Text of Plan #981
  WEEK 52  

  Monday  
 

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  WEEK 52  

  Tuesday  


Our Island Story  by H. E. Marshall

The Story of How Prince Hal Was Sent to Prison

P RINCE HAL was clever and brave, but he was so wild and fond of fun that he was called "Madcap Hal." He spent a great deal of time with gay companions and often got into mischief.

One day a servant of Prince Hal, having done something wicked, was taken before the Lord Chief-Justice Gascoigne to be tried and punished. When Prince Hal heard about it he was very angry, and went at once to the court-house. He strode up to where his servant was standing, and turning to the officer beside him, "Take off these fetters," he said. "Let my man go free. How dare you arrest my servant?"

"My lord Prince," said Judge Gascoigne calmly, "your servant has broken the law, and must be punished by the law. If you wish to save him, you must go to the King, your father, and beg mercy from him. He can grant it if he thinks fit. Now, I pray you leave the court, and allow me to deal as I think just with the prisoner."

Prince Hal was very angry at being spoken to like this. He was so angry that he hardly knew what he was doing, and, springing forward, he struck the judge in the face.

The people in the court were dumb with astonishment and fear. What would happen next no one knew. The Prince was in such a passion that they were afraid he might kill the judge.

But Judge Gascoigne sat quite still and unmoved. "Sir," he said sternly to the Prince, "remember that I am here in place of the King, your lord and father. In his name I charge you to give up your sword. For your contempt and disobedience I send you to prison. There you shall remain until the will of the King, your father, shall be known."


Illustration

"For your contempt and disobedience I send you to prison," said Judge Gascoigne.

At these calm, grave words, the Prince was ashamed. All his anger vanished and, taking off his sword, he bowed humbly to the judge, and went quietly to prison.

As soon as the Prince had gone, some of his servants ran to tell the King what had happened. They expected him to be very angry with the judge. But, after hearing the story, the King sat silent for a few minutes. Then he said, "I thank God that He has given me a judge who does not fear to do justice, and a son who can obey the law."

Towards the end of his troubled reign, Henry IV. was often ill, and although very unwilling to do so, he was obliged to allow Prince Hal to help in ruling the kingdom. Once, while the King was ill, Prince Hal came into his room, and finding him lying very still and quiet thought that he was dead. The crown was beside the King's bed and the Prince lifted it, put it on his own head, and went away.

But the King was not dead, and when he awoke and found that the crown was gone, he was greatly alarmed. He called to his nobles, who were in a room near, "Why have you left me alone? Some one has stolen the crown."

The nobles came running to the King. "The Prince was with you, my lord, while you slept," they said; "he must have taken the crown."

"The Prince took it?" said the King. "Go, bring him here."

When he was told that the King was not dead, Prince Hal returned at once. With tears in his eyes he knelt beside his father's bed. "I never thought to hear you speak again," he said.

And the King replied sadly:—

Thy wish was father, Henry, to that thought:

I stay too long by thee, I weary thee;

Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair,

That thou wilt needs invest thee with mine honours

Before thy hour is ripe? O foolish youth!

Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.

"Oh, pardon me, my liege," said Prince Hal, weeping; and the King pardoned and blessed him before he died.

How I came by the crown, O God, forgive,

And grant it may with thee in true peace live.

 

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Sara Teasdale

Christmas Carol

The Kings they came from out the South,

All dressed in ermine fine;

They bore Him gold and chrysophrase,

And gifts of precious wine.


The Shepherds came from out the North,

Their coats were brown and old:

They brought Him little new-born lambs—

They had not any gold.


The Wise Men came from out the East,

And they were wrapped in white:

The star that led them all the way

Did glorify the night.


The Angels came from heaven high,

And they were clad with wings:

And lo they brought a joyful song

The host of heaven sings.


The Kings they knocked upon the door,

The Wise Men entered in,

The Shepherds followed after them

To hear the song begin.


The Angels sang through all the night

Until the rising sun,

But little Jesus fell asleep

Before the song was done.

 


  WEEK 52  

  Wednesday  

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  WEEK 52  

  Thursday  


The Beautiful Story of Joan of Arc  by Viola Ruth Lowe

The Martyr Maid of France

T HE MAID waited in her cell for one long terrible week of uncertainty and finally in the chapel of the castle where she remained a prisoner, the good Maid of Domremy was declared by the learned men of the Church to be a heretic, and was condemned to be burned at the stake.

If she had been willing to deny that her Voices were sent by God and that the Saints had never appeared to her, the Maid might have been given her liberty, but she refused to stoop to such base lies.

"If I saw the fire lit and the faggots blazing, if I were in flames, I would say no other thing." This was Joan's decisive and proud reply.

Early one morning she was taken from prison and driven through the streets in a cart, while the crowds jostled her and jeered as she passed.

A cold chill ran through the weakened frame of the young girl as she reached the end of her journey. There, in the market-place was erected a high scaffold with a stake upon it, and faggots waiting to be kindled into flame.

There sat all the judges looking severely at Joan, while one of them preached a long sermon to her. As he spoke words of reproach Joan barely listened, for her thoughts were far away. But suddenly he raised his voice and began to abuse her King, crying out: "It is to you, Joan, I speak, and I tell you your King is a heretic!"

Loyal Joan would not hear her King insulted and said in a firm voice: "Speak of me as you like, but let the King be! By my faith I swear to you under penalty of my life that my King is the most noble Christian of all Christians."

Yet this noble King, who owed his kingdom to the Maid, left her to suffer terrible tortures, and made no attempt to save her.

There she stood upon the solemn scaffold, amidst the pomp of the judges and the noise of the crowd. Again they asked her to renounce her Visions and to sign a paper expressing her submission to their will. The stake loomed before her, and the girl, weak after months of suffering, and fearing the blaze of the fire, said she would submit.

They handed her a long paper to sign.

"Let the Church see it, and if they advise me to sign it, I will obey!"

But they were impatient and cried out, "Sign it at once or be burnt!" And hastily, in fear of her life, she made a cross upon the sheet of paper.


[Illustration]

Joan signed the statement denying the Voices and Visions.

Immediately repenting what she had done, the Maid was led back to prison. When the judges visited her a few days later, she told them that she still believed in her Voices, and rejected the paper she had signed, for she knew it was wrong of her to sign the false statements contained in it.

Then they decided that Joan must die, and on the morning of May 30, 1431, she was led forth. One of her judges, L'Oiseleur, was sorry because of the harsh sentence, and climbed into her cart to beg her forgiveness.


[Illustration]

L'Oiseleur followed the cart to ask Joan's forgiveness.

She wept pitifully, crying out: "Alas, that my body whole and entire, which has always been kept in purity, should today be consumed and burned to ashes! I appeal to God, the great Judge, for the evils and great wrongs done to me."

They soon reached the market-place and as the Maid mounted the scaffold, she turned to Cauchon and cried, "Bishop, I die through you!"

Then the Maid knelt and prayed, and all who looked upon her wept, while the Bishop of Beauvais read aloud the sentence condemning her to the flames.

Finally the brutal English soldiers who stood about cried out impatiently, "Priests, do you want to make us dine here?"


[Illustration]

The Saviour of France was dragged to the stake.

So Joan was bound to the stake. She asked for a cross, and an English soldier made one for her of two bits of wood which he nailed together to form a rude cross. She embraced it, holding it close to her heart, while the bystanders were overcome with remorse.

Then the faggots were set ablaze and the flames mounted around the Maid, illuminating her sweet upturned face with a glory more radiant than the light of the sun. Thus she passed to Paradise.

As the fire dimmed, they found her pure heart untouched by the flames, and the English cried as they fled from the place, "We are lost! We have burned a Saint!"


[Illustration]

And the English said, "We are lost! We have burned a Saint!"

True indeed were these prophetic words, for on the 16th of May, 1920, the peasant Maid of France, having at last won recognition from the Church which she loved so dearly, was canonized a Saint to be held in honor and reverence by all.

 

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  WEEK 52  

  Friday  
 

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  WEEK 52  

  Saturday  

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Phillips Brooks

O Little Town of Bethlehem!

O little town of Bethlehem!

How still we see thee lie,

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,

The silent stars go by;

Yet in thy dark street shineth

The everlasting Light;

The hopes and fears of all the years,

Are met in thee to-night.


For Christ is born of Mary,

And gathered all above,

While mortals sleep the angels keep

Their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars together

Proclaim the holy birth!

And praises sing to God the King,

And peace to men on earth.


How silently, how silently,

The wondrous gift is given;

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of His heaven.

No ear may hear His coming,

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive Him still,

The dear Christ enters in.


O holy Child of Bethlehem!

Descend to us, we pray,

Cast out our sin and enter in,

Be born in us to-day.

We hear the Christmas angels,

The great glad tidings tell,

O, come to us, abide with us,

Our Lord Immanuel!

 


  WEEK 52  

  Sunday  

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

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



Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.


Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.


Ring out the grief that saps the mind,

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.


Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.


Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,

But ring the fuller minstrel in.


Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.


Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.


Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.