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A Book of Golden Deeds   By: (1823-1901)

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A BOOK OF GOLDEN DEEDS

BY

CHARLOTTE M YONGE

CONTENTS

What is a Golden Deed? The Stories of Alcestis and Antigone The Cup of Water How One Man has saved a Host The Pass of Thermopylae The Rock of the Capitol The Two Friends of Syracuse The Devotion of the Decii Regulus The brave Brethren of Judah The Chief of the Arverni Withstanding the Monarch in his Wrath The last Fight in the Coliseum The Shepherd Girl of Nanterre Leo the Slave The Battle of the Blackwater Guzman el Bueno Faithful till Death What is better than Slaying a Dragon The Keys of Calais The Battle of Sempach The Constant Prince The Carnival of Perth The Crown of St. Stephen George the Triller Sir Thomas More's Daughter Under Ivan the Terrible Fort St. Elmo The Voluntary Convict The Housewives of Lowenburg Fathers and Sons The Soldiers in the Snow Gunpowder Perils Heroes of the Plague The Second of September The Vendeans

PREFACE

As the most striking lines of poetry are the most hackneyed, because they have grown to be the common inheritance of all the world, so many of the most noble deeds that earth can show have become the best known, and enjoyed their full meed of fame. Therefore it may be feared that many of the events here detailed, or alluded to, may seem trite to those in search of novelty; but it is not for such that the collection has been made. It is rather intended as a treasury for young people, where they may find minuter particulars than their abridged histories usually afford of the soul stirring deeds that give life and glory to the record of events; and where also other like actions, out of their ordinary course of reading, may be placed before them, in the trust that example may inspire the spirit of heroism and self devotion. For surely it must be a wholesome contemplation to look on actions, the very essence of which is such entire absorption in others that self is forgotten; the object of which is not to win promotion, wealth, or success, but simple duty, mercy, and loving kindness. These are the actions wrought, 'hoping for nothing again', but which most surely have their reward.

The authorities have not been given, as for the most [Page] part the narratives lie on the surface of history. For the description of the Coliseum, I have, however, been indebted to the Abbé Gerbet's Rome Chrétienne; for the Housewives of Lowenburg, and St. Stephen's Crown, to Freytag's Sketches of German Life; and for the story of George the Triller, to Mr. Mayhew's Germany. The Escape of Attalus is narrated (from Gregory of Tours) in Thierry's 'Lettres sur l'Histoire de France;' the Russian officer's adventures, and those of Prascovia Lopouloff , the true Elisabeth of Siberia, are from M. le Maistre; the shipwrecks chiefly from Gilly's 'Shipwrecks of the British Navy;' the Jersey Powder Magazine from the Annual Registrer, and that at Ciudad Rodrigo, from the traditions of the 52nd Regiment.

There is a cloud of doubt resting on a few of the tales, which it may be honest to mention, though they were far too beautiful not to tell. These are the details of the Gallic occupation of Rome, the Legend of St. Genevieve, the Letter of Gertrude von der Wart, the stories of the Keys of Calais, of the Dragon of Rhodes, and we fear we must add, both Nelson's plan of the Battle of the Nile, and likewise the exact form of the heroism of young Casabianca, of which no two accounts agree. But it was not possible to give up such stories as these, and the thread of truth there must be in them has developed into such a beautiful tissue, that even if unsubstantial when tested, it is surely delightful to contemplate.

Some stories have been passed over as too devoid of foundation, in especial that of young Henri, Duke of Nemours, who, at ten years old, was said to have been hung up with his little brother of eight in one of Louis XI's cages at Loches, with orders that two of the children's teeth should daily be pulled out and brought to the king... Continue reading book >>




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