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Famous Stories

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

The Brave Three Hundred
All Greece was in danger. A mighty army, led by the great K...

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

Socrates And His House
There once lived in Greece a very wise man whose name was S...

Sir Walter Raleigh
There once lived in England a brave and noble man whose nam...

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

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

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

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

The Black Douglas
In Scotland, in the time of King Robert Bruce, there lived ...

Julius Caesar
Nearly two thousand years ago there lived in Rome a man who...

The Ungrateful Soldier
Here is another story of the bat-tle-field, and it is much ...

Antonio Canova
A good many years ago there lived in Italy a little boy who...

The Kingdoms
There was once a king of Prussia whose name was Frederick W...

The Inchcape Rock
In the North Sea there is a great rock called the Inch-cape...

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

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

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

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

The Story Of William Tell
The people of Swit-zer-land were not always free and happy ...



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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