| Fifty Famous Stories Retold|
|by James Baldwin|
|Includes fifty legendary tales depicting certain romantic episodes in the lives of well-known heroes and famous men, or in the history of a people. Children naturally take a deep interest in such stories. The reading of them will not only give pleasure but will lay the foundation for broader literary studies, as nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions in poetry and prose. Ages 6-9 |
THE UNGRATEFUL GUEST
AMONG the soldiers of King Philip there was a poor man who
had done some brave deeds. He had pleased the king in
more ways than one, and so the king put a good deal of
trust in him.
One day this soldier was on board of a ship at sea when a
great storm came up. The winds drove the ship upon the
rocks, and it was wrecked. The soldier was cast
half-drowned upon the shore; and he would have died
there, had it not been for the kind care of a farmer who
lived close by.
 When the soldier was well enough to go home, he thanked the
farmer for what he had done, and promised that he would
repay him for his kindness.
But he did not mean to keep his promise. He did not tell
King Philip about the man who had saved his life. He only
said that there was a fine
 farm by the seashore, and that he would like very much to
have it for his own. Would the king give it to him?
"Who owns the farm now?" asked Philip.
"Only a churlish farmer, who has never done anything
for his country," said the soldier.
"Very well, then," said Philip. "You have served me for
a long time, and you shall have your wish.
Go and take the farm for yourself."
And so the soldier made haste to drive the farmer from his
house and home. He took the farm for his own.
The poor farmer was stung to the heart by such
treatment. He went boldly to the king, and told the whole
story from beginning to end. King Philip was very angry
when he learned that the man whom he had trusted had done
so base a deed. He sent for the soldier in great haste; and
when he had come, he caused these words to be burned in his
"THE UNGRATEFUL GUEST."
Thus all the world was made to know of the mean act by which
the soldier had tried to enrich himself; and from that day
until he died all men shunned and hated him.
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