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THE TRUE STORY BOOK

* * * * *

WORKS BY ANDREW LANG.


HOMER AND THE EPIC. Crown 8vo. 9_s._ _net._

CUSTOM AND MYTH: Studies of Early Usage and
Belief. With 15 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3_s._
6_d._

BALLADS OF BOOKS. Edited by ANDREW LANG. Fcp. 8vo.
6_s._

LETTERS TO DEAD AUTHORS. Fcp. 8vo. 2_s._ 6_d._
_net._

BOOKS AND BOOKMEN. With 2 Coloured Plates and 17
Illustrations. Fcp. 8vo. 2_s._ 6_d._ _net._

OLD FRIENDS. Fcp. 2_s._ 6_d._ _net._

LETTERS ON LITERATURE. Fcp. 8vo. 2_s._ 6_d._
_net._.

GRASS OF PARNASSUS. Fcp. 8vo. 2_s._ 6_d._ _net._

ANGLING SKETCHES. With 20 Illustrations by W. G.
Burn-Murdoch. Crown 8vo. 7_s._ 6_d._

THE BLUE FAIRY BOOK. Edited by ANDREW LANG. With 8
Plates and 130 Illustrations in the Text by H. J.
Ford and G. P. Jacomb Hood. Crown 8vo. 6_s._

THE RED FAIRY BOOK. Edited by ANDREW LANG. With 4
Plates and 96 Illustrations in the Text by H. J.
Ford and Lancelot Speed. Crown 8vo. 6_s._

THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK. Edited by ANDREW LANG. With
11 Plates and 88 Illustrations in the Text by H.
J. Ford. Crown 8vo. 6_s._

THE BLUE POETRY BOOK. Edited by ANDREW LANG. With
12 Plates and 88 Illustrations in the Text by H.
J. Ford and Lancelot Speed. Crown 8vo. 6_s._

SCHOOL EDITION, without Illustrations. Fcp. 8vo.
2_s._ 6_d._

SPECIAL EDITION, printed on Indian paper. With
Notes, but without Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 7_s._
6_d._

THE TRUE STORY BOOK. Edited by ANDREW LANG. With
Plates and Illustrations in the Text by H. J.
Ford, Lucien Davis, Lancelot Speed, and L. Bogle.
Crown 8vo. 6_s._

London: LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO.
New York: 15 East 16th Street.

* * * * *

[Illustration: MONTEZUMA GREETS THE SPANIARDS]


THE TRUE STORY BOOK

Edited by

ANDREW LANG

With Numerous Illustrations by L. Bogle, Lucien Davis, H. J. Ford,
C. H. M. Kerr, and Lancelot Speed







[Illustration]

London
Longmans, Green, and Co
and New York: 15 East 16th Street
1893

All rights reserved




_DEDICATION_

_TO FRANCIS McCUNN_


_You like the things I used to like,
The things I'm fond of still,
The sound of fairy wands that strike
Men into beasts at will;_

_The cruel stepmother, the fair
Stepdaughter, kind and leal,
The bull and bear so debonair,
The trenchant fairy steel._

_You love the world where brute and fish
Converse with man and bird,
Where dungeons open at a wish,
And seas dry at a word._

_That merry world to-day we leave,
We list an ower-true tale,
Of hearts that sore for Charlie grieve,
When handsome princes fail,_

_Of gallant races overthrown,
Of dungeons ill to climb,
There's no such tale of trouble known,
In all the fairy time._

_There Montezuma still were king,
There Charles would wear the crown,
And there the Highlanders would ding
The Hanoverian down:_

_In Fairyland the Rightful Cause
Is never long a-winning,
In Fairyland the fairy laws
Are prompt to punish sinning:_

_For Fairyland's the land of joy,
And this the world of pain,
So back to Fairyland, my boy,
We'll journey once again!_




INTRODUCTION


IT is not without diffidence that the editor offers _The True Story
Book_ to children. We have now given them three fairy books, and their
very kind and flattering letters to the editor prove, not only that they
like the three fairy books, but that they clamour for more. What
disappointment, then, to receive a volume full of adventures which
actually happened to real people! There is not a dragon in the
collection, nor even a giant; witches, here, play no part, and almost
all the characters are grown up. On the other hand, if we have no
fairies, we have princes in plenty, and a sweeter young prince than
Tearlach (as far as this part of his story goes) the editor flatters
himself that you shall nowhere find, not in Grimm, or Dasent, or
Perrault. Still, it cannot be denied that true stories are not so good
as fairy tales. They do not always end happily, and, what is worse, they
do remind a young student of lessons and schoolrooms. A child may fear
that he is being taught under a specious pretence of diversion, and that
learning is being thrust on him under the disguise of entertainment.
Prince Charlie and Cortés may be asked about in examinations, whereas no
examiner has hitherto set questions on 'Blue Beard,' or 'Heart of Ice,'
or 'The Red Etin of Ireland.' There is, to be honest, no way of getting
over this difficulty. But the editor vows that he does not mean to teach
anybody, and he has tried to mix the stories up so much that no clear
and consecutive view of history can possibly be obtained from them;
moreover, when history does come in, it is not the kind of history
favoured most by examiners. They seldom set questions on the conquest of
Mexico, for example.

That is a very long story, but, to the editor's taste, it is simply the
best true story in the world, the most unlikely, and the most romantic.
For who could have supposed that the new-found world of the West held
all that wealth of treasure, emeralds and gold, all those people, so
beautiful and brave, so courteous and cruel, with their terrible gods,
hideous human sacrifices, and almost Christian prayers? That a handful
of Spaniards, themselves mistaken for children of a white god, should
have crossed the sea, should have found a lovely lady, as in a fairy
tale, ready to lead them to victory, should have planted the cross on
the shambles of Huitzilopochtli, after that wild battle on the temple
crest, should have been driven in rout from, and then recaptured, the
Venice of the West, the lake city of Mexico--all this is as strange, as
unlooked for, as any story of adventures in a new planet could be. No
invention of fights and wanderings in Noman's land, no search for the
mines of Solomon the king, can approach, for strangeness and romance,
this tale, which is true, and vouched for by Spanish conquerors like
Bernal Diaz, and by native historians like Ixtlilochitl, and by later
missionaries like Sahagun. Cortés is the great original of all
treasure-hunters and explorers in fiction, and here no feigned tale can
be the equal of the real. As Mr. Prescott's admirable history is not a
book much read by children (nor even by 'grown-ups' for that matter),
the editor hopes children will be pleased to find the 'Adventures in
Anahuac' in this collection. Miss Edgeworth tells us in _Orlandino_ how
much the tale delighted the young before Mr. Prescott wrote that
excellent narrative of the world's chief adventure. May it please still,
as it did when the century was young!

The adventures of Prince Charlie are already known, in part, to boys and
girls who have read the _Tales of a Grandfather_, for pleasure and not
as a school book. But here Mrs. McCunn has treated of them at greater
length and more minutely. The source, here, is in these seven brown
octavo volumes, all written in the closest hand, which are a treasure of
the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh. The author is Mr. Forbes, a bishop
of the persecuted Episcopalian Church in Scotland. Mr. Forbes collected
his information very carefully, closely comparing the narratives of the
various actors in the story. Into the boards of his volumes are fastened
a scrap of the Prince's tartan waistcoat, a rag from his sprigged calico
dress, a bit of his brogues--a twopenny treasure that has been wept and
prayed over by the faithful. Nobody, in a book for children, would have
the heart to tell the tale of the Prince's later years, of a moody,
heart-broken, degraded exile. But, in the hills and the isles, bating a
little wilfulness and foolhardiness, and the affair of the broken
punch-bowl, Prince Charles is a model for princes and all men, brave,
gay, much-enduring, good-humoured, kind, royally courteous, and
considerate, even beyond what may be gathered from this part of the
book, while the loyalty of the Highlanders (as in the case of Mackinnon,
flogged nearly to death) was proof against torture as well as against
gold. It is the Sobieski strain, not the Stuart, that we here admire in
Prince Charles; it is a piety, a loyalty, a goodness like Gordon's that
we revere in old Lord Pitsligo in another story.

Many of the tales are concerned with fighting, for that is the most
dramatic part of mortal business. These English captives who retake a
ship from the Turks, these heroes of the _Shannon_ and the _Chesapeake_,
were doubtless good men and true in all their lives, but the light of
history only falls on them in war. The immortal Three Hundred of
Thermopylæ would also have been unknown, had they not died, to a man,
for the sake of the honour of Lacedæmon. The editor conceives that it
would have been easy to give more 'local colour' to the sketch of
Thermopylæ: to have dealt in description of the Immortals, drawn from
the friezes in Susa, lately discovered by French enterprise.



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Keywords: treasure, without, fairyland, charles, charlie, adventures, letters, princes, spaniards, things
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