Gateway to the Classics: The Adventures of Akbar by Flora Annie Steel
The Adventures of Akbar by  Flora Annie Steel

Front Matter

[Book Cover]


[Series Page]


On a shelving bank of dry sand Baby Akbar sitting up and rubbing his eyes.

[Title Page]

A Dedication

Oft when the house lay silent in the heat

My thoughts would be so full of you, my sweet,

That dreaming half—I seemed to hear once more

Your little fingers fluttering at the door,

The pitter patter of your childish feet

In joyous rhythm cross the echoing floor.

Then small, soft hands would nestle into mine,

And warm soft arms around my neck would twine,

As soft and warm the dream child on my knees,

Cuddling so close in clear young voice would tease

And tease and tease in mimicked glad young whine

For "Just one little story if you please."

So half in jest and half in earnest, too,

Mostly I think to dream my dreaming true,

I'd conjure up long tales of lands afar

And days gone by that yet remembered are;

Shaping my stories with this end in view

To gain the verdict "Tell some more, Mamma."

For I was happy when I had beguiled

Into my life the spirit of a child.

Thus one by one the weary hours flew

And page by page a little volume grew,

So—that my dreams with truth be reconciled,

Take it, my darling, it was writ for you.

April, 1875

Long years have sped since that poor book was penned.

None read the pages. Therefore at the end

Of this world's life I dedicate to two

Small boys—her sons—whose question'ng eyes of blue

Tell me that dreams of childhood never end

This  book. So take it boys—'twas writ for you.



This book is written for all little lads and lasses, but especially for the former, since it is the true—quite  true—story of a little lad who lived to be, perhaps, the greatest king this world has ever seen.

It is a strange, wild tale this of the adventures of Prince Akbar among the snowy mountains between Kandahār and Kābul, and though the names may be a bit of a puzzle at first, as they will have to be learned by and bye in geography and history lessons, it might be as well to get familiar with them in a story-book; though, indeed, as everybody in it except Roy the Rājput, Meroo the cook boy; Tumbu, the dog; and Down, the cat (and these four may  have been true, you know, though they have not been remembered) really lived, I don't know whether this book oughtn't to be considered real history, and therefore

A lesson book

Anyhow, I hope you won't find it dull.

[Contents, Page 1 of 2]

[Contents, Page 2 of 2]


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