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Famous Stories

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

He Never Smiled Again
The bark that held the prince went down, The sweep...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arnold Winkelried
A great army was marching into Swit-zer-land. If it should ...

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

A Laconic Answer
Many miles beyond Rome there was a famous country which we ...

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

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

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

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

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



THE BRAVE THREE HUNDRED








All Greece was in danger. A mighty army, led by the great King of
Persia, had come from the east. It was marching along the seashore,
and in a few days would be in Greece. The great king had sent
mes-sen-gers into every city and state, bidding them give him water
and earth in token that the land and the sea were his. But they
said,--

"No: we will be free."

And so there was a great stir through-out all the land. The men armed
themselves, and made haste to go out and drive back their foe; and the
women staid at home, weeping and waiting, and trembling with fear.

There was only one way by which the Per-sian army could go into Greece
on that side, and that was by a narrow pass between the mountains and
the sea. This pass was guarded by Le-on'i-das, the King of the
Spartans, with three hundred Spartan soldiers.

Soon the Persian soldiers were seen coming. There were so many of them
that no man could count them. How could a handful of men hope to stand
against so great a host?

And yet Le-on-i-das and his Spartans held their ground. They had made
up their minds to die at their post. Some one brought them word that
there were so many Persians that their arrows dark-ened the sun.

"So much the better," said the Spartans; "we shall fight in the
shade."

Bravely they stood in the narrow pass. Bravely they faced their foes.
To Spartans there was no such thing as fear. The Persians came
forward, only to meet death at the points of their spears.

But one by one the Spartans fell. At last their spears were broken;
yet still they stood side by side, fighting to the last. Some fought
with swords, some with daggers, and some with only their fists and
teeth.

All day long the army of the Persians was kept at bay. But when the
sun went down, there was not one Spartan left alive. Where they had
stood there was only a heap of the slain, all bristled over with
spears and arrows.

Twenty thousand Persian soldiers had fallen before that handful of
men. And Greece was saved.

Thousands of years have passed since then; but men still like to tell
the story of Leonidas and the brave three hundred who died for their
country's sake.





Next: SOCRATES AND HIS HOUSE

Previous: DIOGENES THE WISE MAN



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