86 Works of James Baldwin
In those very early times there was a man named Deucalion, and he was the son of Prometheus. He was only a common man and not a Titan like his great father, and yet he was known far and wide for his good deeds and the uprightness of his life. His wife’s name was Pyrrha, [...]
There was once a very brave man whose name was John Smith. He came to this country many years ago, when there were great woods everywhere, and many wild beasts and Indians. Many tales are told of his adventures, some of them true and some of them untrue. The most famous of all these is [...]
I. CAPTAIN WEBSTER.
Many years ago there lived in New Hampshire a poor farmer, whose name was Ebenezer Webster.
His little farm was among the hills, not far from the Merrimac River. It was a beautiful place to live in; but the ground was poor, and there were so many rocks that you would wonder how [...]
I. THE KENTUCKY HOME.
Not far from Hodgensville, in Kentucky, there once lived a man whose name was Thomas Lincoln. This man had built for himself a little log cabin by the side of a brook, where there was an ever-flowing spring of water.
There was but one room in this cabin. On the side next [...]
TO THE YOUNG READER
I am about to tell you the story of a very great and noble man. It is the story of one whom all the world honors–of one whose name will forever be remembered with admiration. Benjamin Franklin was not born to greatness. He had none of the advantages which even the poorest [...]
I. WHEN WASHINGTON WAS A BOY.
When George Washington was a boy there was no United States. The land was here, just as it is now, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific; but nearly all of it was wild and unknown.
Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Alleghany Mountains there were thirteen colonies, or [...]
Here is the story of Mignon as I remember having read it in a famous old book.
A young man named Wilhelm was staying at an inn in the city. One day as he was going upstairs he met a little girl coming down. He would have taken her for a boy, if it had not [...]
Many years ago there was a poor gentleman shut up in one of the great prisons of France. His name was Charney, and he was very sad and unhappy. He had been put into prison wrongfully, and it seemed to him as though there was no one in the world who cared for him.
He could [...]
A good many years ago there lived in Italy a little boy whose name was Antonio Canova. He lived with his grandfather, for his own father was dead. His grandfather was a stone-cutter, and he was very poor.
Antonio was a puny lad, and not strong enough to work. He did not care to play with [...]
There was a great battle at sea. One could hear nothing but the roar of the big guns. The air was filled with black smoke. The water was strewn with broken masts and pieces of timber which the cannon balls had knocked from the ships. Many men had been killed, and many more had been [...]
I. THE CITY.
There was once a little boy whose name was Richard Whittington; but everybody called him Dick. His father and mother had died when he was only a babe, and the people who had the care of him were very poor. Dick was not old enough to work, and so he had a hard [...]
In the North Sea there is a great rock called the Inch-cape Rock. It is twelve miles from any land, and is covered most of the time with water.
Many boats and ships have been wrecked on that rock; for it is so near the top of the water that no vessel can sail over it [...]
One summer day King Maximilian of Bavaria was walking in the country. The sun shone hot, and he stopped under a tree to rest.
It was very pleasant in the cool shade. The king lay down on the soft grass, and looked up at the white clouds sailing across the sky. Then he took a little [...]
There were once six blind men who stood by the roadside every day, and begged from the people who passed. They had often heard of elephants, but they had never seen one; for, being blind, how could they?
It so happened one morning that an elephant was driven down the road where they stood. When they [...]
In the Far East there was a great king who had no work to do. Every day, and all day long, he sat on soft cushions and listened to stories. And no matter what the story was about, he never grew tired of hearing it, even though it was very long.
“There is only one fault [...]
There was once a rich old man who was called the Barmecide. He lived in a beautiful palace in the midst of flowery gardens. He had everything that heart could wish.
In the same land there was a poor man whose name was Schacabac. His clothing was rags, and his food was the scraps which other [...]
There was once a king of Prussia whose name was Frederick William.
On a fine morning in June he went out alone to walk in the green woods. He was tired of the noise of the city, and he was glad to get away from it.
So, as he walked among the trees, he often stopped to [...]
There was once a kind man whose name was Oliver Goldsmith. He wrote many delightful books, some of which you will read when you are older.
He had a gentle heart. He was always ready to help others and to share with them anything that he had. He gave away so much to the poor that [...]
Gen’ghis Khan was a great king and warrior.
He led his army into China and Persia, and he conquered many lands. In every country, men told about his daring deeds; and they said that since Alexander the Great there had been no king like him.
One morning when he was home from the wars, he rode out [...]
There once lived in Greece a very wise man whose name was Socrates. Young men from all parts of the land went to him to learn wisdom from him; and he said so many pleasant things, and said them in so delightful a way, that no one ever grew tired of listening to him.
One summer [...]
At Corinth, in Greece, there lived a very wise man whose name was Diogenes. Men came from all parts of the land to see him and hear him talk.
But wise as he was, he had some very queer ways. He did not believe that any man ought to have more things than he really needed; [...]
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 messengers into every city and state, bidding them give him water and earth in token [...]
One day King Philip bought a fine horse called Bucephalus. He was a noble animal, and the king paid a very high price for him. But he was wild and savage, and no man could mount him, or do anything at all with him.
They tried to whip him, but that only made him worse. At [...]
Among the soldiers of King Philip there was a poor man who had done some brave deeds. He had pleased the king in more ways than one, and so the king put a good deal of trust in him.
One day this soldier was on board of a ship at sea when a great storm came [...]
Many miles beyond Rome there was a famous country which we call Greece. The people of Greece were not united like the Romans; but instead there were several states, each of which had its own rulers.
Some of the people in the southern part of the country were called Spartans, and they were noted for their [...]
A young man whose name was Pythias had done something which the tyrant Dionysius did not like. For this offense he was dragged to prison, and a day was set when he should be put to death. His home was far away, and he wanted very much to see his father and mother and friends [...]
Nearly two thousand years ago there lived in Rome a man whose name was Julius Cae’sar. He was the greatest of all the Romans.
Why was he so great?
He was a brave warrior, and had conquered many countries for Rome. He was wise in planning and in doing. He knew how to make men both love [...]
There was once a king whose name was Dionysius. He was so unjust and cruel that he won for himself the name of tyrant. He knew that almost everybody hated him, and so he was always in dread lest some one should take his life.
But he was very rich, and he lived in a fine [...]
Once there was a war between the Roman people and the Etruscans who lived in the towns on the other side of the Tiber River. Porsena, the King of the Etruscans, raised a great army, and marched toward Rome. The city had never been in so great danger.
The Romans did not have very many fighting [...]
In Rome there was once a poor slave whose name was Androclus. His master was a cruel man, and so unkind to him that at last Androclus ran away.
He hid himself in a wild wood for many days; but there was no food to be found, and he grew so weak and sick that he [...]
It was a bright morning in the old city of Rome many hundred years ago. In a vine-covered summer-house in a beautiful garden, two boys were standing. They were looking at their mother and her friend, who were walking among the flowers and trees.
“Did you ever see so handsome a lady as our mother’s friend?” [...]
On the other side of the sea from Rome there was once a great city named Carthage. The Roman people were never very friendly to the people of Carthage, and at last a war began between them. For a long time it was hard to tell which would prove the stronger. First the Romans would [...]
There was a man named Cincinnatus who lived on a little farm not far from the city of Rome. He had once been rich, and had held the highest office in the land; but in one way or another he had lost all his wealth. He was now so poor that he had to do [...]
About a hundred years ago there lived a great general whose name was Napoleon Bonaparte. He was the leader of the French army; and France was at war with nearly all the countries around. He wanted very much to take his soldiers into Italy; but between France and Italy there are high mountains called the [...]
Atri is the name of a little town in Italy. It is a very old town, and is built half-way up the side of a steep hill.
A long time ago, the King of Atri bought a fine large bell, and had it hung up in a tower in the market place. A long rope that [...]
The people of Switzerland were not always free and happy as they are today. Many years ago a proud tyrant, whose name was Gessler, ruled over them, and made their lot a bitter one indeed.
One day this tyrant set up a tall pole in the public square, and put his own cap on the top [...]
A great army was marching into Switzerland. If it should go much farther, there would be no driving it out again. The soldiers would burn the towns, they would rob the farmers of their grain and sheep, they would make slaves of the people.
The men of Switzerland knew all this. They knew that they must [...]
It was a dark September morning. There was a storm at sea. A ship had been driven on a low rock off the shores of the Farne Islands. It had been broken in two by the waves, and half of it had been washed away. The other half lay yet on the rock, and those [...]
When George Washington was quite a little boy, his father gave him a hatchet. It was bright and new, and George took great delight in going about and chopping things with it.
He ran into the garden, and there he saw a tree which seemed to say to him, “Come and cut me down!”
George had often [...]
There once lived in England a brave and noble man whose name was Walter Raleigh. He was not only brave and noble, but he was also handsome and polite; and for that reason the queen made him a knight, and called him Sir Walter Raleigh.
I will tell you about it.
When Raleigh was a young man, [...]
More than three hundred years ago there lived in England a brave man whose name was Sir Humphrey Gilbert. At that time there were no white people in this country of ours. The land was covered with forests; and where there are now great cities and fine farms there were only trees and swamps among [...]
A cruel battle was being fought. The ground was covered with dead and dying men. The air was hot and stifling. The sun shone down without pity on the wounded soldiers lying in the blood and dust.
One of these soldiers was a nobleman, whom everybody loved for his gentleness and kindness. Yet now he was [...]
Here is another story of the battle-field, and it is much like the one which I have just told you.
Not quite a hundred years after the time of Sir Philip Sidney there was a war between the Swedes and the Danes. One day a great battle was fought, and the Swedes were beaten, and driven [...]
Once upon a time there lived on the banks of the River Dee a miller, who was the happiest man in England. He was always busy from morning till night, and he was always singing as merrily as any lark. He was so cheerful that he made everybody else cheerful; and people all over the [...]
One day, news was brought to Gotham that the king was coming that way, and that he would pass through the town. This did not please the men of Gotham at all. They hated the king, for they knew that he was a cruel, bad man. If he came to their town, they would have [...]
There is a town in England called Gotham, and many merry stories are told of the queer people who used to live there.
One day two men of Gotham met on a bridge. Hodge was coming from the market, and Peter was going to the market.
“Where are you going?” said Hodge.
“I am going to the market [...]
In Scotland, in the time of King Robert Bruce, there lived a brave man whose name was Douglas. His hair and beard were black and long, and his face was tanned and dark; and for this reason people nicknamed him the Black Douglas. He was a good friend of the king, and one of his [...]
There was once a king of Scotland whose name was Robert Bruce. He had need to be both brave and wise, for the times in which he lived were wild and rude. The King of England was at war with him, and had led a great army into Scotland to drive him out of the [...]
In the rude days of King Richard and King John there were many great woods in England. The most famous of these was Sherwood forest, where the king often went to hunt deer. In this forest there lived a band of daring men called outlaws.
They had done something that was against the laws of the [...]
King Henry, the Handsome Scholar, had one son, named William, whom he dearly loved. The young man was noble and brave, and everybody 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 welcomed with [...]
I. THE THREE QUESTIONS.
There was once a king of England whose name was John. He was a bad king; for he was harsh and cruel to his people, and so long as he could have his own way, he did not care what became of other folks. He was the worst king that England ever [...]
There was once a great king of England who was called William the Conqueror, and he had three sons.
One day King William seemed to be thinking of something that made him feel very sad; and the wise men who were about him asked him what was the matter.
“I am thinking,” he said, “of what my [...]
At one time the Danes drove King Alfred from his kingdom, and he had to lie hidden for a long time on a little island in a river.
One day, all who were on the island, except the king and queen and one servant, went out to fish. It was a very lonely place, and no [...]
A hundred years or more after the time of Alfred the Great there was a king of England named Canute. King Canute was a Dane; but the Danes were not so fierce and cruel then as they had been when they were at war with King Alfred.
The great men and officers who were around King [...]
Many years ago there lived in England a wise and good king whose name was Alfred. No other man ever did so much for his country as he; and people now, all over the world, speak of him as Alfred the Great.
In those days a king did not have a very easy life. There was [...]
While Athens was still only a small city there lived within its walls a man named Daedalus who was the most skillful worker in wood and stone and metal that had ever been known. It was he who taught the people how to build better houses and how to hang their doors on hinges [...]
I. THE TREATY.
Minos, king of Crete, had made war upon Athens. He had come with a great fleet of ships and an army, and had burned the merchant vessels in the harbor, and had overrun all the country and the coast even to Megara, which lies to the west. He had laid waste the fields [...]
I. Finding a King.
On a steep stony hill in Greece there lived in early times a few very poor people who had not yet learned to build houses. They made their homes in little caves which they dug in the earth or hollowed out among the rocks; and their food was the flesh of wild [...]
I. AEGEUS AND AETHRA.
There was once a king of Athens whose name was AEgeus. He had no son; but he had fifty nephews, and they were waiting for him to die, so that one of them might be king in his stead. They were wild, worthless fellows, and the people of Athens looked forward with [...]
I. THE BEAR ON THE MOUNTAIN.
In a sunny land in Greece called Arcadia there lived a king and a queen who had no children. They wanted very much to have a son who might live to rule over Arcadia when the king was dead, and so, as the years went by, they prayed to great [...]
I. THE WOODEN CHEST.
There was a king of Argos who had but one child, and that child was a girl. If he had had a son, he would have trained him up to be a brave man and great king; but he did not know what to do with this fair-haired daughter. When he saw [...]
I. THE SLAVE.
In a little town north of Delphi, and not very far from the sea, there lived a young man named Admetus. He was the ruler of the town, and hence was called its king; but his kingdom was so small that he could walk all round it in half a day. He knew [...]
I. THE BULL.
In Asia there lived a king who had two children, a boy and a girl. The boy’s name was Cadmus, and the girl’s name was Europa. The king’s country was a very small one. He could stand on his house top and see the whole of it. On one side of it there [...]
Long before you or I or anybody else can remember, there lived with the Mighty Folk on the mountain top a fair and gentle lady named Leto. So fair and gentle was she that Jupiter loved her and made her his wife. But when Juno, the queen of earth and sky, heard of this, [...]
I. THE WARP.
There was a young girl in Greece whose name was Arachne. Her face was pale but fair, and her eyes were big and blue, and her hair was long and like gold. All that she cared to do from morn till noon was to sit in the sun and spin; and all that [...]
In the town of Argos there lived a maiden named Io. She was so fair and good that all who knew her loved her, and said that there was no one like her in the whole world. When Jupiter, in his home in the clouds, heard of her, he came down to Argos to see [...]
I. HOW FIRE WAS GIVEN TO MEN.
In those old, old times, there lived two brothers who were not like other men, nor yet like those Mighty Ones who lived upon the mountain top. They were the sons of one of those Titans who had fought against Jupiter and been sent in chains to the strong [...]
A long time ago, when the world was much younger than it is now, people told and believed a great many wonderful stories about wonderful things which neither you nor I have ever seen. They often talked about a certain Mighty Being called Jupiter, or Zeus, who was king of the sky and the earth; [...]
Jupiter and his Mighty Folk had not always dwelt amid the clouds on the mountain top. In times long past, a wonderful family called Titans had lived there and had ruled over all the world. There were twelve of them–six brothers and six sisters–and they said that their father was the Sky and their mother [...]
In all the world there was not such another king as Charlemagne. Wherever his arms were carried, there victory followed; and neither Pagan nor haughty Christian foe dared lift up hands any more against him. His kingdom stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Italian shores, and from beyond the Rhine to the great Western [...]
It was near the time of the solemn festival of Easter,–the time when Nature seems to rise from the grave, and the Earth puts on anew her garb of youth and beauty. King Charlemagne was at St. Omer; for there the good Archbishop Turpin was making ready to celebrate the great feast with more than [...]
When Ogier the Dane was but a babe in his mother’s arms, there was heard one day, in his father’s castle, the sweetest music that mortals ever listened to. Nobody knew whence the bewitching sounds came; for they seemed to be now here, now there: yet every one was charmed with the delightful melody, and [...]
RELATED BY THE MINSTREL OF LORRAINE
Charles the Hammer was dead, and his young son Pepin was king of France. Bego of Belin was his dearest friend, and to him he had given all Gascony in fief. You would have far to go to find the peer of the valiant Bego. None of King Pepin’s nobles [...]
You have heard of the feast that old Aegir once made for the Asa-folk in his gold-lit dwelling in the deep sea, and how the feast was hindered, through the loss of his great brewing kettle, until Thor had obtained a still larger vessel from Hymer the giant. It is very likely that the thief [...]
THE STORY TOLD IN AEGIR’S HALL
Idun is Bragi’s wife. Very handsome is she; but the beauty of her face is by no means greater than the goodness of her heart. Right attentive is she to every duty, and her words and thoughts are always worthy and wise. A long time ago the good Asa-folk who [...]
While Siegfried was still a young lad, his father sent him to live with a smith called Mimer, whose smithy was among the hills not far from the great forest. For in those early times the work of the smith was looked upon as the most worthy of all trades,–a trade which the gods themselves [...]
When the earth was still very young, and men were feeble and few, and the Dwarfs were many and strong, the Asa-folk were wont oft-times to leave their halls in heaven-towering Asgard in order to visit the new-formed mid-world, and to see what the short-lived sons of men were doing. Sometimes they came in [...]
MENELAUS CONTINUES HIS STORY
“I was glad when King Priam made this request,” continued Menelaus, “for, in truth, I was loath to part with Paris; and I arranged at once that he should bear me company in my own ship while his vessel with its crew followed not far behind.
“And so, being blessed with favoring winds, [...]
After nearly ten years of preparation, the princes and warriors of Greece gathered their ships and men together at Aulis, ready to make war upon Troy. A thousand dark-hulled vessels were moored in the harbor; and a hundred thousand brave men were on board, ready to follow their leaders whithersoever they should order.
Chief of all [...]
RELATED BY MENELAUS
With troubled brow and anxious heart, Menelaus sat in Nestor’s halls, and told the story of his wrongs. Behind him stood his brother, Agamemnon, tall and strong, and with eye and forehead like mighty Zeus. Before him, seated on a fair embroidered couch, was the aged Nestor, listening with eager ears. Close by [...]
RELATED BY CHEIRON THE CENTAUR
“There is a cavern somewhere on Mount Pelion larger by far and a thousand times more beautiful than this; but its doorway is hidden to mortals, and but few men have ever stood beneath its vaulted roof. In that cavern the ever-living ones who oversee the affairs of men, once held [...]
RELATED BY CHEIRON THE CENTAUR
“On the other side of the sea there stands a city, rich and mighty, the like of which there is none in Greece. The name of this city is Troy, although its inhabitants call it Ilios. There an old man, named Priam, rules over a happy and peace-loving people. He dwells [...]
In Arcadia there is a little mountain stream called Alpheus. It flows through woods and meadows and among the hills for many miles, and then it sinks beneath the rocks. Farther down the valley it rises again, and dancing and sparkling, as if in happy chase of something, it hurries onward towards the plain; but [...]
When Hercules was a fair-faced youth, and life was all before him, he went out one morning to do an errand for his stepfather. But as he walked his heart was full of bitter thoughts; and he murmured because others no better than himself were living in ease and pleasure, while for him there was [...]
RELATED BY AUTOLYCUS
“When I was younger than I am to-day,” said the old chief, as they sat one evening in the light of the blazing brands–”when I was much younger than now, it was my fortune to take part in the most famous boar hunt the world has ever known.
“There lived at that time, in [...]
A very long time ago, Apollo was born in the island of Delos. When the glad news of his birth was told, Earth smiled, and decked herself with flowers; the nymphs of Delos sang songs of joy that were heard to the utmost bounds of Greece; and choirs of white swans flew seven times around [...]