Penguin Island eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about Penguin Island.

Kraken levied the tribute and became the richest and most powerful of the Penguins.  As a sign of his victory and so as to inspire a salutary terror, he wore a dragon’s crest upon his head and he had a habit of saying to the people: 

“Now that the monster is dead I am the dragon.”

For many years Orberosia bestowed her favours upon neatherds and shepherds, whom she thought equal to the gods.  But when she was no longer beautiful she consecrated herself to the Lord.

At her death she became the object of public veneration, and was admitted into the calendar of the saints and adopted as the patron saint of Penguinia.

Kraken left a son, who, like his father, wore a dragon’s crest, and he was for this reason surnamed Draco.  He was the founder of the first royal dynasty of the Penguins.

BOOK III.  THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

I. BRIAN THE GOOD AND QUEEN GLAMORGAN

The kings of Alca were descended from Draco, the son of Kraken, and they wore on their heads a terrible dragon’s crest, as a sacred badge whose appearance alone inspired the people with veneration, terror, and love.  They were perpetually in conflict either with their own vassals and subjects or with the princes of the adjoining islands and continents.

The most ancient of these kings has left but a name.  We do not even know how to pronounce or write it.  The first of the Draconides whose history is known was Brian the Good, renowned for his skill and courage in war and in the chase.

He was a Christian and loved learning.  He also favoured men who had vowed themselves to the monastic life.  In the hall of his palace where, under the sooty rafters, there hung the heads, pelts, and horns of wild beasts, he held feasts to which all the harpers of Alca and of the neighbouring islands were invited, and he himself used to join in singing the praises of the heroes.  He was just and magnanimous, but inflamed by so ardent a love of glory that he could not restrain himself from putting to death those who had sung better than himself.

The monks of Yvern having been driven out by the pagans who ravaged Brittany, King Brian summoned them into his kingdom and built a wooden monastery for them near his palace.  Every day he went with Queen Glamorgan, his wife, into the monastery chapel and was present at the religious ceremonies and joined in the hymns.

Now among these monks there was a brother called Oddoul, who, while still in the flower of his youth, had adorned himself with knowledge and virtue.  The devil entertained a great grudge against him, and attempted several times to lead him into temptation.  He took several shapes and appeared to him in turn as a war-horse, a young maiden, and a cup of mead.  Then he rattled two dice in a dicebox and said to him: 

“Will you play with me for the kingdoms of, the world against one of the hairs of your head?”

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Project Gutenberg
Penguin Island from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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