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Famous StoriesThe Inchcape Rock
In the North Sea there is a great rock called the Inch-cape...
Damon And Pythias
A young man whose name was Pyth'i-as had done something whi...
The Sword Of Damocles
There was once a king whose name was Di-o-nys'i-us. He was ...
Nearly two thousand years ago there lived in Rome a man who...
The Story Of Regulus
On the other side of the sea from Rome there was once a gre...
Horatius At The Bridge
Once there was a war between the Roman people and the E-tru...
Socrates And His House
There once lived in Greece a very wise man whose name was S...
Androclus And The Lion
In Rome there was once a poor slave whose name was An'dro-c...
The King And His Hawk
Gen'ghis Khan was a great king and war-rior. He led his ...
A Story Of Robin Hood
In the rude days of King Rich-ard and King John there were ...
How Napoleon Crossed The Alps
About a hundred years ago there lived a great gen-er-al who...
King Canute On The Seashore
A hundred years or more after the time of Alfred the Great ...
The White Ship
King Henry, the Handsome Scholar, had one son, named Willia...
Alexander And Bucephalus
One day King Philip bought a fine horse called Bu-ceph'a-lu...
He Never Smiled Again
The bark that held the prince went down, The sweep...
A good many years ago there lived in Italy a little boy who...
There was once a kind man whose name was Oliver Gold-smith....
Diogenes The Wise Man
At Cor-inth, in Greece, there lived a very wise man whose n...
Many years ago there was a poor gentleman shut up in one of...
The Story Of Cincinnatus
There was a man named Cin-cin-na'tus who lived on a little ...
There was a great battle at sea. One could hear nothing but the roar
of the big guns. The air was filled with black smoke. The water was
strewn with broken masts and pieces of timber which the cannon balls
had knocked from the ships. Many men had been killed, and many more
had been wounded.
The flag-ship had taken fire. The flames were breaking out from below.
The deck was all ablaze. The men who were left alive made haste to
launch a small boat. They leaped into it, and rowed swiftly away. Any
other place was safer now than on board of that burning ship. There
was powder in the hold.
But the captain's son, young Ca-sa-bi-an'ca, still stood upon the
deck. The flames were almost all around him now; but he would not stir
from his post. His father had bidden him stand there, and he had been
taught always to obey. He trusted in his father's word, and be-lieved
that when the right time came he would tell him to go.
He saw the men leap into the boat. He heard them call to him to come.
He shook his head.
"When father bids me, I will go," he said.
And now the flames were leaping up the masts. The sails were all
ablaze. The fire blew hot upon his cheek. It scorched his hair. It was
before him, behind him, all around him.
"O father!" he cried, "may I not go now? The men have all left the
ship. Is it not time that we too should leave it?"
He did not know that his father was lying in the burning cabin below,
that a cannon ball had struck him dead at the very be-gin-ning of the
fight. He listened to hear his answer.
"Speak louder, father!" he cried. "I cannot hear what you say."
Above the roaring of the flames, above the crashing of the falling
spars, above the booming of the guns, he fancied that his father's
voice came faintly to him through the scorching air.
"I am here, father! Speak once again!" he gasped.
But what is that?
A great flash of light fills the air; clouds of smoke shoot quickly
upward to the sky; and--
Oh, what a ter-rif-ic sound! Louder than thunder, louder than the roar
of all the guns! The air quivers; the sea itself trembles; the sky is
The blazing ship is seen no more.
There was powder in the hold!
* * * * *
A long time ago a lady, whose name was Mrs. Hemans, wrote a poem about
this brave boy Ca-sa-bi-an-ca. It is not a very well written poem, and
yet everybody has read it, and thousands of people have learned it by
heart. I doubt not but that some day you too will read it. It begins
in this way:--
"The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but him had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead.
"Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm--
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud though childlike form."
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