King Henry, the Handsome Scholar, had one son, named William, whom he

dearly loved. The young man was noble and brave, and every-body hoped

that he would some day be the King of England.

One summer Prince William went with his father across the sea to look

after their lands in France. They were wel-comed with joy by all

their people there, and the young prince was so gallant and kind, that

he won the love
of all who saw him.

But at last the time came for them to go back to England. The king,

with his wise men and brave knights, set sail early in the day; but

Prince William with his younger friends waited a little while. They

had had so joyous a time in France that they were in no great haste to

tear them-selves away.

Then they went on board of the ship which was waiting to carry them

home. It was a beau-ti-ful ship with white sails and white masts, and

it had been fitted up on purpose for this voyage.

The sea was smooth, the winds were fair, and no one thought of danger.

On the ship, every-thing had been ar-ranged to make the trip a

pleasant one. There was music and dancing, and everybody was merry and


The sun had gone down before the white-winged vessel was fairly out of

the bay. But what of that? The moon was at its full, and it would give

light enough; and before the dawn of the morrow, the narrow sea would

be crossed. And so the prince, and the young people who were with him,

gave themselves up to mer-ri-ment and feasting and joy.

The ear-li-er hours of the night passed by; and then there was a cry

of alarm on deck. A moment after-ward there was a great crash. The

ship had struck upon a rock. The water rushed in. She was sinking. Ah,

where now were those who had lately been so heart-free and glad?

Every heart was full of fear. No one knew what to do. A small boat was

quickly launched, and the prince with a few of his bravest friends

leaped into it. They pushed off just as the ship was be-gin-ning to

settle beneath the waves. Would they be saved?

They had rowed hardly ten yards from the ship, when there was a cry

from among those that were left behind.

"Row back!" cried the prince. "It is my little sister. She must be


The men did not dare to disobey. The boat was again brought along-side

of the sinking vessel. The prince stood up, and held out his arms for

his sister. At that moment the ship gave a great lurch forward into

the waves. One shriek of terror was heard, and then all was still save

the sound of the moaning waters.

Ship and boat, prince and prin-cess, and all the gay com-pa-ny that

had set sail from France, went down to the bottom together. One man

clung to a floating plank, and was saved the next day. He was the only

person left alive to tell the sad story.

When King Henry heard of the death of his son his grief was more than

he could bear. His heart was broken. He had no more joy in life; and

men say that no one ever saw him smile again.

Here is a poem about him that your teacher may read to you, and

perhaps, after a while, you may learn it by heart.