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

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

The Blind Men And The Elephant
There were once six blind men who stood by the road-side ev...

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

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

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

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

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

How Napoleon Crossed The Alps
About a hundred years ago there lived a great gen-er-al who...

The Miller Of The Dee
Once upon a time there lived on the banks of the River Dee ...

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

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

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

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

The Story Of Cincinnatus
There was a man named Cin-cin-na'tus who lived on a little ...

A Story Of Robin Hood
In the rude days of King Rich-ard and King John there were ...

Pocahontas
There was once a very brave man whose name was John Smith. ...

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

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

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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