Richard And Blondel

In a gloomy prison, in a foreign land, lay Richard I, King of England.

He had been with some other kings to a great war in the Holy Land, where

he had won battles, and taken cities, and gained much honour. Men called

him Richard Lion-heart, because he was as brave as a lion in fighting,

and his soldiers loved him and would follow him into any danger. One

strong city, called Acre, held out for nearly two years against the

armies of the other kings, but when Richard arrived it gave way almost

at once.

Because of his bravery, and his many victories, all men praised King

Richard, and this made some of the other kings hate him, for they were

jealous that he should have more honour than they. When he was on his

way back to England, one of these envious men seized him secretly, and

threw him into prison.

And now poor Richard could fight no more, nor could he see the blue sky,

and the green fields which he loved. One day, as he sat sad and lonely

in his prison, he heard a voice singing, beneath the window. He started.

"Surely," said he, "that is the voice of my old friend Blondel, and that

is the song we used to sing together." When the song was ended, the king

sang it again in a low voice. Then there was a joyful cry from the man

outside, and Richard knew that it was indeed his friend.

Blondel had journeyed many days seeking his lost master. Now he hastened

to England, and told the people where to find their king, and very soon

Richard was set free, and went back to his own land.

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