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through brass and hide and bone, before the trusty ash broke in his hand and he drew Durendal from its sheath. The Twelve did wondrously; nay, every man of the twenty thousand fought with lionlike courage; and no 5 man counted his life dear to him. Archbishop Turpin, resting for a moment to get fresh breath, cried out, "Thank God to see the rear guard fight to-day!" and then spurred in again among them. Roland saw Oliver still fighting with the butt of his spear and said, "Com10 rade, draw thy sword;" but he answered: "Not while a handful of the stump remains. Weapons are precious to-day."
For hours they fought, and not a Frank gave way. Wheresoever a man planted his foot, he kept the ground 15 or died. The guard hewed down the pagans by crowds, till the earth was heaped with full two hundred thousand heathen dead. Of those kings who had banded together by oath to fight him, Roland gave good account, for he laid them all dead about him in a ring, and Durendal to 20 its hilt dripped with blood. But many thousands of the Franks were slain, and of the Twelve there now remained but two.
Marsilius looked upon his shattered host and saw them fall back in panic, for they were dismayed because of the 25 Franks. But Marsilius heard the sound of trumpets from the mountain top, and a glad man was he, for twenty strong battalions of Mohammedans were come to his help,
and these poured down the valley side. Seeing this, the rest of the pagans took heart again, and they pressed about the remnant of the guard, and shut them in on every hand. Nevertheless Roland and his fast-lessening band were not dismayed. So marvelously they fought, 5 so many thousand pagans they hurled down, making grim jests the while as though they played at war for sport, that their enemies were in mortal fear and doubted greatly if numbers would suffice to overwhelm these men, for it seemed as if God's angels were come down to the battle. 10 But the brave rear guard dwindled away, and Roland scarce dared turn his eyes to see the handful that remained. Dead were the Twelve, with all the flower of the guard.
Then Roland spake to Oliver, "Comrade, I will sound 15 my horn; perhaps Charles may hear and come to us." But Oliver was angry, and answered: "It is now too late. Hadst thou but heeded me in time, much weeping might have been spared the women of France, Charles would not have lost his guard, nor France her valiant Roland." 20 "Talk not of what might have been," said Archbishop Turpin, "but blow thy horn. Charles cannot come in time to save our lives, but he will certainly come and avenge them."
Then Roland put the horn to his mouth, and blew a 25 great blast. Far up the valley went the sound and smote against the mountain tops; these echoed it on from ridge
to ridge for thirty leagues. Charles heard it in his hall and said: "Listen! what is that? Surely our men do fight to-day." But Ganelon answered the king: "What folly is this! It is only the sighing of the wind among 5 the trees."
Weary with battle, Roland took the horn again, and blew it with all his strength. So long and mighty was the blast, the veins stood out upon his forehead in great cords. Charles heard it in his palace and cried: “Hark! 10 I hear Roland's horn. He is in battle or he would not sound it." Ganelon answered: "Too proud is he to sound it in battle. My lord the king groweth old and childish in his fears. What if it be Roland's horn? He hunteth perchance in the woods. Forsooth, a merry jest it would 15 be for him were the king to make ready for war and gather his thousands, and find Roland at his sport, hunting a little hare."
The blood ran fast down Roland's face, and in sore pain and heaviness he lifted the horn to his mouth and 20 feebly blew it again. Charles heard it in his palace and started from his seat; the salt tears gathered in his eyes and dropped upon his snowy beard; and he said: "O Roland, my brave captain, too long have I delayed! Thou art in evil need. I know it by the wailing of the 25 horn! Quick, now, to arms! Make ready, every man! For straightway we will go and help him." Then he thrust Ganelon away, and said to his servants, "Take this
man, and bind him fast with chains; keep him under guard till I return in peace and know if he has wrought us treason." So they bound Ganelon and flung him into a dungeon and Charles the Great and his host set out with all speed to come to Roland.
-G. W. Cox: Popular Romances of the Middle Ages.
Sentence Study. -Below are several sentences selected from the story of Roland. Copy them in groups, arranging all the declarative sentences in one group, the interrogative in another, the exclamatory in a third, the imperative in a fourth. Be careful to punctuate properly.
1. What shall we do to save our lands? 2. Send envoys to him. 3. God save the king! 4. Trust him not. 5. What has Marsilius promised? 6. We will make ready for battle. 7. Marvelous and fierce was the battle. 8. Thank God to see the rear guard fight to-day! 9. Weapons are precious to-day. 10. It is only the sighing of the wind among the trees. 11. Talk not of what might have been, but blow thy horn. 12. What folly is this! 13. Dear comrade, I fear that thou art grievously wounded. 14. A heavyhearted man was Roland. 15. What shall we now do? 16. Comrade, draw thy sword. 17. Listen, what is that? 18. Quick, now, to arms! 19. What if it be Roland's horn? 20. The tears gathered in his eyes.
Word Study: Synonyms. - grief, tempest, ignorant, strong, busy, heroic, separate, easy.
1. Find a synonym for each of these words. 2. Write sentences in which you may equally well use either the printed word or your synonym.
Let each child in the class write a letter to one of his classmates, thanking him for a book or for some other gift; or inviting him informally to go to some entertainment: or inviting
him formally to a New Year's party; or writing simply a friendly letter, giving interesting information about himself and his family.
Inclose these letters in envelopes, address them properly, and deliver them. After they have been answered, both the original letters and their replies may be read aloud. Notice which is the best of each kind, and tell why you think so.
ROLAND AND HIS HORN (Concluded)
FIERCE with the cruel throbbing of his wounds, and well-nigh blinded with the blood that trickled down his face, Roland fought on, and with his good sword Durendal slew the pagan prince, Faldrun, and three and twenty 5 mighty champions. The little company that was left of the brave rear guard cut down great masses of the pagans, and reaped among them as the reapers reap at harvest time, but one by one the reapers fell ere yet the harvest could be gathered in. Yet where each Frank lay, beside 10 him there lay his pile of slain, so any man might see how dear he had sold his life. But a pagan king espied where Oliver was fighting seven abreast, and spurred his horse and rode and smote him through the back a mortal wound. Yet even when the pains of death took hold on Oliver, so 15 that his eyes grew dim and he knew no man, he never ceased striking out on every side with his sword; and then Roland hastened to his help, and, cutting the pagans down for a wide space about, came to his horse. But Oliver