|Directions: Your teacher may ask
you to write your own version of this story, in class, in as much detail
as you can, without looking at the text. You should therefore read the
story more than once. You can make a list of the names of people and places.
You can use that list when you write your version of the story.
When the Emperor Albert ruled over Germany, he wished to govern the people
of Switzerland in such a way that their independent spirit would be broken.
To bring about this end he appointed a governor, who treated the Swiss
unjustly and cruelly.
The name of this man was Gessler,
and in order to test the people’s obedience, he placed his hat upon a pole
in the market square of one of the principal towns, and commanded that
all who passed it should bow down before it in token of respect. A certain
brave Swiss, named William Tell, having refused to obey such an absurd
order, was at once arrested and taken before Gessler. The tyrant, who knew
him to be a clever archer, said that his life would be spared only on the
condition that he should with an arrow hit an apple placed upon the head
of his only son. Tell’s eye was true, so he consented to the horrible proposal.
An apple having been placed
upon the head of his little son, he took his bow and quiver, and prepared
to take aim. A moment later the apple, split in two halves, fell to the
Gessler, who was enraged at
Tell’s success, noticed that he carried another arrow under his cloak.
“What have you a second arrow
for?” he demanded.
“If I had killed my boy,” replied
the bold Swiss, “the second arrow was for you.”
The angry governor had him thrown
into prison, but Tell escaped, and revenged himself by killing the tyrant.