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The King and His Men
Written 1867

by Charlotte Maria Tucker

King Frederick of Prussia took great pleasure in forming a regiment of the tallest and finest men that he could collect. A splendid body of troops they appeared and the king was extrememly proud of them.

One day, it is said, Frederick took with him the ambassadors from England, Austria, and France to review this distinguished regiment.

"Do you think," said the monarch to the Austrian, "that your master, the Emperor, has in his army any men of whom an equal number could cope with this corps?"

"I frankly own that I do not think that his Majesty had," replied the courteous ambassador.

"What say you?" said the king to the Frenchman, repeating his former question to him. The minister bowed to the monarch and returned much the same answer as the Austrian had done.

The pleased king then turned to the English ambassador. "I know, my Lord Hyndford," said he, "that your sovereign has many brave men in his army—but do you think that an equal number of them would be able to conquer my regiment?"

"I cannot be so bold as to say that," replied the Englishman, "but I will answer for it that half the number would try."

Try! Yes, that little word works wonders—let each of my readers prove the power of it. The dull child sits with his task book in his hand, glancing at the page which contains his lesson, without taking in the meaning of the words before him—wishing that the hour for study were over—sure that he shall never master his task. Ah! these tiresome columns are his regiment of tall Prussians—can he not conquer them? Let him try!

The child often reproved for his faults, angry at once with himself and with others, begins to despair of amending. He has wished to subdue his temper, but it is violent still—to overcome his laziness, it still gains upon him. He is discouraged and sad. What can he do now? Can he never succeed in his efforts to please? Let him try again,—yes, again and again. His faults are the regiment of Prussians before him, not invincible, however hard to be vanquished. If the young Christian soldier, with steady resolution, attempt to subdue them, armed with faith and prayer, he may not only try but succeed!

Edited by Pam Takahashi
Proofed by Deborah Gardner


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