“O sir! give me a drink, for I am dying.”
It was a wounded Swede who spoke. He was lying on the ground only a little way off. The Dane went to him at once. He knelt down by the side of his fallen foe, and pressed the flask to his lips.
“Drink,” said he, “for thy need is greater than mine.”
Hardly had he spoken these words, when the Swede raised himself on his elbow. He pulled a pistol from his pocket, and shot at the man who would have be-friend-ed him. The bullet grazed the Dane’s shoulder, but did not do him much harm.
“Ah, you rascal!” he cried. “I was going to befriend you, and you repay me by trying to kill me. Now I will punish you. I would have given you all the water, but now you shall have only half.” And with that he drank the half of it, and then gave the rest to the Swede.
When the King of the Danes heard about this, he sent for the soldier and had him tell the story just as it was.
“Why did you spare the life of the Swede after he had tried to kill you?” asked the king.
“Because, sir,” said the soldier, “I could never kill a wounded enemy.”
“Then you deserve to be a no-ble-man,” said the king. And he re-ward-ed him by making him a knight, and giving him a noble title.
More than three hundred years ago there lived in England a brave man whose name was Sir Humphrey Gil-bert. 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 which roamed wild In-di-ans and wild beasts.
Sir Hum-phrey Gilbert was one of the first men who tried to make a set-tle-ment in A-mer-i-ca. Twice did he bring men and ships over the sea, and twice did he fail, and sail back for England. The second time, he was on a little ship called the “Squirrel.” Another ship, called the “Golden Hind,” was not far away. When they were three days from land, the wind failed, and the ships lay floating on the waves. Then at night the air grew very cold. A breeze sprang up from the east. Great white ice-bergs came drifting around them. In the morning the little ships were almost lost among the floating mountains of ice. The men on the “Hind” saw Sir Humphrey sitting on the deck of the “Squirrel” with an open book in his hand. He called to them and said,—
“Be brave, my friends! We are as near heaven on the sea as on the land.”
Night came again. It was a stormy night, with mist and rain. All at once the men on the “Hind” saw the lights on board of the “Squirrel” go out. The little vessel, with brave Sir Humphrey and all his brave men, was swal-lowed up by the waves.
There once lived in England a brave and noble man whose name was Walter Ra-leigh. 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 Ra-leigh.