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Famous Stories

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

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

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

Maximilian And The Goose Boy
One summer day King Max-i-mil'ian of Ba-va'ri-a was walking...

The Barmecide Feast
There was once a rich old man who was called the Bar-me-cid...

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

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

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

King Alfred And The Cakes
Many years ago there lived in Eng-land a wise and good ...

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

King Canute On The Seashore
A hundred years or more after the time of Alfred the Great ...

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

Three Men Of Gotham
There is a town in England called Go-tham, and many merry s...

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

Other Wise Men Of Gotham
One day, news was brought to Gotham that the king was comin...

The Sons Of William The Conqueror
There was once a great king of England who was called Wil-l...

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

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

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

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



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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