General Napier managed so well that there was no fighting on the road. He came to the gates of Magdala, and threatened to fire upon it if the prisoners were not given up to him. He waited till the time was up, and then caused his troops to begin the attack. The Abyssinians fled away, and close by one of the gates Theodore was found lying dead, shot through. No one is quite sure whether one of his servants killed him treacherously, or whether he killed himself in his rage and despair. England did not try to keep Abyssinia though it was conquered; but it was left to the royal family whom Theodore had turned out, and Theodore’s little son, about five years old, was brought to England; but, as he could not bear the cold winter, he was sent to a school in India.
This, which was in the year 1868, was the last war the English have had. There has been fighting all round and about in Europe, especially a great war between France and Prussia in 1870; but the only thing the English had to do with that, was the sending out of doctors and nurses, with all the good things for sick people that could be thought of, to take care of all the poor wounded on both sides, and lessen their suffering as much as possible. They all wore red crosses on their sleeves, and put up a red-cross flag over the houses where they were taking care of the sick and wounded, and then no one on either side fired upon them.
An Act of Parliament has given the right to vote, at the election of the House of Commons, to much poorer men than used to have it. It is to be hoped that they will learn to use wisely this power of helping to choose those who make the laws and govern the country. To give them a better chance of doing so, a law has been made that no child shall be allowed to grow up without any teaching at all, but that those who are too poor to pay for their own schooling shall be paid for by the State, and that their parents shall be obliged to send them. The great thing is to learn to know and do one’s duty. If one only learns to be clever with one’s head, without trying to be good at the same time, it is of very little use. But I hope you will try to mind your duty—first to God and then to man; and if you do that, God will prosper you and bless you.