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King Robert of Sicily.
From A Childs Story Garden.
Start of Story
When the emperor saw the strange king he went to him and embraced him
and called him "brother." At this, King Robert rushed forward and cried
out: "I am the king, thy brother. This man is an impostor. Do you not
know me? I am the king." But the emperor only looked at him strangely,
and, turning to the strange king, he said: "Why do you keep this madman
at your court?" The new king only smiled, and made no answer.
The visit ended, and again the splendid train passed back to Sicily, and
King Robert still rode behind. His heart was very sad, because he
thought: "If my own brother knows me not, what hope can there be?"
When the new king came back to Sicily he changed many of the cruel laws,
and the whole land was made glad and happy, as it had never been before.
King Robert noticed the change and wondered at it.
It was Easter-time again, and King Robert said in his heart, "I will go
to church again this morning." Behind all the procession he rode, as
usual, and took his seat in the back of the church, so that no one might
see him. Everything was beautiful at this Easter-time. The church, the
flowers, the music, all bore the Easter message.
When the music began it
crept into King Robert's heart, and as he listened the tears rolled down
his cheek, and he bowed his head in prayer. The first words that he
heard were the old, familiar ones: "The Lord can exalt the humble and
bring down the proud and mighty from their seats." As poor King Robert
listened he humbly bowed his head and said: "Ah, surely that is true;
the Lord in heaven is mightiest of all. He is the king."
When the king and his court had reached home again that day, the new
king called King Robert immediately to his throne room, and upon his
face there seemed to be a glorious light shining forth, and, looking at
King Robert with a wondrous smile, he asked the old, old question: "Art
thou the king?" But King Robert only bowed his head and said: "I know
not who I am. I only know that I am the most humble and most unworthy of
all men to be the king." To these words the new king replied: "Thou art
indeed the king, and I--I am an angel sent from Heaven to help thee for
a little while."
When King Robert raised his head, behold! he was alone. The angel had
gone. He again had on his own robes, his own crown, and was bearing his
That day, when the courtiers came to wait upon the king, they found him
kneeling beside his throne in prayer.