Lathom House is an old English castle. When the war broke out (=scoppiò) between King Charles and his people, the Earl of Derby, who was the master of this castle, went away to fight for his King. He left the countess at home with her children and a small band of men to guard (protect = proteggere) her and her castle. One day an army of the people’s soldiers came to the castle, and the leader of the army sent word (= mandò a dire ) to the countess that she must give up (= arrendere) the castle at once.
But the countess was a brave woman. She replied that she would rather set fire (= avrebbe piuttosto dato fuoco) to the castle, and die with her children in the flames, than give it up to the king’s enemies.
Then began a fight which lasted (= durò) many weeks. The large army outside the walls did her best o break a way in , but the small company inside defended the castle bravely. At last the leader of the besiegers (= assediatori) brought a strong new gun, and it was soon seen that this would break down the walls. Then one night the Countess sent out a party of brave men, who seized (= presero) the new gun and brought it into the castle, and so the worst danger was over (= finito). Soon afterwards (= subito dopo)
, one of the King’s generals, came with an army to help the Countess, and Lathom House was saved. Prince Rupert
The prince drove away the soldiers of the people, and took from them 22 banners (= insegne), which he sent as a present to the countess, to show how much he admired her bravery.