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Famous Tales of Fact and Fancy Myths and Legends of the Nations of the World Retold for Boys and Girls   By:

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FAMOUS TALES OF FACT AND FANCY

Myths and Legends of the Nations of the World Retold for Boys and Girls

Translated and Edited by

LOGAN MARSHALL

Illustrated With Original Plates

Philadelphia The John C. Winston Company Publishers

Copyright, MCMXIV L. F. Myers

PREFACE

The myths and legends here gathered together have appealed and will continue to appeal to every age. Nowhere in the realm of fiction are there stories to compare with those which took form centuries ago when the race was in its childhood stories so intimately connected with the life and history and religion of the great peoples of antiquity that they have become an integral part of our own civilization, a heritage of wealth to every child that is born into the world.

The historic basis of the tales is slight; yet who can think of the Greeks without remembering the story of Troy, or of Rome without a backward glance at ├ćneas, fabled founder of the race and hero of Virgil's world famous Latin epic? Any understanding of German civilisation would be incomplete without knowledge of the mythical prince Siegfried, hero of the earliest literature of the Teutonic people, finally immortalized in the nineteenth century through the musical dramas of Wagner. Any understanding of English civilization would be similarly incomplete without the semi historic figure of King Arthur, glorified through the accumulated legends of the Middle Ages and made to live again in the melodic idylls of the great Victorian laureate. And so one might go on. In many ways the mythology and folklore of a country are a truer index to the life of its people than any of the pages of actual history; for through these channels the imagination and the heart speak. All the chronicles of rulers and governing bodies are as dust in comparison.

The imagination of the ancients had few if any bounds, and even Athens in the height of her intellectual glory accepted the fabulous tales of gods and half gods. Today we read and wonder. But the child, who in his brief lifetime must live over in part at least the history of the whole race, delights in the myths and legends which made his ancestors admire or tremble. They are naturally not so real to him as they were to his forefathers; yet they open up a rich and gorgeous wonderland, without excursions into which every child must grow up the poorer in mind and spirit.

To the children of America, wherever they may be, this book is dedicated. It is sure to bring enjoyment, because its stories have stood the test of time.

CONTENTS

PAGE

PROMETHEUS THE FRIEND OF MAN 7

THE LABORS OF HERCULES 11 From the German of Gustav Schwab.

DEUCALION AND PYRRHA 29 From the German of Gustav Schwab.

THESEUS AND THE CENTAUR 33 From the German of Gustav Schwab.

NIOBE 37 From the German of Gustav Schwab.

THE GORGON'S HEAD 41 From Hawthorne's "Wonder Book."

THE GOLDEN FLEECE 67 From Hawthorne's "Tanglewood Tales."

THE CYCLOPS 106 From Church's "Stories from Homer."

OEDIPUS AND THE SPHINX 116 Adapted from Church's "Stories from Greek Tragedians."

ANTIGONE, A FAITHFUL DAUGHTER AND SISTER 118 Adapted from Church's "Stories from Greek Tragedians."

THE STORY OF IPHIGENIA 131 From Church's "Stories from Greek Tragedians."

THE SACK OF TROY 153 From Church's "Stories from Virgil."

BEOWULF AND GRENDEL 164 From Joyce Pollard's "Stories from Old English Romance... Continue reading book >>




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