Writing Homework Eleven Student Two

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Alexa W

Alfred: A King of Great Virtue [GOOD TITLE]

The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton is an account of an English king’s battle against the Danish people. King Alfred wanted to save his little English island of Atheleny from the threats of the pagan Danes. Throughout the story he became a just and wise ruler. He governed his people with inequity [WRONG WORD - PERHAPS THE OPPOSITE, "EQUITY"], justice, peace and love. He was humble and sought help from the Heavenly throne. Thus through his faith, his wisdom and his humility, King Alfred ruled over and saved the people of Atheleny.

Throughout all of his struggles as king, Alfred learned the need to possess great faith. During the story [UNNECESSARY - "DURING THE STORY" - IT'S IMPLIED AND DOES NOT NEED TO BE STATED], Alfred went to the Blessed Mother Mary and asked her to intercede for him and his people. He went to her time and time again because he knew that she could help him to overcome the great evil which he was facing. After Mary had helped King Alfred to win the battle of Ethandune, there was peace for many years. Alfred became known and loved for his character. When noblemen from his court suggested that he form an attack on the remaining armies of Danes, King Alfred disagreed.["DISAGREED" IS A POOR WORD TO DESCRIBE THE VIEW OF THE KING, WHOSE DECISIONS ARE NOT BASED ON CONSENSUS OR MAJORITY VOTE - PERHAPS "KING ALFRED REJECTED THAT SUGGESTION"]1 He knew that Jesus, along with His Blessed Mother, would take care of the English people. Alfred exhibited great faith in the protection of himself and his people. He believed that God would keep him safe and would take care of everyone if they just believed.
After the great battle of Ethandune, the people of Atheleny learned how wise King Alfred really was. Many people [REPETITIVE USE OF "PEOPLE" - FOR EXAMPLE, PERHAPS "COUNTRYMEN"] came from far and near to see him and to seek his advice and knowledge.(pg. 155) He was very just in the way in which he dealt with crimes and wrongdoings. He, “Gat good laws of the ancient kings, like treasures out of tombs.” (pg.155) He knew and obeyed the laws so well that, “Many a thief in thorny nook, or noble in sea-stained turret shook, for the opening of his iron book.” (pg.155) He understood that the power which he exercised over his people was given to him by God and that he should practice it well. King Alfred was loved by all due to his just conduct. His subjects greatly reverenced him for they knew he was wise. [SUPERB PARAGRAPH]
By far the greatest way in which King Alfred ruled his kingdom was in his exhibition of virtues. The greatest quality he contained [WRONG WORD - "CONTAINED". THIS WOULD BE BETTER: "QUALITY HE POSSESSED"] was that of humility. He knew that he was not in control of his life. He did not become caught up in the false assumption that just because he was king he could do whatever he wanted to do. He loved his people and he put their needs above his own. When his closest advisers suggested to him that they lead an attack on the Danes and drive them out for good, King Alfred said, “When all philosophies shall fail, this word alone shall fit; that a sage feels too small for life, and a fool too large for it.” (pg.158) He was saying that there was no real need to drive out all of the Danes. There was no real need to expand and conquer. If the English people were happy and safe in their land, then why displace the Danes if the only motive was to gain more land[NEED QUESTION MARK TO END THIS SENTENCE]. King Alfred knew his limits as a ruler. He said that the little island of Athelney was even itself too large. (pg. 158)King Alfred understood the importance of being humble and how it related to the way in which he should govern his people.

Thus the Kingdom of Athelney was indeed ruled by a man who posed faith, wisdom and humility. King Alfred portrayed to all the correct way in which a king was to rule his people. He exhibited faith by believing in God and the help in which God could give to Alfred. He showed wisdom by his adherence to the law. He portrayed humility by knowing that he should not take on more than he could handle. Therefore King Alfred was a great ruler who loved his people deeply. He possessed character traits which are important for everyone to have. By being faithful, wise and humble, one can attain greatness in this world and in the next. [TERRIFIC CONCLUDING SENTENCE!]

1. G. K. Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2001), p.158-159 All subsequent references will be noted in the text.

Good, clear short essay. Comments for improvement are noted above. Substance: 9.7/10. Technical: 9.5/10.--Andy Schlafly 20:38, 9 May 2012 (EDT)