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His Childhood and Youth. B.C. 356-336 The briefness of Alexander's career. Alexander the Great died when he was quite young. He was but thirty-two years of age when he ended his career, and as he was about twenty when he commenced it, it was only for a period of twelve years that he was actually engaged in performing the work of his life. Napoleon was nearly three times as long on the great field of human action. His brilliant exploits.... more...

CHAPTER I.INTEREST IN TEACHING. There is a most singular contrariety of opinion prevailing in the community, in regard to the pleasantness of the business of teaching. Some teachers go to their daily task, merely upon compulsion: they regard it as intolerable drudgery. Others love the work: they hover around the school-room as long as they can, and never cease to think, and seldom to talk, of their delightful labors. Unfortunately there are too... more...

Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, entered at the very beginning of his life upon the extraordinary series of romantic adventures which so strikingly marked his career. He became an exile and a fugitive from his father's house when he was only two years old, having been suddenly borne away at that period by the attendants of the household, to avoid a most imminent personal danger that threatened him. The circumstances which gave occasion for this... more...

The Houses of York and Lancaster. A real heroine. Margaret of Anjou was a heroine; not a heroine of romance and fiction, but of stern and terrible reality. Her life was a series of military exploits, attended with dangers, privations, sufferings, and wonderful vicissitudes of fortune, scarcely to be paralleled in the whole history of mankind. Two great quarrels. She was born and lived in a period during which there prevailed in the western... more...

Chapter I. The Britons. Alfred the Great figures in history as the founder, in some sense, of the British monarchy. Of that long succession of sovereigns who have held the scepter of that monarchy, and whose government has exerted so vast an influence on the condition and welfare of mankind, he was not, indeed, actually the first. There were several lines of insignificant princes before him, who governed such portions of the kingdom as they... more...


The Mother of Xerxes. B.C. 522–484 Persian magnificence. The name of Xerxes is associated in the minds of men with the idea of the highest attainable elevation of human magnificence and grandeur. This monarch was the sovereign of the ancient Persian empire when it was at the height of its prosperity and power. It is probable, however, that his greatness and fame lose nothing by the manner in which his story comes down to us through the... more...

Chapter I. Normandy. A.D. 870-912 The Norman Conquest.Claim of William to the throne.The right of the strongest. One of those great events in English history, which occur at distant intervals, and form, respectively, a sort of bound or landmark, to which all other events, preceding or following them for centuries, are referred, is what is called the Norman Conquest. The Norman Conquest was, in fact, the accession of William, duke of Normandy,... more...

Chapter I. The Cavern. One pleasant summer morning Alphonzo was amusing himself by swinging on a gate in front of his mother’s house. His cousin Malleville, who was then about eight years old, was sitting upon a stone outside of the gate, by the roadside, in a sort of corner that was formed between the wall and a great tree which was growing there. Malleville was employed in telling her kitten a story. The kitten was sitting near... more...

CADMUS. B.C. 1500 Different kinds of greatness. Some men are renowned in history on account of the extraordinary powers and capacities which they exhibited in the course of their career, or the intrinsic greatness of the deeds which they performed. Others, without having really achieved any thing in itself very great or wonderful, have become widely known to mankind by reason of the vast consequences which, in the subsequent course of events,... more...

LOST IN THE SNOW. One pleasant morning, very early in the spring, Rollo's cousin Lucy came to call for Rollo to go on an expedition, which they had planned the day before. It was near the end of March, and the snow had become so consolidated by the warm sun in the days, and the hard frosts at night, that it would bear the children to walk upon it. The children called it the crust; but it was not, strictly speaking, a crust, for the snow was... more...