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7. But the duke of Austria was a savage, who loved nothing but money, and he seized king Richard in hopes that the people of England would give a great sum of money for his release. It is said that this vile duke at first hid the king in a dark dungeon, in a castle which was built in the midst of a great forest, and that no one knew what was become of him.
8. But Richard had a faithful page, who loved him exceedingly, and this page wandered through all Germany to find out the place where his master was confined; and whenever he came to a castle where he thought the king might be, he began to sing a song under the windows of the castle. And he always sung the same song, which was one that the king himself used to sing, and the page knew that if the king should hear this song, he would know who sung it, and would, perhaps, make himself known by singing the song in return.
9. Many was the castle, and many the tower under the walls of which the faithful page sung his song; but he never heard any voice in answer, till at last, by good fortune, he arrived at the very castle where the king was confined.
10. Then he had no sooner sung the first verse of
knew who it was that sung it, and, just as the page expected, he answered by singing the second verse of the song, and so the page knew that he had at last found where his master was confined.
11. Now as soon as it was known that the duke of Austria had been so treacherous, all the other kings and princes in Europe endeavored to procure Richard's release; but all in vain: for the duke would not give him his liberty without a large ransom, that is, a great sum of money.
12. So when the people of England heard this, they immediately collected their jewels and money, and made up the great sum which the duke demanded, and
sent it over to him, so that he had no longer any excuse for keeping Richard,-he accordingly let him go.
13. The moment the king was at liberty, he, with his faithful page and other attendants, mounted their horses and galloped away, and travelled day and night, without stopping, on the road to England.
14. And well it was that he did so; for the treache, rous duke had no sooner seen him depart, but he thought that he might have gotten a larger sum if he had kept him longer, and he immediately sent soldiers to ride after Richard and bring him back as a prisoner again.
15. These soldiers also rode day and night, and travelled quite as fast as the king, but as he had a day the start of them, they never could overtake him: and at last, after a journey of a great many days and nights, the king arrived at the sea side, and got into a ship, and was just sailing away for England at the very moment that the soldiers arrived to stop him.
16. But the king was already at sea, and out of their reach, and the soldiers got nothing by their journey but the trouble and disgrace; for every body hated the duke's treachery, and were very glad that his soldiers had failed in overtaking the king; who landed safely in England, and was received by all the people with the greatest joy, and they seemed to love Richard the better for all the toils and misfortunes he had suffered.
Can you tell me in what direction from us Jerusalem is? Who once lived in Jerusalem? Is Palestine in Europe or Asia? Why did the king's page go in search of his master? In what direction from us is Austria?
Prince Arthur. 1. Arthur was the nephew of Richard, and on the death of his uncle should have been king; but unfortunately for him, he had another uncle called John, a very wicked, cruel man, who wanted to be king himself, and he made himself king accordingly—so getting possession of poor young Arthur, he immediately shut him up in a prison, a great lonely tower, which was the most dismal place that can be imagined.
2. The keeper of this prison was called Hubert, a bad man, whom King John employed in this business, because he promised him to murder the poor prince; for John was afraid lest the people should insist on making his little nephew king.
3. Arthur had not been long in this tower when the king sent an order to Hubert to put him to death;—but it seems Hubert was not quite so wicked as the king thought him to be, and he could not bring himself to commit a murder on a young innocent creature like Arthur.
4. But as he was nevertheless willing to assist John so far as to prevent Arthur's ever being king, he thought that if, instead of killing him, he was to put out the poor boy's eyes, it would prevent his ever being king just as well as if he killed him: this was, indeed, a very cruel design on the part of Hubert, but it was not quite so bad as killing him.
5. But though Hubert had resolved to blind the poor prince, he was not so savage as to think of doing it with his own hands; so he hired two ruffians to commit this crime, and he gave them two irons which they were to make red hot in the fie, and then to thrust into the eyes of the unhappy little boy.
6. When Hubert brought these two ruffians into Arthur's presence, the prince was terrified at their wicked looks, at the irons which they held in their hands, and at the fire which was brought into the room in a brazen pan for the purpose of heating the irons; but when he heard what their design was, he burst into tears, and fell on his knees to Hubert, and kissed his hands and his feet, and wept so bitterly, and prayed so earnestly, that Hubert's heart was moved with pity.
7. And when the little innocent begged and entreated that, if his eyes must be put out, it should be done by the hands of Hubert himself, and not by the horrid ruffians, Hubert was so melted that he sent the ruffians away, and prepared to do the cruel work himself.
8. But no sooner were they alone, than Arthur threw himself into Hubert's arms, and kissed him, and used so many tender entreaties and prayers that Hubert began to weep.
9. Then it was that Arthur redoubled his prayers and entreaties; he told Hubert how much he had always loved him, how he had watched over him when he was ill, for Hubert had been sick a short time before; he reminded Hubert of the horrid pain he had suffered when a little piece of straw only had accidentally got into his eye, and he prayed Hubert not to put him to the dreadful torture of having both his eyes burned out; nay, rather than undergo such shocking pain, he begged his dear Hubert, his only friend, his only hope in the world, (so he called him,) to be so merciful as to put him to death, and kill him outright.
10. It would make you weep if I were to tell you all the affectionate and tender things which the poor little prince said to Hubert, sometimes kneeling at his feet with his little hands joined, as if praying; and sometimes hanging about Hubert's neck and kissing his eyes and, cheeks: in short, his entreaties, his prayers, his tears, and his kisses had so much effect on Hubert that he threw away the irons, and catching the poor prince in his arms, swore he would never do him any harm, and that he would die himself rather than suffer any one to injure him.
11. I leave you to judge how happy the little prince was to hear these kind words from Hubert's mouth, and how affectionately he thanked his dear friend, who had so lately appeared his cruel enemy
12. But Hubert who dreaded the king's fury when he should hear that he had neither blinded nor murdered Arthur, began to think how he and the prince might make their escape together; and he was obliged to go, to find out some means of escaping from the cruel king:
13. Arthur did not wish to part with him; but as Hubert could not stay, he was obliged to let him go, giving him a thousand kisses, and begging of him to hasten back as soon as possible.
14. Now that poor Arthur was left alone in the tower, and now that his friend Hubert was gone, he began to be afraid lest the ruffians should come back and execute their first purpose; and there happening just then to be a great noise in another part of the tower, the poor boy thought the ruffians were coming, and in his terror, being resolved to suffer any thing rather than have his eyes burned out, he opened a little window which was in the tower, and though it was almost the height of a house from the ground, he determined to venture to leap out, and so escape the tortures he expected.
15. He ought to have waited for the return of his friend Hubert, who would have saved him; but, alas! his fears were too great, and he took the leap from that high window, and falling upon some hard pointed stones which lay on the ground under the window, he was dashed to pieces and died on the spot.