IF you will subtract seven hundred and fifty-nine from eighteen hundred and eighty-three, you will find out what year Robert's father was born. The father is known in history as William I., because he was the first king of that name, and also as William the Conqueror, because he came over from Normandy and defeated the Saxons in battle, after which he was crowned King of England in the year 1066. Well, this King William had three sons, and Robert, being the oldest, expected to be king when his father died, according to the English law. Robert, too, was born in Normandy, and was a brave, generous boy, but with a dreadfully hot temper, which on the least cause would make him act furious with anger; and it was this passionate, bad spirit, which lost him his kingdom.

Once, when he was with his two brothers in the castle courtyard, they threw a can of water over him, drenching and spoiling his fine clothes.  And what did he do but snatch up a sword, and pursue them to kill them.  It was of course very unkind of them, but he was worse; for he was nearly a man and the oldest, and he would have killed one or both maybe; but the servants hurried to the king, who, in his turn, hastened to the courtyard and put an end to the quarrel.  He scolded Robert very severely, who seemed blind to everything but the thought of the insult they had given him; so he ran away in the night, and tried to make the people rise up against his father.  A few young men joined him, and they wandered about the country, doing every kind of mischief and robbing travelers, until something happened which made him stop short for a while, and think.

In those days, all princes and gentlemen were careful never to go out without being cased in armor from their head to their toes, like lobsters in their shells.  Helmets covered their head, and when the vizors were over their face, no one could tell friend from foe; consequently, when the prince and his attendants one day met the king and his followers, they did not know each other, but began to fight just because they met, apparently; and it was not long before the prince unhorsed his father, to find he was just about "to stab him, when he called out, "I am the king." Just picture what those four words meant to Prince Robert!  He had nearly killed his own father!

From an angry spirit he changed right about, clung to his father, begged he would forgive him, vowing he would be a good man, and kissing him, placed him on his own horse.  The king could not help forgiving his son, but when-he died, left his kingdom to his second son instead of Robert, because he judged him unfit to govern a whole kingdom when he could not govern himself.  So both William and Henry were kings in their turn, but Robert never, although he tried every way to succeed. They finally shut him in prison, and he lived there twenty-eight years, and died there.

If he could only have controlled his temper, Robert would have been as good a king as his brothers; but, as it was, he allowed his temper to rule him, and to he lost the king's place, and was ever after known only as Robert, Duke of Normandy.

The Bible, so we think, is right when it says, "Greater is he that controlleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."