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Verginius left his beautiful young daughter Verginia in the care of her nurse.
[vii] DEAR IAN AND WILLIE,—The Story of
Rome has been written, as you know, in your beautiful,
quiet old garden.
And as the story grew, the short cold days of winter
passed and the long warm days of summer were here.
In the garden a miracle had been wrought. It had
After slow, persistent struggle with storm and frost,
the delicate bare branches were no longer bare, but
clothed in living green. The hard black earth too had
stirred, and shoots and blades appeared, until at
length the garden was ablaze with gold, purple,
Sometimes I dreamed that, in its own different way, the
Story of Rome too was a miracle, wrought out of the
tears and throes of a brave and ambitious people.
For the story tells of the birth of a city and of its
growth through storm and struggle, until it became a
great world empire.
The city which Romulus founded was built upon a single
hill; soon seven hills were not great enough to contain
her. And when Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome,
began to reign, part of Europe, Asia Minor, Egypt,
Syria, and a large portion of Africa formed his
Although the story was written in the quiet of your
garden, little of its peace has stolen into the tale,
and for that you boys may care for it the more.
As you read, fierce battle-cries will ring in your
[viii] the clash of arms will startle you. You will hear the
tramp of armies marching to new lands to conquer them
and their treasures for Rome, the city of their love.
Sometimes you will catch your breath in horror as you
read of terrible and cruel deeds, for the Romans were
often pitiless, showing little mercy to those they
But at other times your breath will come quick with
wonder as you read of the dauntless courage, the rare
endurance of these mighty men of old.
And if there are many things which you do not admire in
the people of Rome, yet they possess one virtue which
you and every British boy and girl may not only admire,
but gladly imitate.
What that virtue is I will leave you to find out for
yourselves as you read The Story of