Text of Plan #981
  WEEK 51  

  Monday  
 

----- Seasonal Story -----

----- Seasonal Poem -----


  WEEK 51  

  Tuesday  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

Henry IV of Bolingbroke—Battle of Shrewsbury

H ENRY IV. knew quite well that he was not the real heir to the throne, although he tried to make people believe that he was. The real heir was Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.

Richard II. was the son of Edward the Black Prince, who was the eldest son of Edward III. Edmund Mortimer was descended from Lionel of Clarence, who was the third son of Edward III. Henry Bolingbroke was descended from John of Gaunt, who was the fourth son of Edward III. So, of course, Edmund Mortimer had a better right to the throne than Henry Bolingbroke had. But Edmund Mortimer was only a little boy, and, like so many other little princes, he was passed over and forgotten. The people chose rather to have a strong man who could really rule, than a little boy who could rule only in name. But Henry was afraid of Edmund, and kept him a prisoner in Windsor Castle, although he was not otherwise unkind to him.

Henry had seized the throne in an unlawful manner, and he found that it was no easy matter to keep it. No sooner was he crowned than plots thickened around him, and people who had hated Richard were now sorry that they had put Henry on the throne.

The Welsh, who had been conquered by Edward I., had never been content to live under the rule of English kings, and Owen Glendower, a Welsh nobleman, now rebelled against Henry. He called himself the Prince of Wales, claiming to be descended from Llewellyn, that Welsh prince whom Edward I. had defeated and killed.

Nearly all Wales joined Owen Glendower, and although Henry went against them with a large army, he was not able to subdue them. The Welsh took several of Henry's nobles prisoner, among them Sir Edmund Mortimer. This Sir Edmund was an uncle of the young Earl of March, whom Henry kept in prison at Windsor. Henry was quite pleased that Sir Edmund should be a captive, because he was afraid that he might at some time try to put his nephew on the throne.

The Scots had meanwhile also been fighting with the English, and had been defeated by the Earl of Northumberland and his young son, who was called Harry Hotspur. He was called Hotspur because he was so quick and brave in battle.

Harry Hotspur and his father had taken the Scottish leader, Douglas, prisoner. They expected to get a large ransom from the Scots for him. But Henry said the Douglas must be given up to him. This made the Percies, as Harry Hotspur and his father were called, very angry. They thought that, as they had taken the Douglas prisoner, they had a right to the money which would be paid for his release.

The Percies then asked Henry to send money to Owen Glendower to ransom Edmund Mortimer, for Edmund was Harry Hotspur's dear friend. But Henry refused. He did not wish Edmund to be free, because he was afraid of him. This refusal made the Percies still more angry.

The Percies had helped to put Henry on the throne, but now they became so angry with him that they were sorry that they had done so, and they turned against him.

Instead of giving up the Douglas to Henry, the Percies set him free, on condition that he should help them to fight against the King. They made friends with Owen Glendower, who set Edmund Mortimer free, and persuaded him also to join them against Henry.

When the King heard of this great rebellion, he marched with a large army to Shrewsbury, and there he defeated the Percies before Owen Glendower could come with his soldiers to their help.

King Henry had been told that some of the rebel nobles had sworn to kill him, so he went into battle in plain armour, while four or five knights went dressed like the King. These knights were all killed, Douglas himself killing three of them. "I marvel to see so many kings rise thus one after the other," he said. "I have this day slain three."

But the real king was not among them, although he was in the battle fighting bravely.

The Prince of Wales, or Prince Hal, as he was often called, was only a boy, but he did great deeds at this battle, and even when he had been badly wounded, he would not leave the field until victory for his father was sure.

Harry Hotspur was killed, the Douglas taken prisoner, and so with this one battle the rebellion was almost at an end.

Henry next marched against Owen Glendower, but still he could not subdue him. Owen fought against Henry all his life, and at last died among the lonely mountains of Wales, still free and still unconquered.

Henry IV. had a very unquiet reign; he was in constant fear of rebellion in England, and besides the Welsh, the Scots and the French were always fighting with him. But a great misfortune fell upon the Scottish king, which forced him to make peace with Henry.

The Scots and the French had always been good friends, and now King Robert III. sent his little son, James, to France to learn French. But while on his way there his ship was captured by the English, and Prince James, who was only nine years old, was taken a prisoner to London.

Henry was very glad to have Prince James in his power, for the Scots were now afraid to fight against him in case he should do some harm to their little Prince.

"If the Scots had been kind," said Henry, "they would have sent their Prince to me. I could teach him the French language as well as any Frenchman."

When the King of Scotland heard that his son had fallen into the hands of his enemy, he was so sad and afraid that he died of a broken heart.

The King's brother, the Duke of Albany, wanted to rule Scotland himself, so he was pleased that James was a prisoner, and did not try to make Henry set him free.

Although King Henry kept Prince James in prison, he allowed him to have books and teachers, who taught him many things which were afterwards useful to him, and helped him to become a good king. He also wrote some very beautiful poetry while he was in prison, so those years were not altogether lost.

 

----- Seasonal Story -----

----- Seasonal Poem -----


  WEEK 51  

  Wednesday  

----- Seasonal Story -----

----- Seasonal Story -----



Martin Luther

Cradle Hymn

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,

The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay—

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.


The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,

But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.

I love thee, Lord Jesus! look down from the sky,

And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

 


  WEEK 51  

  Thursday  


The Beautiful Story of Joan of Arc  by Viola Ruth Lowe

The Capture of the Maid

L IVING a quiet life at Bourges, Joan often slipped into a nearby church to pray and receive comfort from the holy atmosphere of her beloved Saints. She gave whatever she had freely to the poor and needy.

When a new baby was born in any of the neighboring villages, the mother would often come to Joan, begging her to hold the child over the baptismal font; they named the boys, Charles, after their King; the girls they often named Joan, for the pure young maiden, who stood before them and who was beloved by everyone.


[Illustration]

Joan of Arc and the Children

Finally King Charles decided to entrust to Joan the command of several troops with which to conquer the region of the Loire river, known as La Charité, where the Burgundians still held sway.

Before she set out, the people of the neighboring villages presented Joan with a new sword and two battle-axes in token of their love and admiration for their brave, plucky leader. However, due to many obstacles and difficulties which beset her path, Joan was not able to storm the walls of La Charité. The weather was bitter cold, food and ammunition were lacking, and the King offered no aid. Instead he eased his conscience by elevating Joan's family to the rank of nobles.

Word soon came to Joan's ears of the misery of the humble folk in pillaged villages, and she felt that her vital presence was still needed. Gathering to her side a troop of men, she set out again, about the middle of April, 1430, without waiting for the consent of the King, intending to reach the Ile de France.

She arrived first at a town called Lagny, and while there, Joan learned that a tiny baby just three days old was not baptized because it had not shown any sign of life. The infant had been placed in the church before the altar. Many young maidens remained there kneeling in prayer. Joan entered the church and joined them. Her ardent prayers mounted to Heaven with those of the other maidens. And behold! the infant stirred, gasped three times; there was just time to baptize it hastily, for, one moment later, death had seized it again.


[Illustration]

The Resurrection of the Infant at Lagny

Joan remained to pray awhile, and then set out for battle. Near the town of Compiegne, a furious battle was fought. The Soldier-Maid appeared everywhere at once, encouraging, pressing on, advancing at the head of her troops. Her men were forced to retreat before the great number of the Burgundian foes, and Joan herself remaining until the last, was brutally dragged from her horse by the folds of her gaily colored mantle and thrown upon the trampled ground.

The French, weeping and grief-stricken at her capture, gathered together in groups, and made public processions of mourning, chanting hymns, while priests sombrely dressed in black, led the processions with flaming torches.


[Illustration]

A grief-stricken procession mourned the capture of Joan of Arc.

Joan was held a prisoner under a warrior, Jean de Luxembourg. He sent her to his Castle of Beaurevior, where she was held in charge of three kind and gentle ladies, one of them the wife of Jean de Luxembourg. Joan found the society of these ladies pleasant as they chatted with her.


[Illustration]

With Her Kindly Keepers in the Castle of Beaurevior

The Maid expected momentarily to be given into the hands of the English, and to avoid this, she attempted to escape, hurling herself down from the tower of the Castle. She was found stunned and nearly lifeless on the ground, and was again imprisoned in a strong castle at Rouen.


[Illustration]

She tried to escape by flinging herself from the tower.

Meanwhile a learned body of men, presided over by Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, were preparing a series of questions with which they intended to entrap the innocent girl. They planned to bring her to trial before a court and condemn her for being a witch and for her supposed sins against the Church. They were jealous of her success and anxious to destroy her.


[Illustration]

The captive maid was turned over to the English soldiers.

For five weary months, Joan endured the hardships of her life in prison. Finally, on a cold dreary morning in February, the Maid was told to prepare herself for trial. She was brought into the chapel of Rouen Castle, and appeared before the large assemblage of judges, dressed in black like a page and looking boyish with her hair clipped short.


[Illustration]

Before the Tribunal at Rouen

The Maid did not realize that for her this trial was a matter of life and death. Calmly she gazed at the great crowd of spectators, knights, nobles and soldiers, all her enemies, who pressed about her, clamoring loudly so that at times her words were lost in the noise.

It was Bishop Cauchon's intention to force Joan to admit that her Voices were false and that she had really been aided by evil spirits.

But Joan would not lose faith in her Visions and her Voices. She knew they had come from God and she would not allow herself to become entrapped or confused by the difficult questions the judges purposely put to her to puzzle her. The judges asked her if she did not consider it improper to wear the clothes of a man. Joan answered that she did only what God had ordered her to do.

Thus the long weary days went by, with the Maid winning the sympathy of all by her simple replies. One of the judges said, "Speak, Joan; do you know yourself to be in the grace of God?"

Bravely she replied: "If I am not, God bring me to it! If I am, God keep me in it! I should be of all women most miserable if I knew myself to be out of the love and favor of God."

She appeared so noble and righteous to the people that they had great pity for the helpless girl who wrung tears from their eyes, and the Bishop of Beauvais decided to conduct a private trial in a dark dungeon, with no sympathizing public present.


[Illustration]

Bishop Cauchon visited Joan in prison.

The weary questions continued and poor Joan, accustomed to the sunshine and flowers, the clear air and freedom, now pined away in her dungeon prison. She became ill and weak in body but her spirit remained strong.

"If I must be put to death," she said, "I beg of you, my lords of the Church, that you will have the charity to allow me a woman's long dress, and a cap for my head."

"Why do you ask for a woman's dress if you wear man's clothes by command of God?" asked a judge.

Pitifully the worn and weakened little Maid replied, "It is enough that it should be long."

The helpless maiden, mindful of her modesty even in this terrible moment when she knew that death was near, must surely have wrung a little pity from the hardened hearts of her judges.

 

----- Seasonal Story -----



Clement Clarke Moore

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Dasher!  now, Dancer!  now, Prancer  and Vixen!

On, Comet!  on, Cupid!  on, Donder  and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down on a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."


 


  WEEK 51  

  Friday  
 

----- Seasonal Story -----

----- Seasonal Poem -----


  WEEK 51  

  Saturday  

----- Seasonal Story -----

----- Seasonal Story -----



Clement Clarke Moore

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Dasher!  now, Dancer!  now, Prancer  and Vixen!

On, Comet!  on, Cupid!  on, Donder  and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down on a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."


 


  WEEK 51  

  Sunday  

----- Seasonal Story -----

----- Seasonal Story -----



Anonymous

As Joseph Was A-Walking

As Joseph was a-walking,

He heard an angel sing,

"This Night shall be the birth-time

Of Christ, the Heavenly King.


He neither shall be born

In house nor in hall,

Nor in a place of paradise,

But in an ox's stall.


He shall not be clothèd

In purple nor in pall;

But in the fair white linen,

That usen babies all.


He neither shall be rockèd

In silver nor in gold,

But in a wooden manger

That resteth on the mold."


As Joseph was a-walking

There did an angel sing,

And Mary's child at midnight

Was born to be our King.


Then be ye glad, good people,

This night of all the year,

And light ye up your candles,

For His star it shineth clear.