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Famous Stories

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

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

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

George Washington And His Hatchet
When George Wash-ing-ton was quite a little boy, his father...

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

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

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

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...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sir Humphrey Gilbert
More than three hundred years ago there lived in England a ...



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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