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Famous Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexander And Bucephalus
One day King Philip bought a fine horse called Bu-ceph'a-lu...

Diogenes The Wise Man
At Cor-inth, in Greece, there lived a very wise man whose n...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



KING CANUTE ON THE SEASHORE








A hundred years or more after the time of Alfred the Great there was a
king of England named Ca-nute. King Canute was a Dane; but the Danes
were not so fierce and cruel then as they had been when they were at
war with King Alfred.

The great men and of-fi-cers who were around King Canute were always
praising him.

"You are the greatest man that ever lived," one would say.

Then an-oth-er would say, "O king! there can never be an-oth-er man so
mighty as you."

And another would say, "Great Canute, there is nothing in the world
that dares to dis-o-bey you."

The king was a man of sense, and he grew very tired of hearing such
foolish speeches.

One day he was by the sea-shore, and his of-fi-cers were with him.
They were praising him, as they were in the habit of doing. He thought
that now he would teach them a lesson, and so he bade them set his
chair on the beach close by the edge of the water.

"Am I the greatest man in the world?" he asked.

"O king!" they cried, "there is no one so mighty as you."

"Do all things obey me?" he asked.

"There is nothing that dares to dis-o-bey you, O king!" they said.
"The world bows before you, and gives you honor."

"Will the sea obey me?" he asked; and he looked down at the little
waves which were lapping the sand at his feet.

The foolish officers were puzzled, but they did not dare to say "No."

"Command it, O king! and it will obey," said one.

"Sea," cried Canute, "I command you to come no farther! Waves, stop
your rolling, and do not dare to touch my feet!"

But the tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and
higher. It came up around the king's chair, and wet not only his feet,
but also his robe. His officers stood about him, alarmed, and
won-der-ing whether he was not mad.

Then Canute took off his crown, and threw it down upon the sand.

"I shall never wear it again," he said. "And do you, my men, learn a
lesson from what you have seen. There is only one King who is
all-powerful; and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in
the hollow of his hand. It is he whom you ought to praise and serve
above all others."





Next: THE SONS OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR

Previous: KING ALFRED AND THE BEGGAR



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