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 MOTTO FOR THE MOTHER Teach your child that every one
Loves him when he's good and true,
But that though so dear to others,
He is doubly dear to you.
—Miss Blow's Mottoes and Commentaries.
Long, long ago there lived, in a kingdom far away, five who were so good and so wise that each one was known by a name that meant something beautiful.
The first was called Sir Brian the Brave. He had killed the great lion that came out of the forest to frighten the women and children, had a dragon, and had saved a princess from a burning castle; for he was afraid of nothing under the sun.
The second knight was Gerald the Glad, who was so happy himself that he made everybody around him happy too; for his sweet smile and cheery words were so comforting that none could be sad or cross or angry when he was near.
Sir Kenneth the Kind was the third knight, and he won his name by his tender heart. Even the creatures of the wood knew and loved him, for he never hurt anything that God had made.
The fourth knight had a face as beautiful as his name, and he was called Percival the Pure. He thought beautiful thoughts, said beautiful words, and did beautiful deeds, for he kept his whole life as lovely as a garden full of flowers without a single weed.
Tristram the True was the last knight, and he was leader of them all.
The king of the country trusted these five knights; and one morning in the early spring-time he called them to him and said:—
"My trusty knights, I am growing old, and I long to see in my kingdom many knights like you to take care of my people; and so I will send you through all my kingdom to choose for me a little boy who may live at my court and learn from you those things which a knight must know. Only a good child can be chosen. A good child is worth more than a kingdom. And when you have found him, bring him, if he will come willingly, to me, and I shall be happy in my old age."
Now the knights were well pleased with the words of the king, and at the first peep of day they were ready for their journey, and rode down the king's highway with waving and shining shields.
No sooner had they started on their journey than the news spread abroad over the country, and many fathers and mothers who were anxious for the favor of the king sent messengers to invite the knights to visit them.
The parents' messages were so full of praises of their children that the knights scarcely knew where to go. Some of the parents said that their sons were beautiful; some said theirs were smart; but as the knights cared nothing for a child who was not good, they did not hurry to see these children.
On the second day, however, as they rode along, they met a company of men in very fine clothes, who bowed down before them; and while the knights drew in , a little man stepped in front of the others to speak to them.
He was a fat little man, with a fat little voice; and he told the knights that he had come to invite them to the castle of the Borribald, whose son Florimond was the most wonderful child in the world.
"Oh! there is nothing he cannot do," cried the fat little man whose name was . "You must hear him talk! You must see him walk!"
So the knights followed him; and when they had reached the castle, Florimond ran to meet them. He was a merry little fellow, with long fair curls and cheeks; and when he saw the fine horses he clapped his hands with delight. The baron and , too, were well pleased with their visitors, and made a feast in their honor; but early the next morning, the knights were startled by a most awful sound which seemed to come from the hall below.
"Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" It sounded something like the howling of a dog; but as they listened, it grew louder and louder, until it sounded like the roaring of a lion.
The knights seized their swords and rushed down to see what was the matter; and there, in the middle of the hall, stood Florimond, his cheeks up and his eyes swollen,—and right out of his open mouth came that terrible noise: "Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo!"
His mamma and papa were begging him to be quiet. The cook had run up with a pie, and the nurse with a toy, but Florimond only opened his mouth and screamed the louder, because the rain was coming down, when he wanted to play out of doors!
Then the knights saw that they were not wanted, and they hurried upstairs to prepare for their journey. The baron and baroness and fat little Puff all begged them to stay, and Florimond cried again when they left him; but the knights did not care to stay with a child who was not good.
The knights began to think that their mission was a difficult one; but they rode on, asking at every house: "Is there a good boy here?" only to be disappointed many times.
North, south, east, and west, they searched; and at last, one afternoon, they halted under an oak tree, to talk, and they to part company.
"Let each take his own way," said Tristram the True, "and to-morrow we will meet, under this same tree, and tell what we have seen; for the time draws near when we must return to the king."
Then they bade each other farewell, and each rode away, except Sir Tristram, who lingered long under the oak tree; for he was the leader, and had many things to think about.
Just as the sun was red in the west, he saw a little boy coming towards him, with a bundle of sticks on his back.
"Greeting to you, little boy," said he.
"Greeting to you, fair sir," said the boy, looking up with eager eyes at the knight on his splendid horse, that stood so still when the knight bade it.
"What is your name?" asked the knight.
"My name is little Gauvain," replied the child.
"And can you prove a trusty guide, little Gauvain, and lead me to a pleasant place where I may rest to-night?" asked the knight.
"Ay, that I can," Gauvain answered gladly, his whole face <............
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