This children's biography of William Tell treats the historical as well as the legendary aspects of the Great Swiss hero. It describes the oppressions of the forest Cantons at the hands of their imperial overlords and how the Swiss fought to gain their independence. The Story of William Tell is told in the context of the great patriot's heroic resistance to Gessler, the brutal governor of Albrecht, Duke of Austria.
"You desire a Governor," growled Albrecht
About This Book
The stories in this book are stories of brave men and women who lived many hundreds of years ago. They lived in a country which is far from ours and spoke a language very different from ours. But they struggled with tyrants as we and all people who love their freedom and their country have had to do, and we can read their story and be glad and sorry with them, just as if they were our own people and spoke our own language. For whether the story is of Arthur against the Saxons, of Alfred against the Danes, or Wallace and Bruce against the English, or of Tell and his friends against the Austrians, it is all the same, we love the men who fought for their freedom and their Fatherland. And it is very interesting to know that at the time when Bruce and Wallace were fighting for Scottish freedom, Tell and his friends were fighting for Swiss freedom, and that the battle of Morgarten the great battle of Swiss independence, which you will read about in this book, happened little more than one year after the battle of Bannockburn, which was the great battle of Scottish independence. It seems wonderful that these two mountain peoples should at the same time have been fighting for freedom against two powerful and strong nations, and not only fighting for it, but winning it.
Yet some people say that William Tell never lived. Let them visit the Rütli, Tell's Platte, the Hollow Way, and let them ask themselves whether Tell lives in the hearts of his countrymen or not. At any rate I hope that these brave Swiss people will always have a place in your hearts, and I hope that you will remember that the women were brave like the men, and that they, too, helped to save their country.
|H. E. Marshall|