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The Boy's Book of Heroes   By:

The Boy's Book of Heroes by Helena Peake

First Page:

THE BOY'S BOOK OF HEROES.

by

HELENA PEAKE.

With Original Illustrations.

London: Frederick Warne and Co., Bedford Street, Covent Garden. New York: Scribner, Welford, and Co.

London: J. and W. Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

HEREWARD LAST OF THE SAXONS 1

THE CID 17

LOUIS IX., KING OF FRANCE 49

GUSTAVUS VASA, KING OF SWEDEN 82

BERTRAND DU GUESCLIN 110

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS 144

THE CHEVALIER DE BAYARD 192

SIR MARTIN FROBISHER 225

SIR WALTER RALEIGH 242

SIR PHILIP SIDNEY 257

A LITTLE BOY'S BOOK OF HEROES.

HEREWARD. LAST OF THE SAXONS.

In the days of Edward the Confessor there lived in Mercia a noble Anglo Saxon youth named Hereward. He was brave, stedfast, and spirited, but so violent and overbearing, so ready to quarrel and to use his sword, if everything he desired was not conceded to him at once that the youths he played and wrestled with around his home at Bourne[1], resolved to make complaint of him to his father, Leofric, the great Earl of Mercia.

Leofric was a very valiant man, and he had done King Edward good service at the time of Earl Godwin's rebellion. He had three sons; of these Hereward was the second; the eldest was Algar, whom the Confessor made lord over East Anglia.

Leofric was very much grieved when he heard, day after day, of the unruly deeds of his son, and found that he paid little heed to the reproofs he so justly deserved. And if Leofric was grieved, far more so was his wife, the saintly lady Godiva, who passed nearly the whole of her time in the performance of good works, feeding and clothing the poor, nursing the sick, and praying long hours for those she loved, and it may be most of all for her wayward son, Hereward. Besides this, she gave large sums of money for the support of religious houses, and founded the monastery at Coventry, which is said to have contained greater treasure of gold, silver, and jewels, than any other in England.

But father and mother at last were wearied out, and Leofric persuaded King Edward to outlaw his turbulent son, as the only means of preserving peace in the neighbourhood of his castle of Bourne.

The youth, not the least dismayed when sentence was passed upon him, set out on his travels accompanied by one servant, named Martin, as brave and as reckless as himself, and who followed him because he loved him. Perhaps some of his relations were sorry after all to see him go, for they could not help admiring his free, brave spirit, and amongst those who cared for him was his uncle Brand, abbot of Peterborough, a very pious man, as the chroniclers say, but haughty and unbending to the enemies of his land.

Let us glance at Hereward as he bade farewell for many a year to the home of his youth. He was of middle height, broad shouldered, and sturdy limbed, but active and graceful in all his movements. His features were handsome, his golden hair fell in long curls over his shoulders, according to the Saxon fashion; one of his large eyes being blue and the other grey, gave a strange expression to his countenance.

It is supposed that he lived chiefly in the woods and forests during the early days of his exile, but a few months after he quitted Bourne, we find him "beyond Northumberland" with the Fleming, Gilbert of Ghent, who bore him good will, and had sent for him as soon as he heard that he was outlawed. Hereward had not been long in his friend's house, which was in some part of Scotland, when an event occurred which redounded very much to his credit.

It was the custom then for rich men to have various kinds of sports at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, and they used to keep a number of wild beasts in enclosures, which were led forth at these seasons, that the noble youths assembled might try their strength against them... Continue reading book >>




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