazement, for they had believed themselves absolute masters of all England and were bringing their women and children from the north. But here were the Saxons and their King, fully armed, their banners flaming in the sunlight.

The battle raged all day, and in it lay the fate of England. If the Danes won, the last chance of the Saxons under Alfred would have departed and the country must necessarily become like the other countries of the far north. At nightfall, however, the pirates gave way and for protection fled into a fortress on Bratton Hill, where the Saxons surrounded them and besieged them. The Northmen at last ran out of food and were forced to surrender.

The result of this battle was a treaty between Alfred and the Danes. The Danish king, Guthrum, desired to settle in England, where he had lived for many months; and he sent messengers to Alfred, offering to be baptized as a Christian, promising never again to bear arms against the people of Wessex. Alfred accepted the Danish proposal gladly, for his people were weary to death of war and hardship, and needed peace to till their lands. So Alfred, while he probably could have conquered all England, left the Danes in the part that had been most thoroughly conquered by them, calling it the Danelaw, and gave the Danes permission to live there unmolested, providing they promised to disturb his kingdom no further. The pact held good, and although at times it was broken, in general it was adhered to for many years. Saxons and Danes intermingled and married into the families of their enemies, and from them a new people gradually came into being.

As soon as peace was assured Alfred provided against future attacks on the part of the Northmen by ordering all the forts and strongholds throughout the kingdom of Wessex to be rebuilt and put into good order. He knew that the Danes could not be trusted and feared that at any time new galleys might be seen bearing down upon the English coast. So he organized his army into several parts and thought out a system by means of which soldiers might always be on guard duty to withstand an invasion, while the rest of the people were peacefully tilling the soil.

He also framed a code of laws. In the war and confusion into which his country had been thrown, the laws had fallen into a sorry state and were frequently disobeyed. In his code Alfred did not introduce new laws, which his people disliked, but rather arranged and put in order the laws then existing, and his dominions soon became so orderly and so free from robbers that it is doubtful if all our police could do better to-day. Also the King found that the law had been hindered and impeded by many corrupt and worthless judges, some of whom knew nothing whatever about the duties of their office—and these he warned to study and acquaint themselves with what a judge must know or renounce their positions in law altogether.

Then the Danes came again. They landed with a large army and tried to take Rochester Castle. Alfred hastened to the relief of this fortress, which was a most important one, and drove them away, pressing them so hard that they scrambled on to their vessels and set sail for the open sea.

However, the Danes did not go back to their native land, but landed in Essex, where they were joined by their countrymen in the Danelaw, who thus broke the word that they had pledged to Alfred. The new Danish army was much larger than Alfred's and at first was victorious,—but the entire navy of Wessex came to the rescue of the English and vanquished sixteen Danish ships in a tremendous sea fight. The war then raged with varying fortunes until Alfred signed another agreement with Guthrum, and laid siege to London which had been taken by the Danes.

In due time London fell. Its capture gave Alfred a tremendous advantage over his enemies. He had the city strongly fortified and it stood as a barrier to Danish vessels that strove to work their way up the River Thames. Moreover it became one of the world's great trading centers, and merchants from all quarters of the earth visited it.

When the Danes were finally defeated, Alfred, according to his custom, lost no time in building up his kingdom. First of all he commenced to rebuild the monasteries and abbeys which had been destroyed by the invaders. The first one that he founded was at Athelney in Somersetshire, in the midst of the marshes where he had fled for refuge when the Danes overran his country. He also founded a number of other monasteries and abbeys, among them the abbey of Shaftesbury, making his daughter, Ethelgeda, the abbess.

Alfred loved books and learning, and had made his chief aim in life to acquire wisdom. He knew that if his people were to become really great they must labor in the arts and letters and acquire knowledge from books. Practically all the books of that time were written in Latin which few could read, so Alfred set himself about the task of making translations of the best and most valuable books of his day. The translation was done either under his direct care, or by his own hand, and the boon to his people was greater than can be told. Alfred ordered the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to be written, which was designed by him to treasure up for future the historical happenings of his own time.

To make the most of his time, the King divided the day into three periods of eight hours each. In the first of these he labored for the Church; in the second for his kingdom, and the third was devoted to rest and recreation. But although he labored hard and gained much by performing these good and wise deeds, Alfred had not yet heard the last of his old enemies the Danes, who were to trouble him almost to the end of his life. After the defeats they had suffered at his hands they had turned toward Europe and followed there their usual course, killing and plundering and bearing the women and children into slavery. At last, however, they were defeated in battle by the Emperor of Germany and they turned once more to England, where they hoped the heroic king had relaxed his vigilance. Under the great viking, Hastings, a large force of them landed in Kent, and prepared to ravage the country.

Alfred sent his eldest son, named Edward, to keep close watch upon their movements, ordering him, however, not to engage them in battle until he himself should arrive with the bulk of the army. When he was on the march and when the Danes knew that a large force was advancing against them, they tried once more their old trick of pretending friendship in order to throw their enemies off their guard. Hastings sent to Alfred professions of friendship, and to show his apparent good faith sent with the messengers his two sons, requesting that they be baptized as Christians. Alfred received the two Danish princes with great joy. After they were baptized he welcomed them to a feast and sent them to their father with many costly presents.

The Danish plan succeeded, for by their professions of friendship the English relaxed their watchfulness and gave their enemies an opportunity to plunder and ravage the country and maneuver themselves into a position favorable to withstand either siege or battle. And Prince Edward sent word to his father that the Danes were doing these things and that he was unable to withstand them. Then Alfred at the head of his army joined his son and came up with the Danes at a place called Farnham in Surrey. There he met them in battle and the bravery of Prince Edward was largely responsible for the victory that followed. The Danes were utterly routed and many of their galleys fell into the hands of the English, with many women and children. And among these prisoners were the wife of Hastings and his two sons, who had so recently been baptized. And when Alfred learned who they were he sent them back to Hastings in spite of his treachery, and, not content with doing this, loaded them down with more presents for the Danish king.

The work of defeating the Danes was not yet finished, for they were in many different strongholds which must all be captured before the country could be wholly rid of them. But after several campaigns Alfred saw if he could obstruct the river Lea near London he would strand their ships and be able to attack them at his pleasure.

The King accomplished his ingenious design by digging a number of ditches that soon drained the water from the river into another channel. And when the Danes beheld that their ships would soon be useless to them, they took to flight, pursued by Alfred's soldiers. Hastings then sought to go back to the Danish women and children on the few boats that were left to him, and finally sailed away for good and all with only a small part of the vast force with which he had attempted to conquer England. And Alfred saw how mistaken he had been to show any kindness to Hastings' force, and had some Danish prisoners hanged as a lesson to the freebooters.

For four years thereafter Alfred was able to lead a peaceful life and continue the good works that were to change history and make England a nation in other things than mere force of arms. All his life, however, the King had suffered from a disease that afflicted him sorely, and it was only his great spirit that had enabled him to continue so arduously in the wars and labors that had made him greater than all others. In the year 901 or close to that time he died, and was succeeded by his son, Edward, who bravely defended his country against any further attacks by the Danes, becoming after his father, one of England's greatest kings, known as Edward the Elder.

One thousand years after Alfred's death a great festival was held in his honor in the city of Winchester which he had defended against the Danes and where he was buried. His statue stands there to-day, watching over and guarding the great nation that would not be in the world at all if his hand and heart had failed it.




When the wicked John tried to sway England many honest men turned outlaws rather than obey or suffer his evil rule. For John and his noblemen tortured and oppressed the poor, driving them from house and hearth to make a hunting ground, and taxing them so heavily that they frequently starved to death. Forests were plentiful in England in those days, but John often tore down houses of his subjects to make the forests even greater so that he might have more sport in hunting the deer and the boar that ran wild there. And while he did not scruple to take the peasants' lands for such a purpose, it was a terrible crime for a peasant to shoot the deer that often fed upon his crops. Even were he starving, he might not slay a deer in his own yard. And if he so transgressed he was punished with the most inhuman cruelty.

Now, as has been said, many men were too high-spirited to suffer the injustice that John laid upon them. They fled into the forests instead and formed armed bands, setting upon travelers and robbing them of their goods; and they lived by shooting the King's deer and whatever game they could catch and kill.

Among these men was an outlaw called Robin Hood, whose fame was known through the length and breadth of England. Although many men at-arms had pursued him, they never could catch him, and his daring surpassed belief. He surrounded himself with the bravest and boldest young men in all England, and if he encountered any stout-hearted man among those whom he robbed, or even among those that the Sheriff sent to pursue him, that man was often added to his band of outlaws.

Robin Hood became an outlaw through no fault of his own, but through the common injustice of the day. When he was a very young man he was journeying to the town of Nottingham, where the Sheriff had prepared a bout in archery and had promised a butt of ale to whatever man should draw the best bow and shoot the most skilful arrow.

As Robin Hood was passing through the forest on his way to Nottingham, he met a group of the King's foresters, who were there to see that nobody transgressed the laws; and they made fun of his beardless face and boyish figure—still more of the bow he carried, since they knew he was on his way to shoot at Nottingham and they did not believe that such a youth could ever hope to gain the prize.

After bearing their jests for a time Robin became angry, and challenged any one of them to test his skill with the bow. They replied that he did but boast, for they had no target. And then, looking down the glade, Robin espied a herd of the King's deer a great distance away and he cried:

"Look you, now, if you think that I am no archer, I shall slay the noblest of that herd at a single shot, and I'll wager twenty marks upon it into the bargain!"

"Done!" cried one of the foresters. Whereupon Robin laid an arrow to his bow and shot so cleverly that the deer lay dead in its tracks.

The foresters were greatly angered that he had succeeded, and not only refused to pay him, but when he set forth again one of them sprang to his feet and sent an arrow after him. Whereupon Robin turned like a flash and made even a better shot than his first one—for the fellow who had loosed his bow upon him lay dead on the greensward with an arrow in his heart.

The King's foresters could not be slain with impunity in those days and Robin was made an outlaw—not only because he had slain his man, but because he had killed the King's deer; and in such a way it came to pass that he gathered a band of followers about him in Sherwood Forest and his fame as an outlaw soon became known throughout the land.

But although Robin Hood was a robber, the common people soon learned to love him, for no poor man was ever the poorer on account of his outlawry—rather were the countryfolk in the neighborhood of Sherwood Forest better off than before, because he made it a point of honor to rob the rich only to bestow large gifts upon the poor—and many a present of food and gold was brought by him to the starving serfs and humble people in the neighborhood.

Now the Sheriff of Nottingham was eager for the King's favor and the deeds of Robin Hood were soon brought to his notice. He sought more than once to capture the bold outlaw, but always failed, and he was so clumsy and so cowardly that Robin Hood became emboldened to defy him openly, and enter the town of Nottingham under his very eyes. On one occasion an outlaw who had been taken by the Sheriff was rescued by Robin from a formidable array of men-at-arms just as the hangman was about to string him up on the gallows.

There are so many tales about Robin Hood that it would be impossible to tell them all here, and one or two will have to suffice, to show what manner of life he led and what sort of men his followers were. One of these was called "Little John," because he was seven feet tall and broad to match, and in all England there could scarce be found his equal with the cudgel. Another was a great, brawny priest or friar, who loved his wine better than prayers, and believed a pasty made of the King's deer was better for the heart than any amount of fasting. This jovial priest was named Friar Tuck and took upon himself the task of looking after the spiritual welfare of Robin's band—which he accomplished more by a free use of his cudgel on the heads of the offenders than by prayer or divine exhortation. But of all the men in the band, Will Scarlet was the strongest.


Will Scarlet came among Robin's outlaws in a curious manner. One day when Robin and Little John were strolling through the woods, they saw a stranger sauntering down a road and he was clad in the most brilliant manner imaginable in rosy scarlet from head to heel. He seemed a very ladylike kind of person and carried in his hand a rose of which he smelled now and then as he walked along, and he sang a little song that sounded for all the world as though it were being sung by a girl in her teens. And Robin's gorge rose at the sight of him for he hated unmanliness and thought that this gaily clad ladylike fellow who seemed to turn his nose up at the ground he walked upon must be a courtier or some nobleman that had never done an honest day's work or robbery in his life.

"When he comes nearer," said Robin to Little John, "I'll show him that there be some honest folk abroad who are not afraid to earn their living, for by my faith I'll take his purse and use the gold therein to far better advantage than he could do." So, when the young man approached, Robin stepped out into the path to meet him with his trusty cudgel in his hand.

The young man, however, seemed in no way to be afraid of the bold and resolute outlaw who stood in front of him, and when Robin demanded his purse he smiled and said it would be better to fight for that article and the better man should have it. Whereupon he went to the side of the road, still humming his snatch of a tune, and to the amazement of Robin and Little John, laid hold of a young oak tree and tore it up by the roots, with apparently but little exertion of his strength. Then, trimming off the branches, he stood on guard.

Robin was warned by this exhibition of power and approached him warily, but the stranger struck with such force that nobody could stand up to him, and although Robin put up a long and furious fight his guard was at last beaten down and he was knocked senseless on the ground.

With an aching head, but with admiration of the strange young man in his heart, Robin asked him to join his band, promising him food, booty and good Lincoln green to wear; and the stranger, after learning who Robin was, disclosed himself as no other than Robin's own nephew, Will Scarlet, whom the outlaw had not seen since he was a baby. Delighted at the meeting, Will Scarlet, Little John and Robin Hood made haste to join the rest of the band beneath the greenwood tree, where a feast was set forth and good brown ale poured out in honor of the newcomer.

On another occasion Robin and his band married two lovers who had been forced to part because the maiden's father had determined that she was to become the bride of a wicked but wealthy old nobleman. The outlaws surrounded the chapel in which the wedding was to take place and when the ceremony was begun Robin stepped between the bride and groom and declared that the ceremony could not continue. When the wedding guests learned that it was indeed Robin Hood that stood before them, they were greatly frightened, and the outlaws with drawn weapons made their appearance among them. Friar Tuck himself finished the wedding—only this time a different groom was substituted and one more after the maiden's heart, for they gave her the man she loved.

There are many tales about the English King Richard, the Lion Hearted, and none is more interesting than that of his meeting with Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest. King Richard was the brother of the base-hearted John—who tried to steal the throne from him when he was imprisoned on the continent after the Crusades. But Richard won back his kingdom and pardoned his brother, and later on John regained the English throne.

Richard traveled a great deal in England, and in the course of his journeying came to Nottingham, which was near the woodland retreat of Robin Hood. Now although Robin Hood was an outlaw and had transgressed the King's laws, Richard held something approaching admiration for him, because Robin's adventures greatly resembled his own, when he had been wandering as a knight errant, without a kingdom. So Richard told the Sheriff of Nottingham that he himself would do what the Sheriff had so often tried to do and always failed in—namely drive Robin Hood's band away from the woods. And with some followers he disguised himself as a monk and started across the forest, hoping that Robin Hood and his outlaws would fall on him and attempt to rob him.

This is just what happened. The outlaws fell on Richard and took him prisoner, and after taking his purse they led him to their secluded hiding-place and set before him a feast of meat and wine, a custom of theirs whenever they robbed a worthy monk or priest, to remove some of the sting from the consciousness of his loss.

"I have heard," said the supposed monk, after he had eaten and drunk his fill, "that you have good archers in your band. I fain would see some of them at work."

In answer Robin Hood called for his men to set up a mark, telling them that they must shoot to good purpose, for he that missed, were it only by a hair, should be knocked down by Will Scarlet.

One after one of the outlaws shot, and they all struck the mark. But when Robin himself shot something happened that his band had never before seen, for a gust of wind blew his arrow aside, and he himself, who was the finest bowman in England, had missed the target. With shouts of delight the outlaws called upon their leader to pay the penalty. Robin disliked to do this, for he was the leader of the others and did not think it good for discipline that his men should behold their leader undergo such an indignity; however, he ended the matter by asking the monk, who was Richard, to administer his punishment himself, since he could take from a member of the church what he could not take from one of his own band. Richard consented gladly. He always had loved such adventures,—and the strength of his arm was twice that of Will Scarlet's,—for the English King was the strongest man in all Christendom, if not in the entire world. Rising to his feet he drew back his heavy fist and gave Robin so terrible a buffet that it hurled him senseless on the ground, doubly stunned from the force with which he had hit the earth.

The outlaws were amazed when they saw what had befallen their leader—still more so when a band of the King's horsemen rode up and surrounded them, and called the monk who had so lately been feasting with them, "Your Majesty." Then Richard took off his monk's dress and appeared in his own royal garments; he gave the outlaws a free pardon on condition that they serve with him thenceforward and be archers in his army, for he ever had liked brave men, and he knew that these would lay down their lives to serve him, even if they did cut purses and rob priests in the seclusion of the woods.

In Richard's service many adventures befell Robin Hood even greater than what had befallen to him in Sherwood forest. He returned to his old haunts, however, and again became an outlaw when King Richard died and the wicked John came to the throne once more.

One day Robin Hood was stricken with a fever and he went to a woman who lived nearby to be bled, which he believed would lessen his pain and cure his sickness. But this woman was an enemy of Robin's, although he knew it not; and she rejoiced at her chance to do him evil. So she opened a vein in his arm and gave him a drink that threw him into a deep slumber—and when he awoke he saw that he had lost so much blood that he had not long to live.

With the last of his strength the dying outlaw blew his horn that called his followers around him, and as they supported him he asked for his bow and an arrow, saying that where the arrow fell he desired to be buried. Bending the bow with the last of his power, he let loose the arrow which flew out of the window and struck the ground beside a little path at the edge of the greenwood. And here was laid to rest the bravest heart that England had known for many a day, and one whose fame has lived to the present time. For if we should tell you all of the adventures of Robin, there would be no room left for any other tales, so our counsel is to find the books about him and read these adventures for yourselves.




More than seven hundred years ago there was born at Presburg in Hungary, a royal princess, who became one of the most pious women that the world has ever seen and whose good deeds have lived until the present day. This woman was christened Elizabeth. She was the daughter of King Andrew the Second of Hungary and of Gertrude, formerly a princess in Dalmatia; and soothsayers and prophets at the time of her birth foretold her coming greatness.

Elizabeth was born in 1207—a century when religion was more simple than it is to-day and when people believed that miracles were still being performed. It was a time, too, when a fiery passion for religion ruled the world. Soldiers were intent on crusades into the Holy Land to capture the city of Jerusalem and to rescue the tomb of the Savior from the hands of the heathen, and fanatical bands called "flagellants" were soon to appear throughout Europe—men and women who scourged each other with whips in public places until they fell down fainting from pain and exhaustion, believing that this practice was welcome in the eyes of the Lord and would assure them a place in Paradise.

It was a time when unquestioning faith held the minds and beliefs of men. Nothing seemed too marvelous to be accomplished through Divine means. When a great poet of whom we shall tell you later, wrote about Hell, Heaven and Purgatory, his neighbors all believed that he had really visited those places and seen all the wonders that he described. So when soothsayers and astrologers foretold that the infant Elizabeth was to become one of the Saints of Heaven, as the legends tell us they predicted, people marveled, but believed, for it did not seem strange for Angels and Saints to appear to the eyes of mortal men.

It was customary in those days for children of high rank to be betrothed almost before they had quitted the cradle, and when Elizabeth was four years old she was engaged to be married to the eldest son of the Landgrave of Thuringia—a boy named Herman who was about ten years older than herself. And it was also customary at that time for the future bride to be brought up in the house of her intended husband, so a number of lords and ladies came from Thuringia to fetch the Princess Elizabeth away.

She returned with them in great splendor, and many wagons and strong horses were needed to carry back to Thuringia all the costly things that went with her, for she was provided with every comfort and luxury then known. We are told that her dresses were all of the most costly silks adorned with precious stones, that her cradle, which was of silver, accompanied her to the house of the future bridegroom, that even her bath was of silver and so heavy that it was all that her handmaidens could do to carry it, and a large sum of money was allotted as her bridal portion or dowry.

Elizabeth was too young to remain homesick for any length of time after she left her parents, and she was kindly received in her new family. The Landgrave himself, Herman the First, was a kind-hearted man as well as a noble and distinguished ruler, and his second son, Ludwig, had qualities of greatness that gave every promise for the country if it should ever come under his direction. But the other children of the Landgrave, the princes named Conrad and Heinrich, were of different calibre from their brother Ludwig, and so was the girl, Agnes, who was about Elizabeth's own age. Herman, the eldest son, soon died, and Elizabeth was then betrothed to Ludwig.

When she was little more than a baby Elizabeth began to show signs of the religious fervor that was to shape her entire life. She prayed frequently and always tried to bring the forms of religious worship into the games that she played with her companions. She spent long hours at prayer and frequently arose to pray at night, and whenever she had the opportunity she practiced self-denial that was believed to be acceptable in the eyes of Heaven by withdrawing herself from some pleasure that she was taking part in, or abstaining when at table from some dainty that she loved.

Three years after Elizabeth had gone to live in Thuringia something happened that deepened her spiritual ardor, for her mother, Gertrude, was murdered in the absence of the King, and Andrew himself had to engage in war to put down the rebellion that had arisen in his country. This was a great sorrow to the little girl, although she remembered her mother only dimly, and it resulted in her saying more frequent prayers and giving more thought to her religion than before.

Many stories are told us of Elizabeth's piety. On one occasion, when she was dressed in her finest garments she beheld a crucifix supporting a life-size image of the Savior, and with an outburst of tears she threw herself on the ground at the foot of the crucifix, declaring that she could not bear to wear fine raiment and jewels, while her Lord was crowned with thorns. She did many other things of the same sort, and at last reaped the displeasure of the Landgrave's wife, Sophia, and of the courtiers and menials of the royal castle,—for Elizabeth's gentleness and piety were a constant reproach to the more worldly persons that surrounded her.

When Elizabeth was ten years old there took place another of the crusades in which knights, nobles and common peasants set forth for the Holy Land to make war against the heathen; and Elizabeth's father, the King of Hungary, left his dominions to engage in the holy war. There was grave doubt if he would ever return, and it seemed too as if his throne might be wrested from him by rebellion in his absence; so many of the noblemen and statesmen of Thuringia believed that the marriage of Ludwig with Elizabeth would be unwise, since there might be no benefit to be reaped from it on behalf of the State. The Landgravine Sophia, we are told, was inclined to agree with them—all the more so because the kind ruler, Herman, had lately died and Ludwig was now on the throne of Thuringia, and could marry some great princess whose country was not in the danger of civil war.

It is not known if the stories of the ill-treatment that was then visited on the helpless little Elizabeth are true or not, but many writers have told us that Sophia was determined by harshness and unkindness to force Elizabeth to enter a convent so that her son would be free to marry elsewhere. At all events, Ludwig heard of the plans to break off his engagement, and angrily refused to listen to them, declaring that he loved Elizabeth dearly and would marry her in spite of every person and relative in his dominions. And when Elizabeth was fourteen years old, she was married with great magnificence to Ludwig, who was as handsome as he was honorable, and made a fitting husband for the beautiful young girl who had already become famous for her great piety and her charitable deeds.

The marriage was ideally happy, for the young couple was passionately attached, and Ludwig encouraged his wife in her pious and kindly undertakings. He understood her so well and gave her such hearty support in her dealings with the poor and her gifts of food, money and clothing, that after his death he was often referred to as Saint Ludwig, just as his wife was called Saint Elizabeth.

Ludwig, however, did not like to see his wife go poorly dressed, and she wore splendid raiment to please him. Moreover, he disapproved of her giving so much time and effort to her charity and her prayers that she taxed her strength. She had to desist from many of her undertakings, or perform them without his knowledge, when he feared that her severe fasts and her long prayers were wearing out her health; and Elizabeth would steal from her chamber to pray when she thought him asleep, and would wear a coarse sackcloth skirt beneath the silks that pleased him.

One time, when Ludwig was climbing the steep path to the castle of the Wartburg where he held his court, he met Elizabeth, who was carrying in her dress loaves of bread for the poor people in the nearby village of Marburg. Elizabeth always tried to perform her charity secretly, for she believed that it would lose its value if it were widely known—and moreover she feared that her husband would not approve of her taking a heavy burden down the steep path into the village. When he stopped her and gaily asked her what she had in her apron, she opened it shyly, expecting him to blame her when he saw its contents—but how great was her amazement as well as his when there tumbled forth upon the ground a profusion of the sweetest smelling roses of all colors, which had miraculously taken the place of the provisions that Elizabeth had carried!

That was only the first of a series of miracles that those who worshipped her memory have accredited to her lifetime, and Ludwig, astonished and awed by what had taken place, is said to have erected a monument at the spot where the beautiful roses appeared.

Elizabeth pitied the sick and tended them with the utmost kindness—and she was particularly kind to the wretched sufferers from the dreadful disease of leprosy. From earliest times the leper was an outcast from his fellow men. They fled at his approach, and he was obliged to warn them of his coming by outcry, or by use of a clapper or bell. But Elizabeth went to the lepers without fear and fed and comforted them, and even bathed their sores and bandaged them with her own hands.

At last her father, King Andrew, returned from the crusade, and on his way back to his own dominions stopped in Thuringia to see his daughter. By this time Elizabeth had refused to wear her splendid garments any longer and had parted with all except her simplest dresses; and Ludwig feared that her father the King might blame him for not maintaining Elizabeth in the state that was her due as a royal princess, so he inquired of Elizabeth if she had any fine dress to wear when greeting her father. She replied that she had none, but that by grace of God some way would be found out of the difficulty; and when she put on the only dress that was left to her it suddenly changed by a miracle into a gown so beautiful and lustrous that its like had never been seen before, and King Andrew rejoiced in the appearance of his daughter when she came before him.

By this time Elizabeth had two children, and the Landgrave was rejoiced. He was a powerful and a wise ruler, and while he was perfectly just, he punished evil-doers with a hand of iron. On one occasion he was called away from home to give aid to the Emperor Frederick the Second in putting down a revolt in his dominions; and Elizabeth ruled over Thuringia until his return.

Famine and pestilence wasted the country, and the gentle lady was sorely beset to give aid to her suffering people. She spent so much on charity that she nearly emptied the treasury, and even sold the robes of state and the official ornaments to feed the poor. When Ludwig returned he found his coffers nearly empty—but the money had been wisely used, for Elizabeth had saved the lives of many of his subjects.

Then another crusade took place and the brave Ludwig planned to join it and do his share in driving the heathen Saracens away from the tomb of Christ. With bitterness and sorrow he said farewell to his wife whom he loved above all things, and kissed his children for the last time. For when he was waiting at Otranto to embark for the far east, a terrible pestilence broke out among the crusaders and Ludwig sickened and died.

Word of his death was brought to Elizabeth, who had just given birth to her third child. And when she heard of it she wept bitterly, crying out that now the world was dead to her indeed, and she never could know joy again, since her dear lord was taken from her.

For a time she ruled over Thuringia, but she was hated in the court on account of her piety, and according to many stories of her life, the dead Landgrave's brothers, Conrad and Heinrich, conspired against her. At all events, her life was most unhappy, and in the dead of winter she quitted the court and went to live in the village, earning her daily bread by spinning for her living, and eating barely enough to keep alive. And all the villagers whom she had treated kindly, now that they found her alone and poor and out of favor at court, would do nothing for her, and she was laughed at and insulted on the streets.

But in this time she was sustained by divine means, for she began to have visions of Heavenly things and beheld angels, and once, so she declares, she saw the face of the Savior himself, who looked down on her and comforted her.

At last Elizabeth went to live with her uncle, the Bishop of Bamberg, who treated her with the utmost kindness. She had been obliged to send her children away in the bitter winter that she had been through, and soon she was obliged to leave the Bishop's protection, for he desired her to marry again, and this she refused to do. She went to live in a cottage and took with her two of her former waiting women who accompanied her all through the hardships she had suffered, and she busied herself with caring for the sick and giving alms from the small amount of money that was allowed for her support.

At this time Elizabeth came under the influence of a priest and a religious enthusiast called Master Conrad, previously known to her, who was an ardent, though a narrow-minded believer in the Catholic faith; and Conrad encouraged her in the severe rites of self-denial that she practised. At times he punished her with the lash and at last he brought her completely under the domination of his will. But she yielded so readily to all penances and voluntary inflictions of sufferings that even this fanatical zealot was compelled to restrain her, for Elizabeth desired constantly to do more than he suggested or wished. At last, with her two waiting women, Elizabeth became a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, renounced her family and children, and spent all her time in caring for the sick and visiting the afflicted.

She ate almost nothing, and her strength soon gave way under the privations that she endured. Although she was only twenty-four years old, she had suffered so greatly that her vitality was sapped and she had not long to live. She died on November 19, 1231, and Master Conrad himself soon followed her to the grave.

Elizabeth had not wasted herself in vain, in spite of the fanatical zeal of her belief and the needless sufferings that she inflicted upon herself. For years she had cared for nine hundred poor folk every day, and she had founded a hospital of twenty-eight beds that she visited daily. She had encouraged her husband in kindness and generous government, and she saved countless lives in the winter when she herself sat on the throne of Thuringia.

After her death the zealous Conrad set about collecting proofs of the miracles that had happened in connection with her, to submit them to the Pope, who might declare her to be a Saint. Further proofs were forthcoming even after she had died, for when pilgrims visited her tomb many of them were marvelously cured of the sicknesses from which they had been suffering. Her brother-in-law, Conrad, repenting of his former treatment of her, built a splendid church in her honor, and her bones were laid in their last resting-place a few years after her death. In the meantime the Pope examined all the proofs of her piety and holiness, as well as of the cures that had been effected at her tomb, and at last Elizabeth was made a Saint, and became known as Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. For centuries pilgrims have worshipped at her shrine, and the church that was built in her memory still stands as a monument of the wonderful life of this holy woman who lived and died the better part of a thousand years ago.




In the year 1265 there was born in the city of Florence in Italy a man who was destined to become one of the four greatest poets that the world has ever produced. This man was Dante, the son of Alighiero, a Florentine who was popular and well known as a man of affairs.

When Dante was born Italy was very different from what it is to-day, for instead of being formed of a single nation, or even of a number of smaller ones, the cities themselves were nations and made their own laws. These cities, moreover, were constantly at war with one another, and fighting was the order of the day. Even within the cities there were often bloody frays and brawls between the supporters of one or another noble family. These brawls sometimes became so extensive that they grew into civil war, and penetrated beyond the limits of the cities in which they were hatched. Such was the state of affairs in Dante's time, and it is important to remember this, because the quarrels of these different factions had a great effect upon his life.

Particularly long and bloody in Florence and other cities had been the strife between two families and factions who called themselves respectively the Guelfs and the Ghibellines. Dante's father belonged to the Guelf party and the boy was brought up with the idea that he must always serve the Guelfs, and support them in all their quarrels. The Guelfs, moreover, were high in the affairs of Florence and had overcome their opponents there. And for this reason those who belonged to the Guelf cause had the chance to rise in the affairs of the city.

So Dante's boyhood was not spent like that of some other poets, in the midst of books alone, or in the quiet seclusion of school and college. He was thrown neck and heels into the midst of the fiery Italian politics of an age when one could poniard his enemy on the streets and go unpunished, providing he had power or influence. And it is probable that he saw many wild doings. He was, however, of studious habits and loved reading more than the air he breathed. And while little is known of his boyhood years, it is certain that he mastered then and in his early manhood many of the best books that had been written since the beginning of the world. Moreover, as Dante later said, he had taught himself "the art of bringing words into verse"—an art that he mastered so thoroughly that his name was to live forever.

When Dante was still a young boy there befell something that proved to be the most wonderful happening in his entire life. This was nothing else than meeting a little girl named Beatrice Portinari. Although Beatrice was only a child, and Dante himself hardly ten years old, he felt a love for her that lasted from that minute until the day of his death and that inspired him to write the great poem that made his name famous throughout the world.

A festival was given by the family of the Portinari which was a noble one and possessed such wealth that its members afterward became bankers for King Edward the Third of England. Among the guests was the boy, Dante, and he beheld Beatrice there as a beautiful little girl. How strangely he was affected by the sight of her he told in later years, and his words have been translated and quoted as follows: "Her dress, on that day," said Dante, "was of a most noble color,—a subdued and goodly crimson, girdled and adorned in such sort as best suited her very tender age. At that moment, I say most truly, that the spirit of life, which hath its dwelling in the secretest chamber of the heart, began to tremble so violently that the least pulses of my body shook therewith. From that time Love ruled my soul."

Dante did not speak to Beatrice on that occasion,—in fact, he saw her, or addressed her, only two or three times in his entire life. But from the day when she first appeared to him in her crimson dress, he sought to perform some deed that would make him worthy of her love, and the result was the great poem in which he placed her name beside his own.

In spite of his love, Dante did not become an idle dreamer, but developed into an active and studious young man, ready to take up the sword to defend his city whenever it might call on him to do so. And when he was twenty-four years old he put on his armor and went forth to battle against the citizens of Arezzo, a town where the Ghibellines were powerful and had been acting in a hostile manner toward the Guelfs, who controlled Florence.

War was not so serious an affair then as it is now, and everyone engaged in it. Moreover, the towns that warred against each other were so near that it was sometimes an easy matter to go forth and fight on one day and be back in your own home on the day following. Everyone was expected to bear arms for his city, and going to war was held to be a matter of course; but in spite of these things Dante gained great praise for the way in which he conducted himself in the war with Arezzo, perhaps because he was braver than the rest, or perhaps because a poet is not generally considered to be as warlike as other men.

After the fighting had ended, Dante returned to Florence and prepared to take his part in city politics. Before he could accomplish anything it was necessary for him to go on record that he belonged to one of the great guilds into which all the citizens at that time were divided, and which controlled all the different branches of business and manufacturing, and all the sciences. So Dante entered the guild of the Doctors and Apothecaries—not because he knew anything about their professions—that was not necessary—but to give himself an apparent vocation when he came to assume some one of the city offices.

By this time Dante's great intellect and scholarly attainments had made him well known in Florence, although he was only a young man. He was high in the esteem of many learned men and had a great many poets and artists for his friends. Among them were the artist named Giotto and the poet called Guido Cavalcante. So well did he appear in their eyes and to the men of the city of Florence who ran its affairs that in the year 1300 Dante was made one of the Priors of Florence, that is, one of the chief rulers of the city.

It was not to be thought that a man could gain such a position in those turbulent times without making many enemies, and as Dante belonged to the controlling faction, others who were not in power planned his overthrow and that of his fellow rulers. Dante himself, however, disliked this civil strife and did all in his power to bring the opposing factions together. But his enemies got the upper hand, and he was finally driven from the city in exile.

Another sorrow had befallen him. Beatrice, whom he still continued to love ardently (although he had married a good woman named Gemma Donati and had three children) had died some years before, leaving him nothing but her memory. But Dante's love for Beatrice had not interfered in his relations with his wife. It was not an earthly love. He had not wanted Beatrice as his wife, but rather as an ideal that he could worship. And after her death he became both gloomy and unhappy.

His exile, moreover, was a bitter blow to Dante, for he had loved Florence dearly and could not imagine making his home elsewhere. With bitterness in his heart he wandered from city to city, and then he set out in earnest to write the great poem which is called the Divine Comedy. Dante had already written a number of beautiful poems, but they were more in the style of other Italian and Latin poetry. What he now planned was entirely new and so daring that it had never been thought of since the beginning of the world.

He planned in this poem to describe a journey into the nethermost regions of Hell, then into Purgatory and finally into Heaven, where Beatrice should be his guide and conduct him to the throne of God Himself.

Such a poem, as we have said, had never been written or even wildly imagined, but Dante's imagination was so vivid that it seemed as if he really had beheld the scenes that he described. And he told the story of the poem as though the adventures in it were real and had happened directly to himself.

Hell, according to Dante's belief, and that of the religion of his day, was a gigantic funnel-shaped gulf directly beneath the city of Jerusalem, shaped into nine vast circles or pits with a common center that reached down to the center of the earth like a circular flight of stairs. In the lowest pit of all Satan himself was to be found, ruling his kingdom. On the other side of the earth was a wide sea, from which arose a mighty mountain called the Mount of Purgatory—the place where the souls of human beings did penance for their sins until they were fit to enter Heaven. Heaven itself was composed of nine transparent and revolving spheres that enclosed the earth, and in which were fastened the sun, the moon and the stars. The motion of these heavenly bodies as they rose and set above the earth's horizon was believed by Dante to be due to the turning of the spheres, which were moved by the hand of God.

It was in accordance with this idea of Heaven and Hell that Dante began his poem.

One day, he said, when he was lonely and sad in spirit, he found himself standing in the midst of a deep forest that was so gloomy, wild and savage that no mortal eyes had ever seen its equal—and even to think of it afterward caused him a bitterness not far from that of death itself.

As he stood there he was aware of a presence close by, the stately figure of a man, who proved to be the great Roman poet, Vergil,—and Vergil told him that Divine Will had ordered him to guide Dante through Hell and as far as the gates of Paradise.

He made clear to Dante that this journey was the part of a Heavenly order and had been decreed by Heaven itself, and Dante, in great fear at what he was about to see, was led by Vergil through the forest until he came to the mouth of a black cavern. Carven on the rock above it was a verse that told Dante that here was the entrance to the lower world,—the gateway to Hell. And the verse concluded with the grim words—"All Hope Abandon, Ye Who Enter Here."

Sighs, groans, lamentations and terrible voices were heard from the depths below as they passed through this evil doorway, and now they were in a region of murky gloom, where no ray of sunlight ever had entered. All around them were the spirits of the dead. They came flocking to the Acheron or River of Death, where the ferryman named Charon, with eyes like flaming wheels, bore them across. When Charon saw a living man among the dead he sternly ordered Dante to return whence he had come. Vergil interceded for him, and they passed on.

After they had crossed the River of Death they entered the first circle of Hell, where those who had the misfortune to die without being baptized, or who had believed in some other religion than Christianity, must spend the rest of time. Here were a number of noble spirits from the days of Rome and Greece, including many of the poets, mathematicians and astronomers of olden days. Dante would gladly have remained with them, for they were not unhappy and spent their time in learned discourse and scholarly friendship, but Vergil urged him onward.

Deeper and deeper they descended. They passed through great spaces where mighty winds swept before them the souls of the dead, whirling them around forever without rest; through regions of chill rain and sleet, where the spirits of those who had been gluttonous in their lifetime were perpetually torn into pieces by a three-headed dog called Cerberus. And after many awful scenes that Dante could hardly bear to witness, he saw in front of him the towers of the dreadful city of Dis, or Satan, in which the spirits of the damned underwent punishments that were worse than any he had witnessed thus far.

Guarding the walls were the three Furies of the Greek legends. When they beheld Dante they howled for the Gorgon, Medusa, with the snaky locks to come quickly and turn him into stone—a fate that must befall all men that gazed upon her face. But Vergil bade Dante hide his eyes, and to be sure that he might be saved he covered them with his own hand.

They entered the city—and there and from that time on the punishments became so fearful that we shall not describe them here.

In their journey they had constantly to be on their guard against the monsters of Hell that strove to arrest their progress. And in passing by a lake of burning pitch, in which tortured souls were burning, the demons that guarded them rushed at Dante and pursued him, eager to hurl him into the lake to lose his life and the hope of Heaven at one and the same time.

Lower and lower they descended, passing from one horror to another still more terrible, until they came to the nethermost pit of all, where Vergil told Dante that now he would need all his courage to sustain him, for he had come at last to the abode of Satan. This was a region of eternal ice and a bitter wind blew on them, so cold and dreadful that Dante was half dead from it and it seemed that his numbed senses could not support life any longer. The wind, he saw, was caused by the bat-like wings of Satan himself—a gigantic and hairy monster, with only the upper half of his body protruding from the icy pit in which he stood. He had three heads, one red, one green and one white and yellow; and in his three mouths he munched the three greatest traitors of all time—Judas Iscariot, Brutus and Cassius.

When Dante was about to swoon from the terrible sight, Vergil watched his opportunity, and as the great wings of Satan rose he sprang beneath them, with Dante following him. Grasping the hairy side of the monster, they commenced to descend still lower. And soon, to Dante's amazement, their downward path became an upward one, for Satan's waist was at the center of the earth and after they had passed it they must climb instead of descend.

Up and up they went, toiling with the greatest difficulty, passing through a chimney-like passageway that led for an incredible distance to the open air above; and when they arrived beneath the blue sky they were at the base of the Mountain of Purgatory, where men's spirits that were not doomed to Hell must purify themselves before they could hope to enter the Heaven that lay above them.

After the soot of Hell was washed from Dante's countenance he began with Vergil to ascend the mountain. They passed countless spirits all engaged in severe tasks, to cleanse themselves of sin before they could hope to attain the wonderful regions above; but these spirits were almost happy, although many of them were undergoing pain and suffering, for their trouble was not endless as was the case with the spirits of Hell, and they would certainly find happiness at last.

When they came to the summit of the mountain a wall of fire lay between them and Paradise. Through this they passed, and once on the other side Dante lost sight of Vergil, who could accompany him no further.

Dante was then greeted by his long lost Beatrice, now a radiant spirit, who had been chosen by divine will to show him the glories of Heaven. And with Beatrice guiding him, Dante passed upward through the crystal spheres, once getting a glimpse of the earth in his heavenly progress as it lay beneath him shining in the light of the sun. At last Dante had ascended to so great a height in Heaven that he beheld God Himself—but what he saw was so wonderful that it was impossible for him to write about it, and in this way his wonderful poem came to an end.

After completing the Inferno Dante went to Paris, where he met a great many scholars and wise men, who treated him with the utmost respect, but all the time he desired to be in his native city of Florence. When Henry of Luxembourg planned to lay siege to it, Dante encouraged him, hoping that he might enter with the conquerors and that his enemies might be overthrown. The siege took place, but it was unsuccessful, and the poet was compelled to wander far and wide among strangers for the rest of his life. As he lacked money, he had to take many humble offices to earn his bread, and more than once had to undergo the indignity of sitting among the jesters and buffoons at some great house that had honored him with its favor.

At last, weary of life and sick at heart, Dante went to Ravenna, where his genius was honored more worthily. His name had now penetrated throughout the greater part of the civilized world and he was known as one of the greatest geniuses that had ever lived. Many people believed that Dante had actually beheld the scenes that he described. When they met him on the streets they would draw aside to let him pass, thinking him a man whose destiny was different from their own, and they would whisper to each other that he was the man who had descended into Hell and come forth again alive and had looked with his own eyes at the horrors of the Infernal Regions.

No doubt the fame and the almost frightened homage that he received were pleasing to the sad soul of Dante, but he always remembered that he was still an outcast from his native city. Florence stubbornly refused to remove her ban and when Dante died he was buried at Ravenna. There his body still lies, with a Latin inscription on his tombstone that tells the world of the ingratitude of the city of Florence to her greatest son, who is also the greatest poet that Italy has ever seen.




If you ask a Scot who is the greatest man that ever lived he will probably say Robert Bruce. It does not matter that Robert Bruce died six hundred years ago—his name is as bright in Scotland as though he had lived yesterday. Songs and stories are told about him there and every school boy hears of him as soon as he is old enough to listen to the tales of his country.

The reason for this is that Robert Bruce made the Scots free from the rule of England, which country they used to hate. Also because he was a great warrior, so strong in body and with such courage that it was almost impossible for any foe to stand against him.

When Edward the First ruled over England he extended his power over the free land of Scotland, where the race and the speech were different from those of the English. A dispute had arisen among the Scottish chiefs as to who was to succeed to the Scottish throne. Many claimants came forward, and as a result of this the chieftains were embroiled among themselves, giving Edward a chance to seize their country which he was not slow to take.

So great had been the jealousy among the Scots that many joined Edward's army to fight against their fellow countrymen. Among them was a young nobleman named Robert Bruce, whose grandfather had himself been one of the claimants to the Scottish throne.

It was not a noble deed on the part of Robert Bruce to serve under the English banner. Indeed, in his younger years he does not seem to have been a hero at all. While the great Scottish chief, Wallace, was waging bitter war against King Edward, Bruce was content to rest under Edward's protection,—even after Wallace was captured and put to a cruel death in Berwick castle, where he was beheaded at Edward's order.

At last, however, Bruce began to show that he intended to become a champion of the Scottish cause. He did not do this all at once, and, in fact, he acted treacherously both to the Scots and to the English—for he renounced his fealty to Edward on two separate occasions, and each time was won back to him and received gifts and forgiveness from him. At last, however, Bruce was obliged to fly for his life from the English court and trust his fortunes to the Scottish cause.

He had been betrayed to Edward by a nobleman called Lord Comyn, and he now determined that Comyn must be slain. He sent his two brothers as messengers to Comyn, asking this lord to accompany them to a church in Dumfries, where Bruce was waiting for him at the altar. When Comyn approached, Bruce told him that his treachery was discovered. "Be assured you shall have your reward," he cried loudly, and drawing his dagger he plunged it in Comyn's breast.

Murder was little thought of in those days, but murder in a church, before the altar itself and under the very eyes of the priests who were engaged in their religious offices, was a crime that made the whole civilized world ring with horror. And it blackened the name of Robert Bruce with a stain that has lasted to this day, in spite of his great glory.

Bruce, however, had been greatly provoked to this bloody deed, and was now to prove himself a true champion of the Scottish people. He sought safety in flight for a time, and at last rallied the Scots about him at Lochmaven Castle, from which place he told them that he would make himself King over all Scotland and liberate the land from the English yoke. With his vassals and retainers about him, he issued proclamations for all who would fight against England to join his banner, and at Scone he had placed on his head the Scottish crown.

When King Edward heard of what Bruce had done—how he had murdered Comyn and been crowned king and was inciting all of Scotland to rise against the English rule, he fell in such a rage that he could hardly speak for anger, and swore a great oath that the rest of his life should be devoted to punishing Bruce for his crimes. A strong English army was promptly raised and sent against the new Scottish King.

The English soldiers under the Earl of Pembroke fell on the Scots at night in the woods at a place called Methven, when the followers of Bruce believed themselves to be safe from attack, and had taken off their armor. As the English with shouts and battle cries attacked the unguarded Scots, Bruce leaped to his horse and with his great two-handed sword drove his enemies before him like chaff. But while the English recoiled before the blows of his powerful arm, they succeeded in routing his followers. A large number of Bruce's friends and retainers were captured, and he himself only escaped by killing with his own hand three men who laid hold of his equipment and were trying to drag him from his horse. For the time being the Scots were thoroughly defeated, and were obliged to take shelter wherever they could find it.

With his army scattered and only about five hundred followers remaining faithful to him, Bruce fled into the mountain forests of Athole. His troubles had only begun, for many fierce Scottish noblemen themselves were his bitter enemies on account of wars between the different Scottish clans, and particularly because of the foul murder of Lord Comyn.

Then began a period of wandering and suffering for Bruce and his followers. They made their way across the mountains to Aberdeen, where their wives joined them, preferring to be hunted outlaws with their husbands rather than to remain in safety away from them. And finally the little band of ragged highlanders came to Argyl, where they were confronted in battle by a Scottish chief called John of Lorn.

Bruce's men were in poor condition on account of the hardships they had undergone and were also outnumbered by their enemies. The result of the battle was a second defeat for Bruce, who now must hide more closely than ever, as his enemies were hunting for him everywhere.

Once more his wife had to part from him, for his state was now so dangerous and the hardships he endured so great that no woman could withstand them. And the lords who remained in his company had likewise to say farewell to their wives and children. No spot in Scotland was safe for them. Nowhere could Bruce rest his head and be sure that his enemies would not attack him before morning. English soldiers and Scots who had become their allies were looking for him everywhere. Moreover, those Scots who fell into the hands of the enemy could not hope for mercy. If they were men of low degree and with no title of nobility they were hanged. If they were of noble birth, they suffered the more aristocratic fate of beheading.

Still further misfortunes were to follow Bruce. The Pope could not forget his desecration of the church and passed on him what is known to all followers of the Catholic faith as the sentence of excommunication. This was a terrible punishment, for it meant that so far as the power of the Church went—and that power was absolute in those far days—Bruce could never be received in Heaven or even have the privilege of repenting for his sins. He was cast out of the Church into the outer darkness, and the hands of every priest and of all righteous men were turned against him.

He was obliged to flee to a little island off the coast of Ireland, where with a few followers he had a comparatively safe hiding place, although the ships of King Edward were hunting for him high and low. In the meantime his Queen and her ladies, whom he believed he had sent to a safe refuge in a stronghold called Kildrummy Castle, were captured by the English and kept in close confinement, being made to undergo many indignities because Bruce himself had succeeded in eluding vengeance.

But all the time he lay in concealment Bruce considered how he could go back to Scotland, whose shores he could see from his hiding place, and he and his followers were constantly making desperate plans to return. Chief among them was one James Douglas, who was a brave and noble warrior, second only to Bruce himself in the strength of his arm and no way inferior to him in the quality of his courage. After many a talk with Douglas and the rest of his followers as to what would be best for them in their extremity, Bruce decided to send a trusty messenger in a small boat to the Scottish shore to learn if there was any discontent under the British rule, and if the time for a second uprising had not perhaps arrived. For Bruce knew he had many friends, if he could only reach them and gather them to his side.

The messenger who made this dangerous journey was to signal to Bruce if it was safe for him to return by lighting a beacon fire on the headland that was most visible from the Island of Arran where Bruce was then hiding. If Bruce saw the fire on the following night he and his followers were to embark at once for Scotland. There they would be met by friends and their further course made clear to them.

How great was Bruce's joy when the night fell to see the beacon fire spring up on the distant headland! With a high heart he and his followers embarked and pulled strongly at the oars. They believed that Scotland would be theirs again.

But when Bruce and his small band of followers arrived on the mainland they found the messenger awaiting them. It seemed that some ill chance had befallen, for the beacon had been kindled by accident and for some other purpose than to call Bruce from his hiding place. So far from being prepared for his invasion, Scotland seemed more dangerous than ever for him. Two of his brothers had been captured by the English and both had been beheaded. Bruce learned also that the Queen and her ladies whom he believed to be safe in Kildrummy Castle had fallen into English hands and were pent in dungeons like wild beasts.

Discretion told the little band of adventurers to return to their island retreat, but after consulting together over their bitter fortunes, they decided to make a bold stroke for success and die if it did not succeed. An English garrison lay at Turnberry Castle not far off, and had been divided in two parts, one being billeted in a nearby village, while the other occupied the castle itself. It was decided to attack the English soldiers who were in the village and not to leave a man of them alive.

Silently Bruce and his men stole up to the little town. As the frightened English came running half clad into the streets they were met by the swords and axes of the Scots. Few escaped the grim vengeance of that attack, and Bruce retaliated heavily for the injuries the English had worked on his wife and his kinsmen in his absence.

The Scots, however, did not rally to Bruce's standard as quickly as he hoped, and he was once more compelled to take shelter in the mountains. To escape the enemies who fell on his little band in far superior numbers and with better arms and equipment he was obliged to flee as swiftly as possible. His enemies, however, had tracked Bruce himself by a bloodhound, and it seemed impossible for him to escape the unerring scent of this terrible animal, which picked up his trail from among those of his followers. At last, with a few men, he separated entirely from his soldiers, telling them of a rendezvous where they were to meet him in case he should escape.

Bruce avoided the bloodhound by wading through a running stream, and then had adventures which have become the subject of legends in his country. At one time he was ambushed and attacked by three traitors of his own force, who hoped to make their fortunes by bringing his head to the English. Instead of this they dug their own graves, for Bruce slew all three with his own hand. On another occasion he took refuge with a single companion in a deserted house where three more enemies endeavored to kill him as he slept. Bruce had a companion at his side, but both were worn out by the hardships they had undergone and were fast asleep as the ruffians with drawn swords and daggers stole upon them.

The good angel of Scotland made one of them tread too heavily. All at once Bruce awoke and leaped to his feet with his mighty two-handed sword in his grasp. His companion was slain, but alone Bruce struck down and killed the three murderers that had set upon him.

There are many stories about Bruce while he lay hiding in the mountain fastnesses of Scotland. We are told that on the day following his victory over the three would-be assassins he went to the house of an old woman and asked for something to eat. And when he begged for food she replied that she would give it to him willingly for the sake of one wanderer that she loved; and Bruce inquired of her who that might be.

"No other than King Robert himself," she responded. "He is hunted now and without friends, but the time will come when he shall rule all Scotland." "Know, then, woman," said Bruce, overjoyed at this evidence of devotion that had followed him in his trouble, "that I am he of whom you speak and have returned for no other purpose than to resume my crown and throne."

When the old woman recovered from her amazement she did him reverence as the rightful King of Scotland and called in her three strong sons to wait on him and join the ranks of his soldiers.

Bruce slowly collected the men that had remained faithful to him, and at Loudon Hill in May he and his followers met an English army. The English leader, whose name was De Valence, had done everything in his power to make Bruce come forth from his mountain retreat and do battle with the English, for he believed that on open ground he could defeat the Scots decisively and do away with the long chase of Bruce that was wearying himself and his followers. So De Valence sent Bruce a letter in which he called him a base coward for refusing to meet him in battle, and challenged Bruce to stand up to him as a soldier at Loudon on the tenth of May. Stung with anger, Bruce accepted the challenge and the crafty English leader rejoiced because his enemy had delivered himself into his hands.

Bruce, however, had no intention of being defeated. He arrived on the appointed spot several days before the English and studied his ground with the eye of a trained general. He knew the route that must be taken by the English and so arranged his forces that it would be impossible for his enemies to outflank him, entrenching himself behind marshes and ditches that the English could not pass.

On the appointed day he saw the gay banners and shining armor of his enemies. They approached recklessly and hurled themselves against his line in a headlong charge. But the Scots held firm. Again and again the English sought to break the Scottish ranks or to take them on the flank, but to no avail. And then when their ranks showed signs of wavering, Bruce himself gave the signal for the charge. With a shout his men rushed forward and the English were routed. Victory had crowned the arms of a tattered and ragged band of outlaws who fought with English halters around their necks.

Then a terrible calamity befell the English and turned the scale still further in favor of Bruce. Old King Edward, embittered because his cherished schemes regarding Scotland had failed, died, and with his last breath he asked his son, the Prince of Wales, to see his bones were carried in their coffin at the head of the English army invading Scotland.

The Prince of Wales who succeeded him was called Edward the Second and was a hollow echo of his father's greatness. While Edward had been the finest general of his time either in England or in Europe, the new king knew little of military art and was idle and of a pleasure loving nature. He knew nothing of generalship and cared less, being content to leave the leading of his armies in the field to the nobles who served him.

At once it was seen that the death of the strong King Edward the First was a great stroke of good fortune for his equally strong opponent. In the two years that followed King Edward's death nearly the whole country of Scotland rose against the English and threw off the foreign yoke, acclaiming Bruce as their rightful king. Border warfare was constant and raids and skirmishes were carried on both by the Scots and the English, with varying success on either side.

In these raids, sieges and forays one of Bruce's followers particularly distinguished himself. This was James Douglas, who had shared all his leader's hardships.

While most of Scotland was now under Bruce's banner, the English still held many important strongholds which were thorns in the side of Bruce and his followers. Chief among these fortresses were those of Stirling and Berwick.

Realizing that the overthrow of these strong fortresses was necessary to the success of the Scottish cause, King Robert in the autumn of 1313 sent his brother, Edward Bruce, to lay siege to Stirling Castle. So well did the Scots succeed and so ruthlessly did they beset the strong walls of Stirling that at last the English commander, one Sir Philip Mowbray, agreed to surrender, providing the besieged soldiers were not relieved by the English before the twenty-fourth of June of the following year. This was a strange agreement and showed that the old laws of chivalry which bound all noblemen to certain forms of warfare and certain conditions of fighting were still in operation.

But the English had no intention of allowing Stirling Castle to fall into the hands of the Scots and before the stipulated date a strong army advanced into Scotland, led by King Edward the Second in person. It numbered, we are told, about one hundred thousand men, while the total number that Bruce was able to muster was thirty thousand, so that his force of seasoned veterans was compelled to fight at odds of more than three to one.

Bruce sent out scouts to keep close watch of all the English movements, and on the twenty-second of June they brought him word that the English were advancing on Stirling Castle by way of a place called Falkirk.

This information enabled Bruce to know exactly how his enemies must travel, for to reach Stirling after passing Falkirk they would have to cross a stream called Bannock Burn, and Bruce was thoroughly acquainted with the country in the vicinity of this stream.

He assembled his army on its bank and strengthened his position with hundreds of pits in which sharp stakes were planted to trip and impale the English cavalry. When these pits were prepared they were covered up again with turf in such a way that they were practically invisible. Bruce also took his position at a ford in the river, knowing that his flanks would be protected by deep water and high banks so that the enemy could not get around him.

When his men had taken their positions he spoke to them. He told them that the hour had come when they were to make Scotland free or die as they faced the foe. If the men did not like his conditions, he continued, they were free to depart before the battle began.

But the Scots stood firm. Although they had an idea of the odds against which they must fight, their confidence in their leader was so great that they had no doubt in their minds that victory would be theirs. Behind their rude fortifications, with sharpened pikes and swords, they awaited grimly the coming of Edward's horsemen.

The battle opened in a curious manner. While Sir Thomas Randolph, one of Bruce's kinsmen, was fighting with a body of English cavalry that sought to outflank Bruce and make its way to Stirling Castle, Bruce himself engaged in single combat with an English knight named Sir Henry de Bohun. This knight had recognized Bruce as the latter rode up and down in front of the line of Scottish warriors and spurring his horse with lance in rest he charged at the Scotch King. Bruce was only mounted on a small pony, while the Englishman rode a heavy charger—but when the knight was upon him, Bruce, by a deft twist of the bridle, avoided the deadly lance, and in another second had driven his battle axe through the skull of his enemy with so mighty a blow that the handle broke in his hand.

A great cheer rose from the Scottish ranks as they beheld this deed, and with the greatest bravery they routed the English as they charged. The English had not reckoned on such stubborn resistance from a force far inferior to their own, both in size and equipment, and as the day was waning they withdrew in good order, planning to hold a council of war and gain the battle on the following day.

Early in the morning the Scots were in position, and with a great rush of horses and men the English surged upon them. It was to no avail. Again and again the flower of the English nobility charged the squares of Scottish infantry and were driven back in confusion.

At last the English lines wavered and with a deafening cheer the Scots rushed upon them. Pell mell the English retreated and the battle was won. It is said that thirty thousand Englishmen were slain in this encounter—a number equal to the total number of the Scottish army.

The victory that Bruce won at the battle of Bannockburn changed the entire course of English history. Instead of being a hunted fugitive he was now acknowledged as king and openly received the fealty of his subjects. The English strongholds in Scotland were overthrown, and Scotland became a kingdom in fact as well as in name. Moreover, Bruce's wife and daughter, who had been imprisoned in England, were set at liberty. Fighting was not yet over, however, and border warfare for a time continued with varying success on either side. Edward Bruce, the brother of King Robert, was killed when fighting in Ireland.

In 1328 a treaty was signed with England in which the English recognized that Scotland was now fairly entitled to her independence and that Bruce was her rightful ruler.

But the great king was not to enjoy for long the fruits of his victory. His hardships in the wilderness when flying from his enemies, and his great suffering and lack of food when he fled in the Scotch heather like a hunted animal, had made him fall prey to a terrible malady—the disease of leprosy. So great was the love in which the Scots held him that even this did not make them shun him with the fear that is shown toward ordinary sufferers from this disease. Surrounded by friends, Bruce gradually wasted away and died in 1329. His noble follower, Douglas, who had won the name from the English of "the black Douglas," took the heart of the dead king and placed it in a silver box, planning to carry it to Jerusalem. But Douglas himself did not live to place it there, for he was killed in a battle with the Moors.

In all history there have been great soldiers and chiefs of Scottish birth. How great the Scots are as soldiers has been shown in the recent war, where they rendered the most distinguished service for Great Britain, fighting under the British flag, their former quarrels with England reconciled, if not forgotten. But of all none was more glorious than Robert Bruce, and his name is a household word to-day through the whole of Scotland.




In northern France the river Meuse runs through broad meadowlands, where the sun shines dimly for many months each year, and cold, rolling mists sweep down upon the earth in winter, coating each twig with silver. There, in the little village of Domremy, in the year 1412, was born a girl named Jeanne d'Arc, whose father, Jacques d'Arc, was a simple peasant.

When Jeanne d'Arc was born life was hard and dangerous in Domremy. The villagers were hard put to it to protect themselves against fierce knights and noblemen who rode at the head of marauding bands to steal and plunder at will. The peasants had to look on sadly, with no hope of redress, when brutal men at arms drove off their sheep, or tossed the torch into their cottages—and as there was little to choose between friend and foe, the villagers stood guard in the tower of a nearby monastery, and gave the alarm when any soldiers approached the town.

Domremy, however, was no worse off in these respects than other towns and villages in that far time. And it must not be thought that the village folk were wholly without pleasures. Roses grew along the walls of their cottages, wine flowed from their vineyards, and there were village festivals and dances in which they loved to take part. Although they could not read or write, their priests instructed them in the history of the Church and its mighty power, and in the lives of the Saints and Martyrs and their teachings—how those that obeyed the Church and its priests were blessed, while those that broke its laws must surely enter the dismal fires of Hell. There were also bands of players who acted the religious stories taught by the priests in so vivid a manner that the peasants were thrilled and delighted; and while their cottages were bare and poor, their church was glorious with gold, rich with embroidery and bright with candle light that gleamed upon the carven, painted figures of the Saints that they adored.

It had been prophesied in France that from a forest near Domremy there would come a maid who would deliver the country from the perils that beset it—and when Jeanne d'Arc was a little girl the times seemed ripe indeed for the appearance of such deliverer. A great war had been raging between France and England; the English had captured many French towns and laid claim to the crown itself; the French King, Charles the Sixth, was quite mad; his Queen had leagued herself with the enemies of France, and her son, Prince Charles, who was called the Dauphin, had been compelled to flee to escape the English and the Burgundians.

Perhaps Jeanne d'Arc had heard the prophesy about the maid,—certainly she had listened to many beautiful tales about the lives of the Saints. In those days the Saints were believed to take sides in war with the countries that were dearest to them. The English believed in St. George, who slew the dragon; but the patron Saint of France was the Archangel Michael. He was portrayed in the churches as a knight in shining armor with a crown above his helmet, and sometimes he bore scales in which he weighed the souls of men. Jeanne had listened to many stories about him, and to tales of other Saints as well—legends of St. Margaret, whose soul escaped from her persecutors in the shape of a white dove, and stories of the gracious St. Catherine, who died by the sword because she was a Christian.

These tales made a great impression upon her—all the more because she did not know one letter of the alphabet from another. She was a serious child, with something about her that marked her as being different from the other children of the village, and as she grew older she grew apart from them and did not share their games and dances. Often, when her father believed her to be tending his sheep, she was kneeling at prayer. Her girl friends, Mengette and Hauviette, urged her to share their pleasures and to give less heed to the dreams that seemed to hold her in their spell, but Jeanne persisted in her way of life, and gained a reputation for piety that passed beyond her village into the neighboring countryside.

When a mere child, something happened to Jeanne that was destined to shake the entire Kingdom of France. When she listened to the church bells as they rang out over the meadows, she believed that she heard heavenly voices calling her name. She was only thirteen years old when she began hearing them and they seemed to come from the direction of the church that was near her cottage. The first time was at noon and a bright light appeared to her, while a grave, sweet voice said, "I come from Heaven to help you to lead a pure and holy life. Be good, Jeannette, and God will aid you." Badly frightened, she ran into the cottage and said nothing of what had happened; but a few days later the same voice called out to her again. In amazement she knew it to be the voice of an angel—and then—Saint Michael himself appeared to her in the light!

From that time on the visions and the voices came more frequently. And it seemed to Jeanne that not only St. Michael came, but St. Margaret and St. Catherine appeared to her also, coming with a bright light, and speaking with sweet and musical words. And they were so real that she believed she had actually touched their garments and tasted the sweet scents their robes emitted.

They began to urge her to take a strange course of action far removed from her birth and station and marvelous to think of, telling her that she must alter her way of life, put on armor and become a captain in the wars, for she was chosen by the King of Heaven to save France from its enemies. And they called her "Daughter of God." But Jeanne was filled with fear and grave misgiving, for how was she, a poor, unlettered girl and the daughter of peasants, to lead armies and wield the sword of war?

In the meantime the mad Charles the Sixth died and left his throne to be fought for by the Dauphin, who was destined to be Charles the Seventh—but this prince found his dominions so harried by war, so divided against themselves, and his path beset by so many enemies that he was unable to go to the city of Rheims, where all French kings must be anointed with sacred oil before they could be considered as the rightful sovereigns of France. His failure to do this gave added power to the English and better reason for them to claim the French crown for their young King, Henry the Sixth, whose armies had joined the Duke of Burgundy. And it became more plain each day that France would be ruled by whichever king was the first to be crowned at Rheims.

In the meantime the heavenly voices that spoke to Jeanne grew more and more insistent, telling her that she must go forth to the wars and lead the Dauphin Charles to the Cathedral at Rheims to be crowned and anointed. And at last she could no longer disobey, but prepared to fulfil the strange destiny that they pointed out to her.

Clad in her poor best dress, Jeanne visited a garrison of French soldiers, and told their captain that Heaven had called on her to lead the French to victory and see that the Dauphin Charles was duly crowned at Rheims. For a week she remained, imploring the captain to listen to her, but gaining nothing but insults and mockery that drove her at last to return to her home. But the Archangel Michael and Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret continued to appear to her, and she had no choice except to listen to their words.

Again she went to the French stronghold and told the captain, whose name was Robert de Baudricourt, that if the Dauphin Charles would give her men at arms she would deliver the city of Orleans, which was being besieged by the English, and drive the English enemy from their strongholds in all France. And this time the captain gave heed to her and wrote to the French Court, telling the Dauphin of what she had said; and after many days of weary waiting he received a reply ordering that Jeanne be taken to Chinon where the Dauphin was awaiting her.

This was not accomplished all at once, and Jeanne had to answer many tedious and wearisome questions; for wise men and clergymen from all over the land desired to know if she were inspired by angels or devils, and they feared that the visions she had seen might be the work of Satan himself. But they decided at last that there was great virtue in what she had beheld and that perhaps after all she was to be the deliverer of France that prophets had told of. And they decided that, as travel was dangerous and there were many rough characters on the road, Jeanne should go to the French Court dressed as a boy, and a jerkin, a doublet, hose and gaiters were given to her.

Attired in these garments and accompanied by men at arms Jeanne set forth on her journey, and traveled for more than seventy leagues through a hostile country with enemies on every hand. At length she came to Chinon and sent the Dauphin a letter, telling him that she was sent by God to crown him as King of France.

Charles was suspicious of Jeanne and desired to see for himself if she was inspired by angels; and when he summoned her to the Court he prepared a trick to deceive her. He had one of his courtiers wear the royal robes and seat himself on the throne, while the Dauphin, disguised in humble garments, stood quietly in the group of courtiers and servants that crowded the room.

When Jeanne entered she stopped for a minute and glanced about her. Then, instead of going to the throne where the supposed Prince was sitting, she went straight to Charles where he stood among his courtiers, and falling on her knees before him she told him that the King of Heaven had called upon her to deliver the city of Orleans from the hands of the English and to take him to Rheims to be crowned.

All who beheld this were amazed, for Jeanne had never seen Charles before,—nor had she so much as looked upon his portrait—and Charles and his noblemen believed that this was indeed a sign that Jeanne was guided by heavenly powers.

Before they went any further, however, they put her to further tests and she was questioned again by learned doctors and ministers. Messengers were even sent to the village of Domremy to learn about her early life. They asked her to give signs and to perform miracles—but Jeanne told them that it was not in her power to do these things. Her deeds, she declared, should answer for themselves and before the walls of Orleans all should receive the sign that they required in the rout of the English army. And she begged them to make haste and let her go there, for the English were battering at the walls and the besieged garrison was suffering.

In Tours Jeanne was fitted out with plain white armor and received a sword that was believed to have belonged to the great Charles Martel, who had saved France and all Christendom from the invader several hundred years before her time. She also had a banner painted for her, snowy white, with fleur de lis upon it and a picture of God holding up the world, with angels on each side. And then, in company with skilled captains and men of war, and with her two brothers, Jean and Pierre, riding behind her, Jeanne went to the city of Blois, where the army to relieve Orleans was awaiting her arrival.

With priests marching at the head of the column, chanting in Latin, accompanied by captains decked in all the panoply of war, and followed by men at arms, Jeanne left Blois for Orleans. She was in command of a convoy of supplies and provisions and the larger part of her army was to come up later. There were two roads to Orleans, which was built on the margin of the river Loire—one road leading directly past the English camp, the other running down to the river, where entrance to the town was to be gained only by bridges and boats.

Jeanne had desired to march directly past the English, and so strike fear into their hearts, but her captains deemed that the other road was the safer and without her knowledge guided her upon it, so that when she beheld Orleans the river was between. And she spoke bitterly to the captains for deceiving her.

"In God's name," she cried in anger, "you deceive yourselves, not me, for I bring you more certain aid than ever before was brought to a town or city. It is the aid of the King of Heaven," and in truth the way that the captains had chosen in their timidity was more dangerous and uncertain than the one that Jeanne had chosen.

The English, however, were so negligent, that they allowed the entire army to enter the city in safety, and the people of Orleans rejoiced beyond words when Jeanne in her shining armor appeared within the ramparts of the beleaguered town. They beat upon the door of the house where she was lodged and clamored to see her, and they crowded so closely about her as she rode through the streets that a torch set fire to her white standard, and the Maid, wheeling her horse, was obliged to put it out with her own hands.

On the following day Jeanne sent two heralds with a letter to the English leaders, bidding them to depart and save their lives while there was time, for otherwise the French would fall upon them and slay them all—but the English laughed greatly at the letter pretending to scorn it and really believing it to be the work of a witch who was led by evil spirits; and they answered her with vile taunts and insults, and one of their captains named Glasdale shook his fist in her direction and shouted in a voice that reached her ears: "Witch, if ever we lay our hands upon you, you shall be burned alive."

None the less the English were more frightened by the sight of this young girl in white armor than they cared to admit, for they believed they were now fighting the powers of darkness; and in this way Jeanne's presence did the French army more good than the thousands of soldiers she brought with her.

It came to pass that soon after Jeanne's arrival in the city, although she was now considered the real leader of the French rather than the captains, an attack was made by the French against one of the English forts that rose without the city walls. And things went badly for the French, for the English repulsed them with great slaughter.

Jeanne had not been told of the attack and was asleep at the time it took place, but the Saints that watched over her appeared to her in a dream and told her that she must rise instantly and go forth against the English; and when she rose she heard the hearty shouts of the English soldiers and the screams of the French who were being slaughtered.

She put on her armor as quickly as possible and galloped to the scene of the fight with her white standard in her hand. The French were in full flight when she appeared, but their courage returned when they saw her and they ran to gather around her banner. She cried out to them that they must return to the charge and take the English fort, and although the English hurled great stones upon them and fired with crossbows and cannon, the French soldiers swarmed over the English ramparts and gained the victory. And through the fight the Maid stood unmoved beneath the hail of missiles that the English showered down upon her followers, and she led the attack in person when the French climbed over the walls.

This was only the commencement of the fighting, for the French with Jeanne to lead them, now commenced a determined series of attacks against the English forts that lay about the city. And everywhere Jeanne and her white standard were in the front rank of the battle, and she risked her life a thousand times each day.

At last the French attacked one of the strongest of all the English forts, the bastille of Les Tourelles. Before the fight began Jeanne told the men-at-arms who were detailed to accompany her on the field to stay particularly close to her that day—"For," said she, "I have much work to do, and blood will flow from my body—above the breast."

As the French approached the stronghold they were met with showers of stones and arrows. The English crossbowmen did deadly work and the English cannon fired stone balls into the ranks of the French soldiers. The French brought scaling ladders to mount the walls, but above them the English stood ready with boiling pitch and melted lead to hurl into the faces of those who succeeded in mounting.

In spite of all these dangers Jeanne was constantly close to the English walls and her white standard always rose where the fighting was hottest. When a scaling ladder was placed against the wall she was the first to mount and was half way to the top when an English crossbowman, taking careful aim, fired an arrow with such force that it pierced right through her steel coat of mail and stood out behind her shoulder. Her grip relaxed from the ladder and she fell.

A mighty cheer went up from the English who believed that in drawing the blood of the witch they had drawn her power too. And for a time it seemed as if this really were so, for Jeanne's wound was very painful and she seemed no longer a warrior, but a pitiful little girl, overcome with tears and faintness. At last, however, when her steel shirt had been removed, she grasped the arrow with her own hands and drew it from the wound. And after this she rose and insisted on donning her armor once more.

The French had seen her fall and their courage had left them, and they were in full retreat when Jeanne returned to the battle.

"In God's name," she cried, riding toward them, "forward once more. Do not fly when the place is almost ours. One more brave charge and I promise you shall succeed."

The English were still rejoicing at what they had accomplished when to their dismay the French trumpets blew the charge again and they beheld the Maid with her white standard directly beneath their walls. And they considered that her return to the fight was nothing less than magical and fear gripped their hearts. Then the French swarmed up the scaling ladders like monkeys, leaped over the ramparts, and a horrible din arose from the interior of the fort, where, amid oaths and outcries and the clangor and crash of axes and meeting shields, the English were savagely slaughtered.

Glasdale, the same leader who had threatened Jeanne from the English camp, was guarding the retreat of his men as they ran across a bridge over the Loire, but the French brought up and set fire to an old barge piled high with straw, tar, sulphur and all kinds of inflammable material, and the only escape for the English lay directly through the flames.

Jeanne, on seeing this, was smitten with great pity for her enemies.

"Yield, Glasdale, yield!" she cried. "Thou hast called me witch, thou hast basely insulted me, but I have great pity on your soul."

But the brave English captain refused to give in and continued to guard the escape of his comrades. When all had passed through the smoke and flame he tried himself to rush across—but the planks were now eaten through with fire and would not hold him. With a crash of breaking timbers he plunged into the river beneath, where the weight of his armor pulled him down and he was drowned.

With the capture of this English stronghold the siege of Orleans came to an end. The English saw that they were beaten and that their months of fighting to gain the city had availed them nothing. On the following day the French beheld them marching away in good order, and Jeanne cried out for joy.

"Let them go," she said to her captains who wished to pursue them. "It is Sunday and God does not will that you shall fight to-day, but you shall have them another time." And the French held a solemn mass in thanksgiving for their victory.

Jeanne had made good her word and Orleans was saved. And now the Maid returned to Tours to meet the Dauphin, who had been so faint hearted that he stayed out of harm's way while a girl had gone forth and fought his battles for him. But he was very glad to see the Maid and he gave her a royal welcome and Jeanne told him that no time was to be lost but that he must come to Rheims and be crowned.

At last the tardy prince yielded to her request, and Jeanne with the army set forth once more to capture the towns that still were held by the English—and with the Maid at the head of the French army the towns of Jargeau, Meuny and Beaugency were soon taken. The English were so frightened by the marvelous feats performed by Jeanne that it was not long before their entire army was in full retreat toward the city of Paris. But Jeanne pursued them and defeated them in the battle of Pathay, where the mighty English leader, Talbot, was taken prisoner.

And then Jeanne took matters into her own hands, for Charles continued to delay. She issued a proclamation to the people to come to Rheims to the King's Coronation, and she left the Court again to join the army, where Charles was compelled to follow her. And at last through the efforts of this simple peasant girl, the sluggard Charles was crowned with divine pomp and glory in the Rheims cathedral, and Jeanne in her white armor and with her white banner floating over her stood beside him all through the ceremony. The holy oil was poured on his head and all the people shouted in rejoicing, because they now had a king.

Among the spectators was Jeanne's father who had journeyed to Rheims to see his famous daughter. All the old man's expenses were paid by the King, and when it was time for him to depart he was given a horse to carry him back to his native village.

Jeanne now desired to besiege and capture Paris which was held by Charles' enemies, but since he had been crowned he was reluctant to make any further effort to secure his kingdom. Paris was besieged, to be sure, but only half-heartedly, for the King did not send up the necessary reinforcements, and the siege was unsuccessful.

Then came months when Jeanne was forced to wait at Court, where the laggard King did nothing whatever, quite content with what had already been accomplished in his behalf. It is true that he gave Jeanne many presents, among other things a mantle of cloth of gold; and that many sick persons believed her to be a saint and came to touch her, in order to be cured of illness and suffering. But when Jeanne was asked to lay her hands upon some sufferer and cure him, she replied that his own touch would be as healing as her own, for that no extraordinary power lay in her.

The English and the Burgundians sought to retrieve their fortunes by capturing Compiegne, a town that was important in its relation to Paris and as large and strong as Orleans itself. Word of this was brought to Jeanne, and she learned also that her enemies had already appeared before the city walls.

With her usual swift decision she went to help the beleaguered garrison. She arrived before the city by secret forest paths and succeeded in gaining an entrance to it. And one morning with about five hundred followers she rode through the city gates to do battle with the besiegers. Her force drove the Burgundians before them like chaff, and the attack would have been wholly successful if a company of English men at arms had not come up at the gallop and attacked the French from the flank and from the rear.

All of the French fled except a small band in the immediate vicinity of the Maid. They were driven back into the town with the English and Burgundians so close on their heels that the archers on the walls of the town could not shoot for fear of wounding their own comrades. Then the drawbridge was raised to keep the English from forcing an entrance—and Jeanne and her few followers were surrounded by the enemy. The Maid was dressed in a scarlet and gold cloak which covered her armor, and more attention was drawn to her than usual on account of the richness of her apparel. A Burgundian archer laid hands on her and dragged her from her horse. She was a prisoner.

A great shout of triumph went up from the Burgundians when they saw that it was indeed Jeanne the Maid whom they had taken, and she was brought before the Duke of Burgundy, who, with great joy, sent many letters abroad informing the heads of the Church and the English of his good fortune.

The English were determined to get Jeanne in their power, for they had planned a cruel death for her. The Holy Inquisition likewise demanded her "to receive justice at the hands of the Church."

And now must be recorded the black and shameful fact that Charles made no effort to ransom Jeanne or do anything to relieve her misfortune, as might well have been possible, for the French held important English prisoners. And not content with leaving her to die, he proceeded to slight the name of the girl that had won him his throne. For in official accounts of how he had been crowned he made no reference to Jeanne at all. Orleans was won "by the grace of God." His enemies were routed "by the will of Providence." Of Jeanne and her efforts in his behalf he said not one single word.

Jeanne was sent from castle to castle and confined in one prison after another. On one occasion she was jailed in a high tower and she tried to escape by leaping from a window more than sixty feet above the ground, only to be picked up insensible and bleeding as she lay at the foot of the castle wall.

Then her worst enemy appeared before her. This was Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais. He persuaded the English to buy her from her captors so that they might try her and punish her, and the sum of six thousand francs was paid by them as blood money.

Jeanne was then taken to the town of Rouen and imprisoned in a grim and ancient castle, which was already centuries old. Not content with lodging her in a damp cell, the English placed fetters on her leg and chained her to a great log so that she must needs drag the chain about whenever she moved. And instead of allowing her women to be her attendants, her only jailers were rough men at arms, who were constantly with her.

To try this simple girl came the greatest dignitaries of the realm—men aged in experience and the law, grave doctors and wise bishops, all with the single purpose of accomplishing her death. With every advantage on their side they did not even allow a counsel for their prisoner, and when they saw that in spite of this she might be able skilfully to defend herself, they had her answers set aside as being of no importance and having no bearing on the trial. And they were right, for nothing that Jeanne said could possibly affect an issue where the stake and the executioner were already decided upon. And when some of the spectators showed signs of pity for her youth and innocence they had the trial continued secretly in her cell.

They played with her as a cat plays with a mouse and tortured her in mind as well as in body. And under the guise of compassion they pretended to spare her life, only in the end to tell her that the stake had been made ready and that she must come at once to the market place to be burned.

On the thirtieth of May, 1431, Jeanne was taken from her cell by two priests and escorted by men at arms to the market place of Rouen, where three scaffolds had been prepared. On one sat the priests who had been her judges, on another Jeanne must stand and hear a sermon before she died, and on the third was a grim stake with fagots piled high for her burning, and at the top of the stake was nailed a placard that bore these words:

"Jeanne, who hath caused herself to be called the maid, a liar, pernicious, deceiver of the people, soothsayer, superstitious, a blasphemer against God, presumptuous, miscreant, boaster, idolatress, cruel, dissolute, an invoker of devils, apostate, schismatic and heretic."

Then, with the learned doctors and churchmen drinking in the words, a sermon was read for the benefit of her soul. After it was ended the Bishop of Beauvais read the sentence which concluded by abandoning her to the arm of the law, for the Church itself could not pronounce sentence of death, but must leave that to the civil magistrates. Neither could the clergymen behold the infliction of the sentence, and they all came down from their seats and left the market place. What followed was supposed to be too dreadful for them to see.

So Jeanne was burned, and even in her death there took place something approaching a miracle, for when the fire was extinguished her brave heart was found intact among the embers, and the frightened English threw it into the river.

But the end did not come here. The enemies of Jeanne were so afraid of her power that they followed her with persecution after she was dead and made various attempts to darken her reputation, and give her memory an evil name. But they defeated their own ends, for twenty-five years later another trial was held in which the Maid was pronounced to be innocent. And nearly five hundred years later, in 1909, Pope Leo the Thirteenth took the first step toward making her a Saint by pronouncing her "venerable." Her canonization followed in 1920.

The marvels wrought by Jeanne still continue,—for without her there might be a different France from that which we know to-day. In Domremy the house of Jacques d'Arc still stands, much the same, in many ways, as it was when she beheld her visions there. In addition a splendid church has been built to her memory not far from the village she loved. And her name and fame grow greater as time passes.




In the year 1447, or about that time, there was born in the city of Genoa in Italy a boy named Christopher Columbus. He was the son of a wool weaver named Domenico Columbus, and spent his early boyhood in the dark and busy weaver's quarter of Genoa, always within hearing of the sound of the loom. His father was an industrious and hard-working man, and designed that Christopher should become a wool weaver like himself. It was a good business, he thought, and all his sons might enter it with credit and profit; and though they must work hard, they would have an honest business and an occupation for their lives.

But Christopher was an adventurous boy and preferred the crowded harbor and the busy docks of Genoa to the stuffy weaving room. In his spare time he was constantly beside the water, talking with the sailors from all parts of the earth and hearing wonderful tales of adventure that stirred his blood. The sea was a dangerous place in those days, for not only were the ships small and badly built so that they could only with the greatest difficulty weather the gales that beat in vain against the steel sides of our great ships to-day, but there were many outlaws and pirates who followed the sea and made every voyage a peril. There were dark-skinned Moslems or Moors who would swoop in their swift boats upon Christian craft to kill or capture all on board, selling their prisoners into the horrible slavery of the Far East. There were also fearful tales of serpents and dragons that lived in the far waters of the "Sea of Darkness," for so the Atlantic Ocean was known among the seafaring men of Italy, Spain and Portugal, and stories galore of gold and undiscovered land. And many of the more adventurous youths of those days became sailors to see with their own eyes the marvels that the mariners would describe, while splicing rope upon the docks.

When ten years old, however, Christopher was made to work in the wool shop and became his father's apprentice, with little free time from the loom to go about his own affairs. It is thought that he did not take kindly to this business and he may have run away, for a few years later we hear rumors of him in the University of Pavia, where, although a lad in his teens, he was greatly interested in the studies of geography and astronomy. He had already learned all that was then known about the science of navigation and the use of the few rude instruments with which mariners determined their position on the sea. He had also mastered the science of making maps and was so skilful at drawing them that he could earn his living by this means. He had taken his first trips as a sailor and visited many ports in the immediate vicinity of Genoa and perhaps he had gone even farther, for the love of adventure and of a wandering life were in his blood.

When a very young man the wanderings of Columbus brought him to Portugal, where he lived for a time, at Lisbon, with his brother Bartholomew, who already had made his home there and was drawing maps for a living. The Portuguese were the best sailors of Europe and the boldest explorers. Perhaps that was the reason why Columbus went to Portugal to live. But another story, later told by his son, says that he was attacked by pirates when in command of a vessel not far from the Portuguese coast, and saved his life by swimming to the shore.

While Columbus was drawing maps in Lisbon, he used to go to a church that was visited by a beautiful girl called the Lady Philippa, the cousin to no less a person than the Archbishop of Lisbon himself. Columbus fell in love with her and attended the church whenever he believed that it would be possible to see her there. She, in turn, began to look with kindness upon him and at last Columbus and the Lady Philippa were married and the marriage proved to be a very happy one.

Philippa's grandfather had himself been a bold sailor and an adventurous explorer and discovered the Madeira Islands, where his granddaughter owned some property. As she did not like the idea of having her husband work constantly making maps, the young couple went to live on the Madeira Islands at a place called Porto Santo, where Philippa's brother was Governor.

Porto Santo was on the edge of the Sea of Darkness and was full of the most terrible and mysterious tales concerning it. While a few learned men of the time began to think that the world was round, most of the sailors and even the scholars thought that it was flat and that by sailing westward on the Atlantic you would eventually fall off of the rim of the world. The west was also thought to be inhabited by fearful monsters. Sea serpents were there, of a size so great that they could easily crush a sailing vessel in their jaws; there were dragons and giant devil fish; in one place there was a burning belt, where the air was like molten flame and the sea a mass of fire; in another there lived evil spirits and demons, and a fate worse than death would befall any sailor that ventured there. If you sailed to the south, so the mariners believed, you would come to a land where the air was too hot to support life, while if you sailed to the north you would arrive at a clime so frigid that you would certainly freeze to death. The sailors believed these things because the air grew warmer as they ventured down the coast of Africa toward the equator, and colder when they sailed past England and the Scandinavian peninsula to the chill seas that border on the Arctic Circle.

While Columbus lived at Porto Santo, however, he heard other tales that interested him greatly and made him believe that the world was round and that all the legends of the Sea of Darkness were idle fancies—or at least that it would be possible to sail across this sea and come to the wonderful countries of India and China and Japan.

For the Governor of Porto Santo had told him of strange things that had been washed on shore when the wind had blown for many days from the west—of a cane so thick through that it would hold a gallon of wine, of a piece of wood carved in a manner that never had been seen before,—and once of a canoe, which had been made by hollowing out a giant tree, in which were the dead bodies of two strange men such as the European world had never seen,—yellow in color with flat, broad faces.

Columbus thought greatly about these things and studied again what little was known of the world's geography; and he became convinced that by sailing to the westward he would reach Japan and China, and determined to set out upon this marvelous and brave adventure.

First he went to the King of Portugal in whose dominions he had made his home, and asked the King for ships and men to undertake a trip that would make Portugal the richest and most powerful kingdom in the entire world,—for once the new lands were discovered, said Columbus, there would be gold for all and land a plenty,—to say nothing of the opportunity for carrying the religion of the Holy Catholic Church into far lands and saving the souls of the heathen.

The King of Portugal was greatly interested in Columbus' words, but he thought that Columbus was too greedy in what he demanded for himself, for the ambitious sailor desired a tenth part of all the profits that would be gained by his voyaging and wanted also to be considered as King in the countries that he would discover. Therefore, without saying anything about it to Columbus, the King of Portugal tried to cheat him out of the fruits of his great idea by secretly sending a sailing vessel with another captain on a voyage to that part of the ocean where Columbus thought that China and Japan could be found.

This boat sailed into the west for many days, but encountered terrible gales and turned back; and the captain, to save his face among the mariners, exaggerated the difficulties that he had encountered, declaring that it was idle nonsense to think that anything could be gained by sailing westward.

Columbus soon heard how the King had deceived him and determined to leave Portugal forever. In addition to the deceit that had been practised upon him in which others had so basely tried to rob him of the rewards of his great design, a far greater sorrow had come into his life by the death of his good wife, whom he had loved tenderly. So, with his little son, Diego, Columbus went to Spain, thinking that perhaps the Spanish King and Queen would listen to him, and give him ships and money to carry out his plan.

The King and Queen of Spain, or rather the rulers of the two related kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, were named Ferdinand and Isabella. A terrible war was going on between these Spanish kingdoms and the Moors, who had overrun Spain hundreds of years before. Queen Isabella, however, was deeply interested in the words of Columbus,—particularly because she was a devout Catholic, and desired to spread the Catholic religion in the Far East. She told Columbus that she was too busily engaged in fighting the Moors to help him then and that he must wait until the wars were finished when, she assured him, he should have the money and ships he needed to carry out his design for the glory of Spain and the Catholic faith.

But the war against the Moors lasted for years, and Columbus, vainly waiting at Court, seemed no nearer to getting the ships and crews that he so ardently desired than when in Portugal being cheated by the Portuguese King. He had no money, and in following the Court it was hard for him to earn anything to pay for his needs. His garments became worn and tattered,—so much so that he became known as "the man with the cloak full of holes." At one time he went into the army and battled against the Moors, but as he received no pay, he was compelled at last to take up his map drawing once again to earn enough money for food and clothing. Disappointed and discouraged he sent his brother Bartholomew to the Court of the King of England, but the ship was robbed by pirates and Bartholomew was obliged to return.

After compelling Columbus to wait for seven long years, the King and Queen of Spain went back on their word and refused to have anything to do with his adventure. Scientists had ridiculed it and told them that they might just as well cast their gold into the sea as to give it to Columbus. So the unhappy Columbus was compelled to leave Court, his hopes extinguished and plunged into the lowest depths of despair.

With him was his son who was now old enough to accompany him in his wanderings. Together they passed a monastery called La Rabida where Columbus paused to beg a mouthful of bread and a drink of water for his boy,—and here there came an absolute change in his fortunes, for here there dwelt a friar who had formerly been confessor to Queen Isabella with whom he still had a great deal of influence; and after going over Columbus' plans with a shipbuilder named Martin Pinzon and an astronomer named Hernandez, the good friar promised to ask the Queen to grant Columbus' request. At all speed he went to the Spanish Court and brought back word that Columbus was to receive another interview with the Queen, with the additional good news that he was to be of good heart in the meantime, for his request was to be granted. And Queen Isabella also sent Columbus a sum of money with which to buy decent raiment and pay his expenses in coming back to the Court.

In this way it befell that, after weary years of waiting, the great idea of Columbus was finally received, and he was allowed to set out on his wonderful voyage; and he was so sure of success that he almost seemed to see the new lands that lay thousands of miles across the Sea of Darkness.

Columbus went back to Court and made certain demands of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that they finally consented to—namely that he was to be the "Admiral of the Ocean Sea"—for so he called the Atlantic—and should rule over all new lands that he discovered. One tenth of all future profits from these lands were to be his, and he alone should have the right to settle trade disputes that might arise. In addition to these things he was to receive one-eighth of the profit of his first voyage, as he was willing, and in fact his agreement with the Queen demanded, that he should pay one-eighth of the expenses of the venture.

Once the consent of the King and Queen had been given and the money provided, Columbus set about collecting his vessels and their crews. This last, however, was a difficult undertaking, for so many and terrible were the stories about the Sea of Darkness and the monsters that lived near the far edge of the world that the boldest mariners refused to venture with him on such an errand, and finally his crew was gathered by proclaiming in the jails that any criminal who accompanied him was to receive full pardon on his return to Spain—a means that filled his ships with the most worthless and evil men.

Three ships were provided. They were called the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Nina,—the last of which was so small that it seemed in size little more than a modern life boat as it only had room for eighteen men. The Pinta carried twenty-seven men and was under the command of the same Martin Pinzon who had aided Columbus in gaining the ear of Queen Isabella—a man whom Columbus trusted completely, but who was to betray that trust long before Columbus returned from his perilous voyage. The Santa Maria was the largest of the three ships, and held fifty-seven men. This was Columbus' flagship.

At a seaport called Palos these vessels were made ready for their voyage and on the Third of August, 1492, they might have been seen with the sunlight gleaming on their white sails, on which were painted the huge red Crosses of the Catholic faith, as they made their way into the open sea and bore to the westward under a favoring breeze. They stopped at the Canary Islands, where food and water were taken aboard, and then, leaving behind them the entire civilized world, they sailed boldly out into the Sea of Darkness toward that far region where not only the Unknown but all the fears that superstitious seamen could invent awaited them.

It was not long before Columbus saw that among his crew of desperate ruffians and jailbirds there were many who would betray him on the first opportunity. On the way to the Canaries and while stopping there, the rudder of the Pinta was twice broken; and now that the open sea was reached and they were sailing into the far west, the helmsmen tried to alter the course of the vessels so that they might not go any further. When Columbus slept, the men at the tillers of all three ships would steer into the northeast instead of the west, so that the vessels, unperceived, might turn upon their own course and eventually return to the Canary Islands and to Spain. But Columbus was too shrewd a sailor to be tricked by any such clumsy means and placed the few men that he could trust in charge of the helm. Fortunately for his design a breeze came from the eastward and bore them rapidly along their course. Columbus, moreover, did not let the men know how far they had sailed, but every day gave out a distance far less than what had actually been completed, so that his sailors might think themselves nearer to Spain than was the reality.

On the Thirteenth of September, however, something took place that caused even Columbus' bold heart to beat quicker with fear, for the compass, that infallible instrument of direction, which was trusted by the mariners of those days even more than it is in the present time, began to veer around from the north and no longer pointed steadily to the pole. Only a few of Columbus' men were aware of this, and Columbus strengthened their resolution by telling them that it was not the compass which was at fault,—but rather the Pole Star that was changing, so that the compass still pointed truly—and on and on they sailed into the west.

As days and weeks went by a great fear gripped the hearts of the sailors. Never had any men been so far from shore as they. Day after day they saw nothing but roaring waves and the empty sky. They believed that even if they turned their vessels about it would be almost impossible for them to return, and anger and bitterness arose in their hearts against their brave leader whose strong will and steady hand forced them to continue the perilous voyage.

At last, however, they began to see signs of land that cheered them greatly. Terns and sea gulls appeared about their vessel, diving for the scraps of food that they tossed overboard. One day some little birds that came from the land rested in their rigging and sang. With their hearts high they watched for land, but it did not appear. On and on they sailed and still nothing was to be seen but the wide sky and the watery horizon. But more signs of land soon appeared. A branch from a wild rose bush floated past. Weeds were seen in the water. A careful lookout was kept and a large reward was promised to that sailor who might first see land.

On the night of October eleventh, Columbus believed that he saw a light directly in front of his vessel. It moved, glimmered, and disappeared, only to appear again a moment later. Some of the lookouts also thought that they had seen it, and the watch for land became keener than ever. At about two in the morning the cry of land was raised. One of the sailors had seen a sandbar and a low line of land. At once the vessels anchored, and with beating hearts the sailors waited for the morning that was to be fraught with such tremendous adventures.

Sure enough the rising sun disclosed green hills from which the breeze brought a most delicious perfume and where, as they drew closer, the birds could be heard singing. And on the shore a crowd of savages was gazing with astonishment upon the mysterious ships that floated with sails furled on the smooth waters of the bay. Hardly able to speak for excitement and joy the sailors leaped into their rowboats. First of all was Columbus, richly appareled, with the banner of Spain in his hand. And as the prow of his boat grounded in the sand he sprang ashore and took possession of the land in the name of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, unfurling the gorgeous banner to the breeze. Then he and his men kneeled and said a prayer of thankfulness, and they also planted in the earth a great wooden cross, to show that the new land had come under the power of the Christian Church.

The natives, who had gazed with wonder upon these actions, now approached timidly but with every sign of friendship, offering Columbus gifts of flowers and fruits and gay colored parrots, and lances tipped with bone and feather belts. They seemed to have no difficulty in understanding the sign language that the Spaniards used to make their wants understood, and they worshipped the newcomers as though they were more than human, and indeed their simple minds were convinced that these gorgeous strangers in velvet and armor were no less than superhuman beings.

By the sign language the savages made Columbus understand that there were other lands not far off, and he believed that he had arrived at India and could sail in the course of a few days to the rich countries of China and Japan. And he called the natives "Indians," as a token of his belief—a name that they and all the other natives of the American continent have borne to the present time. To his dying day Columbus believed that he had reached India and the Far East. How great would have been his astonishment had he known that another ocean nearly twice as broad as the one that he had crossed, lay between him and the Orient, and that he had come upon an entirely New World where no civilized men had ever set foot before!

Columbus named the island that he first set foot upon San Salvador. After he had remained there for some time he gathered his crews and set sail once more to discover other lands. He came to the island of Cuba and he discovered Haiti, but he thought that these were islands or part of the mainland of Japan, China or India, and so reported them in his writings. And now came his first bitter taste of the treachery that was to wreck his fortunes, for Martin Pinzon in command of the Pinta deserted him to search for gold, sailing away in the Pinta to cruise where he pleased.

Then, through the carelessness of a helmsman, the Santa Maria was wrecked upon a reef,—and Columbus was left with only the Nina, which could carry at most eighteen men, to bear the news of his great discovery back across the ocean to the Kingdom of Spain. A native king, however, came to his aid and with his tribe helped Columbus to save everything that was aboard the Santa Maria, and trusting in his kindness Columbus decided to found a colony where the greater part of his followers could remain, while he with a few men sailed back to Spain in the Nina to carry the word of what had been accomplished.

This was done and Columbus founded his colony after building a fort from the timbers of the Santa Maria; and he cautioned his men to treat the natives kindly and to respect in every way their rights and their property. Then, with a few men, he boarded the Nina and set sail for Spain.

On his way he encountered the treacherous Martin Pinzon in the Pinta, and the voyage across the ocean recommenced. It was a terrible voyage, for a hurricane fell upon the tiny vessels and they were almost destroyed. The seas, said Columbus, ran first in one direction and then in another, and at times completely submerged his ships. Convinced that he was going to be drowned and that the news of his discovery would die with him, he placed an account of it in a water-tight keg which he tossed overboard with his own hands, preparing another one which he left upon the deck of the vessel to be floated off when it sank beneath the waves.

In the nick of time, however, the waves moderated, and after a weary voyage and many adventures Columbus dropped anchor in the harbor at Palos from which he had sailed months before. He then sent word to Ferdinand and Isabella of his discovery, and was received with the utmost pomp and ceremony. The King and Queen were overjoyed at his achievement and granted him honors which hitherto had never been allowed to any of their subjects. Columbus sat with them enthroned beneath a canopy of cloth of gold and he rode at the side of the King in a triumphal procession. He gave the King and Queen who had so greatly befriended him many gay-colored parrots and rich fruits and spices that he had brought with him from the west, and he showed Isabella a number of the Indians whom he had brought back across the sea. His fame quickly penetrated beyond Spain and the entire Christian world rang with the deeds he had accomplished and the wonders he had seen. And Columbus' triumph was in no way marred by the treachery of Martin Pinzon who once again had sought to betray his master and leader. For when the vessels reached Spain, Pinzon had hastened to send to the Queen word of their arrival and had represented the discovery as the result of his own courage and sagacity. He was, however, coldly received, and shortly afterward died beneath a cloud of disgrace that he richly deserved.

Then Queen Isabella bade Columbus prepare for another voyage to the west and add to his discoveries,—particularly to find gold that the Kingdom of Spain was in great need of. This time it was not difficult to raise a crew, and soon Columbus once more set sail into the west with many vessels under his command.

When he arrived at the spot where his colony had been founded he learned that terrible things had happened in his absence. The Spaniards had abused the unsuspecting natives until these had risen in revolt and attacked the fort, and of all the Spaniards that Columbus had left behind not a single man remained alive.

And this was only the beginning of the trouble that was to pursue Columbus until the end of his life. Quarreling and strife broke out among the men that were under him. When he sent a part of his fleet back to Spain his enemies and those who were jealous of his greatness hastened to spread evil reports about him that came to the ears of the King and Queen. Still, however, they continued to trust him, and when Columbus returned they sent him forth on a third voyage in which he was to bend all his efforts to find the mainland of Asia, which he believed lay only a short distance beyond the colony that he had founded.

On this voyage, however, strife broke out to such an extent among his followers and so many and so lawless were their ill deeds in their commander's absence—for the need of further discovery had forced Columbus to leave the governing of the colony in the hands of others than himself—that the King and Queen finally sent out a man named Bobadilla to succeed Columbus and take over his powers.

Bobadilla hated Columbus and forced upon him an indignity that it is pitiful to think of,—for the discoverer of the New World and the Admiral of the Ocean Sea was compelled to return to Spain wearing chains that had been locked upon his wrists at Bobadilla's orders.

When the Captain of the vessel that bore Columbus homeward was about to remove the fetters, Columbus haughtily refused to take them off, saying that he would not part with them until he had knelt in chains before his sovereigns and given them this proof of the ingratitude with which they had treated him. And Columbus at last came before Queen Isabella, ill in body and broken in mind from the hardships and indignities that he suffered.

When the Queen saw how her commands had been twisted and the shame that had come upon the man who had served her so splendidly, she wept and asked his forgiveness,—and Columbus wept also at the memory of what he had suffered.

Unhappily the full measure of Columbus' misfortune was yet to come. Queen Isabella died, and Ferdinand, who, at the best, had been no more than lukewarm toward the achievements of the great sailor, refused to take any further interest in Columbus or what might become of him. The pension that Columbus had earned was never given to him, nor did he get the share in the profits of his venture that rightfully should have been his. So ill that he could not walk, he entreated Ferdinand at least to pay his sailors for their last voyage,—but this was never done. Deserted, old and broken-hearted, Columbus, who had aged before his time as a result of his hard life, died in 1506 in a room where he had hung his chains as a sign of the ingratitude of his sovereign. He knew, however, that he had accomplished something that would make his name immortal and he died with this consolation. He did not know, however, that he had done something far mightier than his original design of crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Asia—namely that he had discovered a New World that was to give birth to a great nation, greater one thousandfold than the Spain that he had served.




In the year 1560 two horsemen were riding in the Forest of Vincennes in France, followed by a splendid retinue. It could be seen from their costume and bearing that they were officials of high rank and large following—and indeed they were no less personages than Henry the Second, the King of France, and a Prince from the Netherlands named William of Orange, a powerfully built young man of commanding appearance and great nobility of demeanor.

The Netherlands which were ruled by the King of Spain, had been at war with France and William had been sent to the French court as a hostage while peace was being arranged. He was brave, generous, handsome and wealthy, and gained the respect and liking of all that knew him, wherever he happened to be. But his heart was as heavy as lead while the French King was talking to him, for Henry the Second was telling him of a secret scheme by which all people in the Netherlands who did not believe in the Catholic religion were to be wiped out by fire and sword.

"Everything has been arranged," said Henry triumphantly, "and the King of Spain has agreed with me to carry out the affair in the Low Countries as shall be done in France. The ancient edicts are to be brought forth again. The Holy Inquisition is to be revived in its greatest severity, and before long there will be no place in Spain, France or the Low Countries where a heretic may lay his head in safety."

Now Henry of France was very foolish when he spoke this way to Prince William of Orange. He believed that because the Prince had been commander of the army of King Philip of Spain that he was in the complete confidence of the Spanish King—but this was not the case. Although William had been brought up in the Catholic faith he was a Protestant at heart, and came from a Protestant family. He had only turned to the Catholic religion because it had been necessary for him to be of that faith to become the ruler of the Principality of Orange,—and even if his own father and mother had not been Protestants, William would never have consented to the hanging and burning of innocent people because they happened to believe in a religion that was slightly different from his own. His blood ran cold with horror when he heard what the King of France and the King of Spain were planning—but in spite of what he heard he had presence of mind enough to listen quietly without showing any sign of the rebellion and anger that were in his heart. He knew that he could aid the Protestants and the Netherlands far more if the powerful monarchs who were in league against them did not realize that they would have him to reckon with as one of their enemies, but from that time on Prince William determined not to rest until the last Spanish soldier had been driven from his country and the people were allowed to worship God in their own way.

Still William said nothing. He pretended to be greatly interested in the measures that he had learned of and expressed no disapproval of their severity. The King of France never learned what an error he had made. But William, from his attitude on this matter and the way that he conducted himself, gained the nickname of "William the Silent" which clung to him throughout his life and has been attached to him in history ever since.

William was well liked in the Netherlands or the "Low Countries" as they were then called. He was the son of a nobleman, Count William of Nassau, and succeeded to the principality of Orange on the death of his cousin Réné of Nassau who was killed in battle. Réné was an ardent Catholic, and stipulated that to gain the principality William would have to be brought up in the Catholic faith. So young William went to the Court of Charles the Fifth, Emperor of Spain and Germany, and became a page in Charles' establishment in the city of Brussels.

When a youth of eighteen William married a girl of high birth named Anne of Edgemont and lived happily with her until he went to the wars with the Spanish army. He did not like military life, but none the less he did so well that before he was twenty-one he was made a General. His record was creditable to the utmost, but through all his life William never showed any great military ability. He was slow to come to decisions and too deliberate to make a military leader of the highest order.

When William returned to the Netherlands after his sojourn in the French court he was made Governor of the principalities of Zeeland, Utrecht and Holland. And here, in his efforts to help the Protestants from the harsh decrees that were being carried out against them, he first came in collision with the cruel and cold-blooded Philip of Spain.

Philip believed in the instrument of justice called the Holy Inquisition and for years this had been in operation in his own kingdom of Spain. It was a body of Priests and wise men who judged and condemned all persons who were accused of heresy, as any difference from the Catholic religion was called. The punishments dealt out by the Holy Inquisition were most severe and brought great suffering. For the Inquisition employed the most inhuman tortures, not only for those who were convicted of guilt, but also for unfortunate people who were accused, maintaining that under torture nobody could refrain from telling the truth, nor conceal any wickedness that he had ever committed. As a result of this, confessions were often wrung from innocent people, who could not support the agony of torture, preferring to be punished for crimes they had not committed than to bear it. And this punishment was almost invariably to be hanged or burned alive at the stake.

At the time when William was put in control of the three small states that we have spoken of, Philip had left the Low Countries for Spain, and had placed the government of his dominions in the Netherlands in the hands of his half sister, Margaret the Duchess of Parma, and under her rule the cruel measures enacted by Philip against the Protestants were ruthlessly carried out.

As Governor under Philip, William was expected to apply these measures himself, and on one occasion was ordered to put to death certain people who were accused of heresy. Being unwilling to do this he sent them private warning, suffering them to escape before his men came to arrest them; and from this time on he followed a course of action that soon brought him into disfavor with the Duchess of Parma who suspected him of treachery and wrote to the King of Spain accusing William of many crimes.

Greater and greater grew the unrest and dissatisfaction throughout the Netherlands. And one curious sign of this was in the formation of a society of noblemen who called themselves "The Beggars." This organization had come about in the following manner. Three hundred or more noblemen had presented to Margaret a request that the Inquisition be abolished and the edicts against the Protestants revoked. Some of her advisors laughed at the request of the Flemish nobles, referring to them scornfully as "beggars," and the term came to their ears. At once they took the word for their watch cry and dressed themselves in the costume of beggars with wallets and begging bowls, declaring that they would not resume their ordinary dress until their requests had been granted. And this organization did a great deal to fan the opposition to Spain, which was increasing every day throughout the Netherlands, into a flame of rebellion.

Another disturbance soon took place that made the King of Spain more bitterly angry against the Low Countries than any other thing that could have happened. A storm against the Catholic faith swept through the country and churches were sacked and the holy images destroyed in every province. Mobs marched through the streets attired in the sacred vestments of the priests that they had torn from the altar. Stained glass windows were broken with stones; entire churches were ransacked and plundered of everything of value that they contained. The people at last had turned in revolt, and "the image breaking" as this rioting was called, was the first sign of it. And then, or shortly after, William the Silent became a Protestant.

Frightened by the signs of revolt Margaret pretended to consent to the wishes of the nobles and stated that the Inquisition should be abolished in the Netherlands and the edicts against the Protestant religion revoked. And she sent a secret letter to the King of Spain, informing him of what she had done.

Philip was determined on the most bitter vengeance, but until he could bring a powerful army into the Low Countries it suited him to have his subjects there believe that he had actually consented to their demands. So he pretended to agree to what Margaret had granted, and all through the Low Countries the bells rang and the bonfires burned in rejoicing that freedom from persecution had at last been gained.

But Philip had put a nobleman named the Duke of Alva in charge of the army that was to subdue the Netherlands, and could not have chosen a better or surer man to carry out his dark ends. The Duke of Alva was a monster of cruelty, implacable as iron, and possessed of a skill in warfare that few could equal. He had been ordered to seize William of Orange as well as other leaders and bring them to instant execution, and then so to punish the Netherlands that not a trace of the recent rioting or rebellion should remain.

The Netherlands were not then in a position to offer a strong resistance to such a highly organized, well trained army as the Duke of Alva's, but secret preparations were going through the country for a great struggle of which the recent rioting was only the smallest beginning. The Duke of Alva, proud soldier that he was, did not estimate the strength of the Lowlanders at its proper value. He boasted that he had tamed men of iron in his time and could easily tame the men of butter who were now opposed to him. And his first act was to carry out King Philip's demands against the noblemen who were chiefly implicated in the recent uprisings.

These were the Counts Egmont and Horn and rightly or wrongly William of Orange. William himself had been shrewd enough to fly to Germany. He knew Philip and he urged Counts Egmont and Horn to fly with him. But they, foolishly feeling secure in their own country, decided to remain where they were.

For a very brief time they thought they had decided rightly, for the Duke of Alva was courteous to them. He invited them to his house to dinner and made them his guests—but while they were eating his bread and drinking his wine, an armed guard surrounded his house and the two unfortunate nobles were arrested by the treacherous Spaniard and promptly thrown into prison. They never regained their liberty. After being held as captives for the better part of a year they met their fate courageously on the public scaffold where so many of the bravest and best heads of the Netherlands were falling by the Duke of Alva's orders.

A reign of terror then swept over the Netherlands that has had practically no equal in history. Alva was relentless as flint in every dealing with the people under his charge. To meet the numerous trials that were necessary under his regime he appointed what was called the Council of Troubles—a name that was quickly changed by the people themselves to the Council of Blood, for it never acquitted, never showed mercy. Prisoners were led before it and condemned in batches of a hundred or more at a time, and sometimes prisoners were delivered to the executioners without even the poor formality of a trial that this council afforded.

Nor was this all—for to fill his coffers the Duke of Alva established a system of taxation that if carried out would reduce to beggary every man, woman and child in the Low Countries.

William the Silent was not idle in Germany, where he had fled on the coming of this Spanish tyrant; he was engaged in raising money and enlisting the sympathy of German princes in the cause of his oppressed people. Aided by his brother Louis, who was a fine soldier, he worked day and night to raise an army to march against the Spaniards, and at last was able to send his forces into the Netherlands, while he himself remained with a small reserve ready to support them when necessary.

But although William's brother and the other leaders of his new army were fine soldiers, they failed against the brilliant military genius of the Duke of Alva. At first they seemed partly successful and won a minor victory at a place called Heiliger Lee,—but then the Duke of Alva himself marched against them at the head of a splendid army, and wiped out the forces of his adversary at Jemmingen, killing the wounded and taking no prisoners, but exterminating his foes wherever he met them. And among the dead was William's youngest brother, Adolphus, who had distinguished himself for his bravery.

Then William had to raise another force to supplant the one that had just been destroyed. The German princes were discouraged by his failure and were reluctant about giving their aid; and in his distress he turned to Queen Elizabeth of England, who sympathized with his cause, but could not do anything for him at that time.

At last, however, William succeeded in gathering another army that was even larger than the first one, and placing himself at its head he entered the Netherlands. He was, however, in great straits, for his soldiers were only German mercenaries and William lacked money to pay them. The Duke of Alva knew this and refused to fight, but constantly retreated, knowing well that mutiny would soon break out in William's forces and weaken him far more than any battle. And this proved to be the case. Serious trouble broke out among the German soldiers, and William at last had to disband the army and take refuge in France without money, credit or prestige. He had sold all his personal possessions to support the army and all was lost.

Where he had once been one of the richest noblemen in Europe, he was now so poor that he hardly knew where the next day's dinner was to come from. Alva had confiscated all his Netherland estates, and William had gone heavily into debt to raise his armies. Failure and poverty stared him in the face, and other misfortunes followed him. His first wife had died several years before, and his second wife, a German princess, now went insane.

Crushed on land, there was yet the possibility for William to do something for his oppressed country by attacking his enemies on the sea. It was not long before privateers in his name were harrying the Spanish vessels and swooping down upon the ports held by the Spaniards. These daring seamen took their name from the society that had been formed years before called the "Beggars." And William's sailors now called themselves "The Beggars of the Sea."

They found help and protection in the English ports, for Queen Elizabeth hated the Duke of Alva, and while not willing just then to go to war openly with Spain, she did all in her power to give assistance to Spain's enemies. She allowed the Beggars to obtain men and supplies from England, and did not hesitate to give them ammunition when they required it.

Then a first success came to William's cause like a faint ray of sunlight through heavy clouds, for the Beggars of the Sea captured the fortified town of Brill. And almost immediately after, encouraged by this initial success, the whole of the Netherlands which had been groaning under the Spanish rule rose in rebellion and claimed as their rightful ruler the Prince of Orange. Almost in a night the cities rose and cast off their Spanish yoke, and all through the Low Countries the flag of the Prince of Orange was uplifted.

Alva sent his troops to lay siege to the towns and recapture them, and there followed one of the most terrible periods of warfare that the world has ever known—certainly the most terrible that ever engulfed Belgium until the World War of our own day.

And now for the first time since his former defeat, the Prince of Orange was able to raise troops to fight once more against the Spaniards. He sent repeated appeals to the cities of the Low Countries, and prepared an army of some twenty thousand German mercenaries that was to be further strengthened by a French force under the French Admiral Coligny. William counted on Coligny's aid to defeat Alva, for Coligny was an ardent Protestant and had many men at his command.

But there befell another check to William's fortunes, and one that was almost fatal to his plans, for under the wicked Catherine de Medici the French Catholics in two days massacred almost every Protestant in France in a slaughter that was called the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. Admiral Coligny was among the victims, and all hope of support from that quarter was at an end.

Louis, the brother of William, was being besieged by the Duke of Alva in the city of Mons, and William marched to the relief of the town. He did not strike promptly enough, however, and was routed by a strategem on the part of the Spaniards. In the night a considerable force of the Spanish soldiers stole up to William's camp and fell upon his army, taking it completely by surprise. William himself barely escaped with his life, being awakened by a pet dog in the nick of time, and when the Spaniards were almost in his tent. Leaping to his horse, he galloped madly from the burning camp and escaped, but his army was cut to pieces. Then Alva continued the siege of Mons until Louis had to surrender. The Spaniards, however, for some strange reason allowed Louis to evacuate the town without interference and Louis fled to Dillenburg in Germany, the home of the Nassau family. But in spite of this new defeat and disappointment, the Lowland cities continued their resistance, and nowhere was this stronger than in the province of Holland.

The sieges that followed were among the most terrible in history for the beleaguered towns knew well they could expect no mercy if they were conquered, and held out to the last breath. Their inhabitants ate horses, dogs, old shoes—anything to fill their stomachs and stay the inroads of starvation. Plague broke out among them and in the Spanish forces as well. When the Spaniards captured a town they left not one stone upon another, and the burghers who had opposed them were massacred to a man.

But the Duke of Alva was growing old and suffering from ill health. The universal hatred in which he was held weighed on his spirit. He had written several times asking his recall from the Netherlands, and at last King Philip consented to his request and sent out a Governor named Requesens to take his place. All the Netherlands went wild with joy when the news spread that Alva was leaving and bells were rung and bonfires lit as for some national holiday.

In the meantime William had made his headquarters in the province of Holland and was conducting the war against the Spaniards from that point. The Spaniards were besieging the city of Leyden, which it was necessary for them to capture, but the Netherlanders cut the dykes that restrained the ocean and let the sea sweep over the land, for Leyden was reduced to starvation, and every day people were dying by hundreds within its walls. The rescuers sailed up to the town in ships as the Spaniards fled, bringing bread to the famished people.

William was now the ruler of Holland and had triumphed over the Spaniards. The war dragged after these terrible sieges and both sides would gladly have seen it ended; but the Lowlanders were in no temper to accept half measures. And in the Union of Utrecht, in which a number of the Lowland provinces united against Philip, an important step was taken toward throwing off the Spanish yoke.

William's life was in great danger, for King Philip had offered a reward of twenty-five thousand crowns in gold to any assassin who should strike him down. And although he was under fifty, he appeared like an old man, so great were the troubles with which he had been beset in the course of his life. He was the constant target for the bullet or the dagger of the assassin, and many dogged his tracks as a result of the Spanish proclamation against him.

The end that might have been expected came in the spring of 1584. Already William had once been severely wounded by a would-be murderer, and he was now to receive his death blow. A young man, who claimed to be a Protestant orphaned in the religious persecutions, sought aid from William's secretary, and William himself ordered that twelve crowns be given him. With this money the perfidious assassin bought firearms and ammunition, and gaining entrance to William's home fired three shots into his body. A few minutes later the "father of his country" lay dead.

The work that William had done was far reaching and had a permanent effect on the fortunes of his country. And to-day a song that was sung at the time in his honor is still the national anthem of the Kingdom of Holland. He was a man of a great heart and a great character; and his fame has lived and grown more lustrous up to the present day.




We will now tell the story of a young girl who became the most famous Queen that the world has ever known and laid the real foundations for the modern greatness of the English nation. The name of this girl was Elizabeth, and the time in which she lived has since been called the Elizabethan Era. For England at that time was rich in the bravest soldiers, the most daring sailors and the greatest men of genius, and Elizabeth knew well how to surround herself with these men and use their great talents to benefit her country.

Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry the Eighth, and his wife, Anne Boleyn. Her childhood was far from being a happy one, for Henry was a cruel tyrant and showed harshness to the princess in many ways. When Elizabeth was only three years old her mother was imprisoned in the Tower of London and then beheaded at King Henry's order, and her own right to succeed him on the throne of England was taken away from her. Then she was sent into the country to be brought up by servants and attendants, and seldom was allowed at the Royal Court.

King Henry married a lady named Catherine Parr and Elizabeth became a favorite with her step-mother. For the first time in her life she received a little affection and kindness. Catherine saw that she had the attention she needed and brought her back to Court, but although she was still only a child something she said or did once more awakened her father's anger, and Elizabeth was sent away in disgrace and not permitted to return until after his death.

A son had been born to Henry the Eighth by another wife named Jane Seymour; and this boy, who was christened Edward, succeeded his father on the throne of England. Elizabeth, who was noted for her demure bearing, was then thirteen years old and became a great favorite with her brother, the boy king, who called her "sweet sister Temperance," and gave many signs of his regard for her. But Edward the Sixth did not live very long. He had a serious disease that wasted him away, and Elizabeth's half sister named Mary, became Queen.

Now Mary was an ardent Catholic, and desired that all England should come under the power of the Catholic Church. To bring this about she persecuted the Protestants in her kingdom mercilessly until anybody who professed to the Protestant faith was in danger of being burned at the stake. Mary, moreover, had married the dismal Spanish King, Philip the Second, who tried to have her treat her subjects as he had done with the people of the Low Countries, until through the efforts of William the Silent, they won their freedom. And Mary was surrounded with advisors who were even more fanatical and cruel than the Queen herself.

One of Mary's first acts when she became Queen was to send for her sister Elizabeth and command her to become a Catholic. Elizabeth had been brought up as a Protestant and believed in the Protestant religion, but to save her life she decided to pretend to obey her sister's order and to adopt the outward forms of the Catholic faith. And then more trouble befell Elizabeth, for due to her sister's harsh rule which had won her the name of "Bloody Mary," a revolt broke out among a number of the English people to place Elizabeth upon the throne. For the Protestants had not been deceived by Elizabeth's pretended conversion. They knew that she was Protestant at heart, and that if she were only Queen the cruel persecutions would straightway be ended. And a young man named Wyatt began a rebellion in Elizabeth's name that was only put down after severe rioting.

Wyatt was captured and stated that the Princess Elizabeth had known of the plot; and Elizabeth was summoned to Mary to explain the accusations against her and prove if possible that she had no share in the undertaking. Elizabeth was very much frightened, and in fact she had every reason to be. She dressed herself all in white as a symbol of her innocence and went through the streets of London on her way to the Queen; and the people gazed at her sadly and shook their heads, for they were afraid that she was going to her death. Mary, who was influenced by her advisers, refused to see her sister and would not listen to her assurances of innocence, and finally an armed guard came before Elizabeth and told her that she must go at once to the Tower of London, where she was to be held a prisoner.

The Tower of London, which is standing to-day, is a gloomy fortress that was built in the time of William the Conqueror, and since that time had been the scene of many tragedies and executions, for the most dangerous political prisoners were confined there. Elizabeth's own mother had been put to death within its solid walls, and Elizabeth had every reason to fear that a similar fate was intended for her by her sister Mary. Guarded by soldiers, the Princess was taken on a boat down the Thames River; but instead of stopping at the usual entrance to the Tower, the boat drew towards a portal known as "Traitor's Gate," where many of the worst prisoners entered, only to meet the axe of the executioner.

"I am no traitor," Elizabeth cried out angrily when she saw where she was, "I will not pass in by way of the gate of Traitors."

And when she was sternly told that she must obey, she added:

"Here lands as true an English subject as ever set foot on these stairs!"

That she was near death she knew very well; and whenever she heard any unusual bustle or stir in the prison courtyard, she tried anxiously to see what was going on there, for she feared that they might be building a scaffold for her execution. And her fears were only too well founded, for the Queen's advisors hated Elizabeth and did not think that Catholic rule in England was safe as long as the Princess was alive. This, rather than the charge of treason that had been trumped up against her, was the real reason for her imprisonment.

On one occasion, we are told, Mary fell ill; and her counselors took the opportunity to have Elizabeth put to death. A warrant for her execution was prepared, and an order was sent to the keeper of the Tower to carry out the punishment at once.

"Where is the Queen's signature?" demanded that official.

"The Queen is too ill to sign it, but it is sent in her name," was the reply.

"Then I will wait until she is well enough to send her order in person," said the keeper,—and Elizabeth's life was saved. For Mary was furious when she learned how her counselors had tried to take the law into their own hands, and in spite of their remonstrances Elizabeth was soon afterward taken from the Tower and set at liberty.

Queen Mary died in 1558, when Elizabeth was twenty-five years old, and as it was known that Elizabeth would now come to the throne, there was great rejoicing throughout England. Bonfires blazed and bells were rung; and in joy at the accession of Elizabeth the people forgot to mourn for the dead Queen, whose gloomy reign and religious cruelties had caused her to be feared and hated everywhere.

From the first day of her reign Queen Elizabeth showed that she was a Protestant at heart and she put an immediate end to religious persecution. But Elizabeth was too shrewd to take any steps that would cause the Catholics to hate her. She wanted the love and respect of her entire people, and always shaped her course in such a way that she could gain the good will of the greatest number of her subjects.

Elizabeth hated war and carried on her rule in such a way that she could avoid it as far as possible. She encouraged trade and commerce and learning and the sciences, and had in her possession long lists of her subjects who had shown great ability, either as soldiers or sailors, or in the fields of art and scholarship. As she rewarded such men richly, the ambition of all Englishmen was to make themselves worthy of being placed on one of these lists.

As a result of this policy, which was almost unparalleled in the history of the world, England began steadily to forge ahead in the occupations of peace, and a number of great and illustrious men sprang into fame. The poet Shakespeare commenced to write his immortal plays, and Spenser and Bacon both made deathless contributions to English literature. The great explorers, Martin Frobisher and Sir Francis Drake, brought back from their voyages priceless knowledge of geography, and many treasures and discoveries to enrich England. The English statesmen Cecil and Walsingham followed a shrewd and far-sighted policy, allowing England to grow strong through the wars of other nations without engaging in them herself, and put a stop to the former extravagant proceedings in which the public money had been wasted.

But in spite of her desire to keep out of war, many troubles beset Elizabeth. In Scotland there was a young queen called Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth's cousin, who claimed the throne of England in addition to her own. Mary had always been the center of trouble and turmoil and had frequently been embroiled with England; and being a Catholic there were many among Elizabeth's subjects who would have been rejoiced to see her on the throne in place of Elizabeth. On one occasion, however, when Mary had been engaged in civil war in Scotland, she was compelled to fly across the Scottish border and throw herself on the protection of the English Queen.

Elizabeth did not dare leave Mary at liberty in England, for she feared the plots that might arise as a result, so Mary was promptly put in prison and kept there for eighteen years, with considerable pomp and state as befitted her high birth, but a captive for all that and one that was closely watched.

Holding Mary a prisoner was, however, a very foolish thing for Elizabeth to do, for at once the Scottish Queen became the subject of conspiracies among the English Catholics. Many of these were detected, and Elizabeth's statesmen urged the Queen to sign Mary's death warrant and put an end once and for all to the cause for internal trouble in England that would continue as long as Mary lived. But Elizabeth was most unwilling to take the life of her own cousin, who had come to England of her own accord for safety, and she continued to keep Mary under lock and key.

At last, however, a plot was discovered in which Mary was not only to be rescued, but placed on the throne of England; and the plot went so far as to plan the murder of Queen Elizabeth. And there was evidence that Mary had actually shared in this conspiracy and to some extent had directed it from her prison. The Scottish Queen was taken to Fotheringay Castle, where she was tried for high treason and sentenced to death, and Elizabeth very reluctantly signed the warrant. So Mary was beheaded, going to her death with a dignity and firmness that have added to her fame throughout the centuries.

These internal troubles were not the only ones that Elizabeth had to contend with. Philip of Spain had tried to marry her after the death of her sister, because he wanted to continue to influence English politics. Elizabeth had refused him and the King of Spain had long been her enemy, and was seeking to bring England back under the Catholic rule. Although outwardly professing friendship, Philip was preparing for war with England. And his ships captured English vessels on the high seas and their crews were sent to torture or death because they were Protestants. England did not sit meekly by and watch these depredations on her seamen. English sailors were as good as any, and often captured Spanish ships in their turn; and Spanish gold frequently found its way to the English treasury, instead of into the coffers of Philip.

England was poor, and had not then come to her full power as a great nation, and Elizabeth did not feel able openly to go to war with Spain, much as she desired to do so. But while she would not give orders for her sailors to attack Spanish ships, she was not a little pleased to have her share of the Spanish gold. Chief among her sailors who brought home treasure in this way were Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake. The last of these was a great friend of Elizabeth's on account of his bold deeds and his great discoveries, and much more is told of him in another chapter of this book. For he not only took many rich ships from Spain, but sailed around the world, bringing back with him great knowledge and gold and gems of priceless value. And although Elizabeth had warned Drake to "see that he did no harm to her good friend, Philip of Spain," she rewarded him richly for his deeds.

The death of Mary Queen of Scots had greatly angered Philip, and the deeds of the English buccaneers filled him with rage. He labored for years collecting a great fleet to invade England, and crowded the decks of his vessels with soldiers. This fleet was called The Invincible Armada and set sail for England in 1588.

Elizabeth rallied her countrymen, and with the utmost coolness and bravery made her preparations for defense. Every Englishman who could wield a sword was called to the defense of his country. Boys of eighteen were enlisted and men of sixty once more became men at arms. For Elizabeth knew that if Philip ever gained a foothold in England, the same terrible scenes would be enacted there that had taken place in the Low Countries.

But the Spanish army never landed in England. When its sails appeared, and it seemed as though it must overwhelm the small English fleet that was opposed to it, Queen Elizabeth on horseback rode among her soldiers, encouraging and cheering them, and urging them to fight to their last drop of blood in defense of their country. But the English fleet, under Sir Francis Drake, put the Spanish ships to flight and sunk a great number of them. And a gale of wind did the rest, wrecking the unwieldy Spanish boats and drowning thousands of Spanish soldiers and sailors.

Elizabeth's courage and the loyalty with which she had been served by her brave subjects had saved England, and never since that time, with the exception of a raid by the American sailor, Paul Jones, have British shores been reached by a foreign foeman. The English nation was changing in Elizabeth's reign more than in any former period, and many blessings were being given to the Queen's subjects that they had never hitherto known. Her reign saw the last vestige of bondage and servitude die out; and men were now allowed to practise the Protestant religion without the constant fear of death. They became, moreover, used to a better manner of living and enjoyed luxuries that their fathers had never known. Of course, from our standards their lives would have seemed poor and rough, but none the less they were a distinct advance over all that had gone before.

The brilliant court kept by Elizabeth was surpassed by no other in all Europe, and the magnificence of her dress had never been equaled. In this respect the Queen resembled her father, Henry the Eighth, who always had loved display. She had a thousand gowns of silk and rich materials, all richly decorated with gold and precious stones. Her hair was bright with gold and gems and in her Palace gold and rare jewels were seen on every side.

The Queen was very fond of traveling in state through England, and on her way would arrange to visit different noblemen in their castles, where they had to provide for her entertainment. These trips were called her "Progresses." And the noblemen selected to entertain her considered themselves unlucky enough, for they had to go to enormous expense to satisfy her whims, and were never sure of her gratitude,—while on the other hand, they were always certain to hear from her if anything displeased her. The most costly banquets, the richest wines, the most brilliant pageants, the most extravagant novelties and flatteries were expected, if not demanded, by the Queen in the course of these entertainments.

Among her courtiers Queen Elizabeth had many favorites and perhaps the worthiest of them was Sir Walter Raleigh. This gentleman was famous for his courtly speech and gentle manners—things that delighted the Queen—as well as for the richness of his apparel. On one occasion in the course of a trip the Queen had to cross a muddy place in the road and hesitated before soiling her delicate slippers, but Sir Walter Raleigh slipped off the rich blue velvet cloak that he wore and cast it in the mud in front of the Queen for her to walk upon. He well knew that she would return the value of the cloak twenty times over in the benefits she would confer on him, and this proved to be the case.

Sir Walter Raleigh was an explorer as well as a courtier, and had been interested in the establishing of a colony in the New World, calling the lands there "Virginia" in honor of the virgin Queen—a name that has lasted to the present day. And from Virginia the potato and tobacco were first brought into England—and Sir Walter Raleigh used to smoke tobacco in a silver pipe, sometimes in the Queen's presence.

The Queen had other favorites beside Sir Walter Raleigh, and chief of these was the Earl of Leicester. It was believed for a time that she would marry him—but this did not come to pass. Another of her favorites was the Earl of Essex, a self-willed and spoiled young man, who frequently had difficulties with the Queen. On one occasion he rudely turned his back on her, and Elizabeth retorted by boxing his ears. Almost always after these affairs Essex left or was sent from Court, but ultimately was pardoned and returned. The Earl of Essex was put in command of troops in Ireland, and word of his mismanagement was soon brought to Elizabeth. When he was recalled and punished he believed that a great wrong had been put upon him and engaged in a conspiracy against the Queen. For this he was imprisoned in the Tower and beheaded.

Elizabeth reigned over England until she was seventy years old. As she grew older she was troubled with ill-health, but her indomitable spirit never failed her. She continued to ride until she had to be lifted to her horse, and she ruled with a firm hand long after her health had failed and she had grown ill and feeble.

But the end of her life was not happy. The throngs of courtiers who had offered her the flattery and homage that were so dear to her, found some excuse or other to go elsewhere and to bow themselves before the feet of James of Scotland, the son of the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots, for James was now the recognized heir to the English throne. One after one Elizabeth's followers deserted her and at times she was found alone and in tears by the few faithful attendants that remained. She could, of course, command attendance, but not the love that she had formerly known—for there was now little to be gained from serving her, and she had, moreover, been made unpopular by the execution of the Earl of Essex, who was loved by the common people.

Elizabeth died in her sleep in 1603, passing away without pain. And we are told that when her coffin was borne to Westminster Abbey, where she was buried, that all the former love of her subjects returned and she was mourned as no sovereign has been mourned before or since her time. And this was only fitting, for in spite of her many faults, her like has seldom been seen upon a throne or in the course of history.




Probably the greatest hero in all Great Britain's naval history is Sir Francis Drake, who carried England's flag to the uttermost corners of the earth and made it glorious when Queen Elizabeth was on the English throne.

Drake was the oldest of a family of twelve sons and was born in Devonshire in 1539. He was an active and adventurous boy, fond of all athletic games and early showing a taste for the sea that seemed to run in his family, for his father had served in the navy in the time of Henry the Eighth, and his cousin, Sir John Hawkins, was sailing to the coast of Guinea to bring back slaves.

The talent that Drake had for the sea was soon observed by the keen-eyed Hawkins, and before long Drake became his apprentice, and quickly learned the ins and outs of seamanship. He rapidly made a name for himself as a brave and skilful sailor, and before long accompanied Hawkins on his trips to Guinea after negro slaves—trips in which Drake was always in the fore when any adventure of a particularly dangerous nature was undertaken. The slave trade was a perfectly honorable calling in those days, and Drake succeeded in it beyond his hopes, amassing much money with which he helped his younger brothers and did many kindnesses for his family.

But the slave trade itself soon grew too small to satisfy Hawkins, who sought a field for broader adventures. All the western ocean lay open to him, and mustering a squadron he offered Drake the command of one of the vessels, which were to go to the West Indies and engage in trading or fighting with the Spaniards, who had at that time almost a monopoly of the waters where Columbus had sailed some seventy years before. Spain and England were not openly at war when Hawkins was planning this voyage, but in unknown waters all law stopped; and it was not infrequent for Spanish and English vessels to fall afoul of each other with little or nothing said about it afterward in the Courts or Embassies. Queen Elizabeth hated the Spaniards and was glad to do them all the mischief she could, but she did not dare to go to war with them at that time or to give too open encouragement to her sea captains. They knew, none the less, that the sight of Spanish gold under English hatches was pleasant to good Queen Bess, and likely to result in honor, wealth and preferment for themselves.

It was on Drake's first expedition to the West Indies that he conceived a hatred for the Spaniards that was to last all his life as the result of the black treachery they played on Hawkins. After cruising along the western coast of what is now Florida, and being unable to find a proper harbor there, Hawkins set sail for Mexico and dropped anchor at a Spanish port in that country. While he was riding at anchor a large fleet of Spanish vessels arrived, and finding the English in possession and holding a strong position, agreed to let them sail away unmolested. Later, however, when the English had consented to these terms and after the Spanish Admiral had entertained the English officers in his own cabin, the Spaniards treacherously attacked the English, killing a number that had gone ashore before they could regain their boats and engaging in a sea fight with Hawkins' squadron, in which the English lost all but two of their ships, the Judith, Drake's vessel, and the Minion, on which Hawkins happened to be when the fight commenced. These two ships escaped and made their way back to England separately, Drake vowing vengeance against the Spaniards. And indeed they had made a dangerous enemy in this bold sailor, who very shortly paid them in full for the base treatment they had given him.

As soon as he was in England Drake commenced fitting out two vessels as raiders for the purpose of harrying Spanish ships in the waters of the West Indies, and if possible to capture the Spanish holdings on land and place them beneath the English flag. Particularly did he desire to get his fingers into the rich heaps of gold that were conveyed by great Spanish ships or galleons back from the New World to the treasury of King Philip.

With these ends in view, Drake landed his men secretly on the coast of Central America near the present location of the Panama Canal; and by a bold surprise attack captured the Spanish town named Nombre de Dios. He was finally compelled to abandon the town, because he was greatly outnumbered by the Spaniards, who, through a mishap in his plans, were enabled to collect their forces and advance against him, but Drake made good this check by another daring plan that was skilfully executed, and that caused great discomfiture to the Spanish officials.

This was nothing less than to ambush and attack the Spanish treasure trains that carried gold and jewels across the Isthmus of Panama,—riches wrung from the natives by Spanish greed. Leaving a small number of men in charge of his ships, Drake advanced into the wild and tropical country of Central America along the route that the treasure trains traveled. When the tinkling of the bells on the harnesses of the pack animals warned him of the approach of the Spaniards who guarded the treasure, Drake concealed his men at the side of the road, and rushing forward with a shout, attacked and captured the train almost before the astonished Spaniards knew that there was an enemy in the vicinity. Rich stores of gold and jewels were found in the mule packs,—more, in fact, than the English men could carry back with them, and with cheers and rejoicing, the little band of adventurers made their way back to the harbor where they had left their ships.

When they reached it, however, no ships were to be seen. They feared that the Spaniards had captured or destroyed their vessels and that they were marooned in a hostile and dangerous country. But Drake, with his characteristic boldness, formed a plan that delivered them from their difficulty. From the logs on the shore he ordered his men to build a raft, and with their hatchets they hewed out oars. A sail was contrived from a large biscuit sack, and with a few of his best men Drake put to sea on this strange craft, searching for his ships. The raft had been built so hurriedly that at times he was up to his waist in water, but he was rewarded at last by finding his two vessels safe and sound in a little cove where they had been taken to avoid some Spanish warships that were in the neighborhood.

Returning to his men at the helm of his own vessel, the treasure was soon aboard, and with a large cargo of gold, silver and sparkling jewels Drake headed for England, where a rousing welcome was given him. Elizabeth, however, did not dare openly to approve of an act that secretly brought her the utmost satisfaction. For the time at any rate Drake got little thanks for his exploits—and there was even talk of returning the captured treasure to the Spaniards.

Drake then engaged in a war in Ireland, where he proved himself almost as good a soldier as he was a sailor; but even while enjoying his congenial occupation of fighting he longed to set forth on another great adventure, the idea of which had come to him while in the Central American jungle from which he had first set eyes on the far-off waters of the Pacific Ocean.

This idea was to carry the English flag through the Strait of Magellan and bear the colors of Queen Bess to waters where they had never been seen before. Up to that time only the Spanish had rounded South America and brought their civilization to its northwestern shores, and the new venture, if successful, would mean much to England. But Drake feared that the Queen would not approve of the idea, and for a time cherished it only in his own mind, waiting a more favorable opportunity to lay it before the Queen.

In the meantime he fell in with an English army officer named Thomas Doughty, who became his close friend. Doughty was greatly interested in Drake's idea of sailing the Pacific, and promised to get Sir Christopher Hatton, one of Elizabeth's most influential advisors, to intercede for Drake with the Queen. Hatton talked with Drake and cordially approved the plan; and in a short time, in command of a squadron of five tight little vessels Drake sailed westward, while the trumpets blared and the cannon boomed in his honor.

Drake himself was in command of a little ship which he called the Golden Hind, and Doughty was his second in command over the entire squadron. The ships were admirably fitted out for those times, with every necessity and every comfort and luxury. Drake and his officers dined from silver dishes on the choicest food and wines. His stores included materials for trading with the natives, as well as all the scientific instruments then applied to the art of navigation.

After sinking some unimportant Spanish ships, the English squadron captured a large Portuguese galleon, from which they took a valuable treasure. The Portuguese had been unfriendly to the English on more than one occasion, and this was Drake's way of informing them that such had been the case. And after a long voyage he came to the mouth of the River de la Plata in South America, dropping anchor at the entrance to that great stream. Fires blazed on the shore and weird figures were seen dancing around the flames. They were the savage natives, praying to their heathen gods for the shipwreck of Drake's party, for they believed that by their prayers and fires a host of devils would alight upon the English vessels and destroy them. Drake himself was too eager to continue his voyage to think of landing, and pointed his prows southward, bound for the Strait of Magellan.

After a battle with the gigantic and savage Patagonians, in which Drake saved his men from massacre by his usual quick decision and energy, he continued his voyage until trouble that had developed in his crew compelled him to take action against his friend and lieutenant, Doughty. It seems that even before they sailed from England, Doughty had become jealous of Drake and had commenced to work for his undoing. And now proofs were only too evident that he had tried to provoke a mutiny in the crew.

He was called before a court consisting of Drake's officers and was found guilty. And then Drake, in spite of his grief that he had been deceived by his most trusted friend, decided that stern measures were necessary to preserve his authority over the men. He told Doughty that he had but one course to take and that was to punish him for his crime. But he gave him the choice of three fates,—to be executed then and there, or put ashore to fend for himself among the savages, or to be cast in chains into the hold of the ship and tried by his peers on the return to England.

The unhappy Doughty asked time to think over what he should choose, and this was granted. On the following morning he was taken before Drake and with courageous mien declared that he preferred to be executed rather than be left among the savages or taken home as a prisoner. And in a few hours and before the entire company Doughty met his fate, but he did not place his head upon the block until he had sat at dinner with Drake himself and shared communion with him. And after this Drake continued his voyage, until he found himself at the southernmost part of South America.

Beating his way through the dangerous Strait of Magellan, Drake tried to sail northward, but was driven back by severe gales and contrary winds until it seemed as though the spirit of the new ocean had arisen in wrath, forbidding his further progress. He was even driven south of the strait to Cape Horn, where he landed and looked from the southernmost pinnacle of the cape to the mysterious southern sea, declaring triumphantly that he had been farther south than any man in the world and had placed his foot on the extreme of the new continent. Then all at once the weather changed and Drake sailed rapidly up the coast.

By this time only one ship remained to him, for storms had scattered his squadron and he had destroyed one of his own ships, thinking he had too many to hold together. Another basely deserted him in the Strait and sailed back to England. In the Golden Hind, however, he himself met all obstacles and continued his voyage where no English keel had ever cut water before.

Coming to the northern part of South America, Drake was given word by the natives that a Spanish galleon with a cargo of treasure lay near at hand, and swooping down on the great vessel before the Spaniards were aware of his presence he captured it and transferred the treasure to the Golden Hind. He then got news of a second galleon which he pursued, and when he boarded her discovered that she too bore rich bars of gold and silver destined for the treasure house of the King of Spain. He had now accomplished his purpose and sailed in the Pacific. He had beneath his hatches a treasure that would have gladdened the heart of Midas—a harvest of the yellowest gold and whitest silver—of sparkling gems, rich silks and spices, and many costly curios that he had gathered in his voyage. He believed, however, that the Spaniards would be watching the Strait and Cape Horn to intercept him, and planned to try to find a passage around the northern part of the continent. In sailing north he dropped anchor at a harbor not far from the Golden Gate, and here he had his first experience with North American Indians.

He found these savages very different from the treacherous natives of South America. They greeted him with the utmost ceremony, treating him as a god and bringing him a profusion of gifts of various kinds. With Indian guides, the English hunted and slew the deer with which the region abounded and shared the wigwams of the redskins in ceremonial gatherings. When they finally took their departure the savages made bitter lamentation and stood on the hilltops waving their farewells until the sails of Drake's little ship had sunk beneath the horizon.

Drake had now altered his plan of sailing north and had conceived the bolder project of sailing directly across the Pacific Ocean to the Far East, from which he could proceed to the Cape of Good Hope and skirt the Coast of Africa. So he resolutely turned his prow into an unknown sea, and after sixty-eight days sighted land.

Again the savages crowded around his ship in their canoes, but they were far different from the Indians of California. These men were naked with blackened teeth and sullen looks. Finding the ship not to their liking, they loosed a shower of stones, to which Drake responded by firing one of his cannon, which frightened them until they fell out of their canoes into the water, and remained there until the Golden Hind had sailed away.

Drake stopped at many islands and traded with the natives he met there. He visited the Philippines and an island called Terenate, where he received a native king who called on him with the utmost pomp and ceremony. This potentate was surrounded with grave old men with white beards, who believed in the Mohammedan religion, and they welcomed Drake as though he himself were a mighty king.

At the court of the King of Terenate Drake discovered a Chinaman, who professed to be of royal blood, and gave him a courteous invitation to visit the Emperor of China. But Drake was eager to get home and continued his voyage as quickly as possible. He stopped at Java, and then made for the Cape of Good Hope—which his followers declared was the fairest and most goodly cape in all the world, and the most welcome to set eyes on. Rounding the Cape, he directed his course for Sierra Leone and the Coast of Guinea, and, coming into waters that he knew, he continued northward until the shores of England were sighted from his masthead. And at last he dropped anchor triumphantly in Plymouth harbor after a voyage that had lasted three years.

He had suffered from tempest, battle and shipwreck, and on one occasion had run his vessel on the rocks while in Asiatic waters. He had taken a princely fortune from the Spaniards and engaged in fierce combats with them. He had accomplished more as a geographer and navigator than any Englishman up to his time, and had taken the English flag where it had never been seen before. And as a result of these exploits all England rang with his fame, songs were composed in his honor and he was considered to be more than human by many people who held that only by magic could he have accomplished a voyage so miraculous.

Elizabeth did not receive him with open favor at first; but her heart was high within her at Drake's success. At last she informed him that it was her pleasure to dine with him on the Golden Hind, which you may be sure was scoured and garnished for the occasion as never before. In the ship's cabin Elizabeth and her courtiers feasted with Drake and his officers, and at the end of the dinner she asked the Captain for his sword—a sword that she herself had presented to him before his departure for the west, and tapping him with it on the shoulder as he knelt before her, she knighted him, and left his ship, while Drake himself remained on board to rejoice at the honor that had been bestowed on him.

The dauntless skipper had returned in the nick of time to be of further service to his country, for England at last went openly to war with Spain, and Drake was put in command of a fleet to harry Spanish commerce. There were rumors of a great fleet that was being gathered by King Philip to invade England, but Drake met them more than half way and sailing into Spanish harbors inflicted such a blow on King Philip's navy that it took more than a year for him to get his ships again in such a condition that he could sail against English shores. As we have already told you in the last chapter, the King of Spain did at last send a mighty fleet of more than one hundred and fifty great galleons to invade England and conquer the country. It was the proudest array of ships that the world had ever seen up to that time, with Spain's greatest sailors and generals in command and a force of veteran soldiers aboard that was thought to be irresistible.

Drake was at a game of bowls with Sir Walter Raleigh and Martin Frobisher when word was brought to him that the Spanish fleet had been sighted. The others quickly left their sport and were hurrying toward the harbor when Drake called after them and brought them back.

"There's plenty of time to finish the game and beat the Spaniards afterward," he said, laughing.

He was as good as his word, and as one of the chief commanders of the English navy, he did more than any other man to humble Spain's great fleet and weaken her power on the sea. While the great Spanish galleons were huddled in confusion the swift English vessels bore down on them and raked them from stem to stern with musketry and cannon fire, sinking a great many vessels and throwing the entire fleet into hopeless disorder. The English also deftly maneuvered so that the Spaniards would be driven upon dangerous reefs, and shipwreck complete the havoc in the ranks of the hostile Armada. Drake's fire ships, like roaring furnaces, bore down on the Spaniards under full sail, and the light of the flames was reflected against the clouds as the galleons blew up and burned.

A terrible gale completed what the English began and the Spanish ships drove on the rocks by scores, where their crews were dashed to pieces or were killed or captured after making their way to shore. Spain's dream of conquering England was at an end and Spain's supremacy upon the seas was ended also in favor of her younger rival.

This was the crowning point of Drake's career and greatness. He was, most naturally, a national figure, the darling of the people and the court. Later he engaged in further voyages, but did not meet with his earlier success, and in 1596 he died at sea not very far from the scene of his first victories and the location of the modern Panama Canal. He was buried with high honors, and his coffin was lowered into the sea draped in the English flag, while English guns thundered a salute in honor of the great naval hero.

All England mourned when they heard of his fate, and the Golden Hind was ordered by the Queen to be preserved with scrupulous care in memory of the marvelous journey it had made. When it, too, grew old and had to be broken up, a chair was made from its planks and sent to Oxford University, where it can be seen to the present day as a memorial of Drake's mighty achievements,—feats that stand in a class by themselves, and that will be hard to duplicate to the end of time.




When James the First was King of England, and four years after the death of the great Queen Elizabeth, there existed an English and Russian trading company of wealthy merchants which was known as the Muscovy Company—an association of great influence that desired to extend its commerce to far-off China, whose wealth in those days was considered to be fabulous. All the maritime nations of Europe desired to gain the China trade and to bring to their own ports the rich silks and spices of the Orient. All of them were seeking for some quick and easy route for sailing vessels from Europe to China, and fortunate indeed would be that nation whose sailors first discovered such a passage! Therefore, in the year 1607, the Muscovy Company tried to find some sea captain who would undertake a voyage of discovery to find a quicker way to the Far East than around the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa.

Now at that very time there chanced to be living a mariner named Henry Hudson, who commanded a small coasting vessel which was anchored near the mouth of the River Thames. He heard of the offer made by the Muscovy Company and offered his services. And partly because the merchants believed him to be a capable seaman and partly because no other sailor volunteered for this dangerous mission, Henry Hudson was given command of the little ship called the Hopewell, and with a small crew set out to find the way to China by the northeast, hoping to skirt the northern shore of Russia and then sail south into Oriental seas along the Asiatic coast.

Nobody knows to-day who Hudson was or what his life had been up to the time when he entered the service of the Muscovy Company. Over three hundred years ago he suddenly appeared as a brave and capable sailor and explorer, only to disappear in the great bay in northern Canada that now bears his name, when he was deserted and left to certain death by a mutinous and cowardly crew. We do not know what he looked like, for no portrait of him has been preserved; we do not know who were the members of his family, for no records of them have been kept. All we know is that this master mariner sailed farther north than any sailor of his day—farther north, indeed, than any sailor who succeeded him for nearly three hundred years—and what is still more important, that he explored the great river now called the Hudson, on whose shore stands one of the mightiest cities of the world.

The Hopewell was a little ship, about the size of the smallest fishing vessels of to-day; and had been used many years before by another great explorer and a friend of Sir Francis Drake's named Martin Frobisher. That Hudson was able in this tiny craft to penetrate farther into the arctic wilderness than the great square-rigged ships and the strongly built steamers of the nineteenth century, is almost beyond belief. But the fact that he did so is not to be doubted, and the results of his voyages into those icy and deserted seas bore almost as great fruit as though he had discovered the passage to China that he hoped for.

First Hudson sailed north and then east, to the coast of what is now called Spitzbergen, after which he sailed along the shore of Greenland to the north. He tried to round the northern end of Greenland, but the great ice floes blocked his progress. Everywhere were icebergs and cliffs of solid ice, grinding against each other with a wicked roar on the great seas, and always was there fog born of the ice, or heavy gales that tossed the little Hopewell like a feather. After trying for many days to sail where no ship has ever sailed, Hudson finally gave up the attempt, and, bitterly disappointed, turned his prow toward England, where he reported to the Muscovy Company that great numbers of whales sported in the icy waters near Spitzbergen—a report that afterward resulted in the great whale fisheries of that locality and untold wealth for the ships and companies that pursued them. But Hudson had done more than he realized. Not only had he reached a latitude of eighty-one degrees, fifty minutes, north, but he brought back important information that there was no hope of reaching Asia in the direction he had followed.

The merchants of the Muscovy Company were disappointed, but they still believed that the passage to China could be found, and in 1608 Hudson set sail again, determined this time to find the great waterway that would make his name and fortune. But again he was doomed to failure and returned with even less to show than on the previous voyage. He did, however, bring back a curious tale that added to the superstitious sea lore of those times, for two of his sailors one morning when looking over the side of the vessel beheld what they declared was a mermaid—with a white skin and a tail like a mackerel, long, black hair, and a back and breast like a woman's. For a long time, these mendacious mariners insisted, the mermaid (who is believed to have been a seal) swam beside the vessel looking earnestly into their eyes, but at last a sea overturned her and she dove deep and disappeared from view.

When Hudson returned again with nothing to show for his bravery and daring, the Muscovy Company was not willing to fit him out for a third voyage. The fame of his exploits, however, had traveled throughout Europe, and he was summoned to Holland by a group of wealthy merchants who asked him to try once more in any direction he saw fit, and in the interests of the Dutch East India Company.

This time Hudson was to succeed, although in a way that he little dreamed of—and certainly a way that was far removed from the discovery of a sea route to China. In a little vessel called the Half Moon, and with a crew of about a score of Englishmen and Hollanders, he set sail on April 5, 1609, with high hopes that at last he would find the passage he had so long and patiently sought for.

At first it looked as though he was doomed once more to failure. After cruising for a month he found himself in the icy reaches of Barents Sea, and then the Half Moon was caught in the ice and only saved from being crushed to splinters by a favorable breeze that sprang up just as the jaws of the ice floes were closing on the little vessel. So far Hudson had accomplished nothing, and his crew was dissatisfied and rebellious. They were unwilling to continue the voyage in the north and desired a quick return to Holland. But Hudson knew that if he put back with another failure to his credit, his reputation would be lost forever and he would never get another opportunity to engage in exploration; so, to pacify the crew, and at the same time to accomplish something that might meet with favor in the eyes of his patrons, he suggested that they sail for North America and try to discover the passage through a waterway that lay to the north of the British possessions in Virginia.

When the Half Moon was being buffeted by a gale off the coast of Newfoundland the foremast was carried away, and Hudson sailed southwest along the coast of Nova Scotia, anchoring at last in what is now known as the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine.

Here his men landed and sought a mast for the ship in the virgin forest that ran down to the edge of the salt water. Here too they met their first Indians, and treated them with suspicion and distrust. Hudson himself met the natives kindly and always established good relations with them, but his ignorant crew, particularly his mate, whose name was Juet, believed that the natives were only waiting to do them some violence and treachery, and with this in mind the sailors drove the Indians into the forest and plundered their wigwams, taking whatever was valuable back to the Half Moon. Hudson could do little or nothing to prevent them, for at this time the ill feeling of his men had grown to such an extent that he was only nominally in command and had little or no control over his lawless followers.

With a new mast in place the Half Moon set sail from the Penobscot and bore away to the south, passing Cape Cod which had been discovered a short time before by Bartholomew Gosnold, and continuing on a southern course until it reached a point beyond Chesapeake Bay. Then Hudson turned his prow north once more and entered the bay itself, thinking that it might possibly be the entrance to the passage that he sought; but finding it too shallow for convenient navigation he turned north again and sailed up the Jersey coast, coming at last to the mouth of a great harbor, which he thought, for a brief time only, might be on the way to China and the east.

He found himself, however, in one of the most wonderful waterways of the entire world. There were many tribes of Indians around the shores and these paddled out in their canoes with offerings of wampum and green tobacco in return for which they received bits of glass and iron hoes and hatchets. They were filled with amazement at the appearance and clothes of the white men and it was only after overcoming great fear that they dared to approach the Half Moon at all.

But the suspicion and doubt of Hudson's crew, particularly of the surly Juet, again made itself manifest, and after many of the party had landed some outrage must have been committed, for the Indians made an attack on the Half Moon with bows and arrows, killing one of the crew. The sailors built a barricade above the bulwarks to protect the men from further encounters, and Hudson proceeded up the harbor. He landed at the lower point of Manhattan Island and made a ceremonial visit to the Indians, who were doubtless of a different tribe from those that attacked him, for in that day there were many nations in the vicinity of Manhattan, some fierce and warlike and others peace-loving and friendly.

After exchanging gifts with the Indians and plying them with drink whose unaccustomed sensations filled them with fear, amazement and joy, Hudson continued his voyage up the noble river, anchoring at frequent intervals. More trouble soon occurred between his crew and the savages, for Juet the mate shot and killed an Indian who was attempting to steal some trifle from the cabin of the Half Moon. There followed a fight in which no less than twelve Indians were killed by Hudson's men; the redskins were getting their first taste of white man's rule, and coming with gifts they were met with gunfire. What was more natural than for one of the ignorant savages to steal some of the amazing trifles that were displayed in the Half Moon's cabin? Death was certainly an unjust penalty.

Up the river for one hundred and fifty miles Hudson steered his course, trading with the natives as soon as he was removed from the scenes of the recent outrage. His writings show no surprise or delight at the wonderful scenery and the virgin forests and the giant river that he beheld, but is a record of soundings with an occasional remark that the trees would make good timbers for vessels and casks. Rich furs, green tobacco and long strings of gay and polished shells called wampum were gladly exchanged by the Indians for bits of colored glass, beads, hatchets and knives, commencing a trade that was later extensively carried on in the north by the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and at the mouth of the river by the Dutch settlers.

At last the water became too shoal for further exploration and Hudson returned downstream. It was time to conclude his voyage and he consulted his men. They were greatly averse to returning to Holland, fearing without doubt that he would report their open mutiny and rebellious conduct as soon as they arrived. Hudson feared for his life, and indeed his fears were well founded; but with considerable astuteness he proposed that they return not to Holland but Ireland—a suggestion that was eagerly hailed by the crew. They set sail from Manhattan in October, and on November 7 arrived at Dartmouth, England, where Hudson had taken his vessel either through accident or design.

He sent word of his arrival to the Dutch East India Company and received an order to proceed to Holland without delay—but when he was about to set sail the English forbade him to do so and he was ordered henceforth to serve his own country and not to give help to a foreign power.

Already, though he had little idea of it, he had accomplished more than enough to rank him as the foremost explorer of his time, and his name was assured of immortality. He had opened up to the advances of the Dutch settlers a country enormously rich in natural resources and laid the primary foundation of perhaps the world's most wonderful city. He had established a "farthest north" that has only been equaled by modern explorers, and his voyages near Spitzbergen had resulted in profitable fisheries.

But Hudson was not yet satisfied, and indeed his recent voyage had impelled the English to equip him again for further explorations. They gave him a little vessel of some fifty-five tons named the Discovery and a mixed crew of Englishmen and Dutchmen, with whom he put forth once more in 1610 to see if an opening into southern seas could be found by means of the waterways discovered by the explorer, Davis.

Among these sailors, to Hudson's cost, was his former surly mate, Juet, and a young ne'er-do-well named Henry Greene, who had been cast off by his family for his evil ways and his dissolute living. Hudson had befriended this young man and had offered him a refuge in his own house—and now, to keep him out of mischief, took him along as a member of his crew. With the explorer also was a boy, John Hudson, who was undoubtedly his son and who had served under him as cabin boy on previous voyages.

That Hudson, for all his great qualities, was not a leader of men like the American Paul Jones, who could make convicts and prisoners of war serve him in battle against his enemies; and that he had always controlled his crew with a loose hand seems amply borne out by the events that took place on this voyage, which was destined to prove his last. Almost before he had quitted the river Thames he commenced to have trouble with his crew, sending one unruly member ashore before he was out of sight of land.

He turned his prow toward Iceland where he caught a great many fish and wild fowl and where he and his followers saw Mount Hecla, the volcano, pouring flame upon the snows. He then set sail for Greenland, rounded Cape Desolation and after a long and wearisome voyage found himself at last in the great body of water in northern Canada that is now called Hudson Bay. This he thought might be at last the long sought passage, for the great waterway ran toward the south. And Hudson, sailing onward, found himself at last in its southernmost part—a pocket now called James Bay. Storms were frequent and heavy fogs rolled upon him incessantly. On one occasion he anchored in a gale and lay buffeting enormous seas for eight long days. When he tried to hoist anchor against the wishes of the crew a great wave broke directly over the bow, breaking upon the deck with such force that all the men were swept from their feet and several were injured. The anchor was lost and only the quickness of the carpenter saved the cable, which he cut with an ax as it was running over the side. Staggering in the heavy sea the Discovery sailed northward, for Hudson had at last become convinced that no passage led to the orient through Hudson Bay.

Ice retarded them and they were compelled to seek winter quarters. Their provisions were nearly gone and all that saved their lives was skill in hunting whereby they secured several hundred white partridges, or ptarmigan. Discontent and mutiny were breaking out among the members of the crew, and the ringleader against Hudson was young Henry Greene whom he had befriended and fed at his own table. A house was built for winter quarters, but it was badly constructed and the biting Arctic blast swept through it, chilling to the bone the bodies that were weakened with hunger. In the spring, when the mariners were able once again to resume the voyage, they were at death's door from starvation.

What little food was left was distributed by Hudson, and, we are told, he wept as he doled it out. Disappointed in his hopes of a successful voyage, weakened with hunger and with a crew in almost open mutiny, it is not to be wondered at if he spoke harshly at times to his men and added to the grudge they harbored against him. The most assiduous of all in their efforts to do him injury was Henry Greene, his former beneficiary.

A plot was conceived to put Hudson and all the sick members of the crew in the shallop or small boat that the Discoverer carried and turn them adrift, and all the details of this were worked out by Greene and some other leading spirits among the mutineers. Hudson was seized and bound; the sick were told to get up from their bunks and take their places in the shallop. Even the boy, John Hudson, was placed there also,—and the carpenter, who preferred to face death with his master rather than remain with the mutineers, was put aboard as well. Then the painter was cut, and without food, clothing or provisions, Hudson and his companions floated away amid the ice fields. They were never seen again.

The mutineers sailed homeward and secured some provisions at islands on the way where they found fish and wild fowl. It is a satisfaction to know that they were attacked by the natives and that Greene and several others were killed. The survivors, after a terrible voyage, reached Ireland and then made their way to England. Although they were questioned closely regarding Hudson's fate, little or no punishment was visited on them and some of them even took part in later expeditions. And so perished by base treachery one of the bravest and most brilliant sailors that the world has ever seen, for Hudson died either in the melancholy reaches of Hudson Bay or on some bleak shore where he was cast away. But though he died miserably he still lives, for his achievements are immortal.




At a time when the famous House of Romanoff had only recently come into power in Russia, a prince was born in the Kremlin Palace at Moscow who was destined to become the greatest ruler that the Russian people have ever known. The name of this prince was Peter and he was the son of the Czar Alexis.

Alexis was a kind-hearted man, but preferred to leave the arduous duties of governing the Russian State to his advisors. As he was easily influenced by any favorite who happened to gain his ear the Government was badly run and the condition of the people was deplorable indeed. When the Empress, or Czarina, had borne her husband two sons and a daughter she died, and Alexis married a second wife named Natalia Naryshkin, who became the mother of the infant Peter in 1672.

We are told that there were great festivities at Peter's christening. Most of the great nobles of Russia were present and there was feasting and merrymaking. The guests wondered at the great confections of candy and spice that had been made for the celebration—life-size swans all of sugar that looked so natural it seemed as though they could swim in the sea of wine that flowed there, and fortresses of sweetmeats made to resemble the buildings of Moscow.

There are many stories, too, of the pomp and luxury in which the future Czar was brought up. Peter had his own apartments and his own train of attendants, and he was waited on by a band of dwarfs who were selected for this purpose. When he was three years old the Czar gave him a royal carriage of tiny size drawn by four ponies, and sitting therein, driven and accompanied by his dwarfs, the little Prince would appear in the public streets whenever a royal ceremony took place.

His father died when Peter was four years old and was succeeded on the throne by Feodor, who was Peter's half brother. This prince was not fitted to rule. He was sickly in body and weak in intellect, as indeed were both of the Czar's sons by his first marriage. And the new Czar spent a large part of his time in bed while his sister Sophia, who was shrewder than himself, was the actual ruler of Russia.

Sophia had planned to make herself Empress by the cleverest plotting and intrigue. She nursed Feodor in his illnesses and so endeared herself to him that he allowed her to do whatever she desired. Among the nobility she gained a number of friends by gifts, smiles and flattery, and she paid particular attention to winning over a body of soldiers that formed the Imperial Guard, and were called the Streltsi, trying to enlist them in her cause by every means in her power.

Sophia, it may be said, was base-hearted and treacherous. She did not wish her father to marry again for she feared there would be more children, and she desired to come to power after his death by managing the affairs of her two weak brothers. Feodor, as we have seen, was a hopeless invalid; and the other son, Ivan, was weak-minded, almost an idiot, manifestly incapable of ever coming to the throne.

But Peter, the son of the second marriage, was a strong and promising child, handsome in body and powerful in mind. He was the hope of the Russian State, and gave every indication that he would some day become a ruler worthy of his people. And while he was still a young boy the sickly Feodor died and Peter became the Czar much sooner than was expected.

Sophia was most unwilling to have Peter reign. She knew that under such a ruler as he promised to become there would be small chance of her keeping her power. So, when Feodor died, she planned a revolt by spreading falsehoods among the nobles and the Imperial Guard to the effect that Peter's mother had planned to place her son on the throne by any means whatever and had murdered the idiot Prince Ivan so that Peter might rule unquestioned.

At this a mob made its way to the Kremlin, determined to take and slay both Peter and his mother, and foremost among the infuriated people were the soldiers of the Imperial Guard who were influenced by Sophia. The former Czarina with Peter in her arms was compelled to flee for refuge to a monastery where the soldiers followed her as far as the altar itself, but feared to use their swords in the house of God.

So many of the nobles, however, supported Peter and his mother, that Sophia could not work her wicked will upon them, and at last it was agreed that both Peter and Ivan should reign jointly as Czars, while Sophia herself was to be Regent, with all the power in her hands until they should come of age.

Sophia then worked out another plot by which she hoped that Peter would never really rule. She planned to weaken him in body and will until he should be unfit for his high duties. She took away his instructors and surrounded him with a group of boys to whom she gave every luxury and every opportunity for vice and idleness. They did as they liked from morning to night and no restraint of any kind or description was placed upon them. Sophia hoped that they would all become worthless and vicious and that Peter would do the same. Perhaps, she thought, he might even weaken himself by drinking bouts and riotous orgies so that he would not even live to claim the actual power of the throne.

It was in the company of these boys, however, that Peter gave the first signs that he was not only bright and capable but possessed the qualities of real greatness. Instead of doing nothing, as Sophia had wickedly hoped, he soon became a natural leader among his companions. Although he had no instructors he kept up his studies and made his fellows do likewise, and he organized the group of boys into a military company which he drilled with the greatest care, teaching them tactics and the theories of soldiering, which he obtained from the officers of the army, and organizing a military school of such excellence that it continued on a practical basis long after he became Czar.

The constant efforts of the young Prince to improve himself, his zeal, energy and ability soon attracted the attention of the Russian noblemen, who said to themselves that here was a ruler worth having. Many of them had been Sophia's friends, but now they began to turn toward Peter, and Sophia soon saw that the design she had entertained was a two-edged one, and that she had only injured herself.

Peter now was a youth of eighteen, and had a strong party of noblemen ready to support him in his claims to power. His friends and counselors desired that he marry, and soon the Princess Eudoxia Lopukhin became his bride. Sophia, of course, had been unwilling that the marriage take place, but she couldn't prevent it; and from that time onward her power grew less each day.

The young Prince continued to show every indication of his energy and ability. He worked in the shipyards to learn ship building, and he studied military tactics at every opportunity. He had a company of soldiers formed, who dressed in European uniform instead of in the Asiatic garb of Russia. He himself had drilled as a private in this company. He was fond of taking long trips for military purposes as well as for shipbuilding, and continued to do so after his marriage.

At about this time Russia engaged in an unsuccessful war in the Crimea. The Russian General, Golitzyn, claimed that he had accomplished wonders and ought to be decorated, but Peter's knowledge of military matters had made him thoroughly disgusted with the campaign. He refused to sign the order for the General's medals, and showed that he knew the war had been a failure and had failed through faulty strategy and bad leadership.

Then there took place another plot to assassinate Peter, and once again Sophia's friends, the Imperial Guard, were in the foreground. Some of the soldiers, however, were faithful to the young Czar and warned him in time to fly for his life, and once again he and his mother took refuge in the monastery that had sheltered him when he was an infant.

Noblemen hastened to the place to assure Peter that they were loyal to him and devoted to his interests. And while still in the monastery Peter accused Sophia of having planned the deed. The Imperial Guard at last went over to him and the ringleaders of the plot were disclosed and executed. General Golitzyn, who had already been in disfavor on account of his operations in the Crimea, was banished to the desolate reaches of Siberia, and the evil-hearted Sophia was placed in a convent for the good of her soul, where she remained until her dying day.

After this Peter took on himself the full power of the Czar and began the great reforms that have made his name famous and were still working in Russia when the World War commenced in 1914. He ordered that mechanics and craftsmen from all parts of Europe be brought into Russia to show the Russian people improved methods of trade, building and manufacture. He made it easy to buy the merchandise of other countries, so the Russians might learn how to make such things themselves, and he traveled widely in his great Empire supervising industry and introducing new methods. He turned his attention to the Army and had it well and efficiently drilled and dressed in the style of the armies of England and France and other great western nations. He took long voyages on the sea to learn the craft of sailoring, and made plans for various ports and shipping centers in his country. And for his own amusement the Czar was passionately fond of working with his own hands and making various things that can be seen to the present day.

When Peter was twenty-two his mother died, and soon after this time he ceased to live with his wife, who entered a convent. He had never cared for her, although she had loved him passionately; and his treatment of her was harsh to say the least. In one way Peter's early training had done its work and Sophia had molded his character for the worse. He was reckless and dissolute, a heavy drinker and fond of wild orgies that lasted long after daybreak. Unusually strong himself these excesses did not injure his health to any great extent, but it was hard for those who had to drink with him, for the Czar expected them to go about their affairs the next day as though they had spent the night in restful sleep instead of some wild revel, and it is said that he had no use for a man who would not join in the revels or who allowed himself to be affected by them on the following day.

When still a young man there was another attempt to murder him, and to place Sophia on the throne, but the plot was discovered and all the conspirators were put to death, some of them with barbarous cruelties.

In 1695 the Russians went to war against the Turks and the wild Tartars. The war is not an important one in its bearing on history, but Peter won fame through all civilized Europe for the skill with which he handled his army and the way in which he conducted the siege of a town called Azov.

He then made up his mind to go to western Europe and visit the great nations he had always admired. He went in great state and pretended that he was bound on a diplomatic mission, but it is thought that the real reason for the trip was his desire to see new forms and methods in the mechanical arts. He visited what is now modern Germany and went to Holland, where for a time he worked in one of the shipyards as a common carpenter, dressed in a workman's clothes. He was keenly interested in everything, and one of his biographers tells us that he even learned dentistry and practiced his skill on the servants that accompanied him.

Peter went to England and was surprised and delighted to see the fine metal coins that were used in that nation, as the Russian money was printed on small bits of leather, and on his return he introduced metal money into Russia. He also visited Vienna and Paris, and traveled in disguise as much as possible.

While away on this trip another revolt broke out against him, and Peter was obliged to hurry home on account of it. The conspirators were treated with the utmost severity and were tortured and killed. There are many ugly stories about the way that Peter behaved in regard to his enemies, although it is true that they had given him ample provocation, and it is said that when he was under the influence of drink he put to death a number of conspirators with his own hand.

Peter, with his great love of shipbuilding, was always planning to establish a Russian navy and build new seaports. To assure himself control of the Russian seacoast of the Baltic sea he went to war with Charles the Tenth of Sweden, and finally built the city of Saint Petersburg that was named in his honor—a name that was changed to Petrograd at the beginning of the World War. The war went against Peter at first, but he trained his soldiers until they could achieve future victory, and when the Swedes invaded Russia they found Peter more than ready for them. With the efficient army that he had built up the Swedes were badly beaten at the battle of Pultowa and were compelled to withdraw from Russia, after sustaining terrible losses.

It is not on account of his wars, however, but his reforms, that the name of Peter the Great is so well known to-day. He was constantly changing and improving the order of things in his country. He went so far as to require that the Russian civilians abandon the Asiatic dress of their forefathers and cut their beards, and he, more than any other man, transformed Russia from an eastern into a western nation.

Peter had divorced his wife after the revolt which took place when he was visiting other nations, as he believed, or wished to believe, that she had a share in the plot, and he now married a beautiful woman of low degree named Catherine who was called Catherine the First. He had one son by his first wife, who was named Alexis, but the Prince had always given him serious trouble and finally tried to hatch a revolt against his own father. For this Alexis was tried and condemned to death, but he fell ill and died before the sentence could be pronounced, asking and receiving forgiveness from Peter on his deathbed.

Peter himself died in 1725 after a sudden illness. His funeral was so elaborate that it was six weeks before the ceremonies were concluded, for he had won a place in the hearts of the Russians that he never lost. He was beyond any doubt the greatest and most famous of the Russian Czars, and he left Russia in a far better position than when he came to the throne. In addition to introducing all kinds of mechanical reform he won a seaboard on the Baltic and Black seas which Russia had never before possessed; he built great cities and established many political reforms which were the beginning of the modern Russian nation. He had trained an efficient army and was the father of the Russian navy. While possessed of many faults and of a savage, ruthless nature, the elements of greatness and of heroism were strong within him.




Ever since the Declaration of Independence George Washington has been the greatest figure in the history of the United States of America, and it is certain that he will continue to be so for hundreds of years to come. In all history there is no parallel to the dignity, the majesty, the mightiness of his achievement, and no other man who has built a monument of greatness so enduring as his.

He was born in Virginia in 1732, on the 22d of February. His father was Augustine Washington and his mother was a second wife named Mary Ball. The Washingtons were prominent and influential people in Virginia and had lived there for many years.

In spite of this not a great deal is known about Augustine Washington, although it is certain that he was an upright and honorable gentleman, but George's mother was famous for her good sense as well as her beauty. Her family was a large one; there had been children by the first wife also, and as Augustine Washington died when George was a little boy, she was forced to rear this family without a husband's help.

Perhaps the responsibility that fell on George after his father's death may have helped to develop his character. At all events there are many stories about his boyhood in which he seems far older than his years. Letters and history both tell us of his thoughtfulness, his methodical habits and his great physical strength. Before he was in his teens he had become the acknowledged leader of the boys in his neighborhood, and he was fond of engaging with them in various athletic games. He also formed a military company of the little negroes on the family estate, and drilled them keenly, actually making something like a military show with the barefooted, ragged pickaninnies, with their rolling eyes and woolly heads. Like all other young Virginians he was accustomed to riding from his infancy, and before he was ten years old there were few horses that he could not bridle and master.

But we cannot go into stories of George's boyhood, of the time when he cut down the cherry tree and faced his father's wrath rather than tell a lie, or the time when he accidentally killed a high spirited horse when breaking it to the bridle. He finished his schooling when he was sixteen years old, and would have gone into the British navy if his mother had consented. She did not, however, so George studied surveying; and was soon earning considerable sums from this occupation.

He made an excellent surveyor, and his skilful work and unusual character soon attracted general attention. He was well versed in military tactics also, and was made a Major in the Virginia militia before he was twenty. This gave added zest for his military studies and he set to work to learn strategy under a fierce old Dutch army officer named Jacob Van Braam. Together they studied maps and fought out battles with pins and bits of wood until far into the night. George was also busied with the care of the Washington estate at Mount Vernon, which was left to him on the death of his half brother, Lawrence Washington in 1752. Mount Vernon carried with it about five hundred slaves and dependents, and the young man had his time fully occupied in riding over its broad acres and managing its affairs.

When George was twenty-one years old a difficult task was assigned to him that not only proved that he had really entered the estate of manhood, but also that he was trusted beyond his years. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent him on a dangerous trip into the wilderness to warn off the French from English ground and to gain the friendship of the wild Indians that lived there. The race for land between the French and English settlers was growing keener and more bitter every day, and both countries claimed the land that lay between the Allegheny and the Mississippi rivers. Finally the Governor of Virginia picked young Washington to go to Venango and warn the French that they were trespassing,—and also to make ceremonial visits to the Indians to ensure their friendship to the English in case of war with the French.

To succeed would require shrewdness, good sense, courage and physical strength—for a long journey through virgin forests would have to be made and many dangers encountered. Washington took with him a guide and pioneer named Christopher Gist, and Jacob Van Braam went also to act as interpreter.

The journey over six hundred miles of desolate wilderness, across swollen streams, through forest, swamp and over rugged mountain, was performed so speedily that it would be hard for strong men to duplicate it to-day, traveling over good roads. Washington sat beside the council fires of the Indians, and delivered the Governor's message to the French. He also noted the best points for fortifications against the encroaching French, and reported them on his return. The journey had been a complete success and since others had tried it and failed, Washington's fame was established throughout Virginia.

The French had received him with sly courtesy and sought to ply his company with wine and brandy rather than to come to any agreement with him. It was plain that they meant mischief, and Governor Dinwiddie decided to send a force of soldiers to build a fort at the juncture between the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers, one of the places that Washington had noted down for its good strategic qualities. Colonel Joshua Fry was placed in command of about three hundred troops, and Washington was sent with him as his lieutenant.

On the march Colonel Fry died, and Washington was left in sole command of the troops. Spies and Indian scouts in the employ of the French had reported the expedition and the French had promptly marched against the Virginian soldiers with greatly superior numbers. Washington got news of this act on their part, and hastily threw up fortifications on a plain called Great Meadows. He called this stronghold Fort Necessity. The French soon came up and surrounded the fort, and the bark of the rifles reechoed through the woods and from the hills.

Washington and his men fought with the utmost bravery, but when he saw that the struggle was hopeless and that they would all be killed or captured if the fight continued, he made terms with the French, allowing his men to retire with all their arms and equipment, on condition that they did not make any further attempt to occupy the country for a stipulated time. The French success was not the fault of Washington who displayed great coolness and secured the maximum advantage for himself and his men. He was warmly commended by the Governor for his action in this fight and had a higher reputation than ever among all who knew the circumstances.

Soon after this Washington engaged in another expedition that was far more disastrous. The English Government put Major General Edward Braddock in command of a force of English regular soldiers to gain control of the disputed Ohio Valley, and Washington was appointed as aide on General Braddock's staff.

Braddock in his way was a good soldier, a hard bitten, dyed in the wool, regular army officer with a great contempt for the Virginia militia, and an over confident belief that the British soldier was invincible. He believed absolutely that the methods of war that were used on European battlefields would overwhelm anything in America, and he liked to see his redcoats with their boots polished and their buttons furbished, marching in solid platoon formation, turning and wheeling with the mathematical regularity of a machine. His men were drilled and disciplined until they were automatons, for Braddock was a martinet. Their ranks ran true, their equipment was in the pink of soldierly condition; the sunlight glittered from their bayonets, you could see your face in their leather accouterments, and Braddock proudly marched them into the American woods as though they were parading on the Strand in London. When Washington warned him of the dangers of ambush, urging that an advance guard and scouts be thrown out, Braddock turned scornfully away, believing that a volley or two from his brave regulars would soon drive off any foes that might fall upon him, and he said bluntly that when he desired advice from his subordinates he would ask for it.

As his men were marching in close formation, their red coats blazing against the dark green of the forest, shifting figures were seen in the trees ahead, a French officer suddenly appeared cheering them on to the attack, and with shouts and yells an unseen enemy shot down the Britishers from the protection of fallen trees, from behind rocks and stumps, and from the concealment of forest branches.

The redcoats fell by scores and were thrown into hopeless confusion. They were not used to fighting a hidden foe, and were appalled by the death in their midst as well as by the wild cries and war whoops that echoed from the forest. Braddock, waving his sword, ordered his platoons to wheel and advance in solid formation into the woods—and the platoons were wiped out like sheep in a slaughter pit as they tried to obey the hopeless order. But the despised Virginia militia, experienced in Indian fighting, spread out in open order at the head of the column and kept the enemy in check, while Braddock with hopeless bravery attempted to rally his men. It was in vain. The dismal cries and yells continued. The bullets sang overhead like a swarm of wasps, British officers dropped at the shots of invisible sharpshooters, who picked them off easily on account of their conspicuous uniforms. Braddock himself, as brave a man as ever lived, had four horses killed under him and then received a mortal wound. Washington, whose advice had been laughed at, took command of the Virginians and covered the headlong rout of the British regulars, who threw away their rifles and ran blindly into the woods. How Washington escaped alive is nothing less than a miracle. Like Braddock, he had several horses killed under him, and four bullets pierced his uniform. He seemed everywhere at once and showed the most conspicuous bravery, but all he could do was to save the lives of the flying Britishers. With whoops of victory the Indians scalped the wounded, dressed themselves in the red coats of the slain and showed their hideous painted faces beneath the cocked hats of British officers. And the French, who held the fort that Braddock had intended to capture, fired their cannon in rejoicing at a victory that forever killed the prestige of British arms in the New World. For hitherto the British soldier had been thought invincible, and this exhibition of crass stupidity and bungling gave the colonials a different opinion of British arms. The British were brave it is true, but they could not adjust themselves to meet the enemy on their own ground,—and in all history the Briton has shown himself clumsy in the guerilla warfare of the type that won the Revolution for the Americans.

A few years after this tragic affair Washington married Martha Parke Custis, a young widow with two children. Washington's love affair with Martha Custis was not the first in his life. He had paid attention to other young beauties and had shown himself a true Virginian in his hearty appreciation of the ladies.

With his marriage there commenced the home life at Mount Vernon that has become so famous in history, and the hospitality for which George and Martha Washington have ever been famous. Washington was fond of the good things of life, and his great house at Mount Vernon was filled with visitors, with whom he hunted and passed his leisure hours in many delightful ways. But his eye for business was no less keen on account of his pleasures, and eventually he came to be looked on as the leading man in the affairs of the colony. His commanding appearance, his wonderful self-control and his military prestige, coupled with the dignity and gravity of his manner, made him as prominent among men as he had been among boys.

The attitude toward "provincials" that brought about Braddock's fatal error because he could not listen to advice, was destined now to bring to England the loss of her valuable colonies in America. The English looked down on the Americans and patronized them because they did not understand them. They regarded the American Colonies too much in the light of a supply house to enrich the Crown and the Mother Country, and too little as the home of a brave and self-reliant people who came of the most sterling English stock themselves. The colonists bitterly resented the unjust laws that compelled them to ship their produce to British ports and to engage in no form of industry that might cripple British enterprise. And when the British Government imposed taxes on the colonists that were not imposed on British subjects in England, indignation rose to white heat, and riots and hot speeches broke out everywhere, particularly in New England.

The "stamp act," which compelled the colonists to transact all their legal business on paper bearing the stamp of the British Government, and sold only by British agents, awoke the wrath of Virginia as well as of New England. The cry of "no taxation without representation" rang from Georgia to Massachusetts. The oratory of Patrick Henry added fuel to the righteous indignation in every American's breast, and when the British in response to public feeling removed all unwarranted taxes except one—the tax on tea, a party of young men dressed as Indians sacked the cargo of a British vessel in Boston, and poured the chests of tea into the harbor.

Parliament retaliated. Penalties were imposed on Massachusetts. The Virginian House of Burgesses was forbidden to meet by the King's order, and meeting in spite of this order it called for a General Congress of all the Colonies to decide what measures were to be taken to defend the rights of the American provinces.

Washington, as one of Virginia's leading men, naturally was among those who represented the colony at this congress, which met in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia. He was listened to with respect and attention, and was considered to have the sanest viewpoint and the widest fund of information of any delegate there. The question of armed revolt against England was still in the background, but Washington was in favor of a resort to arms only after all other measures had failed and as a last resort. He was ready and willing to fight if fighting must come, however, and we have his statement when he heard of how the people of Boston were laboring under unjust British measures, "I will raise a thousand men," said Washington, "subsist them at my own expense and march with them, at their head, for the relief of Boston."

At last it was seen that no other way to escape slavery existed than to fight. And Washington was one of the first to devote his life and fortune to the Revolutionary cause.

When the American Congress met on June 15, 1775, Washington was chosen as Commander in Chief of the new continental army. The flame of revolution had run through the colonies. The British had killed and been killed by militiamen at Lexington, and had fallen back before the hail of lead from the squirrel rifles of angry farmers at the bridge at Concord. From stonewalls, fences, trees and haylofts, the Americans had picked off the British redcoats as they retreated back to Boston, and had proved themselves to be foemen that could not be despised. The battles of Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights followed. Bloody war was begun.

No better man for command of the American army could possibly have been chosen than Washington, and very probably no other could have brought the revolution to a successful end. His firm and great nature were known to all, and with this he possessed great military skill and a thorough knowledge of the country where he would have to fight.

But his heart may well have sunk when he took command, for no worse scene of confusion and inefficiency can be imagined than that of the American army when it was first mustered together. Washington, on July 3rd, 1775, took command at Cambridge, Massachusetts, of about sixteen thousand raw recruits, badly fed, badly quartered, with no uniforms to speak of, little equipment and a rebellious disregard of all discipline that was increased by the fact that they were fighting against the unjust discipline of the British Government. The American forces had no organization, and the work fell upon Washington, as Commander in Chief, not only of fighting an enemy far superior in numbers and composed of well-disciplined and well-equipped veterans, but of organizing his own army almost in the course of battle, and manufacturing the material for victory after the gage had been cast and the conflict entered.

But the resolute will and the firm hand brought order out of chaos, and the British were astonished to see the effectiveness of the rough and ready troops that opposed them. The city of Boston was besieged so firmly that the British at last decided to evacuate the town, sailing away in their warships, headed for New York. Washington by forced marches attempted to reach that city first and foil their attempt to land there, but the American army was not large enough for this design, and American and British forces faced each other on Long Island where a battle was fought near the present site of Brooklyn on August 27th, 1776. The country was now prepared for a grim struggle and the temper of the revolutionists was shown by the glorious Declaration of Independence which was made on July 4th of that year.

But spirit and determination are not proof against cold steel and solid ranks of veteran soldiers, and Washington's little army was beaten by the British in the Battle of Long Island, sustaining heavy losses in dead and wounded. The Americans retreated and then halted and when night fell only a short distance separated the two armies. The situation of the Americans was critical in the extreme, and it was absolutely necessary to cross the East River before the sadly harried and beaten ranks of the patriot army were attacked again by the victorious Britishers. Almost within the sound of the voices of the enemy Washington succeeded in drawing away his army and carrying them in boats to New York City, without a single foe suspecting his design.

The British followed and there was fighting on Manhattan Island. Slowly the little force of patriots was driven back, now sadly decreased in numbers, for the ending of enlistments as well as defeat were playing havoc with Washington's forces. In November he was obliged to cross the Hudson River and retreat into New Jersey with only six thousand men left to him, and still later with a force still smaller and the British close on his heels, he crossed the Delaware River and sought refuge in Pennsylvania. By this time the British had gained such successes and the Americans had undergone so many reverses and privations that it seemed as if no power on earth could bring victory to the American arms.

The British found they could not cross into Pennsylvania, for Washington had taken care to remove all the boats to the other side of the Delaware River. They temporarily gave over the pursuit of the Americans, whom they thought were hopelessly beaten, and went into winter quarters, where they enjoyed themselves immensely and kept an easy and a comfortable camp.

But Washington was already planning a raid against the German mercenaries called Hessians who were stationed in the town of Trenton. He planned to return across the Delaware and fall upon the Hessians by night in a surprise attack. He tried to secure the cooperation of General Gates, one of his subordinates, but Gates feigned sickness and went to Philadelphia to attempt Washington's overthrow on the day before Washington's attack was to be launched. Disaffection among his generals was now added to Washington's other troubles, and Gates, in jealousy, was planning to go before Congress and secure an independent command for himself.

On Christmas night, 1776, the little American army embarked on its perilous venture, and prepared to cross the Delaware River which was now so full of floating ice as to make the passage of boats dangerous in the extreme. It was black as pitch and a high wind blew, as the American soldiers with aching backs toiled at the oars and the poles and so cold that men froze to death. Hours were consumed in the passage, and by the time the Americans were in position to attack, day was breaking.

Nevertheless the project seemed likely to succeed. The Hessians were off their guard and were sleeping soundly. Scattered shots rang out and were succeeded by the rattle of musketry as the Americans, yelling like Indians charged upon the silent town. The Hessian bugles blew "to arms" and the dazed soldiers rushed out of their billets, but instead of rallying and fighting Washington they fled toward Princeton, leaving more than a thousand prisoners in Washington's hands, as well as large numbers of killed and wounded.

Lord Cornwallis was hurriedly sent to oppose Washington, and went to bed at Trenton within sight of the American camp fires. The British general was confident of success and boasted that he would certainly "bag the fox in the morning." That night, however, Washington silently withdrew his army as he had done on Long Island and in a series of brilliant maneuvers defeated the British again not far from Princeton. His skill and generalship were so great that with a half starved and discouraged remnant of a defeated army he twice defeated the flower of the British force, and brought new hope and strength to the struggling colonies. He had done more than this, for his military success was now closely watched in Europe. And Cornwallis was soon so hard pressed that he withdrew his troops to New York and in the end the Americans once more had complete control of the state of New Jersey.

In the year 1778, and largely due to the great qualities of Benjamin Franklin, who was one of America's commissioners in France, a treaty was signed with the French providing that if France went to war with England, there should be an alliance between the French and American Governments, and neither should cease fighting without the permission of the other—moreover that both were to continue the struggle until the independence of the United States of America was gained.

This treaty was not only due to Washington's successes but to a victory won by General Gates against General Burgoyne, who, after the battle of Saratoga, was forced to withdraw his army from the conflict and place himself and his officers on parole to bear arms no more against America. But there followed a renewal of the bitterness of defeat, for the Americans were beaten at Brandywine, the British took Philadelphia, and another reverse befell the American arms at Germantown. It seemed that in spite of the former American successes and the French treaty, the British would be victorious after all, for the winter had been a terrible one, and the worn American army was almost destitute of food and clothing.

Washington had camped at a place called Valley Forge which has since become symbolic of hardship and suffering. It is said that detachments of American soldiers could be traced by the blood in the snow from their wounded and bare feet, for there were no shoes to clothe them with and there was very little food or fuel. And in addition to the physical hardship and the gloom of failure, Washington had to contend with a conspiracy that was directed against him by some of his most trusted officers, who desired to place General Gates in supreme command of the American Army. This conspiracy was called the Conway Cabal, because the chief plotter was an Irishman named General Thomas Conway. But the result of this base attempt was added power and glory for Washington, for Congress was fortunately unaffected by the representations that were made.

In the following year, 1778, in spite of that terrible winter, the fighting opened with the Americans in better condition than previously and with their numbers strengthened with new recruits that Congress had secured for them. The American cause had also been strengthened by the voluntary services of a number of foreign officers, who energetically drilled the American recruits and taught the revolutionary army the science of war as it was fought by the greatest military countries. Among these men was the Marquis de Lafayette, a gallant young French nobleman, and also Baron de Kalb and Von Steuben.

Washington gradually drew nearer to New York, from which he had been driven so soon after the Battle of Long Island, and that winter he camped in the highlands of the Hudson and established his troops so as to defend New England from any offensive campaign the British might make, and for a year he contented himself with playing a waiting game, keeping a firm grip on the Hudson Highlands and strengthening his army as greatly as possible.

Victory now was near, for the French came actively into the war to the succor of the Americans. The French King, Louis the Sixteenth, sent Count Rochambeau to command an expedition in America, and the year 1781 saw the trained and seasoned soldiers of France fighting side by side with the American troops. In this year too a great advantage was given to Washington's troops by the fact that a large French fleet under the Count de Grasse compelled the British vessels to keep to the ports, while Washington with the French laid siege to Yorktown, which was held by Lord Cornwallis. Washington himself fired the first cannon as the siege began, and a whirlwind of iron and red hot shot was poured upon the British works and shipping from French and American guns. The British resisted stubbornly, but they were cut off and their position was hopeless. And on October Nineteenth, with the American and French troops drawn up to receive them, the British marched out and surrendered.

This was really the end of the war. The news that Cornwallis and at least sixteen thousand men had been captured was received with wild rejoicing all through the former colonies, and with amazement and gloom in England, where it was plainly seen that the valuable colonies were lost forever. In the month of November, 1783, the British left New York never to return, after the signing of the peace treaty at Paris in January of the same year. The war was over, the patriots had conquered, and a new and mighty nation was in its infancy.

At this time it would without doubt have been easy for Washington to make himself the head of the new country, and even to have become its King and permanent ruler. The army worshipped the ground he walked on, and he actually received a letter from one of his officers in which it was suggested that he be named as King of the new state. But Washington with his characteristic greatness refused to advance his own fortunes at the expense of the liberty of his countrymen, and he wrote an angry letter indignantly rejecting any such title or position, declaring that nothing in his long and trying service had justified his fellows in regarding him as an ambitious self-seeker.

His work was done, or so he considered it, and he proposed to return to private life. And in Fraunces' Tavern in New York the great commander bade farewell to the officers who had so gallantly served him and had been his brothers in arms on so many hard fought fields.

It is said that on this occasion Washington's customary self-control almost deserted him, as he spoke his words of parting to his fellow officers. "With a heart full of love and gratitude," said he, "I now take leave of you, most devoutly wishing that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable. I cannot come to each of you to take my leave," he continued, "but shall be obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand."

But Washington's work was not over. He had counseled all the Governors of the separate States to form a Federal Government as quickly as possible, and while he had resigned as head of the army, he continued, as a private citizen, to watch public matters with the utmost care and attention. In 1787 Washington presided over the famous convention which met in Philadelphia to draft the Constitution of the United States, and largely in accordance with his ideas, which strongly influenced the minds of all those present, the Government of the United States was formed. The perfection of the form of government, as entered into by so many separate and widely different States, seemed to Washington, as he afterward said in a letter to Lafayette, "little short of a miracle."

It remained for the new country to choose its first President. Washington was elected without a dissenting voice, and took the reins of government into his hands on April 30, 1789. He did not desire the Presidency, and would have greatly preferred to remain quietly at Mount Vernon, "an honest man on his own farm," engaged in his private affairs. But he felt that it was his duty to answer so spontaneous and general a call from his fellow citizens, and in the office of chief executive he showed the same firm and wise spirit that had distinguished him as commander of the army. His Cabinet contained the most famous and brilliant men of the day, and the people throughout the country felt themselves safe with such a president at the helm.

When his administration ended he was called upon to take a second term, and in this he had great difficulty in keeping the new republic out of the turmoil of European politics. France had by this time thrown off her rulers, organized a revolution and gone to war with England; and Washington was called on from every part of the country to go to the aid of his former ally against the former foe. He saw, however, that war at that time would be fatal for America, and might well result in the loss of all that had been gained in the bitter years of the Revolution. He firmly refused to enter the war although his decision cost him much of his popularity. A commercial treaty was then entered upon with England.

While Washington was President, the states of Kentucky and Tennessee were added to the original thirteen that formed the Union, and many important financial and legal matters were concluded. With a sure hand the great patriot guided the new country through the dangers that beset it and at times threatened to swallow it whole, and in the year 1797 he turned over to John Adams who was to succeed him in the presidential chair a welded nation, destined for a mighty future.

For the next three years Washington's life at Mount Vernon was quiet and happy, and he busied himself in the affairs of his estate and in the dignified hospitality for which he and Martha Washington were so justly renowned. On December 12, 1799, after a horseback ride through the snow, he became ill with laryngitis and two days later he breathed his last.

Throughout the United States he was mourned as a father,—indeed he had already gained the title of "the father of his country." And it was by the father of a famous general who was destined to lead the southern cause in the Civil War some sixty years later that Washington was said to be "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen," a phrase that has since become familiar to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world, and has so aptly described America's mightiest son.




For those of you who have had opportunity to see the mighty fleet of steel battleships and destroyers that compose the navy of the United States, it is hard to remember that this fleet was born in the shape of a few wooden sailing ships. And it is almost equally hard to believe that Paul Jones, who commanded one of the first American war vessels, and became the greatest naval hero that this country has ever known, was the son of a poor, Scotch gardener, who worked for a country squire in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.

In 1747 Paul Jones was born, but his name was then John Paul. His uncle, like his father, was a gardener, and worked on the estate of the Earl of Selkirk on St. Mary's Isle, where John Paul used to visit him and go fishing in small boats that he obtained from a little seaport near at hand. Many sailors came to this port, and they made friends with the alert boy who was always asking them questions about ships and seamanship; and the result of their friendship was that at a very early age John Paul was a handy sailor and determined to follow a seafaring life.

Whether or no he ran away from school is not known. At any rate, when he was only twelve years old, he became the apprentice of a merchant who did a considerable trade with Virginia, and he actually sailed for that colony, where his brother had preceded him and was living the life of a Southern planter. John Paul stayed with his brother at Fredericksburg for a time, but when he was nineteen years old he sailed for Jamaica as first mate of a vessel engaged in the slave trade, which was then very active,—for a great deal of money was to be gained from selling the African negroes to Southern planters, and slaves were constantly being taken from their native country and carried to America to work beneath the lash.

But this clean-cut young sailor did not like the slave trade, and after two years, disgusted with the sordid traffic, he left his vessel in Jamaica and became a passenger on a brigantine that was sailing for Scotland, in fact, for his home town. On his way home, by a strange chance, both the captain and mate died, and as an expert navigator was needed, John Paul guided the ship into port. When this fact was made known to her owners they paid their debt by taking him into their employ, and on the next voyage to Jamaica the ship sailed under John Paul's command.

Then there occurred to the young Scotch sailing master a series of misfortunes that changed the course of his career and was indirectly responsible for his casting his lot with the future republic of the United States. To maintain discipline aboard his vessel it became necessary for him to have the ship's carpenter flogged. Many weeks later this man died, and his friends unjustly attributed his death to the flogging he had received, and laid it to the captain's door. John Paul was able to prove that he was not to blame in the affair, but in the meantime he had quitted his vessel and found it hard to get another one. As soon as he finally obtained a new vessel, a mutiny took place when his ship was in the West Indies, and John Paul, in his efforts to quell the mutineers, was assaulted and obliged to kill one of them with his sword in defending himself. Fearing, perhaps, that this second mishap on the heels of the first might make things go hard with him when he was brought to trial, he fled from the West Indies and for a time disappeared completely.

He was next heard from in the American Colonies, bearing the name of John Paul Jones. When the American Revolution took place, he hastened to offer his services to the Government of the United States, and the Naval Committee of Congress called on him for information and advice. When a few vessels were gathered together and a list of naval officers prepared, Paul Jones obtained his commission as Senior Lieutenant on the flagship of the tiny fleet, which was named Alfred. And when the commander in chief came over the side, Paul Jones with his own hands hoisted the American flag for the first time over an American man of war. The flag was very different from the modern stars and stripes; it was of yellow silk, in the center of which was a pine tree with a rattlesnake coiled at its roots, and the motto: "don't tread on me."

After the Americans made an attack on New Providence where several boats were captured, Paul Jones was promoted to the rank of Captain as a reward for his excellent services and given command of the Providence, on whose quarter deck he sailed for the West Indies to prey upon British shipping. His knowledge of the waters was so thorough and his skill as a naval officer of such high quality that in forty-seven days he captured no less than sixteen vessels.

Congress was delighted at his exploits. In reward he was given the command of his old ship, the Alfred, and in her he sailed northward along the coast of Nova Scotia until he entered the Gut of Canso. In the neighborhood of this deep strait that runs between Nova Scotia proper and the Island of Cape Breton, Paul Jones captured twelve fishing vessels. Having placed prize crews on his new ships he triumphantly returned to the United States.

His fame now was widely established among the revolting colonies. By order of Congress he was transferred to the sloop, Ranger, with orders to cruise about the coast of England and destroy shipping. Paul Jones planned to do more than this; he intended actually to attack English seaports and burn the shipping in the harbors, feeling convinced that he could inflict greater losses on the enemy in this manner. And as he had enjoyed the honor of raising the American flag for the first time over an American war vessel, he now had the added honor of being the first naval officer to sail under the stars and stripes, which flew for the first time in naval history above the Ranger.

After visiting France, where he delivered messages from the American Government to the American Commissioners in Paris, one of whom was Benjamin Franklin, Paul Jones decided to attack the town of Whitehaven, which had been well known to him as a boy. In the depth of night the Ranger stole into the entrance of the harbor and dropped anchor. Then two boats put off from her with muffled oars, Paul Jones in command of one and his lieutenant, whose name was Wallingford, in charge of the other.

Jones ordered Wallingford to set fire to the shipping on the north side of the town, while he himself with his men should advance upon the nearby fort and spike the guns. As the fort was an old one and had a small garrison, the intrepid commander had but little trouble in capturing it, particularly as none of the British dreamed of a raid and small wonder, for their shores had been safe from the invader since the time of William the Conqueror.

The garrison was completely surprised and gave in without a struggle. Jones and his followers quickly spiked the guns of the fort and taking their prisoners with them hastened back to the boats. When they arrived a great disappointment confronted them, for Lieutenant Wallingford had failed to fire the shipping as ordered. He gave the excuse that the lanterns that had been brought with them for the purpose had been blown out by the wind, but he had made no attempt to secure firebrands from any other quarter. So Jones himself with some of his followers took live coals from a nearby house and with the aid of a tar barrel succeeded in setting fire to one of the ships that was tied to the wharf.

By this time it was early morning. Ordering his little band back into their boats, Jones himself with drawn pistol stood off the curious and frightened throng of people that had gathered around him. When the flames arose to such an extent that it had become impossible to save the ill-fated ship, and not till then, did the plucky commander seek refuge. As he rowed away with his men the British rushed to the forts to seek vengeance, where they found that the guns were spiked, and by the time they had unearthed one or two old cannon the Americans were well out of harm's way.

All England rang with the story, and the rage and consternation of the British people is hard to describe. After having held themselves safe from invasion for hundreds of years and boasting proudly that they governed every sea, they liked it but ill that their peace should be disturbed by a nation which was considered by them to be no more than an insignificant group of revolting farmers. And the moral effect of the bold raid by Jones exceeded by far any material advantage that he gained.

While England was still buzzing like a hornet's nest as a result of this exploit, Jones performed another deed that was even bolder than the attack on Whitehaven. This was no less than a raid on the estate of the Earl of Selkirk, where his uncle had worked as a gardener, and where Jones himself had spent a part of his boyhood. His purpose was to carry off the Earl as a prisoner of war, and, holding him as a hostage, to effect the exchange of certain American prisoners who were being cruelly treated in British prisons. But ill luck still pursued him. Upon arriving at the Earl's estate he found that Selkirk himself was away from home and that his mission was fruitless. On the insistence of his men he took the silver plate that belonged to the Earl, but touched nothing else on the estate. When the plate came up for sale and the sailors were to receive their share of the prize money Jones bought the plate himself and returned it to the Earl with a courteous letter, explaining that only the exigencies of war and similar conduct of the British on American territory had compelled him to take such a course.

With the captured plate safe in his vessel, Paul Jones then attacked the twenty-gun British sloop of war, Drake, and after a severe combat succeeded in making her his prize. With the British cruisers in search of him everywhere he took the captured vessel into the French harbor of Brest, where he underwent heartbreaking delays in obtaining money to pay his men. Then the Ranger was taken from him, as the French Government and the American Commissioners in Paris desired him to be placed in command of a French vessel.

At last Paul Jones was given charge of an old merchantman named Duras whose name he was allowed to change to suit his own pleasure. In deference to Benjamin Franklin who had always been his close friend Jones called his new craft the Bonhomme Richard, in honor of Benjamin Franklin's famous nickname of "Poor Richard." The Bonhomme Richard was refitted and made to approach a ship of war as closely as possible, and in August, 1779, Jones sailed in her on what was destined to be his most famous cruise.

The French had placed some other ships at his disposal to the extent that they were to accompany the Bonhomme Richard, but were independent of her command, being under French naval officers. This peculiar state of affairs greatly reduced the efficiency of the little squadron, whose vessels were the Pallas, the Vengeance, the Cerf and the Alliance.

The crew of the Bonhomme Richard, which was the only American vessel of the little fleet,—and the only one that accomplished any signal success—was composed of such a motley assortment of the offscourings of the dockyards that even Jones' stout heart sank when he saw his men assembled together. Among the men that were supposed to be sailors were many French peasants who had never even seen a vessel and English prisoners that he had to keep in order by the armed force of his more loyal men. The fact that he was able to mold this variegated mass of undisciplined humanity into a staunch crew capable of winning one of the most famous naval battles of history is a proof of his genius for leadership.

The lack of unity in command soon began to show the inevitable ill results. The Cerf became separated from the squadron and returned to France. The Alliance, under the infamous Captain Landais, who had been dishonorably discharged from the French navy, refused to cooperate with Jones and soon disappeared on some unknown errand.

As the remaining three vessels were cruising near Flamborough Head, they sighted a large convoy of British merchant vessels which were guarded by two warships—the Serapis, a frigate with nearly twice the number of guns as the Bonhomme Richard, and the Countess of Scarborough which was also a large war vessel. They sighted the convoy well on in the afternoon and closed with it at about sunset. People on shore who had recognized the fact that Jones' ships were a hostile squadron crowded the heights to see the sea fight which they knew was not far off.

As the sun was going down the Serapis approached the Bonhomme Richard and hailed her with the cry, "What ship is that?"

"I don't hear you," answered Jones, who was maneuvering his vessel so as to rake the decks of his opponent with his opening broadside, and when the Serapis hailed again the Bonhomme Richard opened fire with all the guns she could bring to bear upon her.

It was a severe blow, but the Serapis was not slow in responding. And almost at the first broadside from the English the American ship was severely crippled. Two of the old cannon of the Bonhomme Richard had exploded at the first shot, killing and wounding many and tearing a large hole in the hull of the ship. But although he was in a serious predicament Jones continued to fight with vigor. Broadside after broadside was poured in and both vessels sailed slowly abreast of each other enveloped in a cloud of dense white smoke that hid the scene from the wondering folk on shore.

The best chance for the weaker vessel was to close with its opponent and Jones maneuvered until he had an opportunity to make the Bonhomme Richard fast to the Serapis. The jibboom of the Britisher had swung over the deck of the Richard and Jones with his own hands made it fast to the mizzenmast of his ship. The two ships were now locked in a death grip, and so close that when the guns were loaded the cannoneers had to lean into the ports of the enemy vessel to drive the ramrods home.

The big British frigate had the advantage. With heavier batteries than the American ship she was able to silence Jones' guns one after one. Several attempts were made by Jones to board his enemy but without success. He was a beaten man. As his batteries were put out of commission, the men came to the main deck and manned the remaining guns, or formed boarding parties there. From the tops of the Bonhomme Richard a continuous and accurate fire was poured on the decks of the Serapis and many a British sailor lost his life as a result of the accuracy of the French sharpshooters who were engaged there.

By this time the desperate conditions below decks on the Bonhomme Richard were almost indescribable. Water was pouring into the hold. Great breaches were made in the hull and the ship was several times set on fire. But Jones fought on. One of his petty officers, thinking him dead, raised a cry for quarter, which was heard on the British ship.

"Have you surrendered?" called Captain Pearson, the British commander.

Jones had knocked down the quartermaster with the butt of his pistol and climbed into the rigging of his ship so the British and his own men could hear his answer more clearly:

"I have not yet begun to fight," he shouted, and a cheer broke out on the deck of the American.


Just then the Alliance under Captain Landais came up, and Jones believed that the battle was won. But the Alliance instead of firing on the Serapis discharged a broadside at the Bonhomme Richard. In spite of shouts and warnings, Landais continued his dastardly work and many Americans and Frenchmen were killed or wounded by his fire. Then his craft sailed away and was seen no more until after the battle.

It was now known aboard the Serapis what a desperate state of affairs existed on Jones' ship, and the English believed that a few more broadsides would bring them victory. But their hopes were suddenly dashed. An American sailor had crawled along the yardarm of the Richard to the mast of the Serapis and had dropped a hand grenade. The grenade plunged through a hatchway and fell upon some loose powder and a row of charges for the cannon that had been placed on deck. The roar of a terrific explosion followed, and Englishmen, screaming for quarter, could be seen running through the smoke and flame of their own vessel with every vestige of clothing burned from their bodies. The battle was won by the Americans.

Captain Pearson walked aft and struck his colors. American officers boarded the Serapis, and Pearson and his lieutenants were ordered to report to Jones on the Bonhomme Richard. There Captain Pearson surrendered his sword and was placed in confinement by Jones.

The Bonhomme Richard had been so severely damaged in the fight that she was in a sinking condition and it was plain to see that she would not remain above the waves much longer. So, transferring every man to the Serapis, Jones sailed for a Dutch port, accompanied by his other vessels. The Countess of Scarborough had been captured after about an hour's fight, and Jones had more than five hundred British prisoners in his charge, including two captains and a number of lesser officers.

Although many difficulties and dangers still beset him, Jones' fame was now assured. England and France rang with his victory, and while the English drew cartoons of him as a bloody pirate, strutting on a quarter deck that was lined with the bodies of his victims, the French king, Louis the Sixteenth, presented him with a gold mounted sword and the cross of the Order of Military Merit. Congress passed a resolution commending him for his gallantry and he received a complimentary letter from General Washington.

When the war with England ended and the United States had secured their independence, Paul Jones entered the service of the Russian Empire under Catherine the Great with the rank of Rear Admiral. He gave the new country of his adoption the greatest service in their war with the Turks, many of whose vessels Jones sunk or destroyed. But he was disgusted with Russian intrigue, resigned his commission and returned to Paris.

All this time he had remained an American citizen. He considered this the greatest honor of any that had come to him—that he could call himself a citizen of the Republic for which he had fought so often and so well against such great odds. But his health had been failing him and he died in Paris on July 18, 1792. He was given a public funeral by the French National Assembly.

For a long time his body remained in France. At length, however, its resting place was discovered by General Horace Porter, U.S.A., and all that remained of Paul Jones was brought back in state to America on a great steel ship the like of which he had never seen. He was given a national funeral at Annapolis and his body was entombed in the beautiful Chapel of the Naval Academy, which institution Jones himself had urged Congress to found. It is a fitting resting place for America's greatest naval hero,—for while we have many distinguished and noble sailors, there is no name that has the ring of Paul Jones.




In the days of the American Revolution a young woman lived as a servant in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with the family of General Irving, a retired British officer, who had fought in the French and Indian War and had seen a great deal of service. This young woman was named Molly Ludwig Hays, and was the wife of a barber who had been well known in the village. He had won her hand with difficulty for Molly was a belle throughout the countryside. She was not only handsome, but as strong as a man, able to carry a heavy meal-sack on her shoulder; and one of the hardest workers that the town knew. She washed and scrubbed and scoured and baked from morning till night, and seemed to revel in the hard work that gave the needed exercise to her strong muscles.

Throughout her life Molly Hays had admired soldiers, and more than once she expressed herself in no undecided terms to the effect that she wished she were a man so that she could bear arms and wear a uniform, and be a soldier herself.

When she was still a very young woman the American Revolution for freedom from Great Britain broke out. All the country was aflame, and rang with the stories of what happened at Lexington and Bunker Hill. Man after man from the village took his powder horn and musket and went off to enlist for the war, and Molly grew more and more restless as she saw them go.

At last her husband came to her, somewhat sheepishly, for he disliked to tell her the intention he had in his heart; but at length he made her understand that just because he was married was no reason why he should remain at home with the women; and he, too, intended to enlist that very day.

Molly consented with the utmost enthusiasm. She told him that she would be proud to be the wife of a soldier, since she could not be one herself, and bade him farewell with the admonishment to do his part bravely and to bear himself like the man she knew him to be. And she stood at the door of their home waving good-by to him with a cheerful face that gave no hint of her aching heart.

When her husband had departed Molly returned to the Irving household where she worked as well as she had before her marriage, trying to find relief in the heavy labor from the pain of having lost her husband and the aching desire to go and do her part beside him even though she were a woman. Fate, thought Molly, had made a sad mistake, in making her a woman, for she knew that in spite of her petticoats she could soldier as well as the men,—and if she had only been a man she believed she could have risen to an important position in the army.

The tide of the struggle wavered and battles with the red coats were fought and won. It was hard to get the newspapers in those times and news of the armies and their doings was often weeks behind the actual events. Molly hoped and waited, but for weeks at a time she went without word from her husband and did not know whether he were alive or dead.

One day a messenger called for her at the Irving household. He had a letter from John Hays for Molly, and it not only told her that he was alive and well, but was in camp not far off from her former home in Trenton, New Jersey, where her aged parents were still living. The letter ended by telling her to come to Trenton and live with her parents, for he would be able without doubt to get leave from his command and see her often.

Soon the war itself was being fought in the neighborhood of her home. The Americans attacked the British near Princeton killing and capturing a large number. Then Washington with his small force withdrew from that region before reenforcements could be brought against him.

And now Molly found that there was something that she could do—namely, go and care for the wounded who were still lying where they had fallen on the field of battle. The British General Cornwallis and his men were approaching, but that did not worry her a whit, and she went to and fro upon the battlefield carrying water for parched throats and binding wounds until the British soldiers were actually upon her.

Then Molly saw a cannon pointed in the direction of the British, and to her surprise it was loaded and there was a fuse still smoldering and lying near at hand. She studied the cannon carefully and it seemed to be aimed right at a group of the enemy that was approaching. The brave girl dropped the pail of water that she had been carrying, picked up the fuse and applied it to the touch hole. With a loud roar the charge was fired and the cannon leaped backward on its wheels.

At this the British halted in amazement. They had believed that the Americans were far away, and here this gun gave warning that they were still near at hand, or at any rate had left a strong rear guard with artillery to delay them in their pursuit. Hastily they crossed over the field and surrounded the gun which was deserted. Molly had left and had taken with her a wounded American soldier whom she carried on her shoulder.


The British had seen her go, but it had not occurred to them that a woman had fired the shot that caused so much disturbance among them and aided the retreating Americans so greatly by delaying their pursuers. If they had realized that Molly herself was the cannoneer, she would have had but little chance of mercy at their hands, and would at once have faced a firing squad or been hung to the nearest tree. As it was they thought she was only some country girl who had perhaps lost some relative in the recent battle and was carrying his dead body back to her home. And so they paid no attention to her.

Molly, however, by firing this shot had materially aided General Washington, for any delay of the British, even a slight one, gave a great advantage to the Americans who were hurrying from superior numbers to put themselves in a good tactical position as soon as they could.

On a hot day of July in the following summer it chanced that Washington's forces were again not far away from Molly's home, and she took a difficult journey on the chance of seeing her husband. Her first step in soldiering had been taken when she fired the cannon at the British in the preceding year. A far greater adventure lay before her, for she fell in with the American soldiers just as they commenced the severe battle of Monmouth.

This battle had considerable importance, as a comparatively large number of troops were engaged in it. General Washington was in command of the Americans and the English were led by Sir Henry Clinton. The English had been retreating from Philadelphia, across New Jersey, followed by Washington, and the American general had decided to launch an attack on the left wing of the retreating forces and General Lee was ordered by Washington to attack the English on the flank and hold them in battle until he himself could come up with the bulk of the American Army.

General Lee, however, proved to be a poor man for this task and his indecision and semi-cowardice left Washington exposed to the brunt of the enemy's attack before he was prepared to meet it and against the intentions of the American commander. The situation was saved by General Greene, who saw what had happened, changed his own plans and diverted the attack of the British to his own position from which he poured in a heavy artillery fire that caused them terrible losses.

John Hays was one of the cannoneers of Greene's artillery and he worked all day loading and firing his piece. It was a terribly hot day and many men in both the British and the American armies fell exhausted and even died from the heat of the sun.

All this time Molly Hays had been caring for the wounded and carrying water to the thirsty gunners, using for the purpose the bucket that was attached to her husband's cannon for cleaning purposes. Tirelessly she continued her efforts to care for the wounded and comfort the fighting soldiers, heedless of the bullets that came her way or of the general turmoil of battle. As the day wore on the men would greet her coming with: "Here comes Molly with her pitcher!" And gradually this was changed to "Here comes Molly Pitcher." And this was the name that history has adopted in regard to the brave woman for whom it was so used.

At last John Hays succumbed to the heat and fell unconscious beside his gun. The sun had proved too much for him.

Molly stopped carrying water to care for her husband. She bathed his head and moved him into the shade, returning to her duties just in time to hear General Knox give orders that the cannon be removed, because he had no other gunner cool enough and skilful enough to work it in its present exposed position. At this Molly sprang forward crying out:

"Leave the gun where it is. I can fire it. I am a gunner's wife and know how to load and fire a cannon. I'll take the place that my brave husband has left!" And running to the gun Molly commenced to load and fire so determinedly and skilfully that a gasp of amazement ran through the men that saw her.

For many weary hours she toiled at the gun, until the British were driven back and the battle was claimed as an American victory. And then the young woman found herself the darling of all the soldiers in the army, for word of her actions ran like wildfire through the ranks and cheers reechoed wherever she went. Before she left her cannon General Greene himself came over to where she stood and grasping her hand thanked her in the name of the American Army.

This was not all the triumph she received, however, for word was soon brought to her that General Washington himself wished to see her. She was in her ragged grimy clothes in which she had fought and succored the wounded through the whole of that hot day, and she now put on a soldier's coat in which to meet the General.

Washington praised her highly and before a large number of his officers and men, and more cheering reechoed through the ranks when he gave her the brevet rank of Captain in the American Army.

And not only the Americans did her honor, but the French as well, for the Marquis de Lafayette with his own hand presented her with a purse of golden crowns.

In this strange way Molly Hays' desire to be a soldier came true, and the name of Molly Pitcher, as she was ever after called, became one of the great names of American History.

After the war was ended she lived with her husband until he died, and later she married again. But in her whole life the battle of Monmouth stood out as the great day on which she realized her ambition and helped the American forces in battle.




There are only two names in history that are as great as conquerors and statesmen as that of Julius Cæsar of whom you have read in the present book. One of these two men was Alexander the Great, who lived hundreds of years before the birth of Christ; the other was Napoleon Buonaparte, later called Bonaparte and then Napoleon, who lived and died a hundred years ago.

Greater than Cæsar, greater than Alexander is the name of Napoleon. While Cæsar was of noble birth and had all the advantages of position and authority in his favor, and while Alexander was a king and born to rule, Napoleon Buonaparte sprang from the humblest beginnings and had nothing to help him make his way except his own genius. While Alexander was little but a wonderful soldier, Napoleon Buonaparte was both a mighty soldier and a great statesman, and not only did he place himself upon a throne, but he made all the members of his family kings and princes.

He was born on the island of Corsica in 1769, and was the fourth child and the youngest son of Charles Buonaparte who lived in the town of Ajaccio and was as poor as his neighbors, which, as he lived in Corsica, means that he was very poor indeed. Charles Buonaparte was an ardent Corsican patriot and often plotted how Corsica could win her freedom from France, but nevertheless he held a French office and was willing to send his sons to French schools.

It was not long before Napoleon showed his family that he had the stubborn nature and iron will that would make him a great soldier. Before he was ten years old he dominated his brothers and sisters and made them do as he said. He was afraid of nothing, and showed himself a natural leader among the children with whom he lived. As soon as he was old enough to talk he desired to be a soldier, and when he was ten years old he was taken by his father to a military school in France.

For five years Napoleon remained at this school at Brienne mastering the military art. As he was gloomy and silent and did not make friends easily, he was the butt of ridicule and bore ill natured jokes from the other young students there, but in spite of this, all were a little afraid of him and did not dare to provoke him too far.

When Napoleon was sixteen years old, his military education was considered to be finished and he was given the commission of a second lieutenant in an artillery regiment. In all these years he had only seen his father once. But Charles Buonaparte either had realized the greatness of his own son, or had one of those flashes of prophesy that sometimes come to dying men, for on his deathbed he cried out, asking for the son, Napoleon, whose sword, he said, was to shake the earth and who was to make himself the master of all Europe.

It was not many years after the young officer had joined his regiment that he had a chance to distinguish himself. This was at the siege of a town called Toulon. All France was in upheaval at that time, for the people had revolted against their rulers and had overthrown their king and their nobility. Their king, Louis the Sixteenth perished on the public scaffold under the knife of the guillotine, and the French revolutionists had carried on such a reign of terror that all Europe was in turmoil and the hand of almost every other nation in the world was against the French. Even a number of the French themselves were opposed to their own government and had placed the town of Toulon at the disposal of the English and their allies.

It was this town that the French army was endeavoring to take, and a long and unsuccessful siege had been carried on, for Toulon was strongly defended. Until Napoleon Buonaparte came, the French accomplished little. But Napoleon soon changed the look of the siege. Young as he was he had command of all the artillery that was being used against the town, and his military genius soon made itself felt, for he gave his orders with lightning rapidity and saw that they were carried out with a skill that amazed the other officers. Due to his efforts and the skilful arrangement of the cannon at his disposal, the most important strong points of the town fell into French hands, the British fleet, which was cooperating with the besieged, was driven off, and Toulon was captured.

But this piece of work did not bring Napoleon any immediate or great reward; in fact it was not long before he was out of favor with the Revolutionary Government and his commission as an officer taken from him. He had formed a friendship with the brother of Robespierre, a revolutionary leader who came under the displeasure of the Republic. And when Napoleon was offered a command of infantry, he refused to accept it, and thus found himself outside the profession that he had chosen.

However, his skill at Toulon was soon to give him the opportunity he sought, for one of the members of the Revolutionary Government had noticed his ability and resolved to call upon him in a time of need. This time soon came, for rioting and bloodshed broke out in Paris, and the people sought to overthrow the Government. Then Napoleon was called on to protect the Palace of the Tuileries where the offices of the French Government were located.

Here Napoleon showed the stuff he was made of. Although he was given the appointment late in the day, the next morning saw cannon trained on all the avenues approaching the Tuileries, and the cannoneers standing like statues with lighted matches ready to fire upon the slightest provocation. When the Parisian mob armed with clubs, pistols and old muskets advanced to storm the palace Napoleon waited until some shots had been fired and then gave a sharp command. With a roar of cannon a storm of death swept down the avenues, and the people scattered like chaff, leaving many dead and wounded behind them.

The Government had been saved due to the prompt action of the young artillery officer and was properly grateful. Napoleon was given an important command. He received a general's rank and was put in charge of the Army of the Interior. It was at this time that he met a beautiful widow named Josephine de Beauharnais with whom he promptly fell in love. Through Barras, the official who had brought him into prominence, the match was arranged and Napoleon was married to Josephine.

But the young officer had already started upon his career of greatness, and did not have much time to celebrate his nuptials. While on leave and even when engaged in other duties he had found opportunity to study the situation in Italy, where many forces hostile to the French Republic were gathered. He had even formed a plan by which the French could invade Italy, and it was now suggested to the Directors of the French Government that he himself be allowed to put this plan into execution. They consented, and hurrying to the south of France only two days after his wedding, Napoleon took charge of a French army of about fifty thousand ragged and ill-fed soldiers. His men had not been paid for months and there was practically no discipline among them. They were sick and discouraged, worn out with fighting the battles of the Revolutionary party without reward. But when Napoleon appeared among them, their spirits rose as though by magic, for the young commander knew how to appeal to their imagination and to awaken their fighting instinct.

"Soldiers," he said to them, "you are half starved and half naked: the government owes you much, but can do nothing for you. I am about to lead you into the most fertile valleys of the world; there you will find flourishing cities and teeming provinces; there you will reap honor, glory and riches. Soldiers of the Army of Italy, will you lack courage?"

In Italy were the Austrians and the Sardinians against whom Napoleon was to fight. He did not attempt to cross the Alps, as the great general Hannibal had done in ancient times; instead of this he skirted the Alps and fell upon the enemy so rapidly that they were not prepared to meet him. With a series of brilliant marches and maneuvers he divided the forces of his enemy and compelled the Sardinians to sign an armistice, although the French Government had given him no authority to take so much power into his own hands. He then drove back the Austrians and defeated them in the battle of Lodi, where he carried a standard with his own hands and rallied his troops in the face of a withering fire.

The Austrians were completely defeated and numbered their dead by thousands. And so delighted were the French soldiers by their success that they gave to the name of their young commander the title of "the little corporal."

Napoleon, however, did not let the grass grow under his heels, for in war he believed that victory almost always came to the commander who struck first. Time was everything, he declared, and advancing swiftly he laid siege to the town of Mantua, defeated several armies that were sent to relieve it and brought all Italy under his control.

And now the Directors of the French Government learned that the young general they had placed in command of the Army of Italy was made of very different material from the average general who obeyed their orders. Napoleon treated them haughtily, and made demands rather than requests from them. He had already exceeded his powers many times and had treated with the rulers and the commanders of the enemies he had beaten as though he himself were the ruler of France. Indeed his soldiers talked frequently of making him such and declared that they would rather have a general like Napoleon as their king and be his subjects, than to be governed by a group of civilian clerks who knew nothing of war and had to rely on others to carry out their wishes. It may be sure that Napoleon did not discourage this feeling among his soldiers, for he designed to make himself the ruler of France. The time had not yet come, however, for him to reveal his intentions openly, although it is true they were but thinly disguised.

After he had negotiated with Austria for peace and arranged the armistice with Sardinia, Napoleon returned to Paris, carrying with him many priceless paintings and works of art taken from the states that he had conquered. These were placed in the galleries of the Louvre in Paris, which at once became the most wonderful picture galleries in the world.

But the Directors of the French Government were afraid of the young conqueror who was acclaimed by the people wherever he went, and desiring to get rid of him they readily gave their consent to a plan that Napoleon himself suggested. This was that since France was still at war with England and not strong enough to invade that country, Napoleon should strike at her by taking an army to conquer Egypt, and thus do injury to England's trade with her eastern possessions in India, by opening a road to invade that far country which was the source of England's power.

Preparations for the expedition were conducted with great secrecy in Toulon, the same town that he had captured a few years before, and in May, 1798, Napoleon set sail with a large fleet that contained about thirty-five thousand of his best soldiers and his most clever and trustworthy officers.

On landing in Egypt he lost no time, but quickly captured Alexandria and marched into the desert.

The Mamelukes who fought against Napoleon, although undisciplined and savage, were nevertheless brave fighters. Their cavalry was far famed for its bravery and skill at horsemanship, as well as for rich trappings and costly equipment.

Bravely the Mamelukes charged against the French, and time after time they recoiled from the squares of glittering bayonets on which riders and horses were impaled. But at last they weakened, and the French charged in their turn and from an unexpected quarter. The battle was over. Napoleon's keen eye had seen that the artillery of the Mamelukes had no wheels and was moved with difficulty and he arranged his men accordingly.

But while Napoleon succeeded on land he had been cut off from returning to France, for the English admiral, Lord Nelson, had defeated the French fleet. Napoleon fought and won battles against the Turks, but his force was too small and the odds against him were too great for him to succeed in an Eastern campaign, cut off as he was by the English. And while he was in this difficult situation word was brought to him that war had broken out again in Italy and all his work there had been undone. It was imperative, if he wished to hold his power in France, that he should make his way to Paris without delay.

So Napoleon left his men in the charge of one of his generals, and with only a few followers embarked at Alexandria. His ship eluded the English fleet which was cruising the Mediterranean Sea, and he made his way to Paris with all speed.

France at this time was governed by a Directory and a Council of Five Hundred. This was one of the forms of revolutionary government that had been adopted after the French had dethroned and slain their king.

Napoleon believed that the time had come for him to seize the chief position in the French Government, but he did not dare as yet openly to have himself proclaimed as King. With his brother Lucien, and his advisor Talleyrand—although Napoleon did not accept advice as a rule, but was guided by his own bold, brilliant ideas,—he overthrew the Council of Five Hundred and abolished the Directory. Then he established what was called the Provisional Government which was headed by a group of three men who were called Consuls. Naturally Napoleon was the first and most important of these, and took care to see that the bulk of the power wielded by the consuls should remain in his hands. Clever, bold and brilliant, stopping at nothing, with the solid backing of the army and a brain greater than any that has been known on this earth in hundreds of years, it seemed as though this superman could accomplish anything he desired.

After he had attained his ends in Paris he went again into the field to meet his enemies. There was no immediate fear that France would be invaded, for while the Austrians had won victories in Italy and freed that country from French control, for which they substituted their own, a French general named Massena had won a victory in Switzerland that had shaken the grip of his enemies. It was necessary, however, that Italy be invaded a second time. And this time Napoleon made his plans to cross the Alps as Hannibal had done two thousand years before.

With his supplies on pack mules, with cannon wheels carried by his soldiers and the men themselves drawing the cannon on rude sleds improvised from tree trunks, the indomitable commander crossed the mighty mountain range that stood in his way, and suddenly appeared on the Italian plains in a part of the country where the Austrians had not dreamed that he would arrive. Before they were able to collect and rearrange their forces, Napoleon struck and defeated them in the battle of Marengo, where his men fought against odds of three to one. Other battles followed, and French generals invaded Austria. There remained nothing for the Austrians to do but sue for peace. England soon followed her example and France was at peace with the world.

Then Napoleon busied himself with internal matters and set about reorganizing the French Government and framing a code of laws that might be used thereafter by the country that he had made his own. This was called the "Code Napoleon" and it is largely used to-day in France, for Napoleon's genius as a lawmaker and a ruler was almost as great as his power of generalship. He did not know such a word as failure but succeeded in everything he put his hand to. While whole libraries have been written about him there seem to be three main reasons for his gigantic successes. The first is that he was a natural genius, with far superior mental power to any other man of his time; the second is that he had wonderful ability to work hard, and the third is that he knew how to draw to himself the loyalty and affection of the ablest men of his day and make their achievements further stepping stones to his own successes. He had studied his trade of soldiering since he was old enough to talk. He had worked at it constantly and toiled so incessantly that he seldom slept more than three or four hours a night. Moreover, in the troubled times in which Napoleon appeared on the international stage, France was ripe for just such leadership and indomitable will power as he was able to supply. Fortune favored his efforts as much as he favored himself.

The peace that had come to Europe did not last long. In the treaties that had been framed Napoleon had taken care to include affairs that would furnish him with new excuses to make war whenever he desired. And now he went to war again with England and made plans for invading that country, which he hated above all others.

He had become so powerful by this time that he desired to wear the crown of France. Accordingly he made arrangements for a brilliant coronation and invited Pope Pius the Eighth to place the crown upon his head. As there was still much hatred in France of the word King, Napoleon decided to assume the title of Emperor.

On December 2, 1804, before a most brilliant assembly of people, Napoleon and Josephine were crowned. When the Pope approached to place the crown on Napoleon's head he rose quickly, took the crown from the Pope's hand and placed it on his head himself, while a gasp of astonishment ran through the audience. He then removed it and placed it on the head of Josephine who sat on the throne beside him.

As the crown touched Napoleon's brow Paris reechoed to the thunder of guns and to deafening cheers and cries of "Long live the Emperor!" Grim old soldiers, who had followed him in many bitter campaigns, embraced each other and got drunk in the wineshops. There was a wild time of revel and celebration. The French people forgot the Revolution in which thousands had died just to prevent the rule of kings. They thought of nothing but their new ruler who had made France the mistress of the world and was to lead his armies to even greater victories. And it seemed that Napoleon would need more victories to keep his power. Through the tireless efforts of the English statesman, Pitt, Russia and Austria had joined England against him. Other countries were secretly in league with these allies, and war was again to shake the entire world.

As we have said Napoleon had planned to invade England and so certain was he of success that he had a monument erected celebrating the future invasion. But to secure the results and to transport his army safely into England it was necessary for Napoleon to have mastery of the English Channel, which was controlled by British warships under Lord Nelson, who, as you remember, had cut off and defeated Napoleon at sea when he was engaged in the invasion of Egypt. And while arrangements were completed for carrying a large French army from Boulogne to the English shores, a mishap befell Napoleon that forever prevented him from realizing his dream of British invasion. The French fleet under Admiral Villeneuve met Lord Nelson off Trafalgar and was utterly defeated. Napoleon's chance to invade England was gone forever.

With his genius, however, for changing failure into success Napoleon had already turned his designs elsewhere. With the splendid army with which he contemplated the humiliation of England, he now marched against Austria.

After defeating the Austrians in several engagements Napoleon met the combined Russian and Austrian forces at Austerlitz on the anniversary of the day on which he had been crowned as Emperor. And Fortune, which had crowned him then in Paris, now crowned his genius on the battlefield by the greatest of all his victories. After prodigious slaughter the Russians and Austrians were completely routed, losing thousands of prisoners. The treaty of Pressburg followed, in which the Austrian Emperor, Francis the First, was compelled to give up large slices of territory to France, and the Russians as quickly as possible withdrew into their own country.

But this was only the beginning of the wars that Napoleon thence-forward was engaged in. The kingdom of Prussia declared war against France, and Napoleon marched against the Prussians and defeated them at the battle of Jena.

Russia, however, was ready to make peace with France, for after Jena Napoleon turned his attention to the Russians and defeated them at Friedland. Then the Czar of Russia and Napoleon met on a raft which was anchored in the middle of the river Niemen and swore eternal friendship.

This was called the Treaty of Tilsit. As England was now the only great nation that continued to be the enemy of France, Napoleon had made arrangements in this treaty that were designed to cripple England's trade and do as much damage to her as was possible. Moreover, the conqueror had decided that henceforth there were to be no neutral nations. Either the other countries must aid him in his trade war against England and in other ways should he desire, or take the consequences of braving his anger. With this policy in his mind Portugal was invaded and the royal family was driven from the country to South America where they sought refuge in the country of Brazil. Spain had sided with France against Portugal, but Napoleon then humiliated and dominated Spain. He used a far greater number of men than was necessary for his Portuguese invasion, and turned them against the Spaniards, many of whose most important forts had been taken by the French soldiers through treachery as well as by stratagem. When the conquest of Spain was ended Napoleon placed his brother, Joseph, on the Spanish throne.

Austria, however, was preparing for another struggle against Napoleon. Though continually defeated by the French, the Austrians lost no chance of turning on them or taking any opportunity that might bring success against the victorious soldiers of Napoleon. But this only brought upon the Austrians the further defeat of Wagram and the loss of additional territory to Napoleon.

But now fortune began to go against the brilliant soldier who had seldom lost a battle and practically never had been defeated. The Russians did not like the alliance with France that had been imposed upon them at Tilsit and in spite of the Czar's vows of friendship were ready to turn against Napoleon on the first opportunity. In fact the Czar had become directly angered at Napoleon for the following reason.

Although Napoleon had made himself Emperor there was no heir to the French throne. As it seemed that Josephine would remain childless, Napoleon conceived the plan of divorcing her and marrying some high born lady whose alliance with him would strengthen the bonds between her country and that of the French. He had negotiated with the Russian Czar for the hand of a Russian princess, but before the arrangements had been completed he married an Austrian duchess named Marie Louise.

This turned Russia into the scale against Napoleon, who had already dealt with the Russians in a high handed manner. So the Czar entered into a close alliance with England against the conqueror.

Then Napoleon made the greatest mistake of all his brilliant career. With all Europe in unrest against him, he nevertheless conceived the plan of invading Russia and raised a great army for this purpose. Russia was and is one of the most difficult countries in all Europe in which to carry on a military invasion. The country is so cold and barren and the distances are so great that any invading army has great difficulty in transporting its supplies and marching the required distances. Napoleon had almost always relied for his supplies on the countries he had conquered and believed that it was always possible for large armies to subsist on forage and the supplies of the conquered inhabitants. To a large extent he used this policy in his invasion of Russia and it brought about his downfall. With an army of four hundred thousand men he entered Russia and advanced into the interior. The Russians constantly retreated before him and laid waste everything in his path. Towns were burned, crops were destroyed and cattle were driven away, as Napoleon led his forces toward the ancient and historic city of Moscow.

When the French had advanced a long distance into Russia, the Russian general named Kutusoff offered them battle in a place called Borodino. It was a stubborn and bloody conflict, and more lives were lost both by the Russians and by the French than in any previous battle Napoleon had engaged in. The Russians then continued to retreat and Napoleon entered Moscow on the Fourteenth of September, 1812.

Here the French believed that they would find respite from the hardships that they had encountered, and sufficient food and grain to feed their army. But their hopes were short lived, and in Moscow a great disaster befell them. Flames broke out in the city on the first night of their occupation, and were extinguished with difficulty. On the next night fires were kindled by hidden Russians in a hundred different places, and at last the city was a sea of flames in which no man could live. Napoleon had gained nothing by his invasion except to conquer a devastated country, and now, with winter coming on, he was compelled to retreat again toward the Russian frontier.

The plight of the French army had become fearful. Without food and with insufficient clothing they were compelled to face the rigors of a Russian winter. As they retreated the Russians followed them and bands of wild Cossacks harassed their rear and their flanks, cutting off and killing any stragglers. Even the Russian peasants took part in the pursuit, and slew the exhausted French with their flails and cudgels. Thousands of soldiers froze to death. In crossing the Beresina River thousands more drowned. When they approached the frontier Napoleon left the pitiful remnant of his shattered army to Marshal Ney, one of the bravest of his generals, while he himself in a swift sleigh hastened to Paris to raise another army before all Europe knew of what had happened—for as soon as they did know they would take up arms against him, thinking that in his weakened condition they could overthrow his power. Of the four hundred thousand that entered Russia only twenty thousand returned. More than a third of a million brave men had left their bones on the chill snows and iron earth of the land they sought to humble.

Uprisings, alliances and campaigns by the hitherto beaten nations followed. Napoleon won the battle of Lutzen, but the English Duke of Wellington defeated the French at Vittoria. At last in the great battle of Leipzig in October, 1813, the French were routed.

In the following year the Allies made ready to crush Napoleon. He was now on the defensive with enemies hemming him in on every side, and although he fought a brilliant campaign it was hopeless. On April 11, 1814, Napoleon was compelled to resign the crown, and obliged to go into exile; and the island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea was chosen as the place for him to end his days.

For the last time before his exile, Napoleon addressed his soldiers in farewell, and the tears ran down the rough cheeks of the veterans as they bade good-by to the man who had so often led them to victory. And then Napoleon passed through southern France on his way to Elba amid the hisses and execrations of his people, who had already forgotten the victories he had won for France and thought now only of their misery and the dear ones they had lost on the barren snow fields of Russia.

Instead of Napoleon the brother of the former king, Louis the Sixteenth, was placed on the throne of France—an old, fat, wheezy man of no particular ability. It seemed as if the great conqueror were downed at last.

But Napoleon intended differently. As he stayed at Elba surrounded by a little court and with the title of Emperor which the Allies had allowed him to keep, he kept looking toward the coast of France and plotting how to return. It is more than probable that his life was in danger at Elba. At all events he found the life intolerable, and desired once again to play the leading part in European affairs.

In the meantime the French people grew weary of fat old Louis the Eighteenth, whose name of "Louis Dix Huit" was changed by the French as a joke into "Louis Des Huitres," or Louis of the Oysters, so fond was the old gourmand of his shellfish. They began to sigh for Napoleon and look forward to the spring when they hoped he might be able to escape from his island of confinement and rejoin his soldiers in Paris. And this very thing soon happened.

Napoleon made a successful plan to escape from Elba and was concealed on a ship bound for France. And on the short trip back to the French coast he gave a striking example of his remarkable coolness and the certainty in which he held his future fortune. A passing vessel hailed his ship, asking, among other things, what was the latest news of the Emperor. Napoleon, who was too far off to be recognized, laughingly took the speaking trumpet from the captain's hand and shouted back: "The Emperor is very well." And both vessels passed on their way.

Landing with a few followers near Cannes in southern France, Napoleon hastened northward with the small army that he had been allowed to keep at Elba. An army had been sent against him by the French, but Napoleon had no intention of fighting it. Instead he advanced alone upon his former soldiers, many of whom recognized him and rejoiced at a sight of their former leader. When he drew near Napoleon threw back his coat and shouted that if any man desired to kill his Emperor now was his opportunity. Instead of killing him the soldiers crowded around him with cries of joy. The whole army went over to his cause, and Marshal Ney, who had been sent against him and who had sworn that he would bring Napoleon back in an iron cage, could not withstand the sight of his old general and threw his lot once more with the Imperial eagles. With a force that increased at every mile Napoleon marched toward Paris, while Louis the Eighteenth hastily gathered up his luggage and fled into Belgium.

As soon as the Allies learned of Napoleon's escape they hastened to make war against him. But Napoleon did not wait for them. With a splendid army at his heels he marched to the north to meet his foes.

Fate was too strong for him, however. On June 16th, 1815, he fought the battle of Ligny in which he defeated the Prussians, but two days later he engaged in one of the most famous struggles of all history—the battle of Waterloo.

Here Napoleon was pitted against the English under Lord Wellington and the Prussians under Blucher. All day the struggle went on with success in the balance and time after time it seemed as if nothing could save the English army from the furious charges of Napoleon's cuirassiers and heavy dragoons. Blucher had been separated from Wellington before the battle opened, and due to muddy roads he was late in arriving with the reenforcements that were necessary for an English victory. When he did appear, however, the battle was won for the Allies. The French broke and scattered in headlong rout and were followed throughout the night by the ruthless Prussians, who cut them down without mercy. The splendid army that Napoleon had gathered was no more.

Napoleon fled to Paris and from there to Rochefort in southern France, where he was ordered to leave the country without delay. Now that he was defeated the French were unwilling to harbor him, for they knew that his presence meant continued war with the victorious Allies. At last Napoleon surrendered himself to the commander of the British warship Bellerophon, and was taken to England as a prisoner. The English did not even allow him to land. He was transferred to another vessel and carried to a lonely and rocky island in the south Atlantic called St. Helena. Here, with a few of his followers who remained faithful to him in his misfortune, the great Emperor fretted away the remainder of his life. On May 5, 1821, just as the sunset gun was fired, he breathed his last.

He was buried in St. Helena, but his body was later claimed by the French Government and now rests in state in Paris in a wonderful sarcophagus of red marble beneath the dome of the Hotel Des Invalides. In recesses of this building are also the tombs of Marshal Ney and the other great generals who had best served their Emperor in his lifetime.




If George Washington was the father of his country, certainly Giuseppe Garibaldi could be called the father of Italian liberty, for this one patriot, almost single handed, fomented and carried on the revolution that resulted in the birth of the Italian nation as it stands to-day.

Giuseppe Garibaldi was born in the year 1807, in the town of Nice, and was the son of a sailor and sea captain named Domenico Garibaldi. It is probable that almost before he could walk Giuseppe was familiar with the deck of his father's vessel, and it is certain that when a very young boy he showed an aptitude and desire for a seafaring life.

His father, however, did not wish his son to be a sea captain like himself, but desired him to lead some life ashore, where, he thought, the boy's chances of advancement would be better. This plan, however, did not appeal to Giuseppe. The call of the sea was in him and he determined to be a sailor like his father. When still a young boy, with one or two companions, he stole a fishing boat and put to sea in the Mediterranean, sailing to the Eastward. His father soon gave chase, however, with a faster boat, and caught the would be mariner off the coast of Monaco, returning with him to Nice. The boy's cruise itself was ended, but this incident convinced the father that his son was intended for the sea, and in a few months Giuseppe shipped as a cabin boy and before long was making long voyages.

He quickly showed that seafaring was his natural calling, for before he was twenty-four years old he had become the master of a vessel, showing at an early age a capacity for responsibility and an ability to command other men that marked him head and shoulders above his companions.

But while engaged upon his voyages Garibaldi was thinking a great deal about the unfortunate condition of Italy and the unhappiness of his countrymen, for at that time the Italians did not form one nation as they do to-day, but were grouped in a number of petty states that frequently warred against each other and were themselves surrounded by more powerful enemies. The idea of making Italy one nation had not then occurred to the bulk of the people, but there was a band of secret revolutionists who were working for "Young Italy" and Garibaldi, who was known to be in favor of a united Italy, soon met some of the members of this organization.

The young skipper promptly became fired with the desire to aid the work of the revolutionists and went to Marseilles where he talked with the famous patriot, Mazzini, also a young man, who had been active in revolutionary circles and was the chief organizer of the league called Young Italy. Mazzini's aim was to put an end to all the existing Italian governments and form an Italian republic that should extend from Sicily to the Alps. For his revolutionary activities he had been banished from his native country, and was carrying on his work to the best of his ability in Marseilles.

Mazzini gave Garibaldi a cordial greeting, and enlisted his aid in the work of the revolutionists. They were planning a war against the King of Sardinia whose name was Charles Albert, and while the patriots invaded Savoy Garibaldi's mission was to go to Genoa and hatch a revolution in the fleet, where, it was thought, there were many sailors who would gladly fall in with the aims of Young Italy and lend their aid in overthrowing the existing governments.

The plot failed and Garibaldi was left stranded at Genoa, hunted by the soldiers and certain to meet death in case he was captured. He disguised himself in the dress of a peasant and escaped to France, where a newspaper informed him that he had been named as an outcast from his native country, and had been sentenced to death. There was nothing further for him to do at that time except to carry on his calling of sea captain under an assumed name, and it was not long before he had shipped as a common seaman on a vessel sailing for South America, where for two years, nothing further was heard of him. But his ardent nature found play in the new country to which he had come, and when the Province of Rio Grande rose in revolution against the rule of the Brazilians, Garibaldi joined the rebels and made preparations to fight in the revolutionary cause.

He secured a little fishing vessel, and with a few companions began to cruise as a privateer in the insurgent cause, going through many sea fights and many hardships and adventures in the behalf of the revolutionists. Finally he was shipwrecked and only saved his life by his great skill at swimming, most of his companions drowning in the surf where he was powerless to help them. The revolutionists gave him another ship and he soon sailed away for further encounters with the enemy.

While in the port of Laguna a new adventure befell him, for there he beheld the woman who was to become his wife. Her name was Anita Riberas, and according to the South American custom her father had arranged a marriage for her with a man she did not love. When she met Garibaldi she was struck with his fine and commanding appearance, and he on his part instantly fell in love with her, for she was a woman of great beauty and a keen and spirited mind. The result of this meeting was that Anita eloped with Garibaldi, sailing away with him on his vessel and marrying him a few days later when another port was reached.

Anita not only was on board Garibaldi's vessel in a number of sea fights but actually took part in them. On one occasion, we are told, she was knocked down by a gust of wind made by a cannon ball as it whizzed across the deck, but picking herself up continued to fight by the side of the men.

Garibaldi then organized a band of guerilla cavalry and his bride, dressed in man's clothes, rode by his side. It was while her husband was a captain of guerillas that she bore him a son, and on many weary journeys the baby was carried in a sort of net cradle slung from her saddle. Garibaldi was now fighting for the freedom of Uruguay.

It was at this time that Garibaldi formed the band of revolutionaries called the Italian Legion. They chose for their colors a flag on which a volcano was painted with fire spouting from the crater against a background of black. And Garibaldi at the head of his Italians was a skilful and famous soldier, known everywhere in Uruguay and even in foreign countries.

In the year 1848 the whole of Northern Italy rose in arms against the Austrians, and the King of Sardinia, Charles Albert, was now fighting in a cause that seemed just to Garibaldi, who desired of all things to see the foreign control of great nations taken away from his country. At once he decided to enter the war and sailed for Italy with the members of his legion. He chose for an emblem this time the colors that have since become the flag of Italy, a flag of red, white and green arranged like the French tricolor.

He received a cold welcome from the King of Sardinia, for Charles Albert could not forgive his former revolutionary activities. But the King soon had reason to hate him even more than hitherto, for when, with the Pope, he made peace with Austria after his forces had been defeated, Garibaldi refused to recognize the compact and with a small band of insurgents continued the fight, until he fell ill with fever and was compelled to give up the struggle and allow his soldiers to return to their homes.

He was determined, however, that Italy should never again recognize Austrian rule, and as soon as he had recovered from the fever, he began what was called the "People's War." Numbers of Italians flocked to his standard, and his cause was soon strengthened by an uprising in Rome, in which the Pope himself was driven from office, and a minister named Rossi was murdered.

Garibaldi had hastened to Rome to be present at the declaration of the Roman Republic, of which Mazzini was to be President. As the Austrian and French forces were pursuing him he organized a stubborn resistance, and furious fighting took place in the outskirts of the city and in the streets themselves. Soon it was evident that the revolutionists must give in and the city be taken. The only hope for the Republicans lay in their escaping to the mountains. The city surrendered finally without Garibaldi's consent, and with his band of red shirted followers he fled into the country just as the French soldiers were pouring through the gates. His wife, dressed as a man, accompanied him.

Then commenced a campaign filled with most bitter hardships and difficulties. At the beginning of his flight he had only five thousand men and these were quickly decreased in numbers by the hardships they were compelled to undergo, and by many desertions that took place as a result. But Garibaldi persevered, until he saw that it was useless to think of any further resistance at that time, and he then planned a flight to the coast. Fully fifty thousand well armed and organized men were in pursuit of him, and their ranks were added to daily by deserters from his own small force. At last all but two hundred surrendered, and these, with Garibaldi at their head seized a number of fishing vessels and put to sea, hoping to reach the friendly city of Venice.

But the enemy's vessels were watching the coast, and soon a large fleet was in hot pursuit. Some of Garibaldi's vessels were captured and sunk and the rest were compelled to land to escape the pursuing ships.

All this time his faithful wife, Anita, had accompanied him—but the hardships they had undergone had proved too much for her; she had fallen ill and now it was seen that she had only a few hours to live. With soldiers of the enemy following him, and with his dying wife in his arms, Garibaldi hid among the sand dunes of the coast and at last carried his wife into a deserted cottage where she promptly breathed her last.

With the soldiers at his heels Garibaldi could not even wait to see her buried. He took to the hills once more, and after a terrible journey of forty days, in which he was obliged to travel in disguise, he escaped on a fishing boat, and after being turned away from several ports where his presence was unwelcome, made his way to America. This time he went to New York, and for a time earned his daily bread as a ship chandler on Staten Island.

Then he returned to his old trade of sea captain and sailed for China in command of a vessel called the Carmen. He then returned to Europe, and as the hatreds of the revolution had now largely blown over he was able to go to Nice and see his children. The search for him had waned. Italy seemed hopelessly under the yoke of her enemies, and Garibaldi settled down to private life on the Island of Caprera, where he lived simply as a farmer.

He was only too ready, however, to respond if another demand should come for him to carry arms in behalf of United Italy, and through the skill of the statesman, Cavour, such a demand did come in the year 1859. Cavour, by clever diplomacy, had brought on a war between the Austrians and the French and with the aid of the powerful nation of France the Italians were victorious at the battles of Magenta and Solferino.

But while France was willing to fight the Austrians, the French were unwilling to have Italy at their doors as a united nation, and a peace was agreed upon between the two great powers in which Italian liberty was ignored. All the work of Garibaldi seemed to have been useless. All of his great sacrifices were apparently thrown away by the statesmen and diplomats who were forced to accede to the French and Austrian terms.

But the peace of Villafranca, as this agreement was called, was only the beginning of Garibaldi's greatness. He hastened to Genoa, where, with one thousand and seventy followers, he seized two steamers and embarked for Sicily. Sicily had revolted on hearing of the peace terms and Garibaldi had been invited to go there and aid the revolution.

After a voyage of six days he landed at Marsala where a tremendous welcome was given to him. The Neapolitan fleet was not far off, but they did not dare to open fire on the little band of revolutionists on account of British warships nearby, as Great Britain was known to favor the revolutionary cause.

With Garibaldi at the head of an indomitable little army, the Neapolitan soldiers were put to flight at the battle of Calatafimi and Garibaldi advanced upon the city of Palermo. After heavy fighting the city was taken, and afterward at the head of about two thousand men, Garibaldi routed an army more than three times the size of his own. All Sicily was soon in Garibaldi's possession, and now, with a considerable army at his back, he crossed over to the Italian mainland and advanced northward, with his enemies fleeing before him. Finally he captured the city of Naples and his work was completed.

Without any hesitation Garibaldi turned over his conquests to King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia, who, after Garibaldi's successes, had marched against Naples and was now in control of a large part of the Italian peninsula. After refusing many rewards Garibaldi retired again to the island of Caprera, but in 1862 he raised a volunteer army and marched against Rome in an attempt to overthrow the power of the Pope which he believed must be destroyed before Italy could ever become a united nation.

King Victor Emmanuel did not feel that he could allow this expedition of Garibaldi's, and sent his own army against him. Garibaldi was defeated and he himself was taken prisoner, but after a short confinement he was pardoned and set at liberty.

In 1866 he started another revolution but was again defeated and again captured. Once more, however, he was pardoned and allowed to go back to Caprera, where he was guarded by a warship to prevent any further activity on his part. Three years later he offered his services to the French Republic and was made a deputy of that famous body, the French Versailles Assembly. He then entered the Italian Parliament, and for his great patriotic services was given a pension for life. In later life he married again but the marriage was not a happy one and was annulled after a number of years, when Garibaldi again took a wife, a peasant woman named Francesca.

He died in 1882, at Caprera, one of the most famous of all Italians, and the one to whom modern Italy owes more than to any other man. Had it not been for Garibaldi's great endurance under the most terrible hardships and privations, and his resolute determination to free his country, there might well be no modern Italy as these pages are written.




The story of Abraham Lincoln should bring more inspiration to you than that of any other man or woman who is mentioned in this book. For Lincoln not only had a great mind, a great and forceful personality, but a great and kindly heart, filled with charity for all. He was, moreover, a man of the people. Whatever he gained in life, he gained by his own efforts. Washington created the United States, but Lincoln carried them through the most difficult crisis of their history—and it is more than probable that without him there would be no United States to-day.

He was born in 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky, on the Twelfth of February, and was the son of Thomas Lincoln, a carpenter. Thomas Lincoln was a good natured but shiftless man who never did any more work than was absolutely necessary to keep his family from starving. He had pioneer blood in his veins, as, indeed, all Lincoln's ancestors had, from the time when they first came to America in 1637; and this fact kept them pushing continually to the westward and taking up new lands in unbroken country as opportunity offered. Thomas Lincoln's wife, Nancy, was made of better stuff than her easy going husband, and it is probably from her that the boy Abraham inherited the character that was to make his name the greatest in his country, if not in the entire world.

As a boy Abraham had little or no chance to go to school, but he was so industrious and eager to learn that he borrowed every book that he could lay his hand on, and in this way he obtained a thorough knowledge of the bible and of Shakespeare as well as of a few other classics, which included Æsop's fables, Robinson Crusoe, a history of Washington and the Pilgrim's Progress.

When Abraham was eight years old, his father moved to Indiana, and there the first great sorrow of his life befell the little boy. His mother died of a fever that appeared among the settlers, leaving Abraham and his sister Sarah, a little girl of eleven, to do the housework and the heavy chores of a backwoods farm. The following year Thomas Lincoln went away to Kentucky to marry again, and he brought back with him a big hearted woman named Sally Johnson, who had three children by a former marriage.

This marriage by Thomas Lincoln was the best thing that could have happened for his two motherless children. Sally Johnson was able to give them better care and more comforts than they had ever known. She inspired their father also to work more regularly and to put a door on the cabin in which they lived. Abraham helped his father in clearing the land and hewing the trees. He was big and strong for his age, and was constantly swinging an ax or guiding a plow.

All the time when not engaged in these active forms of labor, Abraham was reading and studying, by candle light or by firelight, chalking up sums of arithmetic on a board or the back of a shovel when he lacked paper to write them on, and striving in every way to gain for himself an education. Owing to the remote region where he lived and the constant moves that were made by his family, he had less than a year's schooling in the entire course of his life,—but his eagerness to learn counterbalanced this disadvantage and when he reached young manhood he knew as much as many who had been to the finest schools in the country from their earliest years and without interruption.

When he was twenty-one years old his father moved again. This time Thomas Lincoln settled in Illinois, and Abraham worked without pay for a year, helping him to clear his property and settle his land. Then, as was the custom in those days, he left home to seek his fortune elsewhere.

By this time he had grown into a tall and powerful man who was able with great ease to outstrip all others in running or jumping, swinging an ax or carrying heavy weights. His strength, in fact, was as famous throughout the country side as was his good nature and kindness, for he was always ready to give his neighbors a hand when they needed help and to do them a good turn when the chance came his way. Everybody liked him and he was welcome wherever he went.

With two relatives Lincoln built a flatboat and started down the river for New Orleans on a trading venture. He had been south once before, when he traveled more than a thousand miles on a flatboat selling groceries to the plantations of Mississippi, and these two trips enabled him to see what slavery was like. He saw negroes being placed on the auction block and knocked down to the highest bidder, separated forever from their wives and families. He saw them toiling in the fields and triced up under the lash. It was then, without doubt, that he formed the opinions that directed his policy from the White House in later years when he was President.

On returning to his home Lincoln had his first taste of military service. A war had broken out with the Black Hawk Indians, and volunteers were called for to drive them out of the country. Lincoln was one of the first to offer his services, and although still very young, every man in the neighborhood urged that he be made the captain of the military company in which they were to serve. It was a sign of the esteem in which the ungainly young man was held that those older than himself should unanimously propose him for their leader.

Before this time Lincoln, young as he was, had announced his candidacy for the Legislature of Illinois. The County of Sangamon, where he lived, was entitled to four representatives. He had informed the residents that he was a candidate by a characteristic letter which was printed in the county newspapers and has been quoted in Lincoln's biographies.

"Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition," he wrote. "Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as being truly esteemed by my fellow men by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to be developed. I am young and unknown to many of you. I was born, and have ever remained, in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relations or friends to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the independent voters of the county; and if elected they will have conferred a favor upon me for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate. But if the good people in their wisdom see fit to keep me in the background I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined."

But when the Indian war broke out Lincoln sacrificed his chances of being elected, preferring to fight for his country in such fighting as came his way, and the victory was won by his opponents.

On his return after a bloodless campaign, he started a grocery store in the town of New Salem, Illinois, but the venture was destined to be an unlucky one. The town dwindled in size; the store finally failed; his partner ran away and then died, leaving Lincoln to shoulder all the burden of the debt. Although he had no money and could earn but little, he paid this debt to the last penny and with proper interest, but the burden saddened his young manhood and put him in poverty and difficulties from which he did not free himself for a number of years.

In the year 1834, Lincoln ran once more for the State Legislature, and this time, as no obstacles beyond the ordinary came his way, he was elected. This marked the turning point in his career, for he had now embarked on the course that was to end with his election to the Presidency. He was sent back to the Legislature in 1836 and again in 1838 and 1840; and his policy was marked by broad views and great liberality. As a matter of fact, he was one of the first champions of woman's suffrage, for in preparing his platform he said that he was for allowing all whites to vote who bore the burdens of the Government, including the women.

While in the Legislature Lincoln had the courage to voice a protest against slavery, and at that time the feeling ran so strongly against "abolitionists," as the would-be liberators of slaves were called, that he could only get one man beside himself to sign this protest. In it he stated that slavery in itself was evil and unjust, but that the efforts of the abolitionists only served to add to its horrors. By this statement Lincoln ran grave danger of being ruined in his political career, and only his high moral courage impelled him to make it.

In 1839 the State Capitol of Illinois was moved to Springfield and Lincoln decided to live in the same town. While he had been serving his country in the Legislature he had also been studying law—a pursuit that he commenced when he owned the unlucky general grocery store at New Salem. Now he hung up his shingle as a lawyer, going into partnership with John T. Stuart who was prominent in Lincoln's own political party, whose members were called Whigs. Before very long he had a good practice.

Here Lincoln engaged to fight a duel, showing at once his courage and the keen sense of humor that he possessed. Some women friends of his had sent to the newspapers a series of humorous letters criticizing one James Shields, an Irishman, who was engaged in tax collecting. These letters were signed by the name of "Aunt Rebecca," and to help the ladies Lincoln had written the first letter as a model. When Shields started inquiries, Lincoln took the entire responsibility. Shields belonged to the opposite political party and challenged Lincoln to a duel. As the challenged, Lincoln was allowed to chose the weapons. He decided on broadswords of the largest possible size. A plank was to be placed between the duelists, and neither allowed to cross it. On either side of the plank lines were drawn at the length of the broadsword and three feet extra,—and if the duelist stepped back across this line he lost the fight.

These terms had a large element of the ridiculous about them. The meeting came to pass but the duel never was fought, for Lincoln and his adversary were reconciled before the swords were drawn. Soon after this Lincoln married Mary Todd, a Kentucky girl who had been one of the originators of the letters that brought about this duel.

A few years later, in 1846, Lincoln was elected to Congress. In his first term in the House of Representatives he did nothing to distinguish himself, but kept his eyes and ears open and used the term more as an instructive course in some university of politics than anything else, although he took care not to neglect the work of his constituents. In fact there is, or was at that time a general idea that it was impossible to distinguish oneself in a first term to Congress. There was too much to learn, too many duties to perform, too slight an acquaintance with fellow members.

Lincoln, however, quickly became known in Washington and was liked wherever he went. He had a gift for story telling that he frequently made use of, either to amuse his hearers or to take the bitterness out of some political argument.

While in Washington as a congressman, he made his first actual effort toward the abolition of slavery by drawing up a bill for the freeing of slaves in the District of Columbia and paying their owners a good price from the coffers of the Government. This bill had many supporters, but it was obstructed and never came to a vote. It showed, however, as his earlier and courageous protest showed, the thoughts that were in Lincoln's heart about this great national evil, and that he could be relied on to do all that lay in his power to end it.

After Lincoln's term in Congress was over he returned to Springfield, where, for a number of years, he quietly practised law without thinking of returning to office. He did desire to be Governor of the Territory of Oregon and was offered this position, but gave it up because his wife refused to live so far away. It is just as well that he did so, for who knows if his great powers would ever have been recognized if he had taken this appointment and lived in even more of a wilderness than where his forefathers had cleared the land and made their homes?

The war against slavery was gaining headway, and every year the feeling became more intense over the fact that certain States were allowed to hold men in bondage and buy and sell them like animals. Whenever a new territory was acquired by the Union a dispute arose as to whether it was to be a slave or a free territory, and this discussion was opened up with bitterness in 1854 when Lincoln's great rival, Senator Douglas, offered a bill to bring about territorial government in Nebraska.

On account of this struggle Lincoln came once more into the public eye. Douglas had believed that by working to repeal a measure known as the Missouri Compromise, thereby throwing open to slavery a large amount of territory that had been closed against it, he would stand an excellent chance of being elected President of the United States. The struggle between the slave and the free factions of the country had now taken on national importance of the first order, and caused the readjustment of the political parties. The Democratic party now became the champion of slavery, while the Whig party, and those Democrats who desired slaves to be free, were merged in the Republican party to which Lincoln belonged.

In the State Convention in Illinois, where the Republican party was formed, Lincoln made a wonderful speech, of which only the memory remains. The stenographers and reporters who were supposed to take it down became so enthralled by the words of the great leader that they forgot to make note of those words, and Lincoln, who spoke with few notes, could not remember afterward what he had said. How marvelous the speech must have been is to be seen from the fact that even without written reports its fame traveled through the United States, and those that heard it never forgot the majesty and power of Lincoln's oratory.

Lincoln was not yet well enough known, to be considered as a candidate for the Presidency, but he did receive some support from his party as Republican nominee for Vice President. In the meantime, and even before this speech had been made, Douglas had realized the strength of his new opponent, and sought to silence Lincoln until after the election. Lincoln and Douglas met in joint debate, and the result of the contest made history. Hoping to entrap Lincoln, Douglas asked him a number of questions, thinking that Lincoln might answer in such a way that his reply would be unpopular to the people of the South. In return Lincoln asked Douglas such a carefully thought out question that in answering it Douglas was compelled either to deny his former words or make himself unpopular with the Democratic party. And as a result of this Douglas was greatly weakened for the presidency in the campaign of 1860.

Lincoln's brilliant speeches and his former political record, his reputation for honesty and kindness, and his known firmness against the issue of slavery were doing their work, although he himself did not dream that he might gain the presidency that Douglas had aspired to. He continued to make speeches in 1859 and followed Douglas about, speaking against his policy. In May, 1860, the Republicans of the State of Illinois declared Lincoln to be their choice for President without a dissenting vote.

The Republican National Convention for that year, held in Chicago, was a memorable meeting. The two names that stood out above all others were those of William H. Seward and Abraham Lincoln. Several ballots were taken amid scenes of great excitement, and at last the name of Lincoln was given to the country as the Republican candidate for President.

And the campaign itself was the most memorable presidential campaign in the history of this country. In all there were four candidates. The Democratic party was split into two wings, one of which, with Douglas for its choice, claimed that it did not pretend to decide whether slavery was right or wrong; the other with Breckenridge was directly in favor of slavery and sought to extend it and to add new States to the slave list. There was also the Constitutionalist Union party in which slavery was not an issue at all or anything else, for that matter—while the Republican party, with Lincoln at its head, was directly opposed to slavery and had come out as its open and declared enemy.

On the night of the election, which fell on the Sixth of November, Lincoln heard news by electric telegram of his overwhelming victory. His speeches and his strong personality had won the day. He was chosen as President at a time when the most difficult and arduous duties since the time of Washington awaited the head of the nation.

Throughout the South, bitterness had been growing more and more marked each day. The South had declared that it would never bear the rule of a Republican President and an opponent of slavery. And after the Southern States knew that Lincoln was to be their leader, one after another withdrew its congressmen and senators from Washington, and passed what they called "ordinances of secession," which meant that they no longer considered themselves a part of the United States. More than this took place, for one after one the army officers in charge of the Southern forts and arsenals went over to the side of the South, allowing the most important military strongholds and vast amounts of military stores to fall into their hands, and President Buchanan, who was Lincoln's predecessor, and in sympathy with the South himself, did nothing to prevent these outrages against the Government he had sworn to uphold.

In the meantime Lincoln had performed his first official act which would have indicated, if other things had not amply done so, his coming greatness. This was his choice of a Cabinet. Believing that he must not only surround himself with the strongest men he could find, but the ones that the people placed most reliance in, he appointed to the Cabinet all the other Republicans whose names had been mentioned for President at the Republican convention in June. William H. Seward was his Secretary of State and the other cabinet officials included Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, who was Secretary of the Treasury, Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania, and later Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War.

The difficulties and dangers of his position now beset him. On his way to his inauguration he was warned that in Baltimore there had been discovered a plot against his life, and so serious did this plot appear that he had to go through secretly on another train than the one on which he was expected. In his inaugural address, assuming the duties of President, Lincoln denied the right of any State to secede from the Union, and this was taken by those States that already had seceded and in fact by the entire South as little less than a declaration of war against them.

All through the South preparations for war were carried on as quickly as possible. And in less than six weeks after Lincoln had taken over the duties of his office, the Civil War was opened by the Confederates, who turned their guns against Fort Sumter, which was held by the Union commander, Major Anderson.

From that time on the story of Lincoln's life is almost the same as that of the great Civil War, in which as President he decided most of the momentous questions that came before the nation, and bore upon his shoulders a weight even greater than what had been carried by Washington when the United States was born.

In the first part of the war the South won many victories. They defeated the Union forces at Bull Run and Fredericksburg, and with smaller forces and these divided were able to fight what amounted to a drawn battle at Antietam. They defeated General Hooker at Chancellorsville, and it began to look as if the South, under the brilliant General, Robert E. Lee, had more than a chance of gaining what they desired, and winning independence from the Federal Government. General after general was placed in command of the Union forces and proved inadequate to the gigantic task that had to be fulfilled. And Lincoln, in addition to his other duties, had to study and master the art of war, so that he could intelligently understand the military situations that came to him for final decision. No greater tribute can be made to the power of his brain than to say that after he had followed his military studies this lawyer and backwoodsman was considered among the best strategists in the country.

It was shortly after the battle of Antietam that President Lincoln decided to issue his famous proclamation giving freedom to all the slaves in the United States. He decided to do this because it was a war measure and the South had been able to obtain much military aid from the slaves who were in their possession. Also it won the North to a more whole-hearted prosecution of the war, since by far the greater part of the North desired the immediate freedom of the slaves. This proclamation was called the "Proclamation of Emancipation," and under it all men in the United States really became free and equal, for the first time in American History.

At last Lincoln had realized his lifelong desire to right the wrong of slavery, and throughout the world this act added greatly to his fame. By the black race he was looked upon as a second Savior and whenever he was seen by a group of negroes they raised the echoes with their shouts of enthusiasm and jubilee.

Another great deed was done by Lincoln and one that was to have an immediate effect upon the course of the war. This was the appointment of General Ulysses S. Grant to the position of Commander in Chief of the Union forces. General Grant, like Lincoln, came from obscure beginnings. He had volunteered his services at the beginning of the war, and had won his way upward through sheer merit. On the Fourth of July, 1863, he had captured the Southern city of Vicksburg, while General Meade in the same year beat the Confederates decisively on the field of Gettysburg which was the greatest battle of the war and marked its turning point.

It was after Gettysburg that President Lincoln made the memorable address upon the field of victory that has gone down into history as one of the finest speeches ever made and has been placed above the portals of one of England's greatest colleges as an example of the purest example of English speech that has ever been uttered.

"Fourscore and seven years ago," said Lincoln, "our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

"But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

The turning point of the war had been reached; the victory of the Northern forces was now assured. On the Ninth of April, 1865, General Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House and the war was brought to an end.

In the meantime Lincoln had been reelected President by an overwhelming majority. He now had before him the difficult task of reconstruction, and of bringing together the warring factions that so nearly had torn our nation in two halves forever.

His kindliness, his personal bravery which made him regardless of all risks and repeated threats of assassination, his infinite tact, resourcefulness and good humor, coupled with the weightier abilities as a ruler and a statesman, have made his name most justly the most famous in our history with the possible exception of George Washington's. There is an infinite fund of anecdotes concerning him and what he did in the dark days through which he piloted the country. Lincoln was always gentle when there was the least excuse for gentleness, and he pardoned so many military offenders who had been under sentence of death that the Union Generals complained that he was weakening their discipline. Yet this gentleness on his part was never confounded with weakness. No more terrible contestant could have appeared against the rebellious South than the quiet, gaunt backwoodsman who had placed himself in the President's chair by reason of his character alone.

On April 14, 1865, when attending a performance at Ford's Theater in Washington, President Lincoln was murdered. His assassin was John Wilkes Booth, brother of the famous actor, Edwin Booth, who was in no way implicated with the terrible deed perpetrated by one that bore his name. Wilkes Booth was a rabid Southerner and believed that since the North had conquered, vengeance was necessary. He did not see, as many of the defeated Southerners saw clearly, that with the war once ended Lincoln, with his infinite tolerance and patience, was the best friend that the South could possibly have.

Booth forced an entrance into the box where the President was seated and walking up to him shot him in the head with a pistol. He then vaulted over the rail and with the shout of "sic semper tyrannis" ran from the stage in spite of the fact that he had broken his leg in his fall from the box, and succeeded in escaping from the theater. The unconscious President was tenderly lifted and carried across the street to a house that was opposite the theater. Here at seven o'clock on the following morning he passed away.

That Lincoln was one of the greatest men of all time and belongs to eternity, was realized then, but is still more deeply realized now. His wonderful name has become a household word, not only in the United States but everywhere. And as the mist of the confusing events that surrounded him is clearing away in the light of history, his form is becoming mightier and more venerable every day.




The coast of Northumberland in England is rocky and severe with lofty flint-ledged cliffs where great waves thunder, hurling the white foam high into the air. It is a coast that is feared by vessels and many wrecks have taken place there. As is usual in such a locality it is the home of brave fishermen and daring boatmen who have many thrilling rescues to remember and many stormy encounters with the utmost fury of the sea. But of all the tales of daring that are talked of by the fisher folk, the bravest of all was performed by a girl whose name was Grace Darling,—a name that now is known not only in the places where she lived but all over the world.

Grace Horsley Darling was the daughter of a lighthouse keeper named William Darling, who tended a light on one of the Farne Islands as his father had done before him. Grace, who was the seventh of nine children, was born in 1815, in Bamborough, and when she was a little girl of eleven years her father was given charge of the new light on Longstone Rock, which was one of a series of dangerous reefs where no vessel ever built could live when a gale was blowing.

The highest part of Longstone Rock was only four feet above the surface of the sea, and near at hand were twenty-three other reefs or islands, between which the ocean tides ran in curious currents and eddys, and where the great rollers came racing in with a tremendous roaring to burst upon the base of the lighthouse and throw the spray high above the light itself. It was a wild spot, even in calm weather, but when a storm blew it became terrible. Then all communication with the mainland was cut off, and for days at a time the only news that the outside world had from the lonely lighthouse keeper was the yellow beam of the lantern that shone from the top of the tower across the desolate expanse of ugly rocks and roaring waters, where any ship that chanced to be entrapped was caught in the grip of strange currents and pounded into matchwood by the breakers.

Grace did not find the life at the lighthouse unpleasant. Her father was an intelligent and kind-hearted man who gave an eye to her education himself, and taught her how to read and write. He was also considered the best boatman on the whole Northumberland coast—the bravest and most skilful, and it was partly due to his reputation in these respects that he was made the keeper of the new light on the Longstone with a large increase in pay and a comfortable home for his family—for the interior of the lighthouse held several large and pleasant rooms where the Darlings lived. All of his elder children had gone off to make their living, and William Darling lived with his wife and his daughter Grace, who spent her time in reading, helping her mother with the housework, and, when it was calm, wandering over the rocks observing the gulls, the sea weeds and the strange sea creatures that the ocean brought to the surface or that crawled and swam among the more sheltered rock pools.

But the confinement of the life in the lighthouse was not good for the growing girl, and Grace never was strong and robust as would be expected from the daughter of fishermen. Nor was she handsome. But she possessed a kindly and winning nature, and, as will be seen, the ability to rise to heights of greatness when necessity called on her to do so.

When Grace was a young woman of twenty-three a terrible storm burst suddenly upon the coast and in the twinkling of an eye the reefs about the lighthouse were a sea of churning foam, while the great waves racing in from the ocean thundered so mightily at its base that it seemed as though they must tear it from its foundations and sweep it away.

A short time before this gale broke, the steamer Forfarshire had sailed from Hull for Dundee in Scotland. She was commanded by a captain named John Humble and had aboard all told about sixty-three persons, including the passengers and crew. She was a fine new steamer, well and strongly built, but she had put to sea with her boilers in poor condition, and it had been intended to give them a thorough overhauling in Dundee.

When the steamer was off Flamborough Head the boilers commenced to leak, and the ship's fires were extinguished. They were rekindled and the leak repaired, but just as the Forfarshire was off the Farne Islands the gale broke with great fury. While pitching in the heavy seas the boilers leaked terribly, the fires were again put out and the ship became unmanageable. Sails were hoisted, but were torn to ribbons by the wind. With no propelling power the Forfarshire rolled helpless in the trough of the sea, and was swiftly borne toward the rocks. Fog and rain made it impossible for the sailors to see until they were in the teeth of the breakers, and then the beam of the lighthouse showed them the wild rocks only a short distance away.

Nothing could save them from destruction. With a crash the steamer drove on the Harcars rocks and remained there, the seas breaking completely over it. Some of the crew launched a boat and escaped, deserting their captain, the passengers and the ship. The rest clung to what supports they could find and held on expecting instant death.

A wave, larger than the rest, picked up the Forfarshire bodily and drove it down again upon the rocks, breaking it in two. The after half of the vessel was swept away by the seas with many passengers and the captain and his wife. All were lost. On the forward part of the ship about twelve wretched persons remained in most desperate plight, the seas breaking over them and threatening to engulf the remaining portion of the vessel.

When day broke the wreck could be seen from the mainland, but the misery of the unfortunate persons who survived was even more plain to William Darling and his family. Grace begged her father to launch a boat and go to their assistance, but Darling, brave sailor as he was, knew that there was little or no chance of his ever reaching the doomed ship, and shook his head. Then Grace began to plead with her father, telling him it would be better for him to lose his life than to pass by people in such distress, and that she herself would go with him and bear a hand at the oars. Darling was no coward, and the prayers and entreaties of his daughter won the day. He decided to risk launching a boat from the lighthouse.

With Mrs. Darling to help them in launching their boat, Grace and her father put forth from the lighthouse, running their boat into the sea in the lee of the rocks, and pulling strongly for the wreck. Father and daughter both labored at the oars, unable to speak on account of the roar of the sea and wind, and blinded by the spray that whirled over them. Their boat was tossed like a shuttlecock in the great waves, and they knew that unless the shipwrecked persons could aid them it would be impossible to return to the lighthouse. They must succeed or die, and their chance of success was small.

Little by little they drew near the wreck. By this time the tide had ebbed sufficiently for the survivors to leave the ship and stand on the slippery rocks, but already some of them had succumbed and the rest would certainly be washed away and drowned at returning high water. As the rescuers drew near the reef, Darling leaped ashore, and Grace kept the frail rowboat from dashing itself to pieces against the rocks.

Then followed the difficult task of getting the survivors into the boat. One after one waded out as far as he dared and was pulled over the gunwale. When the last person was aboard Darling clambered back, and with new hands at the oars the boat was rowed back to the lighthouse—a trip that required great strength and much time for the current was against them. And when the light was reached, the shipwrecked people were soon made comfortable and cared for by Grace and Mrs. Darling, and nine lives were thus saved by the determination of a single girl.

In the meantime, and after the gale had abated considerably, a boat full of fishermen put out from the shore at a place called North Sunderland and after nearly being swamped in the high seas succeeded in drawing near the wreck. They saw there was no living thing left aboard, and not daring to return to the mainland in the sea then running succeeded in reaching the lighthouse. Among them was Grace's brother, Brooks Darling, and the heroism of his achievement and that of the other fishermen was only exceeded by the marvelous feat of the girl herself and of her father. In the course of a few days the fishermen succeeded in returning to the shore, taking with them the news.

All England rang with the fame of Grace's exploit, and letters and gifts poured in from every side. Scores of people visited the lighthouse. Grace was feted and admired, and a public subscription in her benefit resulted in a gift of seven hundred pounds, or about thirty-five hundred dollars of our money. She also received four medals, and a large sum of money in private gifts.

Grace and her family took their new prominence with great good sense and modesty, and disliked the publicity which came to them. They were astonished at the commotion their exploit had caused, for to them it appeared little more than a part of the day's work that duty required them to perform.

But Grace did not live long after her exploit. Her confined life at the lighthouse and the exposure she underwent there resulted in the disease of consumption from which she rapidly wasted away. In spite of the best medical aid she steadily drooped, and two years after she had done her brave deed she died in the town of Bamborough where she had been born.

Again a subscription was collected and a monument was erected in her honor. Her father and mother lived to a ripe old age, reaping benefits from the money that Grace had left them. Perhaps some of their descendants are still tending the light at the present day, but at all events the name of the Darlings has been made immortal by the bravery of this girl.




The Red Cross Nurse has become a heroic figure in the world to-day and has saved lives by hundreds of thousands in every quarter of the globe; she has labored under fire on the battlefield and in the reek of pestilence in the rear; her form is as familiar in war as that of the soldier, and her name betokens every charity and kindness—but of all the heroic women who ever bore their healing art into the dark places and black hours of history, no name stands out with the luster of Florence Nightingale.

She was born in 1822 in the city of Florence in Italy, and was named after the place where she first drew breath. Her father was William Nightingale, an English gentleman, and her elder sister, Parthenope, also took her name from the place where she was born, for Parthenope is the ancient term for Naples.

The Nightingale family did not remain long in Italy, and soon after the birth of his youngest child William Nightingale, with his wife and two little daughters, returned to England where the two girls spent their childhood in a rambling old house in Derbyshire with many traditions and stories attached to it. Here Florence conceived a love for nursing and used to tend sick animals in the neighborhood and when she grew older, to sit up with and cheer the sick among the cottagers. There were not many people, even among those who were far older than herself, who could minister to the sick with her kindness and skill, and her fame soon was general through the neighborhood. Poor men used to come hat in hand to the old house requesting that Miss Florence spend a few hours with a sick wife or a young mother, and the Nightingales were kind enough and sensible enough to allow their daughter to do the work for which she had so evident an inclination.

There were no trained nurses in those days, and the general business of nursing as a profession was considered almost disreputable. Sick people were expected to be cared for by their relatives; hospitals were inefficient and badly run, and the comforts of the modern sickroom were unknown. As Florence grew older she thought a great deal about these things, and finally decided that she would do something which at that time was regarded almost as strange as if she had declared her intention of visiting the North Pole—she said she was going to become a professional trained nurse, and went abroad to study nursing on the Continent which was far ahead of England in such matters.

In a European hospital that was more in accord with the standards we know to-day and where comfort, skill and cleanliness went hand in hand, Florence Nightingale nursed the sick and acquired a mastery of the profession as it was then understood. It was so unusual for a woman of refinement to enter such a calling that she had become known in many places simply because she had decided to become a nurse; and after she returned to England she was at once offered the position of Superintendent at a Home for Sick Governesses in London.

This home, like many another benevolent institution in those times, was badly administered. As it constantly showed a deficit, its friends had become discouraged in supporting it, and the subscriptions on which it lived had been falling off. The ladies who were compelled to remain there did not receive the care that they should have had, and were unhappy and dispirited. This was the state of affairs when Florence Nightingale became the Superintendent of the Home.

In a very short time the Home was completely changed. Miss Nightingale had personally visited the former subscribers, and secured once more their help and patronage. She had changed the system on which the Home had been run to such an extent that it served as a model for institutions of its kind, and where the unfortunate women that lived there had been on the verge of actual physical suffering, they were now well cared for and contented.

Then war broke out between England, France and Turkey on the one side and Russia on the other,—a war that was brought about among other reasons by the desire of the Russian Czar to seize and hold the port of Constantinople. Great Britain and France supported the Turks and active fighting commenced. The theater of war soon shifted to the Crimean Peninsula where the British and French laid siege to the town of Sebastopol which was Russia's most important fortress and chief base of supplies. Before the walls of Sebastopol there took place severe fighting, which continued until bitter winter rendered further campaigning impossible.

While the war was going on thousands of sick and wounded British soldiers were pouring into the base hospitals at Scutari, where no provision for their care had been made. With the constant flood of wounded men, and men who were dying of dysentery and cholera, with no medical supplies and little food, with no nurses and only a few doctors, the condition of the British wounded soon became terrible beyond description. As there were no field dressing stations they had to be carried for days with their wounds undressed before they reached the hospital, and when they arrived it was often some time before the harassed doctors could care for them. They were brought in with their uniforms covered with filth and blood, and were laid in long rows on the floors of the hospital where few cots were to be found. Vermin crawled over the floors, over the walls and over the bodies of the helpless men. Rats gnawed the fingers of the wounded who were too weak to drive them away. There were no conveniences of any kind and many men died of exhaustion because no food adequate for the sick could be prepared. All the food, we are told, consisted of beef and vegetables boiled together in one huge caldron, into which new supplies were thrown indiscriminately as fast as they were delivered. The bread was moldy and the beef too tough even for well men to eat.

Owing to the efforts of a war correspondent of the London Times, the people at home were soon informed of the state of affairs in the Crimea, and gifts and supplies poured in profusely. But owing to the inefficiency and red tape of the War Department, the supplies were not delivered, but lay rotting in warehouses and in the holds of vessels while men died for the want of them. On one occasion, we are told, a consignment of shoes for the soldiers turned out to be in women's sizes. Improper inspections resulted in high profits, for the army contractors made uniforms out of shoddy and leather accouterments from paper, filled the cores of hay bales with kale stocks and cheated the Government right and left without forbearance or conscience.

Then the newspapers began calling for English women to go to the Crimea and care for the sick, and Florence Nightingale heard the call. She wrote a letter to Sydney Herbert who was Minister of War, volunteering to organize a body of nurses and go out to the Crimea to care for the wounded.

Right then a curious thing happened. The War Department had already decided that Miss Nightingale was the one person who could take charge of the reorganization of the hospitals in the Crimea, and had written a letter requesting her services. Offer and request crossed each other in the mails. On the following day her appointment was officially announced, and she was overwhelmed with proffers of assistance from all sides.

A large number of patriotic women volunteered to aid her, but only a very few possessed the necessary qualifications for such a task. Of all that offered to go Miss Nightingale was only able to accept thirty that she considered would be capable of performing the severe tasks that lay ahead, for she knew only too well the grim welcome she would receive at the Crimea.

Without farewells, quietly and at night, seen off only by a few intimate relatives, the little group of nurses started on their mission—the first one where women were to care for the soldiers who had fallen in war.

They crossed the English Channel and arrived at Boulogne in France on the following morning, where they were given a rousing greeting by the voluble French fish-wives, who had heard of their mission and who crowded around them to get a sight of the angels of mercy. From there they made their way to the seat of the war, and Miss Nightingale looked for the first time on the hospital where she was so soon to acquire immortal fame.

It may well be thought that her heart sank when she saw the enormity of the task that lay before her, for she had been sent to bring order from chaos, plenty from want, comfort from torture and cleanliness from wholesale filth. She had to contend not only with these awful conditions, but with the dislike and distrust of the medical officers with whom she was to work, who resented the fact that a woman had been sent out to reorganize what they considered a part of their department, and who doubted, because she was a woman, that she would be capable of doing so efficiently.

And when she arrived there was no time to spend in preliminary planning, for active fighting had been going on at the front and the wounded from recent battles were pouring in, adding to the confusion that already existed. They were laid groaning in hallways and on the bare ground until such time as the doctors could look after them.

Then Florence Nightingale, hardly taking breath, plunged into the task that awaited her and sent her nurses to the quarters where they were most needed. With their own hands these brave Englishwomen scrubbed the reeking floors and supervised the work of the orderlies. They visited the quartermasters and obtained the supplies that had been tied up through faulty administration and through army red tape, and in a short time they had established a diet kitchen where several hundred sick and wounded men could have the food they required, food that would save their lives.

The death rate, we are told, before this woman nurse and her little company arrived at the hospital was sixty percent of all the cases that were treated there—and after she had effected the changes that she saw were necessary, the death rate was only one percent—a fact in itself that speaks more loudly than any words for her efficiency and her bravery.

At times this indomitable woman was on her feet for twenty hours out of the twenty-four, supervising, directing, taking the last message of some dying soldier for his family, feeding another who was too weak to feed himself. The doctors who had been her opponents soon looked up to her and became her devoted friends, and the men who had been through such terrible sufferings thought she was indeed an angel from heaven, and, as she passed down the long wards would furtively kiss her shadow as it fell across their blankets. Many a time she took charge of cases that had been given up by the doctors, who turned their attention always to those whom they believed had a fighting chance for life, and she nursed them back to life with a patience and a tenderness that the doctors could not spare.

From the ships and warehouses there commenced to appear the comforts that sick men demanded—sheets and nightgowns, socks and pillows; in the place of the nauseous beef stew, the wounded began to get broths and jellies. Should they die they were sure of a woman's hand and a kindly ministration at the last, for Florence Nightingale had resolved that no man should die unattended in her hospital. And the wonders she performed were heard of back in England, where her name became national.

She had gone to Scutari in 1854. In May, 1855, she visited other hospitals that were nearer the seat of war and went into the trenches themselves before Sebastopol. One of her biographers tells us that when she entered the trenches she was warned by a sentinel to go no further, because the enemy had the place under close watch and would certainly open fire when they beheld a group of people at that particular point.

"My good young man," replied Miss Nightingale, "more dead and wounded have passed through my hands than I hope you will ever see on the battlefield during the whole of your military career; believe me, I have no fear of death."

Then she fell ill with Crimean fever, and through the army the news was received with more consternation than a severe defeat. Men broke down and cried like children when they heard that Miss Nightingale lay at the point of death, and the Commander in Chief, Lord Raglan, rode through sleet and mud for hours to visit her personally. She did not die, however, but recovered to take up again her duties as chief nurse and organizer.

When the war was ended Miss Nightingale remained at the Crimea until the last soldiers were sent home, and then, and not till then, she followed them. After most of the men had left and only a few remained she still worked faithfully to serve them, establishing "reading huts" and places of recreation such as the Red Cross and the Y.M.C.A. established in France and Belgium in the course of the World War some sixty years later.

As a matter of fact the work performed by Miss Nightingale was indirectly responsible for the birth of the Red Cross which was organized in Switzerland some four years after she had finished her work at the Crimea, and certainly no name in the Red Cross, in spite of the host of noble men and women who have served there, has ever equaled the glory of her own.

She returned to England quietly as she had left, although a British Government placed a battleship at her service—and she lived in England engaged in useful and philanthropic work for a great many years. With a fund of about $250,000 she founded the Nightingale Home for the proper training of nurses, a fund that she could have doubled or trebled had she so desired, or if the needs of the home had required it. In the following years she was frequently consulted on hospital organization in the armies not only of Great Britain but of Continental nations as well. She died in 1910, one of the great figures among the heroines of history.




Many are the stories of brave doctors and ministers who have sacrificed themselves in times of pestilence and plague, caring for the sick, allowing experiments to be performed on their own bodies, and giving their lives without fear in the hope of saving invalids and sufferers; but no story is more thrilling than that of the Belgian priest named Father Damien.

Father Damien's real name was Joseph de Veuster, and he was born in the year 1840, in the little village of Tremeloo in Belgium, not far from the city of Louvain that became famous in the World War when the Germans sacked it, burned its university and murdered its inhabitants.

A strong religious impulse ruled the de Veuster family, and out of three children two were destined for a religious life. As a matter of fact all three finally entered the service of the Church—a girl named Pauline who entered a convent and two brothers, Auguste and Joseph, who became respectively Father Pamphile and Father Damien.

Originally the parents of these three children had decided that Auguste was to become a priest and Joseph was to enter business and be a merchant, but it could easily be seen the priesthood was also the life for Joseph, who had a serious and contemplative nature even when very young, and spent much of his time in prayer and meditation. On one occasion, when only four years old, Joseph had been found on his knees before the altar of the church when it was supposed that he had wandered away from home and been lost in the woods or the fields about the town, and when still a young boy he was fond of taking long walks by himself in the fields and of herding sheep until he became known as "the little shepherd."

When Joseph was eighteen his sister Pauline left home to enter the convent, and even before that time his brother had gone to Paris to study at the home of the Picpus Fathers. Joseph himself, in accordance with his parents' design that he was to become a business man, went to a town in France called Braine le Comte to learn the rudiments of a commercial career and to study the French language. But while he had gone there willingly, he felt the desire for a religious life more and more strongly, until he finally told his parents that he desired to be a priest. It was not difficult for him to obtain their consent and Joseph went to Paris to study at the same school that his brother had attended.

In Paris Joseph served as a novice and when this term was ended he went to Louvain where his brother was already a priest in holy orders, having adopted the name of Father Pamphile. Joseph himself planned to take the name of Father Damien.

For some time Joseph lived with his brother in Louvain where he continued his studies, but he was not yet ordained as a priest when an event took place that changed the whole course of his life and was destined in the end to make his name famous throughout the civilized world.

The Picpus Fathers, like many other Catholic brothers, were great missionaries, carrying on this service in what were then called the Sandwich Islands, now better known as the Hawaiian Islands, under the Government of the United States. At that time, however, the islands formed an independent state under a native king and there was a great deal to be done by the missionaries that went there.

Father Pamphile received orders to go to the Sandwich Islands and engage in missionary work. He was delighted, for this work appealed to him and he felt that he could serve his Church better in that far country than by remaining in Louvain where he had his parish. After his passage had been engaged, however, Father Pamphile was smitten with an attack of typhus fever, and found himself unable to answer the call to foreign service when the time came.

Now Joseph was even more ardent than his brother, and he burned to answer this call himself, although he was not yet a priest. He asked Father Pamphile, however, if it would be his pleasure for him to take his place and engage in the missionary work that had been intended for the elder brother; and Father Pamphile was only too glad to have Joseph perform the task that his illness had rendered him unable to perform himself. So Joseph wrote to his superiors, volunteering to go to the Sandwich Islands in place of Father Pamphile, and soon a letter was received consenting to the new arrangement. Wild with delight he told his brother of what had taken place and at once commenced making his preparations for the voyage.

The islands to which Father Damien was bound are of the greatest tropical beauty, and the natives have become known all over the world for their strange customs, their unusual music and their skill in swimming the deep blue waters that surround the land where they live. At that time, however, they were suffering from the ravages of the most terrible disease, perhaps, in the entire world,—certainly the one most feared from the times of the Bible down to the present day. This was the disease of leprosy.

Leprosy was not a native disease in the Hawaiian Islands originally, but had been carried there by merchants or voyagers from the Far East where was its home, but it spread so rapidly among the natives that before long it seemed as if the Hawaiian Islands themselves had been the cradle of this terrible scourge. This was due, we are told, to the hospitable habits of the islanders, who lived closely together, and to their kindness in persisting in keeping with them those members of their families who had already fallen its victims. At about the time that Father Damien reached the islands, however, the Government had taken the matter in hand, and all the lepers that could be found were torn from their families and carried to a lonely island named Molokai. Here they were outcasts, deserted by their friends and relatives, living in wretchedness and desolation and, in that time, provided only with the barest necessities of life.

After a voyage of five months, in which his ship contended with many gales and much rough weather, Father Damien arrived in the Sandwich Islands and was at once made a full priest and given a parish in a wild part of the country—a parish so large that it took him days to go from one end of it to the other. He worked hard and soon became well known among the natives under his care, and to his fellow churchmen as a man of great earnestness and much physical strength.

One day Father Damien happened to be at a meeting of churchmen which was being addressed by the Bishop who said that he deeply regretted that he could spare no priest to send to the Island of Molokai to the unfortunate lepers, who seemed to be cast off there forsaken of God and man alike and whose condition was wretched beyond belief. But Father Damien at once arose and pointed out to the Bishop that a priest could be spared for such service, for one of the newcomers to the islands could take charge of his own parish, while he himself, he said, would go to Molokai and spend his life in caring for the lepers, whose condition made his heart bleed whenever he thought of them.

It can be imagined that a gasp of astonishment and admiration went through the assemblage that heard this courageous offer, for the man who volunteered for such service was going to living death—to a place of horror and human suffering where life appeared in its most hideous form, and where disease wrote its imprint on the human body with such a terrible flourish that the very sight of Father Damien's future companions was enough to strike fear to the heart's core. But Father Damien thought little of all this; he knew that he could do much good among the lepers, and he made the offer in simple sincerity without a thought of himself or of the dangers that he would encounter.

It is needless to say that it was accepted. On the spot Bishop Maigret assigned to Father Damien the island of Molokai for a parish, and the brave priest left on the next boat, not even having time to take with him a change of linen or the simplest necessities of life.

It may be thought that Father Damien's heart sank when he reached the island. A high and gloomy cliff of rock towered above the settlement of the lepers, and he found them living in the rudest of huts, dying from vice as well as from disease. Water was difficult to obtain and there were none of the conveniences and few of the necessities of life. Moreover, in that settlement, which was one that had lost all hope, the only law that was known was the law of despair, and those that lived there tried to forget their unhappy lot in wild orgies and revels, drinking a fiery spirit they distilled themselves called "Ki" which was made from the root of a plant that grew in profusion on the island, fighting and gambling as they chose, and dying like dogs with none to care for them, and with little hope for even a decent burial.

Here in this hell hole Father Damien was left to his own devices and surrounded by the misshapen and hideous creatures for whose lives he had sacrificed his own. Bishop Maigret accompanied him to Molokai, and told the lepers he had brought them a new Father, who loved them so much that he was willing to live with them and become one of them. Then the good bishop went back to Honolulu, and Father Damien set himself about the task that he had made his entire life work.

As he could not sleep in the huts of the lepers, the brave priest made his lodging on the ground beneath a pandanus tree, and calling his new parishioners together he preached to them with brave and comforting words, telling them that they must not despair, but make the most of their lives as they were, and that he would help them to build better houses and bring to them the comforts that they needed. And at once he busied himself getting building materials from the Government, with which trim cottages were built, and water pipes, through which he had fresh water piped down to the settlement from a cold spring above the cliff. He built a chapel and a dispensary, and not content with this he bandaged the sores of the lepers with his own hands, and washed their wounds. Through his efforts a hospital was finally provided and a doctor came to Molokai, and following his example sisters of mercy and brave missionaries came there to work, but for a long time Father Damien was alone with his charges, performing rough tasks with none to aid him, except the aid that he obtained from the lepers themselves.

It cannot be thought that a man who performed such services could forever escape contracting the disease, and after Father Damien had been ten years on Molokai he found himself a victim of the scourge against which he had so bravely and successfully contended. A visit to the resident doctor confirmed the worst of his fears, and after that when speaking to his congregation he used the words "we lepers," telling them that he himself had received the cross from which they suffered, and henceforth was one of them in something more than name.

Although he was now an invalid, he did not fail to perform his priestly duties until the end, but he never told his family in Belgium of the misfortune that had befallen him. They learned it eventually from others, and the shock of the discovery hastened his mother's death.

After fifteen years' service among the lepers Father Damien died of the disease, leaving behind him a name for pure self-sacrifice that has not been surpassed since the beginning of the Christian era. He had lived to see the leper colony grow from a ribald, obscene settlement to an orderly hospital where as much as was possible was done for the sufferers that were compelled to remain there. And he had the satisfaction of knowing that others would carry on efficiently the work that he had begun.

But in spite of all his bravery and his self-sacrifice this heroic priest was not without his traducers. A short time after his death a certain missionary named Dr. Hyde made scurrilous charges against him which were answered by that great writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, in a letter that has become one of the classics of English literature, and in which it was predicted that Father Damien would be made a saint by the Church of Rome, as he is indeed a saint in the bravery and purity of his life and his deeds.




In the year 1844 in Russia was born one of the most remarkable women of modern times. Her full name is Ekaterina Constantinovna Breshko-Breshkovskaya, but in America she is called Catherine Breshkovsky, and as such she will be known in these pages. Both her father and her mother were of noble birth, and when she was a little girl her father had a large estate on which hundreds of serfs were held in bondage.

While the negroes in the United States were kept in slavery, the peasants in Russia were in almost as bad a plight. They lived on the estates of the great nobles and formed a part of the nobles' property. Toiling from dawn until far into the night with frequent floggings and browbeatings from their masters they bore the burdens of the Russian government that gave them nothing in return. While the noblemen feasted on the fruits of the peasants' toil, the peasants themselves starved to death. When war came it was the peasants who furnished the armies while the nobles themselves seldom went to the front but remained behind the lines in safety.

When Catherine was a little girl she saw many instances of injustice and oppression, although the serfs on her father's estate were treated far better than many others. She did not know why she herself had fine clothes and delicate food, when the children of her father's servants were ragged and dirty, and often had just enough to eat to keep them from starving. She used to ask her parents what was the reason that they had no work to perform, while others had to get up when the stars were still shining and labor until long after the sun had set at night. And why the ones who did not work were so much better off than the others who did. And before she was eight years old, she had formed the habit of giving away her own possessions to the children of the serfs, who never had the pretty things with which she was surfeited.

Before she was nine, Catherine, we are told, had read a long history of Russia in nine large volumes, and when she was a girl of sixteen she had made an especial study of the French Revolution and the causes that led up to it.

The Crimean war came, and soldiers went to the front in large numbers. They were all taken from the families of the serfs, and while a certain number of the noblemen went to the war as officers of the Russian army, many others stayed at home safely, not being compelled to fight for their country as the peasants were. And the injustice of the system was very evident to the young girl, who even then was forming the idea of devoting her life to aiding the suffering and oppressed people who surrounded her.

About the time that the Civil War began in the United States a great change came over the peasantry in Russia, but it was a change that seemed to do them little good. The Russian Czar issued a proclamation in 1861 in which he declared that all serfs in his dominions were at liberty, and if they chose could leave the estates of their former masters and seek work where they wished.

But the serfs were worse off than ever before, because in the proclamation nothing was said about the land on which they had been living and which belonged to the nobles. They knew no trade except that of tilling the soil, and now that they were no longer the property of the nobles, their land was taken away from them and they had no means by which they could earn a living. Then terrible scenes commenced to be enacted. The serfs were ruthlessly driven from their homes and when they sought to remain were beaten in great numbers, being flogged so severely with the knout that many of them died as a result. Most of them were densely ignorant, and reading and writing were far beyond their knowledge. They could not understand why the land on which they had always lived and worked was taken from them, and why they were now denied even the bitter bread that they had formerly been able to earn.

Among the Russian nobility, however, were many high minded young men and women, who like Catherine felt the injustice of the serfs' hard lot and desired to help them. These young people formed into philanthropic bands, and went into the villages to teach the serfs, help them with their labor, minister to them in sickness and to make their condition better in every way possible. Thousands of boys and girls of gentle birth flocked to the Russian Universities and from there went to befriend the serfs. Throughout the younger generation a different feeling existed toward the common people than ever before in Russian history.

Catherine's father himself was liberal in his views and had already done what he could to alleviate the sufferings of his former bondsmen. When Catherine came to him and told him that she did not think that she could endure living in idleness any longer, but desired to support herself, he consented, and the girl who all her life had been used to the greatest luxuries went away to become a governess in the house of a nobleman, where she could live honestly by the fruits of her own labor.

Her father did not long consent to this, however, and helped her to open a boarding house for girls, where she taught school until she was twenty-five years old when she was married. Her husband was a young nobleman who sympathized with her liberal ideas, and himself had done a great deal to better the condition of the Russian people. He helped his wife work for the peasants and began a cooperative banking scheme by which they might benefit.

But Catherine grew more and more discontented with the terrible conditions that surrounded her on every side. She happened to go to the city of Kiev to visit her sister and she took her meals at a student's boarding house. She heard a great deal of discussion of the condition of Russia there and saw a great many young students who were interested in public affairs. And one day she held a secret meeting of students in her room to talk over what more could be done to make Russia a better place to live in.

While the younger generation had been striving in every way possible to help the serfs, the Russian Government did all in its power to hinder them. This government was then an absolute autocracy, which means that it was under the complete control of one ruler and a few advisors. The Czar of Russia knew that when his people grew better educated and more enlightened his own power would grow less, so he did all that he could to keep them in the state of darkness and ignorance in which they had languished for centuries. When young noblemen and girls sought to teach or help the peasants, they met with obstacles on every side, and many of them were treated with great severity by the officers of the Czar. This naturally angered them, and they began to form plans to overthrow the Czar's power, since they saw that any real progress would be impossible so long as the regime that then existed remained in force. In short they became revolutionists; and Catherine herself was well on the road to becoming one.

When Catherine came home from Kiev she and her husband conducted a series of meetings in which they made speeches to the peasants and labored harder than ever to improve their condition, but this soon brought them under the eye of the Czar's spies, and they were warned that they had better discontinue their efforts and let the peasants take care of themselves. And this was the final event that determined Catherine to become a revolutionist and bend all her energies to overthrowing the Czar's government.

She talked it over with her husband and asked him if he were ready to throw in his lot with those who sought to change the government, saying that she herself had resolved to do so. It meant suffering, poverty, hardships and very probably prison or death. Her husband was unwilling to take the risk and they parted forever. Soon after this Catherine had a son, and on account of the life that she had chosen was obliged to leave him with friends. It was a bitter moment for her when she gave him up, but it only strengthened her in her purpose.

Many revolutionists were at work in Russia at that time, and were scattered all through the country in various disguises. They were sent from various revolutionary centers to preach revolution to the peasants and to kindle the flames of revolt against the Czar. Others did social work, and sought to educate the peasants to the point where they would have sufficient knowledge to understand the revolutionary doctrines when they heard them—and it was in this form of work that Catherine first engaged.

At last, however, she entered into the more active work of the revolutionists, and in person commenced to spread revolutionary ideas among the common people. With two companions disguised as peasants, and in peasant garb herself, carrying a pack crammed with revolutionary pamphlets and literature, Catherine made her way to a little village, where she took a small hut and pretended to be a woman who dyed clothes. As soon as she grew to know the peasants she commenced to preach to them and to incite them to revolution. She told them that the Czar was an evil ruler, and that he and his nobles had always fattened themselves at the peasants' expense; that the Russian people would always be poor and miserable so long as the Czar remained in power; that they had a right to the land that was taken from them, and were no better than slaves who dared not call their souls their own—and furthermore that their only salvation lay in rising throughout Russia, overthrowing the Czar and establishing a government where all men should be free and equal, and where every man would have a right to earn his daily bread.

When the peasants in one village failed to respond Catherine and her comrades moved on to another town, and little by little they brought the doctrines of revolution to the mass of ignorant people, who were looking for some means to better themselves and realize a little of the happiness of life.

The life of a traveling preacher of this sort was filled with hardship. Catherine, who had been used to every luxury, was forced to eat the coarsest food and often to go hungry. She had to sleep in houses that were filled with dirt and vermin. Her audiences were stupid in the extreme, and were often as afraid of the revolutionists as they were of the Cossacks and the Czar's officials. Moreover there was always the danger of arrest and imprisonment, followed by exile to Siberia, or death on the gallows.

One day in the town of Zlatopol, where Catherine was carrying on her revolutionary work, a police officer stopped her and demanded her passport. This passport was forged and when she showed it he suspected her. Then, when he commenced to treat her with the indignities to which the peasants were accustomed she resented it, disclosing the fact that she was from the upper classes. Her pack was torn open and the revolutionary pamphlets were found. The case against her was complete.

She was hurried to prison and thrown into a foul dungeon, where the filth and suffering forced on her were indescribable. And here she was kept for long, weary months until her case should come to trial.

It was in this prison that she first learned the secret code that prisoners in Russia used to communicate with one another. One day, as she lay on the bundle of rags that formed her couch, she heard a faint tapping on an iron pipe that ran through her cell. She responded, and on the pipe tapped out the alphabet, one tap standing for "a", two for "b" and so on. From this laborous method she learned another code which was the one generally in use among the imprisoned revolutionists; and she spent long hours communicating with friends in different parts of the prison who were in solitary confinement like herself, and whom she had never seen.

At last Catherine was brought up for trial and was sentenced to exile in Siberia. Because she told her judges that she refused to acknowledge the authority of the Czar she was given an extra sentence of five years at hard labor in the mines. She had already been in prison several years awaiting trial—and out of three hundred who had been imprisoned in the same jail more than one hundred had died or become insane.

Catherine then commenced a weary two months journey into Siberia, where she was first to go to prison and later remain as an exile. The prisoners traveled in covered wagons, that jolted and bumped endlessly over the rough roads, and at night they were thrown into roadside jails, filthy beyond description. For eight long weeks this journey continued until Catherine reached the prison at Kara.

Here she was not compelled to work after all, but was forced to eat the vilest food and wear out her soul in idleness, with no occupation except to witness the sufferings of her companions. When her prison term was ended she was taken to a little town called Barguzon near the Arctic Circle, where the thermometer often dropped to fifty below zero, and here she was kept under close guard for many years.

Words cannot describe the misery of the Siberian exiles as Catherine saw them—men, women and children, sick and forlorn, compelled to march for miles over the bleak countryside, surrounded by brutal guards who prodded them on with their bayonets. After she had been for some time at Barguzon she tried to escape with three men who were also political exiles, and sought to gain the Pacific coast a thousand miles away, where she hoped she might take ship for America. She was pursued and recaptured, and given another term in the prison at Kara on account of her attempt to escape.

Catherine was a young woman when she went into exile; she remained until she was old and her hairs were gray before her term of punishment ended. She had been in exile more than twenty years and in all that time she had not seen one of her relatives or heard the voice of a friend. At last she was set free.

When she arrived at her former home she spent several months in making visits to relatives, and once again entered the work of the revolutionists. She was now famous in their circles and known to great numbers of peasants who loved her dearly and called her "Grandmother." She had many narrow escapes from the police, but her friends always succeeded in concealing her.

On one occasion she was hiding in a house, while the police officers searched for her. It was the cook's day off, and Catherine, in the cook's dress, was stirring the soup at the stove while the police officers ranged the house to discover her.

In 1904 she came to the United States to do what she could to spread the work of the revolution by gaining money from Russians in America. She received a cordial reception and made many friends among the Americans, some of them being the most prominent men and women in the country. The Russians themselves received her most enthusiastically wherever she went, and she returned with $10,000 for the Cause.

Through the double dealing of one of her supposed friends, Catherine was arrested again in 1908 and sent once more to Siberia. She remained there until after the outbreak of the World War, while the Germans overran Belgium and Russia in turn. She remained, in fact, until the revolution for which she had labored for so many years at last took place, and the Czar was overthrown. Then she was invited to return by the Government of Kerensky, who came into power when the Czar fell.

Her return from Siberia with the other political exiles was like a triumphal ovation. At every stop the train made crowds thronged about her carriage, cheering and shouting for "the little grandmother of the Russian Revolution," as she was called on account of her many years of labor for the cause. On her arrival in Moscow she was placed in the Czar's former coach of state, and was driven in triumph through the city to the assembly of the people called the Douma, which was then sitting. At Petrograd she was given a sumptuous apartment in the Czar's former palace. Everywhere her name was on the lips of thousands, and everywhere she received cheers, kisses and handclasps. It may almost have been worth the suffering she went through to receive a triumph so generous as that afforded her by the Russian people, who realized that she had been one of the chief leaders of the revolutionary movement and that her heart was bound up in its ultimate triumph.

But the revolution did not succeed, and it was not long before Russia was once more in the grip of a force even more deadly than that of the former Czar. The Bolshevists soon organized and drove Kerensky from power, and anarchy ruled throughout Russia. Catherine Breshkovsky was declared a public enemy by the Government of Lenine and Trotsky. She was in danger of her life if captured, as the Bolshevists were talking of putting her to death. After an unsuccessful attempt to organize resistance to the new government, Catherine was hidden by friends while the Bolshevists sought her, and after traveling for six hundred miles on horseback reached Vladivostok, where she found a steamer ready to take her to America. Here she was again welcomed cordially and made much of on every side, and here too she made many speeches against the Bolshevist government. Although she is over seventy-five years old she declares that she will still aid Russia to gain the freedom and peace it craves and if given an opportunity she will no doubt take part in the future development of her country.




Among the great men who have been President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt holds a unique position. Although he had no great trial to undergo in the term of his office—no trial similar to what Washington and Lincoln were forced to endure,—he endeared himself to his fellow countrymen almost equally with these two for his splendid Americanism, his vitality, his kindness and the force of his personality. After his term of office ended and when he was a simple citizen once more, the bare word of Roosevelt's opinion had more influence on the country than the utterance of any public man who still held office. For the power of Roosevelt as a man and an American was greater than any other in the nation.

Roosevelt was born in New York City, as his fathers had been before him for six generations. He was the son of Theodore Roosevelt, a glass manufacturer, and of a southern girl named Martha Bulloch, who came from Georgia. Both his father and mother were unusual people, and of a quality to have a son whose greatness might be of the first magnitude—but until Roosevelt had graduated from college, he showed no signs that he was different from other boys.

He did not even seem to have been given the same chance for success that is granted to other boys, for from his infancy his health was feeble, he was undersized, and nervous, and suffered so greatly from asthma and other troubles that he was not able to attend school regularly.

When he was still a small boy, however, he made a resolution to gain the bodily strength that he needed and set about conquering the weaknesses that handicapped him. He secured a set of boxing gloves from his father, and with great determination went to work to learn how to defend himself from the other boys in his neighborhood, who were prone to annoy him because he was an easy victim. He became fond of athletics of all kinds and was intensely interested in naturalism intending at one time to make science his life work; and he drilled himself in doing the things that were difficult for him to do, until, though naturally somewhat timid or shy, he did not know the meaning of the word fear, and has been looked on as a prodigy of courage, both physical and moral.

Roosevelt was popular in Harvard University, and gained a number of steadfast friends who stood by him throughout his life. He received his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1880, and soon after married a girl named Alice Lee. After a brief trip to Europe, where he climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland, he settled down to the study of law in Columbia University, and at the same time learned its more practical side in the downtown law offices of a relative.

But Roosevelt had not yet found himself. He had no love for the law, and cast about for some career in which his natural energy could show itself to better advantage. He no longer desired to be a naturalist, for the scientific side of that profession was too sedentary for him. He had wished to be an author, and for some time had been working on "A History of the War of 1812," which was published soon after he left Harvard. But in politics he found the career he was seeking, and soon became influential in the Republican Club of the assembly district to which he belonged, where, in spite of the fact that he was considered a "silk stocking" because he was a gentleman, he gained the liking of the political bosses and was elected to the State Assembly.

The slightly-built young man wearing glasses and with the reputation of a college dude was not taken seriously in the Assembly at first, but it was not long before he had become one of its leaders and a man of national reputation.

He won fame in his first term by rising one day and demanding that a certain judge be impeached. He was received with ridicule and laughter, and was warned not to injure the party, or to make "loose charges" that might cause trouble. He stood alone, a young and inexperienced man, against the combined weight of machine politics in the state, and it was practically certain that his own political future was dead as a result of his act. But in spite of this Roosevelt demanded once more that the judge be impeached and kept up his demand until he was supported by certain newspapers. At last his action resulted in a statewide cry for the impeachment of the judge, and the Assembly, which could not afford to ignore the letters and newspaper articles which came pouring in, was compelled to give in and do as Roosevelt had demanded.

At another time he was attacked by a bully and ex-prize fighter who was hired by some of his enemies to teach him the rewards to be won from "meddling." The result was unexpected. The bully went sprawling, knocked down by a well directed blow from the undersized, bespectacled young assemblyman—and some of the gang that attempted to bring aid to the fallen also found themselves upon the floor. Roosevelt, flashing his teeth in characteristic manner, told the little knot of his enemies who had gathered to witness the affair that he was much obliged to them,—that he hadn't enjoyed himself so much since he had been in the Assembly!

A terrible and bitter sorrow ended Roosevelt's political career for the time being. His mother, to whom he was devotedly attached, died in 1884, and only twelve hours after this his wife, who had just borne him a daughter, died also. Roosevelt's father had already passed away, and this double tragedy was too much for him. He quitted politics and bought a ranch in Dakota, where he hoped to find forgetfulness from sorrow, and in a short time he was leading the wild life of a cowboy, roping steers and riding horseback from the first break of dawn until far after dark.

For two years Roosevelt remained in his ranch on the Little Missouri River, hunting, cow punching and engaging, heart and soul, in the free and strenuous life of the West. He did some writing, but believed that his political career was ended for good and all, and he believed too that he had become a Westerner and should remain one. But he had not been forgotten in the East, and before he was thirty years old he returned to New York by invitation to run on the Republican ticket for Mayor.

He was badly beaten and for a time retired again from politics, traveling in Europe. In London he married again, this time a girl whom he had known from his early boyhood, named Edith Kermit Carow.

Roosevelt was not long out of public life. Two years after he had been beaten as Mayor he was appointed on the Civil Service Commission and worked hard and with great ability for six years. Then he was made President of the Police Board of New York City, where he found a fight to his liking. The New York police were notoriously corrupt, and Roosevelt entered with all his might into the task of reorganizing and cleaning up his department. He was thoroughly successful and not only left a more efficient and cleaner police, but added to the national reputation that he had already acquired.

Before his term as President of the Police Board had ended, he was offered the position of Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President McKinley, and accepted with alacrity. Roosevelt had always been a staunch advocate of national preparedness for war, and was delighted to have the opportunity of aiding this cause himself. He did what he could for the navy and it was due to him, more than to any other man, that Admiral Dewey was so well supplied with fuel and munitions when war broke out with Spain that he was able to attack the Spanish fleet in Manilla Bay without delay.

But Roosevelt was not content with working at a desk when his country was at war. He recruited a regiment of cavalry called the "Rough Riders" and made up largely from the cowboys and westerners he had known in Dakota, although it included men from all parts of the United States. This regiment was placed under the command of Roosevelt's friend, Colonel Leonard Wood, and Roosevelt himself received the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel. He could have had the command of the regiment but did not think that he knew enough about army administration, and it was due to Roosevelt that Leonard Wood received the Colonelcy.

The Rough Riders were sent promptly to Cuba, and when Col. Wood was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, Roosevelt took charge of the regiment and personally led it into action at San Juan Hill, where he fought with the utmost gallantry. As his men charged up the hill, Roosevelt's horse was killed under him, and with drawn sword he led his men on foot, the most conspicuous target to be seen, far ahead of his men, yelling and cheering them on until they swarmed over the hilltop and the Spaniards were driven from the field.

When the war ended Roosevelt returned to New York in a blaze of glory. The Republicans took advantage of his popularity and nominated him for Governor of New York. He was elected by a large majority, and began at Albany once more the work of reform that he had carried on so courageously as a Member of the Assembly and on the Civil Service and Police Commissions.

It was necessary for Roosevelt to gain the good will of the party leaders, for without the support of the Republican machine he could accomplish little at Albany. His administration was fearless and at the same time tactful, and he soon had a reputation for being the leading figure in progressive American politics. But he was feared and distrusted by many of the machine politicians, who were compelled to recognize his ability and look on him in the light of a possible President of the United States, so when Roosevelt's second term as Governor ended, strong efforts were made to force on him the office of Vice President, by which his enemies hoped he would be safely put out of the way for four years at least, and that his political career might be ended for good and all.

In addition to the efforts of his enemies to gain this position for him, Roosevelt's admirers throughout the country joined the demand, thinking that the position was both an honor and a step forward. And the demand was so strong that Roosevelt could not refuse, but accepted the nomination to the huge delight of those who were afraid of him.

Roosevelt and McKinley were elected to office in 1900. Roosevelt had thrown himself into the campaign with characteristic energy, and had traveled north and south and east and west almost as many miles as would girdle the globe, while his eyeglasses and teeth were seen and his fiery speeches heard by millions of Americans. It is said that on this trip Roosevelt made nearly seven hundred speeches. The result was plain. The election was a Republican landslide, and in March, 1901, Roosevelt entered his new duties.

Fate was against the men who had wanted him shelved, for in September of the year when he entered office, the martyr, McKinley, was laid low by the bullet of a red anarchist, and Roosevelt was called upon to take up the reins of government. He was in the Adirondack Mountains at the time of the assassination, and he made his way to Buffalo as speedily as possible, taking a dangerous drive in the dark over a mountain road at a full gallop.

The eyes of the nation were now centered on this comparatively young man, who was called to the post of Chief Executive in so trying a manner. And Roosevelt's first public act was such as to inspire the utmost confidence in him, for he declared that he would follow out the McKinley policies and retain the McKinley Cabinet. Throughout his term he strove conscientiously to keep the letter of his promise, although it was inevitable that with his own powerful character the trend of the administration must be changed.

"His conduct of domestic as well as foreign affairs," says Herman Hagedorn, "was fearless and vigorous. He saw clearly that the question of most vital importance before the country was the control and strict regulation of the great corporations. In the famous Northern Securities merger he presented a test case to the Supreme Court which ultimately opened the way for the prosecution of the other great corporations which had violated the Sherman Anti-trust Law. His fight against the conservative forces of both parties on this question, and kindred matters of railroad regulation, was intensely bitter and extended throughout his period of office.

"His dealings with labor were equally far sighted and firm. He favored combinations of labor as he favored combinations of capital, but stood as firmly against lawlessness on the part of laboring men as he stood against it on the part of capitalists.

"'At last,' said one of the 'labor men' at a luncheon one day, 'there is a hearing for us fellows.'

"'Yes,' cried the President emphatically. 'The White House door, while I am here, shall swing open as easily for the labor man as for the capitalist and no easier.'"

One of Roosevelt's greatest pieces of diplomacy that was kept secret at the time, and is such a striking example of his complete and utter fearlessness is his dealing with the German Kaiser in 1901, when Germany broke off diplomatic relations with Venezuela, and prepared to occupy Venezuelan territory by force of arms. Roosevelt called the German Ambassador to the White House; he told him that unless the Kaiser arbitrated the matter with Venezuela, the American fleet under Admiral Dewey would be sent to Venezuelan waters to prevent any hostilities that the Germans might undertake; he stated this as a fact, he said, not as a threat, and he gave the German Government a week to accede to his request.

As the week passed without word from Germany, Roosevelt told the Ambassador that in view of the Kaiser's silence, the American fleet would sail a day earlier than had been planned, and as promptly as cables could do the work, Germany gave in and consented to arbitration. Roosevelt's prompt action in this matter and the courageous stand he took with the Berlin government undoubtedly prevented war, which might, when started, very easily have embroiled the world.

The power of America, Roosevelt believed, was the strongest influence against war. When he was conscious of a "veiled truculence" in the Japanese diplomatic communications, the American battle fleet was ordered to make a cruise around the world, ostensibly for training, but really to show the world, and particularly the Asiatics, that the United States had ample means to enforce its rights in all waters and on every sea.

"Every particle of trouble with the Japanese Government and the Japanese press," says Roosevelt in a letter, "stopped like magic as soon as they found that our fleet had actually sailed and was obviously in good trim. As I told Von Tirpitz (the German admiral), I thought it a good thing that the Japanese should know there were fleets of the white races which were totally different from the fleet of poor Rojestvensky."

But Roosevelt was not a lover of war in spite of the warlike stand he took on several occasions. And his efforts in bringing about peace between Japan and Russia resulted in the award to him of the Nobel Peace Prize of $40,000.

The constructive work he accomplished while in office is too great to be even sketched in these brief pages. It was in Roosevelt's term, however, that the famous Panama Canal was begun and pushed toward completion.

When his administration had ended and he was a private citizen once more, Roosevelt started on his famous hunting trip to the jungles of Africa, where he indulged to the full his love of excitement and his interest in natural history. He killed lion, hippopotamus and elephant, tracking his game on foot and having several narrow escapes from death by infuriated and wounded wild beasts. He then toured Europe on a trip the like of which has not fallen to the lot of any other living man, for he was feted and cheered like a monarch wherever he went, and received honors that never before in the history of the world had been accorded to a man in private life.

Roosevelt returned to America more honored and loved than any other man in its wide boundaries, and with his usual energy he plunged once more into the political fight. He had everything to lose and nothing to gain, but entered the struggle with a spirit of heroism and patriotic duty that all men must respect, whatever they think of his political ideas. When the time came again for the Presidential struggle, Roosevelt, who disliked the way things had been going since his term of office, once more became a candidate, and as he was repudiated by the Republicans he formed a party of his own which he called the Progressive Party and ran for President against Taft and Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson had the solid Democratic vote behind him, and while the total of the votes he received made him a minority president, he was able nevertheless to win on account of the friction between Roosevelt and Taft. And Roosevelt now retired to his home on Sagamore Hill, Long Island, where although he was a private citizen again, his voice was constantly heard throughout the country, with more influence on public affairs than any other force outside the Administration.

When time for the next election came, the Republicans nominated Hughes and Roosevelt retired from the race to aid the fight against Wilson, who was nevertheless reelected. In spite of his political defeat these years may well be considered as among the greatest in Roosevelt's life. More than any other man he stood for true Americanism, and showed a bewildered country the straight path toward the light of patriotism. He was among the first to condemn the German outrages, to silence the voices of supine pacifists and plead for action on the part of the American Government. He was the staunchest advocate of national preparedness, and we may say that the military training camps that gave America officers for the war were fathered by Roosevelt as well as by his friend and comrade in arms, General Wood, who was sponsor of "The Plattsburg Idea."

Before this, however, Roosevelt's restless spirit took him again into the wilderness, and with a body of chosen companions he had explored the Brazilian jungles and penetrated wilds where no white man had ever set foot before. In this journey, however, Roosevelt fell ill to a severe attack of tropical fever that even his robust frame and vigorous constitution could not shake off. He was now a sick man and growing old, but his bodily weakness did not hinder his strong voice that was so bravely uplifted in behalf of the best ideals of his country.

When the war broke out with Germany Roosevelt wished to go. He offered to raise and train a force for service on European battlefields, just as he had done in the Spanish war, nineteen years before. His offer was refused, and, bitterly disappointed, Roosevelt was compelled to stay at home and watch other men fight—a fact that is thought to have hastened his death. He had hoped that his might be the lot of dying on the field of battle. But as he could not do this, he did the next best thing—he sent his four sons to represent him.

As all four were among the first to volunteer it can hardly be said, however, that Roosevelt sent them. None the less the training they had received at his hands is doubtless partly responsible for their splendid service and the fact that all strove for and obtained positions with combat troops.

On January 6, 1919, Theodore Roosevelt died in his sleep, a prey to the fever that he had contracted in South America and to inflammatory rheumatism with other complications. His death caused mourning all over the United States and brought a personal sense of loss to the heart of every true American. Like Lincoln, Roosevelt is a man of the ages, and his name has been made immortal. And his last message, which he read only the night before he died, to the members of the American Defense Society, is symbolic and typical of Roosevelt the man.

"We have room but for one flag," he said, "the American flag—we have room but for one loyalty and that is loyalty to the American people."

So spoke Theodore Roosevelt a few hours before he died, and his words sum up the work of his great life.




As the name of Florence Nightingale became world famous at the close of the Crimean War more than sixty years ago, the name of another English nurse who suffered martyrdom in the World War will go down into history with the lustre of glory and self-sacrifice surrounding it. That name is Edith Cavell.

Edith Cavell was born at Swardeston in Norwich, England, in 1873. Her father was an English minister of the old school who was rector of a single parish in Norwich for more than half a century. Edith and her sister were brought up in strict conformance with church ideas and were taught the value of leading useful lives and the glory of self-sacrifice. As was customary at the time when she was a young girl she received her education on the continent, attending school in the city of Brussels in Belgium. She then returned to her home and remained there until, when twenty-one years old and resolved to give her life to some useful and benevolent occupation, she decided to become a trained nurse and went to London to study that calling.

She studied at the London Hospital—a place, we are told, where the hardest and most difficult conditions prevailed, and where the nurses were worked to the limit of their strength. She also held the position of a nurse in two other hospitals—the Shoreditch Infirmary in Hoxton, and the St. Pancras Infirmary; and she gained a reputation both for hard work and efficiency, while her patients often spoke of her gentleness and her kindness. Not content with forgetting a patient when discharged from the hospital, Edith Cavell often followed him to his home and continued there the lighter nursing that would assure his convalescence. Her regular duties were severe enough but she used a large part of her scanty leisure for such purposes as these.

In 1906 Edith Cavell left the English hospitals, where she had made a reputation for herself, and went back to Brussels, where she took a position as matron in a Medical and Surgical Home. Nursing in Brussels had been conducted hitherto by Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy, and at first they were inclined to look upon Miss Cavell as an untrained outsider, but her tact, efficiency and skill soon won the hearts of these good women, who afforded her every courtesy and entered into cordial cooperation with her.

Her home succeeded so well that three years after its commencement, Miss Cavell started also a training school for nurses. She was popular everywhere in the Belgian capital, and although Protestant, she gained the praise of the Roman Catholic priests for the generous and unselfish work that she performed.

When the war broke out Miss Cavell was on a vacation with her mother. Every year she returned twice to England to visit her family. Her father had died by this time, but her mother was close to her heart and she saw her as often as she could.

"I may be looked on as an old maid," she is reported as saying, "but with my work and my mother I am a very happy one, and desire nothing more as long as I have these two."

When war was declared Miss Cavell lost no time in hurrying back to Brussels, believing that her duty called her there. She wrote a letter commenting on the German army when it swept through Belgium—and in it she voiced her pity for the tired, footsore German soldiers,—who were later to slay her. Brussels became a part of the German Empire and a tyrannical governor came there to establish his headquarters, issuing proclamations threatening the Belgians with death for minor offenses, and filling Brussels with spies and intrigue. Miss Cavell desired to continue her hospital work and went to the Governor, Von Bissing, to get permission to do so. He granted it, for the quiet English nurse made an impression upon him. We are told that the arrogant German formed a high opinion of her—so much so that he secretly determined to keep her under the strictest supervision!

From that time on spies dogged her tracks. She cared for the wounded German soldiers and nursed a number of German officers, as well as the Belgians who were in her care, but this made no difference to the authorities. They were determined to detect her in some crime and punish her. It was not fitting, they thought, that an enemy should be engaged in works of mercy, even though they themselves might benefit thereby. And soon spies began to come to the Governor with tales and fabrications of the crimes that she had been committing in their eyes. They bore witness that she had given an overcoat to a Frenchman who was cold and hungry—and the Frenchman later escaped over the Dutch frontier. Once she gave a glass of water to a Belgian soldier. She had given money to poor people, perhaps to soldiers. But the main reason that the Germans hated her was because she was held in great affection by the people of Brussels.

On the night of August fifth, 1915, we are told, Miss Cavell was tying up the wounds of a wounded German soldier, when a group of armed men entered the room and their leader told her roughly that she was under arrest. A blow was the only response when she tried to expostulate. She was taken to prison and placed in solitary confinement. Her arrest was shrouded with the most careful secrecy, for the Germans did not want to have the representatives of neutral governments, such as the United States, know of the affair or of what they proposed to do.

But word of her plight did reach England through a traveler, and at once the British Government requested the American Ambassador, Dr. Page, to get what information he could from Brand Whitlock, the American Minister in Belgium. He went at once to the German authorities, but they evaded his questions and waited ten days before giving him a reply. Then the Germans sent him a statement declaring that Edith Cavell herself had admitted giving money to English and Belgian soldiers and furnishing them with guides to help them to the Dutch frontier, whence they might escape into Holland and return to England.

This was the German statement. If what they said were true, there was still no cause for killing the unfortunate woman in their power, for she was not accused at any time of having been a spy. But they had planned to try her for her life, and Mr. Whitlock soon guessed this, in spite of the fact that the Germans kept their preparations from him so far as possible.

An American lawyer, Mr. de Leval, was requested by Mr. Whitlock to take Miss Cavell's case and do whatever was possible in her behalf. He was not allowed to see the prisoner—and was not even allowed to look at the documents in the case until the trial began. Another lawyer, who was a Belgian, suddenly appeared and told the Americans that there was not the least cause for them to worry as Miss Cavell was sure to receive only just treatment. He also promised to let them know when the trial was to take place, and that he would keep them informed of all the developments in the case. All these promises were broken. It is true that he sent a note a few days before the trial telling Mr. Whitlock that the case was about to come to court, but that is all that he told them. He never informed them that the death sentence had been imposed. He never came to see them afterward. And when they sought him for an explanation and for assistance, he had disappeared.

Miss Cavell was kept in solitary confinement for two months and then was tried with a number of other persons who were accused of crimes against the German Government. It was only from a private source that Mr. de Leval learned that the trial was under way, and that the death sentence had been given. Miss Cavell herself, we are told, was calm, dignified and brave at the trial and faced her accusers heroically. She was dressed in her nurse's uniform and wore the badge of the Red Cross.

When Mr. Whitlock learned that she had been tried and sentenced to death he did everything possible to secure her pardon, or at least a moderation of the punishment. He wrote to Baron Von der Lancken, pointing out in a clear and decisive manner that Miss Cavell had served the Germans by caring for their wounded, and that the death sentence had never before been inflicted for the crime of which she was accused. He also wrote a note to the Baron which is as follows:

"My dear Baron:

"I am too ill to present my request to you in person, but I appeal to your generosity of heart to support it and save this unfortunate woman from death. Have pity on her.

"Brand Whitlock."

All through the day the American Legation sent message after message to the German authorities asking for information. They received none. At 6:20 in the evening they were told by a subordinate that the sentence had not been given—only to learn later that it had indeed been declared, and that Miss Cavell would face a firing squad at two o'clock the following morning. Mr. Whitlock then urged Baron Von der Lancken to appeal to Gen. Von Bissing to mitigate the sentence, and at eleven in the evening he was told that Von Bissing refused to do anything to save Miss Cavell's life.

At the same time that the Governor denied this appeal, Edith Cavell was allowed to see a British chaplain. She told him that she was not in the least afraid of death and willingly gave her life for her country. Her words resembled those of Florence Nightingale that have been quoted elsewhere in this book. Death, she said, was well known to her, and she had seen it so often that it was not strange or fearful to her.

Early in the morning with her eyes bandaged Miss Cavell was led out to face the rifles of the Huns. She wore an English flag over her bosom. Only Germans were witnesses of the execution, but the German chaplain who attended said that she died like a heroine.

When her death became known, the entire civilized world was shocked and horrified. In England this murder did more to stimulate recruiting than anything else up to that time. All day long lines of men waited to sign the papers of enlistment, and in Miss Cavell's home town every eligible man was sworn into the army.

A bitter denunciation of the German act was made by Sir Edward Grey. The Germans themselves had only a poor excuse for what they had done. In brief the case against the German authorities is as follows: they had not previously inflicted the death penalty for the offense of which Miss Cavell was accused; they had kept her in solitary confinement and prevented her from consulting an advocate up to the time of her trial; she was tried with great haste and with great secrecy, and after the trial the sentence was carried out far more speedily than usual. Moreover they had deceived Mr. Whitlock and the other members of the American Legation, and had done so deliberately. After the execution they refused to return the body.

But the name of Edith Cavell has become one of the world's great names and her fame grows brighter as time passes. In the hospital where she was in training for her high calling a fitting memorial to her is being prepared—it is the Edith Cavell Home to be a permanent part of the London Hospital where she served her difficult apprenticeship. But her chief memorial is in the hearts and minds of the British nation.




The greatness of kings is not always proportionate to the size of the kingdoms they rule, and their fame does not run in accord with the breadth of their dominions, or the number of subjects who serve them. This has been proved many times in history,—but never more conclusively than in the little kingdom of Belgium, whose present ruler, Albert the First, has already won glory equal to that of any hero-king of any age.

Until he was a young man it was never expected that Albert would ever be King, for he was the younger son of the younger brother of King Leopold the Second. Much would have to take place before he could win the throne, and Albert, in consequence, was not trained for the severe duties of a ruler. But in the end this worked good rather than harm, for Albert received so thorough a military education that by practical advice and prompt action he was able to save his country in the terrible ordeal through which it passed. And as he had expected to be no more than one of the King's subjects, he had learned the ways of the people more intimately than he could have done if he had always been hemmed in with the restrictions of royalty.

When Albert was seventeen years old, his brother Baldwin died, and it was then seen that he might indeed become King, for Leopold had no direct male heirs. But this was not yet sure, for under certain conditions the King had the right to appoint his successor, and he did not decide to make Albert the heir to the throne until the Prince married and had two sons who would ensure the permanence of the royal Belgian family.

Albert was born in 1875 on the Eighth of April. His father was Count Philippe of Flanders who was Leopold's youngest brother. As a boy the young prince received an education such as would be given to any cultivated well bred gentleman, but as it was customary for younger sons of princes to enter the army particular attention was paid, as we have said, to his military training.

The young prince attended military school, was drilled as a common soldier and gradually worked his way up through the different grades to the rank of Major. He was intensely interested in the profession of arms and gave more than the required zeal and attention to its pursuit, following his training in a regiment of Grenadiers, and instructed by the most experienced officers.

Albert was not only studious, but fond of all sorts of athletic sports and exercises. He frequently visited the Tyrol for mountain climbing, and later tried his skill on the most rugged Alps. He was fond of shooting and shot well; he was an excellent horseman and his tall figure was frequently to be seen astride his hunter, which he managed with great skill.

The possibility that he might become King had effected a change in the young man's character, who became more reserved and serious, ardently devoted to his studies and eager to find out as much as possible about the lives of the people that one day he was to rule. He often lectured on military topics. He visited the mines and viewed the working conditions of the men that toiled incessantly underground. He watched the fishermen at work and even accompanied them on their trips; he worked in machine-shops and ran locomotives himself. To learn the secrets of modern shipping he visited foreign countries and traveled in disguise as a reporter of a newspaper, paying calls on various shipyards and taking notes on what he saw there.

In the year of the war between America and Spain, 1898, Albert came to the United States and saw President McKinley, and in his travels through our great country he paid a visit to the great financier James J. Hill with whom he talked about the problems that confronted Belgium and from whom he doubtless received valuable advice. He was much impressed by his visit to America, and often talked about it afterward, and thought out means by which the modern improvements he saw in America might be applied to the people of Belgium.

All this time, however, the Prince remained unmarried, and King Leopold, who was growing old, was worried about the succession to the throne. Finally he decided that as long as Albert was without issue he must choose a different heir which was a royal privilege in such a contingency, and his choice fell upon the Duc de Vendome, who had married Albert's sister.

But Albert, who had given no signs of attraction toward any one of the various beautiful ladies he might have married, was soon to fall in love and make a marriage that would gladden the heart of old King Leopold, and please the Belgian people.

Among other things that he had studied in his young manhood was the science of medicine, and a year after he came to America he went to Germany to see the clinic of a Bavarian duke named Charles Theodore, whose skill as an occulist had made him famous throughout Europe. Albert visited this Duke and was presented to his daughters, with one of whom, the Duchess Elizabeth, he promptly fell in love. The passion was mutual, and as the match was a good one from all points of view the young couple were married in Munich on October 2, 1900, where a celebration was held in honor of the event. When the newly wedded couple returned to Belgium no one less than King Leopold was waiting at the railroad station to receive them and offer his congratulations. Leopold was now more predisposed in favor of Albert, and when a son was born he was delighted. On the birth of a second son, the King made a speech in which he publicly confirmed Albert's claim to the throne, and public attention was now focussed on the Prince who was to be King.

Albert had no intention of meddling with political affairs until he actually should become the ruler of Belgium, and he gave scant encouragement to those who sought to sound him and find out what his future policies would be. While he surveyed all public affairs with a keen eye and attentive mind, he kept the public from knowing what he thought of them, and his mind seemed now as much of a mystery as his personality had seemed obscure before it had been known that he was to come to the throne.

Albert was greatly interested in the Belgian colony in Africa and asked permission from King Leopold to visit it and make a tour of inspection. The King was unwilling to have the heir to the throne take so long and presumably so dangerous a journey, but at last he consented and Albert departed for Africa and the Congo, where he spent three arduous months in which time, it is said, he walked more than fifteen hundred miles. The colonists took a great liking to the tall, reserved young man who studied all their interests and doings with such careful attention, and the impression that Albert made upon this part of his future kingdom was more than favorable.

He had not been at home long before King Leopold died, and on the 23rd of December, 1909, Albert came into his capital as King of the Belgians. After taking the oath to guard the constitution and preserve the territory of the Belgian nation, he made a carefully prepared and well thought out speech, in which he declared that the Belgian monarch must always obey the laws of the country and preserve the law with the utmost respect and care. And the first public appearance of Albert as King added to the good impression with which he was regarded everywhere.

His liberty and privacy were now over, and he was absorbed with the affairs of his country. He had become so interested in the Congo colony that he gave a great deal of his own money to better conditions there and to further medical research. The Queen was busy also. With her medical skill she visited the various hospitals and engaged in many charitable enterprises that endeared her to the hearts of the common people. It seemed that she could not do enough to relieve the sufferings of others, and the humblest of her subjects came to look on her as a member of their family, and almost literally worshipped the ground she walked on.

The threat of war was still far off, but Albert, who was greatly concerned over the state of the Belgian army, did all he could to increase its efficiency. He was not only concerned with the military preparedness of Belgium, but observed that the Germans seemed to be taking a firmer and firmer grip on his country. German merchants and business men swarmed in Brussels, and it was not hard to see too that German military experts were studying the topography of Belgium and sending reports back to the Fatherland.

The position of Belgium was peculiar in many ways. Not only did it lie as a little and weak nation between the great armed powers of France and Germany, exposed to the advance of an invading army in case of war, since it was the most convenient way from one country to the other, but its position on the coast made it a favorable vantage ground from which Germany might launch an attack on England. This geographical situation of Belgium has caused it throughout history to be the scene of some of the greatest battles that have ever been fought, and has gained for it the name of "the cockpit of Europe."

Even for its size, Belgium was in a woeful state of military unpreparedness for war, because it was supposed to be exempt from conflict through an agreement of the great powers. All the great nations of Europe had decided that it was safer and better to make Belgium neutral ground, and one and all they had promised to protect the neutrality of this little state with force of arms if necessary. This, as we have said, had given the Belgians a feeling of security. They believed that even if war broke out, Belgium would not be forced into the conflict, but sinister signs of danger, like the distant warnings of a hurricane, gradually obtruded themselves before King Albert's clear sighted vision. He received letters, not from one but from many sources, warning him that the Germans had decided in secret council to send their invading armies across Belgium in case of war with France, and he had seen only too clearly that German spies and military experts were mapping out the country for their own secret ends. So Albert struggled to increase the army and secured the passage of a favorable bill in October, 1913.

But the iron forces of Germany were forged and ready; the uniforms and equipment of her invading hordes were packed away in her storehouses and arsenals. Only the stroke of a pen was needed to loose the blind forces and mighty armaments of a war greater than any that history has known. King Albert's efforts in behalf of the Belgian army were too late, although he did not know it at the time.

In the summer of 1914, Albert went to Switzerland on a vacation, but his fear that Germany was preparing for speedy war forced him to return to Belgium in the middle of his holiday. And events soon proved that he was justified. War leaped up over night like a devouring flame, and immediately the German Government sent to Belgium a threat which declared that it was the purpose of the German High Command to move German troops across Belgium, and that the Belgians would resist at their own peril.

Many a ruler would have acceded to the terms that Germany gave. If a small boy is confronted by a trained pugilist of great weight and gigantic stature, surely none can blame the boy for consenting to the pugilist's demands. None could have blamed King Albert if he had yielded to such force and accepted the tyrant's terms. But the King determined to defend his country to the last drop of Belgian blood, not sparing his own, and the Belgians sent the following reply back to the German war lords:

"The German ultimatum has caused the Belgian Government deep and painful astonishment, and Belgium refuses to believe that her independence could only be preserved at the cost of violating her neutrality."

And Albert grimly added to some of his followers, "Germany appears to believe that Belgium is a road, not a country."

The German armies entered Belgium, and soon the roar of the guns was heard almost from one end of the little nation to the other. King Albert at once put on his uniform and took to the field with the Belgian army. The Germans laid siege to the Belgian fortress of Liège, expecting to overpower it easily. They advanced against it in mass formation, only to be met with such a hail of machine gun fire that they numbered their dead by thousands. The little Kingdom of Belgium had thrust a stick between the cogs of the great German war machine, and by doing so saved the world from a German victory. By delaying the Germans at Liège they allowed the French the vital time to organize their army and mobilize on the frontier, and by the splendid and stubborn resistance that the Germans encountered in Belgium the English too were given a breathing space. On the breast of this weak nation fell the whole weight of the mailed fist, and while the result was inevitable the burden was bravely supported.

Liège fell at last, and the Germans moved onward, in spite of attacks by the Belgians that temporarily halted them. With their great 42 centimeter howitzers the Germans pulverized the forts that held out against them and soon compelled King Albert to shift the seat of Belgian Government to Antwerp. Albert himself, however, stayed in the field with his army and when it fell back he was among the brave men that covered the retreat. He seemed to be everywhere that he was needed, and often in the front line the Belgian soldiers would be cheered by the sight of their King loading and firing a rifle by their side, in the place of some wounded comrade.

The King combined shrewdness with bravery. He ordered Brussels not to resist the German horde, but he fought to the knife wherever resistance would be effective. While the British were yet far away and the French were unable to help, Belgium alone held the enemy in check, and Belgium was animated more by the spirit of their King than by any other cause. It has been said in turn that each one of the Allied Nations won the war. And this is true of them all. Without the aid of the British navy, the bravery of the French army, the fresh strength that America lent to the fight, the Germans must have conquered. But it is practically certain that they would have won if Belgium had not withstood them. With their forces once in Paris and the French and British forces separated no human power could have triumphed against the Kaiser—and it remained for little Belgium to delay him to such an extent that Joffre was able at last to beat the Germans at the Marne and save the world.

Then the Germans turned their guns against the city of Antwerp and soon the giant shells from the monster howitzers were picking up whole buildings in the force of their blast and scattering bricks and timbers broadcast in crashing explosions. Queen Elizabeth had remained with the King, serving as a nurse in the hospitals and doing what she could to relieve the suffering of her people, but when it was seen that Antwerp must fall she decided to take her children to a place of safety. King Albert's eldest son served as a private with a Belgian regiment, but his brother and little sister were too young for any service and were taken to England by the Queen. She refused to remain, however, but returned to the stricken country to take her place with the remainder of her subjects who had not yet received the yoke of German slavery.

Albert refused to allow his army to be driven from Belgian territory. "It would be better to die here," he declared, "than in a foreign land." And always he was with the army, directing its strategy or wielding a weapon himself. "My place is with my brave soldiers," he declared.

All through the sinister days of the war the King's spirit did not weaken. When the Germans were pushing on again toward Paris in the spring of 1918, he kept his head cool and his heart composed. Then the gray lines broke, and the tide turned. The Allied Armies swept onward and the Germans retreated pell mell to save themselves from utter ruin. Back from the ruined villages and the oppressed and tortured countryside the German hordes retreated, and King Albert and Queen Elizabeth triumphantly took possession once more. Their children had returned and the royal family had passed the last year of the war within sound of the guns on the Nieuport front. Their hour of triumph was now come and they entered Brussels after four years of exile.

Their entry was planned to be as glorious and beautiful as possible and it is needless to say with what rejoicing they were received. Allied troops marched past in review, and the King and Queen were accompanied by the most famous generals of the Allied armies. The soldiers of the Belgian army were crowned with flowers when reviewed by the King that so bravely led them.

Peace terms were drawn up and the Germans compelled to repay the Belgians to the last penny for the havoc and vandalism they had wrought. And it is a kind of poetic justice that Albert was reigning, while the Kaiser fled from his own country to cling to the skirts of another weak little power that he would surely have violated as remorselessly as he violated Belgium if it had chanced to stand in his way.

In 1919, twenty-one years after his first trip to this country, King Albert with Queen Elizabeth came to the United States again. They received a warm welcome from one end of the country to the other and the good wishes of all Americans have gone back with them to the wrecked and devastated land that they are striving to restore. Whether King Albert will perform as great work in reconstruction as he has already performed as a soldier and a King the future will decide, but he has already gained an immortal place in the history of the world.




Not since the time of Molly Pitcher has there been a woman soldier so famous in her own country as a Russian girl named Maria Botchkareva, who fought beside the men in the Russian army in the World War and afterward became the commander of a battalion of women soldiers, who called themselves the "Battalion of Death." It is only because the World War was so huge that the name of this girl is not known everywhere. Not only did she make as good a soldier as a man, but she was decorated for bravery. She carried to safety out of No Man's Land on her own back nearly a hundred wounded Russians, while the shells burst and the bullets flew around her, and in the course of the war she was wounded four times.

Maria Botchkareva, who is still living, was born in 1889, the daughter of a Russian fisherman, who was originally a serf. He was too poor to buy a wagon to market his fish, and was compelled to sell them at less than the market price to traveling pedlers. Her mother did manual labor for twelve hours a day to earn five cents. Starvation was constantly at the door, and the father was of a surly and cruel disposition, and frequently beat his wife and his little children.

When quite a young girl Maria became a servant in the family of a Russian army officer, and when still young she married a soldier named Afanasi Botchkarev, who gave her her present name. He beat her so often and treated her so brutally when he was drunk that she tried to drown herself, but was saved because some workmen had seen her plight. Shortly afterward she ran away from Botchkarev and worked her way to the town of Irkutsk in Siberia.

There she underwent many adventures. Her great strength enabled her to work as a man in a gang of laborers who were paving the courtyard of Irkutsk prison with asphalt, and she continued this work for a year, until she became ill and forced to go to a hospital.

War broke out between Russian and Germany. It was the beginning of the great war that was to shake the entire world, and echoes and rumors of terrible events were not long in reaching even so remote a town as Irkutsk. Soldiers commenced to go away to the front and stories of defeats and victories were in the air. And although Maria, unlike Jeanne d'Arc, never heard the voices of the Saints, still a voice within her called on her to go to war to save her country.

But how was a woman to go to war? If it had been difficult in the remote past when Jeanne d'Arc was alive, how much more was success beyond her grasp in a country controlled by modern law and the regulations of a well organized national army. But Maria dressed herself in man's clothes and made her way back to her home, beating her way with difficulty on trains that were crowded with soldiers, and taking over two months to accomplish the difficult journey from Siberia.

When she arrived at her native village she found that her worthless husband had been drafted into the army, taken to the front and was listed as "missing." Nobody knew if he were alive or dead.

Her father and mother were glad to see Maria, but exclaimed in horror and surprise when she told them that she intended to be a soldier.

"You are crazy," they shouted at her. "Women do not go to war! Stay at home with us, for we are old and need your help." But in spite of their entreaties she was obdurate, and going to a clerk in the 25th Reserve Battalion which was quartered there, she declared to him her purpose of enlisting and of fighting in the trenches.

Laughter greeted her on every side. A grinning adjutant took her to the Colonel, who received her kindly, his astonishment only equalled by his admiration for her patriotism.

"But women do not go to war, my dear," he ejaculated when Maria told him her decision.

"Nevertheless I intend to go and I desire you to enlist me," the brave girl answered.

The Colonel could not disobey regulations and enlist a woman in the army, but a telegram was sent to the Czar himself, and in a short time an answer was received from the Czar's official headquarters, announcing that Maria Botchkareva was entitled to become a soldier in the Russian army.

So Maria put on her uniform and was nicknamed "Yashka," a name that soon was known throughout her regiment. Dressed in a man's clothes and bearing arms like a man, she went through the regular drill and fatigue and in a very short time became proficient in handling a rifle which increased the respect in which her comrades held her. They had ridiculed her at first, and made life a burden to her with insults and practical jokes, but she bore these things stolidly and at last won their respect and affection.

The regiment entrained for the front and Yashka went with it. A Russian general heard of the presence of a girl soldier in its ranks and angrily ordered that she be taken from the line and sent to the rear—but Yashka was clever enough to point out that her enlistment had been received by the Czar himself and so superseded the order of the General, who wished to send her home from whence she had come.

The regiment went into the trenches, and Maria, for the first time, heard the roar of the cannon and the whistling of the shells. Her comrades had jokingly told her that she would run when the first shot was fired, but she minded the bombardment no more than any one else. The Germans threw over large quantities of their favorite weapon, gas, and the trenches and the hollows in the ground were filled with the noxious vapors that it was death to breathe, but the Russians put on their gas masks and still went forward.

Then, after serving in the line for some time, the girl soldier had her first experience in more active warfare, for her company was ordered over the top to capture the German sector opposite them, and with fixed bayonets the men moved forward under a heavy fire from the batteries of their own artillery. It was a severe attack, bravely delivered, but doomed to failure because the barbed wire entanglements of the enemy had not been destroyed by the Russian shells. Men dropped by the score, and when the company was finally compelled to retreat there were only seventy left out of two hundred and fifty that had begun the advance. Maria was one of the survivors, her woman's heart torn with pity at the cries of the wounded who had been left dying in No Man's Land. Crawling back from the shelter of the Russian trenches, she dragged a wounded soldier to safety and returned for another. All night she toiled bringing them in until more than fifty owed their lives to her. For this she was recommended for a decoration for bravery, but never received it. Later, however, she won her badge of courage for more work of the same sort performed under heavy fire and in the face of the greatest obstacles.

Then her own turn came. She was wounded and sent to the rear as a casualty. When her wound was healed she returned to the front, only to sustain further wounds and win another decoration. On one occasion she was captured by the Germans, but an attack freed her from their hands after she had been a prisoner for a little over eight hours.

In all the fighting that she had experienced this girl personally did her share, handling a rifle with skill and on several occasions using the bayonet with as much strength as a man. Her fame by this time had penetrated beyond her own regiment. The name of Yashka was known throughout the Russian army, and numbers of curious soldiers crowded around her when she happened to go to some part of the field where she had not previously been seen.

Then began the terrible Russian revolution—a revolution more dreadful than the French Terror in 1793. The Czar was deposed, and word of this was not long in reaching the front line, where groups of rejoicing soldiers hastened to form councils and committees regardless of the discipline that alone could hold them together to an extent to present a solid front to the enemy.

The Germans ceased firing when they learned the cause of the Russians' celebrations, and at once commenced to fraternize with the men they had so recently been fighting, telling the Russians that they desired peace and that the war now would soon be over. Vodka and beer were passed from side to side, and German and Russian soldiers strolled about in No Man's Land without a shot being fired. Nor was this all. A pilgrimage of inflammatory speakers and demagogues commenced to visit the ranks of the Russians, inciting them to revolt against all authority and to drive away their officers. The heads of the soldiers were turned, and good and bad, brave men and cowards, joined in the confusion that was increasing day by day, and the ruin that was sweeping over Russia's fortunes.

The simple heart and mind of Yashka, however, proved to be more astute and better versed in the conduct of war than most of the Russians. She saw what disorder was doing to the army, and worn out in spirit as well as in body, sought leave to return from a war where there was no fighting to her own home.

But finally the idea came to her to form a battalion of women soldiers and shame the men into returning to the front, from which they had been deserting in large numbers. She thought that if the soldiers saw Russian women in the ranks, doing battle with the enemy and proving themselves braver than the men themselves, perhaps they would be shamed into renewing the combat; that if women advanced in the front rank, the men would follow and the war would be resumed. Yashka knew too well that there could be no real peace so long as the Germans remained on Russian soil; and that further war was the only way to drive them out of Russia.

Fired with her idea she went to the leading powers of the Russian Government and asked permission to form a battalion of women soldiers, who were to make every sacrifice, visit the most dangerous parts of the battle front, and unhesitatingly be killed in order that the men might follow them into battle. The Government leaders, including Kerensky, approved of the idea; and Maria commenced to make speeches, calling on the women to enlist beneath her standard in the "Battalion of Death," as her new organization was to be named.

The response was instantaneous. So many women offered to enlist that she had difficulty in accepting all of them, and she resolutely weeded out those that seemed unfit, enacting a strict and severe discipline, more rigorous, in fact, than any that had been undergone by the male soldiers. With rifles supplied by the Government, and with men acting as drill sergeants, she trained her girls until they were well versed in the elements of soldiering, and after they had become proficient in the use of the rifle she prepared to entrain for the front, this time an officer with a thousand or more soldiers under her command.

But her system of training and the severe penalties she exacted from her soldiers brought her into opposition to the Russian Government, which, fatuously believing that rule by the people could be carried into war, insisted on her forming committees in her command and allowing her soldiers a share in the administration of the battalion. This she refused to do, declaring that she would resign her commission first and disband her battalion. If men were difficult to control at the front under the committee system, how much more would this be the case with girls, unused to discipline and more prone by nature than the men to give way to the difficulties and the temptations of war!

After several stormy interviews with the army chiefs and with Kerensky himself, Yashka was allowed to have her own way, and in direct command of her own battalion she set out for the front line. Already the Battalion of Death had had a beneficial effect upon the soldiers at the front, and she believed that when once her women went into action the men would follow without question.

When the Battalion of Death was actually in the front line Yashka saw very quickly, however, that things were far worse than she had imagined, for in the time that she had been recruiting and training her new force, the army had undergone complete demoralization. There was now open friendship between the Russians and the Germans in many quarters of the front, and fighting was unheard of, the soldiers' committees refusing to give their consent to any proposal of that sort. It was in the midst of such a situation that Yashka and her women reached the line.

The Bolsheviki, as the revolutionists were called, had gained almost complete control over the soldiers, and under their influence the army had become a savage mob. Only a few loyal men remained. Soon after Yashka's arrival the officers attempted to put her plan into operation and launch an attack against the Germans, but the soldiers refused to obey and the battalion of women moved out almost unsupported against the enemy, who promptly opened a heavy fire. Their example was tardily followed by the men and a general attack was delivered on a wide portion of the line. After a severe fight, the women soldiers captured the German trenches that lay in front of them, but only to be confronted with a new and terrible difficulty,—for the supports that they had relied upon refused to march any further, declaring that they would defend what they had already gained from the enemy but that under no circumstance would they attack again. This made it necessary for the Battalion of Death to make a headlong retreat, for while they waited for support they had nearly been surrounded by the Germans.

Then the army, incited by the Bolshevist agitators, became completely unmanageable. When Yashka herself opened fire on some Germans who were walking openly through No Man's Land, the Russians on her flanks turned their machine guns against the women and prepared to mow them down. The usefulness of the Battalion was at an end and the lives of the girls were in danger from the Russian soldiers. It became necessary to take them to the rear. Even there, however, when quartered in reserve barracks, they were not safe from interference. With vile threats and taunts deserters and Bolshevists crowded about their quarters and were finally driven away by a volley fired by the girls from the windows of their barracks.

Knowing that this action would result in an attack by the Russians, Yashka hastily assembled her Battalion and marched them away with all their equipment, taking concealment in a nearby wood from which the girls were hurried to the rear and discharged in a score of stations, making their way to their homes as best they might. Revolution now had the upper hand, the army was completely destroyed by the revolutionary doctrine and there was no longer any use in continuing the Battalion, which had become a center for the attacks of friends and foes alike.

Yashka herself returned to Petrograd where she was arrested by the Bolsheviki, but, after a searching examination, she was allowed to proceed to her home. She determined, however, to use all her remaining energy in helping the few loyal Russians who were grouped under a general named Kornilov and were now at open war with the Bolsheviki, so, after procuring a disguise, she made her way through the Bolshevik lines to the loyal forces. Kornilov desired her to return with word from him for the loyalists who were hiding in many places in Russia, but in trying to cross the lines again Yashka found herself entrapped by her enemies. Throwing off her disguise she boldly disclosed herself to them, saying she was on her way to undergo treatment at a hospital for a severe wound she had received while in the Russian army.

And then this courageous girl underwent dangers far more deadly than any she had suffered at the front. She was tried by the Bolsheviki and sentenced to be shot, although she had destroyed all the evidence of her relations with Kornilov, and her foes knew nothing more about her than that she had been commander of the woman's battalion. This alone, however, was crime enough in their eyes to warrant her instant execution, and with part of her clothing taken from her she stood in line with twenty Russian officers to receive her death blow. It happened, however, that on the Bolshevik committee that was present to witness the execution was one of the men who had served beside her in the trenches, and he recognized his old comrade.

"Are you Yashka?" he asked. When she replied in the affirmative he pulled her from the line and took her place in the squad of the condemned, saying that they would have to shoot him before they could shoot Yashka whom he knew and loved. After a stormy argument a reprieve was shown to the executioners and Yashka was allowed to be taken from the field of death and returned to prison.

Through the intercession of friends she was sent to Moscow, and there, after further imprisonment, was set at liberty. She had witnessed enough of the Bolshevist horrors to be even a more bitter enemy of their regime than she had been before. She determined to fly from Russia and gain aid from the Allies to carry on a war against them and the Germans alike, and with this end in view was secretly carried aboard the American steamer Sheridan and brought to the United States. Here, for the time being, her career ends. It will remain for the future to show if she takes further part in the affairs of her country for which she so bravely fought, bled and suffered,—but whether circumstances allow her to do so or not, she has carved her name in lasting letters on the tablets of modern history.





Many hundreds of years ago, at the end of the Thirteenth Century to be exact, in the country that is now Switzerland, there lived a Swiss hunter and herdsman named William Tell. He lived in the little town of Burglen among the mountains, and with him lived his wife and his two sons, who, when this story opens, were about ten and twelve years old. William Tell was so strong that his name was known far and wide; he was so skilful a hunter that nothing seemed ever to escape his keen arrow when once it was on the wing; he was so venturesome a mountain climber that the steepest precipice was not too dangerous for him; and with all these great abilities he had a kindly disposition and was liked as well as admired by his neighbors.

William Tell had won more than one prize at the fairs and competitions that were sometimes held near his town; on one occasion he had shot a small bird on the wing with his sure arrow, for the bullseye of the target had seemed too large for him. And so it came to pass that when his neighbors revolted from the foreign yoke that Austria had thrown over Switzerland Tell was one of the first to be called on by the patriots who desired to free their country.

Switzerland was not a single country in those days, but was divided into the three cantons or districts of Schwyz (from which it takes its present name) Uri and Unterwalden. The Austrians had nominally governed the country for a long time without any dissent on the part of the Swiss people, for the Austrian ruler, named Adolph, had treated them extremely well and allowed them to keep their ancestral rights and customs.

Then, however, the Hapsburg Emperor, Albrecht, came to the throne; and discontent and misery were soon apparent in the Swiss cantons. For the new monarch did not follow the policy of the former king, but sent cruel governors to rule over the honest Swiss, with secret orders to oppress them in many ways until their love of liberty, for which they had always been famous, might be destroyed.

All the time that these changes were taking place, William Tell went quietly about his affairs. He looked after his herds and hunted in the mountains, while his wife, Hedwig, saw to his house and brought up his two boys, William and Walter. He had everything to make him happy—a clean and well ordered home on the side of the mountain, a devoted wife, two manly boys, and a herd of cattle that included the most beautiful cow for miles around. This cow was named Hifeli, and wore a sweet toned bell about her neck.

Driving a cow over the mountain paths was a difficult and dangerous undertaking, and one that Tell had never entrusted to either of his children, but as his son William seemed to be able and venturesome he was allowed one day as a great pleasure to drive Hifeli and her calf up to the mountain pasture. The way led along the side of a cliff, and in one place it was so narrow that only a few inches separated those on the path from a terrific gulf so deep that the clouds sometimes hid the trees below it.

While the boy was driving Hifeli over this place, with a sudden rush a fierce eagle swooped down to attack the calf, beating the air with its wings to drive the calf to the edge of the precipice,—and although the lad struck at the bird of prey with his mountain staff until the air was filled with feathers it was to no avail. The calf plunged over the ledge and was dashed to death on the rocks beneath, where the eagle descended and promptly reappeared flying heavily away, bearing the dead body of the calf in its claws. But this was not all the trouble that young Tell was to undergo, for the cow lurched toward the edge of the precipice and sought some way to descend to the spot where she believed the body of her calf had fallen, and try as he would young Tell could not get her away from the spot or drive her back to her stall.

So he tied Hifeli to a tree and went in search of his father to whom he told the misfortune that had befallen him. Whereupon father and son went in search of the eagle and the elder Tell slew it with an arrow from his crossbow. And on this trip he taught his son to show no fear of the high precipices they had to skirt or of the gulfs that had to be crossed by fallen trees. And from that time on he instructed his son to avoid the least sign of fear which later saved both their lives in a curious manner.

There was nothing that Tell hated more than the Austrian rule under the tyrannical governors who were sent to oppress the Swiss, and he engaged in opposing them first of all.

One of the Swiss named Wolfshot had treacherously deserted his countrymen and joined the Austrian cause, for which he was rewarded by the Emperor and given a position under the Austrian Governor. In this position he did all that he could to annoy his neighbors and frequently insulted the Swiss women.

On one occasion Wolfshot tried to make love to the wife of a Swiss peasant named Baumgarten who was an honest as well as a brave man. She ran to her husband for protection and Baumgarten in great anger went to the room where Wolfshot was staying and slew him with an ax. Then, taking horse, he fled for his life pursued by the Austrian guards.

Baumgarten came to the shores of Lake Zurich and would have crossed the lake to safety, but a terrible wind called the Fohn was blowing and the waves of the lake rolled so high that escape by water seemed impossible. The horsemen were close at Baumgarten's heels, and he begged the ferryman to take him across the water in spite of the danger, but to no avail. The ferryman replied that he would not venture out on the lake in that storm to save the life of any one, for it was impossible for any boat to live in the sea that was raging there. But William Tell was present, and seeing that Baumgarten would soon be captured by the Austrians he ran with him to the ferryboat and pushed off just as the Austrians rode up to the shore. The boat was tossed about like a cork, but still it lived under the powerful strokes of Tell, who was skilful above all others with the oar; and the Austrians were forced to go back to their castle without their prisoner, bitterly angry at Tell for having helped the fugitive to escape them.

This was soon brought to the ears of the new Governor named Gessler who determined that he would entrap Tell into committing some other act by which he could be imprisoned and put to death. To accomplish this purpose Gessler conceived the design of placing a cap with the royal arms of Austria upon it in the midst of the public square of the town of Altdorf, where Tell frequently came, and of ordering all people to bow before it as if this cap were the Emperor of Austria himself.

Great was the anger felt by the Swiss when they heard of this infamous design on Gessler's part—but how much more when the cap was actually taken to the public square by a force of heavily armed soldiers and a proclamation was read ordering all who saw it to salute it on pain of whatever penalty the Governor saw fit to impose!

Now Tell happened to be in Altdorf at this very time with his little son William; and in order to avoid saluting this hated emblem, he left town earlier than he had planned and by a street where he thought he would not see the cap or encounter any of the Austrians who had come to Altdorf to see that the Governor's order was enforced. As luck would have it, however, Tell walked right into the square where the cap had been placed and came right upon it before he noticed it. And several Austrian men at arms stood near it.

Without a word, leading his little son by the hand, Tell strode past the cap without bowing his head—and was at once stopped by the soldiers who told him he was under arrest for defying the Governor's order and made ready to take him before Gessler for trial. But Gessler himself had seen all this and was so eager to punish Tell that he did not wait for the soldiers to come to him, but with his servants and retainers hastened out into the square.

Gessler knew Tell by sight and spoke to him by name.

"What does this mean, Tell?" he demanded. "Have you not heard that this cap represents the Emperor and is to be saluted by all that pass it?"

"Aye, your Lordship," answered Tell.

"And so you propose to add defiance of my person to your other crime?" said the Governor. "I have you in my power now and you shall pay a dear penalty. All the more dearly shall you pay because you go about the streets armed with your crossbow at your side."

"My bow is used for hunting, your Lordship," said Tell proudly, "a right that all free men possess and have possessed from the very earliest times."

"I'll curb your right and your talk of freedom," said Gessler fiercely. "Yonder is your son. Now harken to your punishment. Take your bow and shoot an apple from the child's head."

Now the Governor never thought that Tell could hit so difficult a mark, and Tell himself, good shot as he was, quailed at shooting at so small a target, when the slightest slip would cause him to kill his beloved son. And he begged the Governor to take his property if he would or to do what he chose to his person, but to spare an innocent boy who had done no harm or wrong of any kind.

Gessler, however, was inexorable, and he mocked Tell with the utmost cruelty, telling him that such a mark should be easy for one whose fame as a bowman had traveled through all Switzerland, as Tell's had done.

"And mark well my words," said Gessler. "See that you hit the apple, for if you miss it, even by a hair's breadth, then you shall die and the boy with you."

A groan went through the crowd that had assembled as Gessler spoke these words. But young William himself was not afraid and went bravely to the tree where he was to stand and with his own hand put the apple on his head.

"Shoot, father, why do you hesitate?" he cried. "Well do I know that you will hit the apple."

With a shudder Tell took his crossbow and drew two arrows from his quiver. Then holding his breath he aimed at the living mark.

The bowstring twanged. The arrow, like a flash of lightning, split the apple in two halves and imbedded itself in the tree trunk. Tell had triumphed and the deed was accomplished. Turning to Gessler and taking his boy by the hand Tell asked leave to go his way, now that his order had been obeyed.

But Gessler was determined to slay Tell and was only seeking some pretext for getting him into his power.

"Not so fast," said the crafty governor, while he eyed the bow with which Tell had so bravely performed the cruel operation. "Tell me, my shrewd archer, who does not hesitate to aim at his own flesh and blood, why did you draw two arrows from your quiver instead of one?"

Tell drew himself to his full height and, captive as he was, the Governor quailed beneath his glance.

"The second arrow was for you in case I had struck my son!" said Tell fiercely. "If so much as a drop of his blood had been drawn, my second bolt would have been lodged in your false heart."

"Bind him!" shouted Gessler, overjoyed that Tell had delivered himself into his hands. "In my own castle it shall be decided what sort of death and torture he shall suffer." And with Tell led between two horsemen the Governor's retinue went to the shore of the lake to cross to the castle where he made his home.

When the boat was well out in the lake, however, the same terrible wind that so often blew upon its waters arose with the swiftness of a thunderclap and threatened to overwhelm them all. Tell lay bound in the boat, calmly watching what he could see of the storm, when one of the Governor's servants told him that Tell himself was the most skilful boatman in that part of the country and the only one who could save them from the waves that threatened each minute to swamp them.

At this Tell's bonds were cut and he was ordered by the Governor to take his place at the helm and guide the boat to shore, and Gessler added that if he brought it safely in it would serve to lessen the punishment that he planned to inflict upon him.

Tell did as he was ordered and took the tiller. And by his skilful guidance the craft gradually drew near to shore.

But Tell had planned shrewdly as he guided the boat and he gradually drew it toward a ledge of rock that was greatly feared by all the boatmen of the lake. When the boat was directly beneath the rock Tell waited until a wave flung the boat on high and seizing his crossbow and arrows he sprang from the gunwale, landed on the rock and disappeared into the forest.

Gessler was enraged at Tell's escape, but he and his party had all they could do to save their lives from the fury of the lake. At last, more by luck than skill, they drew the craft into smoother waters and he and his retinue were saved.

Tell, however, had formed a stern purpose while fleeing through the forest. He knew that his own life and that of his son and perhaps of his entire family would be lost if Gessler lived, for the Governor would certainly send soldiers to take and slay him. So Tell resolved to slay the governor with the same crossbow with which he had shot the apple from his son's head.

He waited in the woods on the edge of a ravine through which Gessler must pass on the way to his castle at Kussnacht, for no other way led there; and when the Governor's escort finally appeared, Tell aimed his bow, the arrow hissed from the string and imbedded itself squarely in Gessler's heart. The deed was accomplished surely and with skill, and the Swiss would suffer no more from the heavy hand of the tyrant Gessler.

This act rang through Switzerland, and everywhere people were soon in revolt against the power of Austria. And the ultimate result of the action of William Tell was in the end the freedom of the Swiss people from the oppression of Austria. And throughout Switzerland the name of William Tell is revered to this day and there are statues in his honor, while many a legend has been born in his name and many a great writer has celebrated his deeds.




In the year 1605 a Spanish author named Cervantes wrote the story of a lean and elderly gentleman named Don Quixote who had the strangest attack of madness in the world. For this Don Quixote, who lived in La Mancha in Spain, lost his mind through reading books of chivalry, and he so stuffed his poor weak brain with preposterous tales of knights and giants that at last he thought he must take horse and armor and ride through Spain righting wrongs and doing battle with all that opposed him.

Now this fancy of Don Quixote's was just as ridiculous as it would be to-day to go in search of Indians upon the streets of New York or other American cities,—for at the time when he lived there were no knights, nor had there been any for a great many years. The people were honest peasants and burghers who made their living much in the fashion that we do to-day, and had forgotten all about the idle tales of dragons and of knights that rode armed through the forests. But none the less Don Quixote had so addled his mind with stories of bygone times that he must needs become a knight without any delay.

In the attic of his house he found an old suit of rusty armor that had belonged to his grandfather, and he scoured this until it shone like silver. He found a helmet too, and as only part of it remained he repaired it with strips of pasteboard. Then he took an old and worn out horse whose ribs stuck out from his hide and who was more used to hauling vegetables than to warlike adventures, and he called the horse by the high sounding name of "Rocinante," and really believed that the senile old animal was a greater charger than Bucephalus, the famous horse that bore the conqueror, Alexander.

With his armor, a sword, a lance and a horse, all that remained for Don Quixote was to have a fair lady to do bold deeds for, whose colors he could wear on his lance when going into battle. A peasant girl lived near his house whose name was Aldonca Lorenso, a fat girl of squat figure and broad shoulders who smelled of onions, strong enough to carry a sack of potatoes on her head. And Don Quixote decided that she must be his lady fair, and he called her by the high sounding name of Dulcinea del Toboso, ready to uphold the marvelous beauty that he alone believed that she possessed, by doing battle with any man in Spain who should deny it.

Early one morning in the hottest part of the summer Don Quixote arose, put on his armor, took his shield and lance and saddled Rocinante. Then, climbing into the saddle as nimbly as his old and rheumatic joints would allow, he rode forth in quest of adventures. After riding all day, he approached an inn that his disordered brain transformed before his eyes into a castle of goodly size, and riding up to the inn door he spoke to two peasant girls who were sitting there, calling them great ladies and saying that he would do all that they should ask of him and protect them with his weapons.

The girls could not understand his talk, and viewing his strange appearance had all that they could do to withhold their laughter, but seeing that he looked tired and worn they asked if he would like something to eat, and on his assenting they took him into the inn and spread supper before him. Don Quixote took off his armor, but he could not get off his helmet which he had tied firmly on his neck with green ribbons, and sooner than cut these he left his helmet on, so that it was necessary for one of the girls to feed him with a spoon, and to give him wine by pouring it into his mouth through a hollow cane that the innkeeper prepared for this strange purpose.

After supper Don Quixote decided that he must mount guard over his suit of armor, spending the small hours in prayer and vigilance, in order to become a knight, and putting it by the well in the courtyard of the inn, he stood beside it, leaning on his sword. This caused great inconvenience to all the guests and servants at the inn, for so fiercely did he guard it that he allowed nobody to draw water from the well and knocked down a peasant who approached with pails, threatening to slay him. Whereupon the peasant's comrades, standing at a safe distance, pelted Don Quixote with stones.


All this did not please the innkeeper, and he thought of some way to quiet the madman. At last he came up to Don Quixote and told him that he would now make him a knight—a ceremony that the poor crazy gentleman believed he must go through before he had any right to wander about the country righting the wrongs of the people. And as Don Quixote took the innkeeper for a great nobleman, he only felt pleased and flattered at the offer and prepared to accept it without delay.

Then the innkeeper took Don Quixote into the barn, a small boy brought a candle and the two girls who had fed Don Quixote came in giggling to see the ceremony. And the innkeeper pretended to read something from his day book, in which he kept accounts of hay and grain; and bidding Don Quixote to kneel struck him a resounding smack with the flat of the sword between the shoulder blades. Then one of the girls, still giggling, tied the sword about Don Quixote's middle, and said to him: "Good sir, may you be a fortunate knight and meet success in all your adventures." And in this way the ceremony of knighting the poor man was concluded.

Nearly bursting with joy Don Quixote rode away from the inn—where he had neglected to pay for his board and lodging. And on his way an actual adventure did befall him for he came upon a sturdy peasant beating a boy who was tied to a tree.

With a loud voice Don Quixote bade him desist at once and on seeing the strange armed figure with sword and lance that threatened him, the man stood gaping with amazement. He explained that he was beating his boy for laziness, but the boy complained that his master had not paid him the wages due him.

"Pay them at once," thundered Don Quixote. "Woe betide the man who does not give heed to my orders." Without further parley he rode off, whereupon the man tied the boy again to the tree and gave him so severe a beating that he left him for dead. And in this way Don Quixote righted the first wrong that he encountered.

Having no money or clean clothes he returned home to get these things, and when he sallied forth a second time he took with him a simple country fellow named Sancho Panza, who was so very stupid that he did not understand his master's madness at all but really believed a number of the wild tales that Don Quixote told him, notably one about an island of which Don Quixote planned to make him governor. And with Sancho following at his heels on a donkey Don Quixote commenced riding up and down the countryside looking for adventures.

In the course of their travels many adventures befell them, for the disordered brain of the old knight errant transformed the happenings of every day life into the scenes that he had read of in his wild romances of chivalry. One day, as he and Sancho Panza were riding along the road, talking of the island that Sancho was to govern when Don Quixote should have won it by the power of his sword, they came upon thirty or forty old-fashioned windmills that were flourishing their sail-clad wooden arms with every breeze that blew.

"By my faith!" exclaimed Don Quixote, "here are a group of giants that I mean to destroy, and with the money we gain from them we will start on our great fortunes, for I certainly shall kill them all and give you some of the gold in payment for your services."

"Where are the giants?" asked the puzzled Sancho Panza in amazement.

"There, straight ahead of us, brandishing their arms in anger," shouted Don Quixote. "Let us attack them instantly."

"But, Master," cried Sancho Panza, "those are not giants but windmills that turn their arms with the breeze. Have a care how you approach them or they will unhorse you."

"They are giants," insisted Don Quixote. "If you are afraid, go home and I will battle with them alone."

And driving home his spurs into the bony flanks of Rocinante he charged the windmills so furiously that his lance was shivered in the arms of the first of them and he and his horse after being hurled in the air were thrown stunned and bruised upon the ground.

Sancho Panza hurried to help the poor mad knight who could not move, so great had been the force with which he had fallen, and coming to himself Don Quixote sat up and seeing the windmills declared that an enchanter had put a spell on the giants and changed them into that form,—but nevertheless, he continued, the enchanter's wiles would prove to be weak against his own stout will and strong right arm and he would triumph over his enemies.

Soon after that they came upon a company consisting of two friars of the order of St. Benedict and a coach and retinue that was taking a lady to the City of Seville, and seeing them Don Quixote declared that the friars were enchanters who were carrying the lady off against her will. Setting his lance in rest he galloped against them with such force that if the one that met his charge had not thrown himself to the ground he would certainly have been killed, while the other, seeing how his companion had fared, took to his heels as fast as possible.

Sancho Panza, when he saw the friar lying on the road, ran up to him and soon would have stripped him of his clothes but some of the servants hastened up and demanded what he was doing.

"These clothes belong to me by right of conquest," said Sancho. "My master has overthrown in fair combat him that owned them."

The servants, knowing nothing of the laws of chivalry, fell on Sancho with their cudgels, belabored him lustily and plucked his beard out in handfuls, leaving the unfortunate fellow lying on the ground in far worse plight than the friar.

In the meantime Don Quixote was talking to the lady in the coach to whom he swore eternal devotion. He told her that since he had rescued her from the enchanters she must return to the town of Toboso and tell the lady Dulcinea what he had done and the glorious feat of arms he had performed in Dulcinea's name. But at this a Biscayan Squire rode up and told Don Quixote to leave at once or he would soon be unable to perform any more glorious feats because he would promptly be slain.

And a combat began between Don Quixote and the Biscayan that nearly ended in the death of the latter, for in spite of the carriage cushion that the squire used as a shield, Don Quixote struck him such a tremendous blow that he fell from his horse and lay as dead on the ground. But the crazy knight had not come unharmed from the fight, for part of his ear was cut away by the sword of the Biscayan. And telling the astonished lady to take the Biscayan with her to Toboso, Don Quixote remounted and rode away with Sancho Panza.

For the cure of his ear Don Quixote had in mind a wonderful balsam made of wine, oil, rosemary and salt, and he talked much with Sancho about the marvelous properties of this nauseous compound. On the way to an inn, however, he had another fight, this time with some carriers he passed in the course of his journey, and both he and Sancho were well beaten again.

As the poor knight could not move after his last battle Sancho threw him across the back of Rocinante and led the horse until they came to an inn, where the innkeeper's wife, being kind hearted, dressed Don Quixote's wounds and put him to bed. And here Don Quixote tried his wonderful balsam and Sancho also, and both of them were made ill by the horrible dose that rudely greeted their stomachs.

When they came to leave the inn they had no money to pay the reckoning. Don Quixote mounted Rocinante and rode away, but Sancho was held by the innkeeper for payment. And calling a number of rude fellows the innkeeper took his revenge upon the crazy knight by the mistreatment of Sancho Panza who was tossed in a blanket until the company could toss him no more for weariness and the laughter that his absurd plight awoke in them.

After this Don Quixote had many ridiculous adventures. Among them was an attack he made upon an inoffensive barber who happened to be carrying a brass basin for his trade that Don Quixote believed to be an enchanted helmet. After capturing the basin Don Quixote proceeded to wear it in place of his steel casque. He called it Mambrino's Helmet, and his appearance in ancient armor with a basin on his head made him appear madder than ever.

One day he chanced to meet a group of Spanish convicts who had been convicted for their crimes and were being taken to the galleys as a punishment. After questioning them and learning that they were being led away against their will Don Quixote fell on the guards who were escorting them and attacked them so fiercely that he put them to flight and set free the convicts. These, however, returned his kindness by a shower of stones. They then fell upon him and stripped him of much of his clothing, leaving, however, the armor which was of no use to them, and so they left him.

Now the curate and the barber of the town where Don Quixote lived were much concerned on account of the madness of their old friend, for they loved Don Quixote for his high spirit and his gentle ways when the most violent fits of madness were not upon him. And so they set forth to try and entice him to return to his home again where they hoped that doctors could cure him of his delusions.

To accomplish their ends they engaged the services of a young lady of great beauty who represented to Don Quixote that she was a princess despoiled of her kingdom, and that he must rescue her lands from the power of a great and sour-faced giant that held them.

The curate and the barber had disguised themselves before they met Don Quixote so that he might not recognize them and guess their design. They found him half stripped of his clothing and doing penance for the beautiful Dulcinea in his shirt and drawers. He was engaged in a useless fast in the wilderness where he cut many ridiculous capers and was almost starved into the bargain. Sancho, he had sent away with a letter to Dulcinea, but Sancho returned with the curate and the barber and the young lady and together they tricked the mad knight into returning in the direction of his native village.

On their way, however, they stopped at an inn where yet another adventure was to befall Don Quixote, for dreaming of the giant from whom he was to rescue the lady's kingdom he attacked with his sword two wine skins that were in his room and flooded his apartment with red wine.

Before he could be taken home, however, his madness broke out on him so violently that still another scheme had to be employed. His friends, disguised, crept into his chamber and tied him hand and foot. Then the poor knight was placed in a wooden cage and borne home behind two oxen.

Of the many adventures that Don Quixote encountered, how he broke away from home once more and how his Squire Sancho actually did become the ruler of an island for a brief period, it is impossible to write here. But the name of Don Quixote, through the marvelous writer who created this character, has become known throughout the world, and stands to-day as the symbol for high ideals and self-sacrifice that are carried to the point of madness and utter folly.

Cervantes had still another design in creating Don Quixote than to make an amusing story, for he intended to bring into ridicule and disrepute the old-fashioned stories of chivalry with which Spain was filled at the time he lived. And he succeeded so well that since his day not another one has been written.