Did you ever hear of King Charles the Twelfth, of Sweden? He lived two
hundred years ago, and was famous for his courage in defending his
One day he was in the midst of a great battle. The small house in which
he had taken shelter was almost between the two armies.
He called to one of his officers and bade him sit down and write a
short order for him.
The officer began to write, but just as he finished the first word,
a bomb came through the roof of the house and struck the floor close
by him. He dropped the pen and sprang to his feet. He was pale with
fear. "What is the matter?" asked the king.
"Oh, sir," he answered, "the bomb! the bomb!"
"Yes, I see," said the king. "But what has the bomb to do with what
I wish you to write? Sit down, and take your pen. When your country
is in danger, you should forget your own safety."