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Famous Stories

The Ungrateful Guest
Among the soldiers of King Philip there was a poor man who ...

A Laconic Answer
Many miles beyond Rome there was a famous country which we ...

Damon And Pythias
A young man whose name was Pyth'i-as had done something whi...

Horatius At The Bridge
Once there was a war between the Roman people and the E-tru...

Sir Philip Sidney
A cruel battle was being fought. The ground was covered wit...

Picciola
Many years ago there was a poor gentleman shut up in one of...

The Sword Of Damocles
There was once a king whose name was Di-o-nys'i-us. He was ...

The Story Of Regulus
On the other side of the sea from Rome there was once a gre...

King John And The Abbot
The 3 Questions. There was once a king of England whose...

Whittington And His Cat
The City There was once a little boy whose name was Rich...

Mignon
Here is the story of Mignon as I remember having read it in...

Cornelia's Jewels
It was a bright morning in the old city of Rome many hundre...

Doctor Goldsmith
There was once a kind man whose name was Oliver Gold-smith....

He Never Smiled Again
The bark that held the prince went down, The sweep...

Casabianca
There was a great battle at sea. One could hear nothing but...

Grace Darling
It was a dark Sep-tem-ber morning. There was a storm at sea...

Bruce And The Spider
There was once a king of Scot-land whose name was Robert Br...

Androclus And The Lion
In Rome there was once a poor slave whose name was An'dro-c...

The White Ship
King Henry, the Handsome Scholar, had one son, named Willia...

The Endless Tale
In the Far East there was a great king who had no work to d...



A LACONIC ANSWER








Many miles beyond Rome there was a famous country which we call
Greece. The people of Greece were not u-nit-ed like the Romans; but
instead there were sev-er-al states, each of which had its own rulers.

Some of the people in the southern part of the country were called
Spar-tans, and they were noted for their simple habits and their
brav-er-y. The name of their land was La-co'ni-a, and so they were
sometimes called La-cons.

One of the strange rules which the Spartans had, was that they should
speak briefly, and never use more words than were needed. And so a
short answer is often spoken of as being _la-con-ic_; that is, as
being such an answer as a Lacon would be likely to give.

There was in the northern part of Greece a land called Mac'e-don; and
this land was at one time ruled over by a war-like king named Philip.

Philip of Mac-e-don wanted to become the master of all Greece. So he
raised a great army, and made war upon the other states, until nearly
all of them were forced to call him their king. Then he sent a letter
to the Spartans in La-co-ni-a, and said, "If I go down into your
country, I will level your great city to the ground."

In a few days, an answer was brought back to him. When he opened the
letter, he found only one word written there.

That word was "IF."

It was as much as to say, "We are not afraid of you so long as the
little word 'if' stands in your way."





Next: THE UNGRATEFUL GUEST

Previous: DAMON AND PYTHIAS



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