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Title: Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History
Author: Horne, Charles F. (Charles Francis), 1870-1942 [Editor]
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History" ***

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[Transcriber's note: ^ is used to mark superscript.]



[Illustration: Columbus before Isabella.]



GREAT MEN AND FAMOUS WOMEN


_A Series of Pen and Pencil Sketches of_

THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 200 OF THE MOST PROMINENT PERSONAGES IN HISTORY


VOL. V.



Copyright, 1894, BY SELMAR HESS

edited by Charles F. Horne

[Illustration: Publisher's arm.]

New-York: Selmar Hess Publisher


Copyright, 1894, by SELMAR HESS.



CONTENTS OF VOLUME V.


  SUBJECT                         AUTHOR                          PAGE

  ÆNEAS,                      _Charlotte M. Yonge_,                 12
  ETHAN ALLEN,                _Gertrude Van Rensselaer Wickham_,   200
  KING ARTHUR,                _Rev. S. Baring-Gould_,               36
  THE CHEVALIER BAYARD,       _Herbert Greenhough Smith_,          145
  ST. BERNARD,                _Henry G. Hewlett_,                   60
  ROBERT BRUCE,               _Sir J. Bernard Burke, LL.D._,       105
  WILLIAM CAXTON,                                                  129
  THE CID,                    _Henry G. Hewlett_,                   56
  CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS,       _A. R. Spofford, LL.D._,             131
  CAPTAIN JAMES COOK,         _Oliver Optic_,                      188
  ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI,      _George Parsons Lathrop, LL.D._,      78
  FREDERICK BARBAROSSA,       _Lady Lamb_,                          65
  VASCO DA GAMA,              _Judge Albion W. Tourgée_,           139
  THE GRACCHI,                _James Anthony Froude, LL.D._,        20
  GUSTAVUS VASA,              _Charles F. Horne_,                  153
  HAROLD, KING OF ENGLAND,                                          54
  WILLIAM HARVEY,                                                  172
  HERCULES,                   _Charlotte M. Yonge_,                  1
  JOHN HOWARD,                _Harriet G. Walker_,                 194
  JOAN OF ARC,                _Ella Wheeler Wilcox_,               113
  LEIF ERICSON,               _Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen_,             49
  ST. LOUIS,                  _Henry G. Hewlett_,                   86
  MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS,       _Samuel L. Knapp_,                   159
  MARCO POLO,                 _Noah Brooks_,                        92
  RICHARD COEUR DE LION,                                            71
  ROLAND,                                                           39
  ROLLO THE GANGER,           _Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen_,             44
  SIEGFRIED,                  _Karl Blind_,                         31
  CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH,         _Marion Harland_,                    166
  PRINCE CHARLES STUART,      _Andrew Lang, LL.D._,                177
  THESEUS,                                                           5
  ULYSSES,                    _Charles F. Horne_,                    7
  SIR WILLIAM WALLACE,                                             100
  ARNOLD VON WINKELRIED,                                           111
  XENOPHON,                   _Professor J. Pentland Mahaffy_,      15
  ZENOBIA, QUEEN OF PALMYRA,  _Anna Jameson_,                       26



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

VOLUME V.


PHOTOGRAVURES

  ILLUSTRATION                           ARTIST              TO FACE PAGE

  COLUMBUS BEFORE ISABELLA,              _Vacslav Brozik_   _Frontispiece_
  ULYSSES DEFYING THE CYCLOPS,           _Louis-Frederic
                                           Schutzenberger_          10
  THE MOTHER OF THE GRACCHI,             _Gustave Boulanger_        20
  LEIF ERICSON OFF THE COAST OF
    VINELAND,                            _O. A. Wergeland_          52
  THE VISION OF ST. BERNARD,             _Wilhelm Bernatzik_        62
  THE DEATH OF BARBAROSSA,               _Wilhelm Beckmann_         70
  LOUIS IX. OPENS THE JAILS OF FRANCE,   _Luc Olivier Merson_       90
  ARNOLD WINKELRIED AT SEMPACH,          _Konrad Grob_             112
   JOAN OF ARC,                          _Mme. Zoe-Laure de
                                           Chatillon_              118
  MARY STUART AND RIZZIO,                _Georg Conrader_          162



WOOD-ENGRAVINGS AND TYPOGRAVURES


  HERCULES AT THE FEET OF OMPHALE,       _J. E. Dantan_              4
  TRIBUTE TO THE MINOTAUR,               _A. Gendron_                6
  ZENOBIA CAPTIVE,                       _H. Schmalz_               26
  SIEGFRIED SLAYING THE DRAGON,          _K. Dielitz_               32
  THE RUINS OF KING ARTHUR'S CASTLE,     _Percy Dixon_              38
  ROLAND AT RONCESVALLES,                _Alphonse de Neuville_     42
  ROLLO THE RANGER ATTACKS PARIS,        _Alphonse de Neuville_     46
  EDITH SEARCHING FOR THE BODY OF
    HAROLD,                              _Alphonse de Neuville_     56
  THE CID ORDERING THE EXECUTION OF
    AHMED,                               _Alphonse de Neuville_     58
  RICHARD COEUR DE LION ON THE FIELD
    OF ARSUR,                            _Gustave Doré_             74
  THE VISION OF ST. FRANCIS,             _Chartran_                 84
  THE EDUCATION OF LOUIS IX.,            _Chartran_                 86
  GUTENBERG'S INVENTION,                 _E. Hillemacher_          126
  THE FIRST SHEET FROM CAXTON'S PRESS,   _E. H. Wehnert_           130
  COLUMBUS RIDICULED AT THE COUNCIL OF
    SALAMANCA,                           _Nicolo Barabino_         134
  BAYARD TAKING LEAVE OF THE LADIES OF
    BRESCIA,                             _Alphonse de Neuville_    150
  ABDICATION OF GUSTAVUS VASA,           _Hersent_                 156
  CAPTAIN SMITH SAVED BY POCAHONTAS,     _Grosch_                  168
  HARVEY DEMONSTRATING THE CIRCULATION
    OF THE BLOOD,                        _Robert Hannah_           176
  THE FIRST MEETING OF PRINCE CHARLES
    WITH FLORA MACDONALD,                _Alex. Johnstone_         184
  DEATH OF CAPTAIN COOK,                 _J. Webber_               192
  HOWARD RELIEVING A PRISONER,           _F. Wheatley_             198
  ETHAN ALLEN AT TICONDEROGA,            _Alonzo Chappel_          204



WORKMEN AND HEROES

  The heights by great men reached and kept
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
  But they, while their companions slept,
    Were toiling upward in the night.

  --LONGFELLOW.



HERCULES

By CHARLOTTE M. YONGE

[Illustration: Hercules.]


One morning Jupiter boasted among the gods in Olympus that a son would
that day be born, in the line of Perseus, who would rule over all the
Argives. Juno was angry and jealous at this, and, as she was the goddess
who presided over the births of children, she contrived to hinder the
birth of the child he intended till that day was over, and to hasten
that of another grandson of the great Perseus. This child was named
Eurystheus, and, as he had been born on the right day, Jupiter was
forced to let him be King of Argos, Sparta, and Mycenæ, and all the
Dorian race; while the boy whom he had meant to be the chief was kept in
subjection, in spite of having wonderful gifts of courage and strength,
and a kind, generous nature, that always was ready to help the weak and
sorrowful.

His name was Alcides, or Hercules, and he was so strong at ten months
old that, with his own hands, he strangled two serpents whom Juno sent
to devour him in his cradle. He was bred up by Chiron, the chief of the
Centaurs, a wondrous race of beings, who had horses' bodies as far as
the forelegs, but where the neck of the horse would begin had human
breasts and shoulders, with arms and heads. Most of them were fierce and
savage; but Chiron was very wise and good, and, as Jupiter made him
immortal, he was the teacher of many of the great Greek heroes. When
Hercules was about eighteen, two maidens appeared to him--one in a
simple white dress, grave, modest, and seemly; the other scarcely
clothed but tricked out in ornaments, with a flushed face, and bold,
roving eyes. The first told him that she was Virtue, and that, if he
would follow her, she would lead him through many hard trials, but that
he would be glorious at last, and be blest among the gods. The other was
Vice, and she tried to wile him by a smooth life among wine-cups and
dances and flowers and sports, all to be enjoyed at once. But the choice
of Hercules was Virtue, and it was well for him, for Jupiter, to make up
for Juno's cheat, had sworn that, if he fulfilled twelve tasks which
Eurystheus should put upon him, he should be declared worthy of being
raised to the gods at his death.

Eurystheus did not know that in giving these tasks he was making his
cousin fulfil his course; but he was afraid of such a mighty man, and
hoped that one of these would be the means of getting rid of him. So
when he saw Hercules at Argos, with a club made of a forest-tree in his
hand, and clad in the skin of a lion which he had slain, Eurystheus bade
him go and kill a far more terrible lion, of giant brood, and with a
skin that could not be pierced, which dwelt in the valley of Nemea. The
fight was a terrible one; the lion could not be wounded, and Hercules
was forced to grapple with it and strangle it in his arms. He lost a
finger in the struggle, but at last the beast died in his grasp, and he
carried it on his back to Argos, where Eurystheus was so much frightened
at the grim sight that he fled away to hide himself, and commanded
Hercules not to bring his monsters within the gates of the city.

There was a second labor ready for Hercules--namely, the destroying a
serpent with nine heads, called Hydra, whose lair was the marsh of
Lerna. Hercules went to the battle, and managed to crush one head with
his club, but that moment two sprang up in its place; moreover, a huge
crab came out of the swamp and began to pinch his heels. Still he did
not lose heart, but, calling his friend Iolaus, he bade him take a
firebrand and burn the necks as fast as he cut off the heads; and thus
at last they killed the creature, and Hercules dipped his arrows in its
poisonous blood, so that their least wound became fatal. Eurystheus said
that it had not been a fair victory, since Hercules had been helped, and
Juno put the crab into the skies as the constellation Cancer; while a
labor to patience was next devised for Hercules--namely, the chasing of
the Arcadian stag, which was sacred to Diana, and had golden horns and
brazen hoofs. Hercules hunted it up hill and down dale for a whole year,
and when at last he caught it, he got into trouble with Apollo and Diana
about it, and had hard work to appease them; but he did so at last; and
for his fourth labor was sent to catch alive a horrid wild boar on Mount
Erymanthus. He followed the beast through a deep swamp, caught it in a
net, and brought it to Mycenæ.

The fifth task was a curious one. Augeas, King of Elis, had immense
herds, and kept his stables and cowhouses in a frightful state of filth,
and Eurystheus, hoping either to disgust Hercules or kill him by the
unwholesomeness of the work, sent him to clean them. Hercules, without
telling Augeas it was his appointed task, offered to do it if he were
repaid the tenth of the herds, and received the promise on oath. Then he
dug a canal, and turned the water of two rivers into the stables, so as
effectually to cleanse them; but when Augeas heard it was his task, he
tried to cheat him of the payment, and on the other hand Eurystheus
said, as he had been rewarded, it could not count as one of his labors,
and ordered him off to clear the woods near Lake Stymphalis of some
horrible birds, with brazen beaks and claws, and ready-made arrows for
feathers, which ate human flesh. To get them to rise out of the forest
was his first difficulty, but Pallas lent him a brazen clapper, which
made them take to their wings; then he shot them with his poisoned
arrows, killed many, and drove the rest away.

King Minos, of Crete, had once vowed to sacrifice to the gods whatever
should appear from the sea. A beautiful white bull came, so fine that it
tempted him not to keep his word, and he was punished by the bull going
mad, and doing all sorts of damage in Crete; so that Eurystheus thought
it would serve as a labor for Hercules to bring the animal to Mycenæ. In
due time back came the hero, with the bull, quite subdued, upon his
shoulders; and, having shown it, he let it loose again to run about
Greece.

He had a harder task in getting the mares of the Thracian king,
Diomedes, which were fed on man's flesh. He overcame their grooms, and
drove the beasts away; but he was overtaken by Diomedes, and, while
fighting with him and his people, put the mares under the charge of a
friend; but when the battle was over, and Diomedes killed, he found that
they had eaten up their keeper. However, when he had fed them on the
dead body of their late master they grew mild and manageable, and he
brought them home.

The next expedition was against the Amazons, a nation of women warriors,
who lived somewhere on the banks of the Euxine, or Black Sea, kept their
husbands in subjection, and seldom brought up a son. The bravest of all
the Amazons was the queen, Hippolyta, to whom Mars had given a belt as a
reward for her valor. Eurystheus's daughter wanted this belt, and
Hercules was sent to fetch it. He was so hearty, honest, and
good-natured, that he talked over Hippolyta, and she promised him her
girdle; but Juno, to make mischief, took the form of an Amazon, and
persuaded the ladies that their queen was being deluded and stolen away
by a strange man, so they mounted their horses and came down to rescue
her. He thought she had been treacherous, and there was a great fight,
in which he killed her, and carried off her girdle.

Far out in the west, near the ocean flowing found the world, were herds
of purple oxen, guarded by a two-headed dog, and belonging to a giant
with three bodies called Geryon, who lived in the isle of Erythria, in
the outmost ocean. Passing Lybia, Hercules came to the end of the
Mediterranean Sea, Neptune's domain, and there set up two
pillars--namely, Mounts Calpe and Abyla--on each side of the Straits of
Gibraltar. The rays of the sun scorched him, and in wrath he shot at it
with his arrows, when Helios, instead of being angry, admired his
boldness, and gave him his golden cup, wherewith to cross the outer
ocean, which he did safely, although old Oceanus, who was king there,
put up his hoary head, and tried to frighten him by shaking the bowl. It
was large enough to hold all the herd of oxen, when Hercules had killed
dog, herdsman, and giant, and he returned it safely to Helios when he
had crossed the ocean.

Again Eurystheus sent Hercules to the utmost parts of the earth. This
time it was to bring home the golden apples which grew in the gardens of
the Hesperides, the daughters of old Atlas, who dwelt in the land of
Hesperus, the Evening Star, and, together with a dragon, guarded the
golden tree in a beautiful garden. Hercules made a long journey,
apparently round by the north, and on his way had to wrestle with a
dreadful giant named Antæus. Though thrown down over and over again,
Antæus rose up twice as strong every time, till Hercules found out that
he grew in force whenever he touched his mother earth, and therefore,
lifting him up in those mightiest of arms, the hero squeezed the breath
out of him. By and by he came to Mount Caucasus, where he found the
chained Prometheus, and, aiming an arrow at the eagle, killed the
tormentor, and set the Titan free. Atlas undertook to go to his
daughters, and get the apples, if Hercules would hold up the skies for
him in the meantime. Hercules agreed, and Atlas shifted the heavens to
his shoulders, went, and presently returned with three apples of gold,
but said he would take them to Eurystheus, and Hercules must continue to
bear the load of the skies. Prometheus bade Hercules say he could not
hold them without a pad for them to rest on upon his head. Atlas took
them again to hold while the pad was put on; and thereupon Hercules
picked up the apples, and left the old giant to his load.

One more labor remained--namely, to bring up the three-headed watch-dog,
Cerberus, from the doors of Tartarus. Mercury and Pallas both came to
attend him, and led him alive among the shades, who all fled from him,
except Medusa and one brave youth. He gave them the blood of an ox to
drink, and made his way to Pluto's throne, where he asked leave to take
Cerberus to the upper world with him. Pluto said he might, if he could
overcome Cerberus without weapons; and this he did, struggling with the
dog, with no protection but the lion's skin, and dragging him up to the
light, where the foam that fell from the jaws of one of the three mouths
produced the plant called aconite, or hellebore, which is dark and
poisonous. After showing the beast to Eurystheus, Hercules safely
returned him to the under world, and thus completed his twelve great
labors.

Hercules was subject to fits of madness, in one of which he slew a
friend, and as a penalty he allowed himself to be sold as a slave. He
was purchased by the Queen of Lydia, Omphale, and remained in her
service three years. She used to make him do a woman's work, and even
dressed him at times in female garments, while she herself wore his
famous lion skin and laughed at him.

[Illustration: Hercules at the Feet of Omphale.]

But strong as he was, Hercules had in time to meet death himself. He had
married a nymph named Deianira, and was taking her home, when he came to
a river where a Centaur named Nessus lived, and gained his bread by
carrying travellers over on his back. Hercules paid him the price for
carrying Deianira over, while he himself crossed on foot; but as soon as
the river was between them, the faithless Centaur began to gallop away
with the lady. Hercules sent an arrow after him, which brought him to
the ground, and as he was dying he prepared his revenge by telling
Deianira that his blood was enchanted with love for her, and that if
ever she found her husband's affection failing her, she had only to make
him put on a garment anointed with it, and his heart would return to
her; he knew full well that his blood was full of the poison of the
Hydra, but poor Deianira believed him, and had saved some of the blood
before Hercules came up.

Several years after, Hercules made prisoner a maiden named Iole, in
Lydia, after gaining a great victory. Landing in the island of Euboea,
he was going to make a great sacrifice to Jupiter, and sent home to
Deianira for a festal garment to wear at it. She was afraid he was
falling in love with Iole, and steeped the garment in the preparation
she had made from Nessus's blood. No sooner did Hercules put it on, than
his veins were filled with agony, which nothing could assuage. He tried
to tear off the robe, but the skin and flesh came with it, and his blood
was poisoned beyond relief. Unable to bear the pain any longer, and
knowing that by his twelve tasks he had earned the prize of endless
life, he went to Mount Oeta, crying aloud with the pain, so that the
rocks rang again with the sound. He gave his quiver of arrows to his
friend Philoctetes, charging him to collect his ashes and bury them, but
never to make known the spot; and then he tore up, with his mighty
strength, trees by the roots, enough to form a funeral pile, lay down on
it, and called on his friend to set fire to it; but no one could bear to
do so, till a shepherd consented to thrust in a torch. Then thunder was
heard, a cloud came down, and he was borne away to Olympus, while
Philoctetes collected and buried the ashes.



THESEUS

[Illustration: Theseus.]


Theseus, the great national hero of Athens, is said to have been born at
Troezen, where his father, Ægeus, King of Athens, slept one night with
Æthra, the daughter of Pittheus, king of the place. Ægeus, on his
departure, hid his sword and his shoes under a large stone, and charged
Æthra, if she brought forth a son, to send him to Athens with these
tokens, as soon as he was able to roll away the stone. She brought forth
a son, to whom she gave the name of Theseus, and when he was grown up
informed him of his origin, and told him to take up the tokens and sail
to Athens, for the roads were infested by robbers and monsters. But
Theseus, who was desirous of emulating the glory of Hercules, refused to
go by sea, and after destroying various monsters who had been the terror
of the country, arrived in safety at Athens. Here he was joyfully
recognized by Ægeus, but with difficulty escaped destruction from Media
and the Pallantids, the sons and grandsons of Pallas, the brother of
Ægeus. These dangers, however, he finally surmounted, and slew the
Pallantids in battle.

His next exploit was the destruction of the great Marathonian bull,
which ravaged the neighboring country; and shortly after he resolved to
deliver the Athenians from the tribute that they were obliged to pay to
Minos, King of Crete. Every ninth year the Athenians had to send seven
young men and as many virgins to Crete, to be devoured by the Minotaur
in the Labyrinth. Theseus volunteered to go as one of the victims, and
through the assistance of Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, who became
enamoured of him, he slew the Minotaur and escaped from the Labyrinth.
He then sailed away with Ariadne, whom he deserted in the island of Dia
or Naxos, an event which frequently forms the subject of ancient works
of art. The sails of the ship Theseus left Athens in were black, but he
promised his father, if he returned in safety, to hoist white sails.
This, however, he neglected to do, and Ægeus, seeing the ship draw near
with black sails, supposed that his son had perished, and threw himself
from a rock.

Theseus now ascended the throne of Athens. But his adventures were by no
means concluded. He marched into the country of the Amazons, who dwelt
on the Thermodon, according to some accounts, in the company of
Hercules, and carried away their queen, Antiope. The Amazons in revenge
invaded Attica, and were with difficulty defeated by the Athenians. This
battle was one of the favorite subjects of the ancient artists, and is
commemorated in several works of art that are still extant. Theseus also
took part in the Argonautic expedition and the Calydonian hunt. He
assisted his friend Pirithous and the Lapithæ in their contest with the
Centaurs, and also accompanied the former in his descent to the lower
world to carry off Proserpine, the wife of Pluto. When Theseus was fifty
years old, according to tradition, he carried off Helen, the daughter of
Leda, who was then only nine years of age. But his territory was invaded
in consequence by Castor and Pollux, the brothers of Leda; his own
people rose against him, and at last, finding his affairs desperate, he
withdrew to the island of Scyros, and there perished, either by a fall
from the cliffs or through the treachery of Lycomedes, the king of the
island. For a long time his memory was forgotten by the Athenians, but
he was subsequently honored by them as the greatest of their heroes. At
the battle of Marathon they thought they saw him armed and bearing down
upon the barbarians, and after the conclusion of the Persian war his
bones were discovered at Scyros by Cimon, who conveyed them to Athens
where they were received with great pomp and deposited in a temple built
to his honor. A festival also was instituted, which was celebrated on
the eighth day of every month, but more especially on the eighth of
Pyanipsion.

The above is a brief account of the legends prevailing respecting
Theseus. But he is, moreover, represented by ancient writers as the
founder of the Attic commonwealth, and even of its democratic
institutions. It would be waste of time to inquire whether there was an
historical personage of this name who actually introduced the political
changes ascribed to him; it will be convenient to adhere to the ancient
account in describing them as the work of Theseus.

[Illustration: Tribute to the Minotaur.]

Before this time Attica contained many independent townships, which were
only nominally united. Theseus incorporated the people into one state,
removed the principal courts for the administration of justice to
Athens, and greatly enlarged the city, which had hitherto covered little
more than the rock which afterward formed the citadel. To cement their
union he instituted several festivals, and especially changed the
Athenæa into the Panathenæa, or the festivals of all the Atticans. He
encouraged the nobles to reside at Athens, and surrendered a part of his
kingly prerogatives to them; for which reason he is perhaps represented
as the founder of the Athenian democracy, although the government which
he established was, and continued to be long after him, strictly
aristocratic.



ULYSSES[1]

         [Footnote 1: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By CHARLES F. HORNE

[Illustration: Ulysses.]


While courage and strength seemed to the ancient Greeks the noblest of
virtues, they ranked wisdom and ready wit almost as high. Achilles was
the strongest of the Grecian warriors at the siege of Troy, but there
was another almost as strong, equally brave, and far shrewder of wit.
This was Ulysses. It was he who ultimately brought about the capture of
the city. Homer speaks often of him in his "Iliad;" and the bard's
second great work, the "Odyssey," is devoted entirely to the wanderings
of Odysseus, or, as we have learned from the Romans to call him,
Ulysses. Whether he was a real person or only a creation of the poet's
fancy, it is impossible to say. But as it is now generally agreed that
there was a siege of Troy, it follows that there was probably a Ulysses,
and his adventures, while in the main mythical, are of value as having
perhaps some foundation in truth, and giving, at all events, a picture
of what the old Greeks thought a hero should be and do.

Ulysses was King of Ithaca when he was summoned to join the rest of the
Grecian princes for the war with Troy. He had no wish to go, for he had
lately married a beautiful girl, Penelope, and was happy as a man might
be. So when the heralds came he pretended to be insane, and hitching a
yoke of oxen to a plough he drove them along the sands of the sea-shore.
He sang and shouted, and ploughed up the sand, and scattered salt as if
he were sowing it, and cried out that he would soon have a beautiful
crop of salt waves. The heralds watched him for a moment, and then
returning to the princes told them that there was no use delivering the
summons to Ulysses, for he had lost his wits. Then Palamedes, who, after
Ulysses, was accounted shrewdest of the Greeks, went, and standing there
on the beach, watched the plough. And he took Ulysses's baby son and
threw him in front of the team to see if the father was indeed mad.
Ulysses turned the plough aside to avoid the child; and then the princes
knew it was all a pretence, and he had to go with them. But he never
forgave Palamedes, and long after brought about his death.

He was in many ways the ablest of the Greeks. Next to Achilles, Ajax was
accounted the strongest; but Ulysses threw him in wrestling. Oilemenus
was regarded as the swiftest of men, but Ulysses in a race outran him.
When Achilles was slain Ulysses alone held back all the Trojans, while
his comrades bore the body to their ships. Many other great exploits he
performed, and his counsels were of much value to the Greeks through all
the long siege. A great pile of spoils was heaped up to be given to the
man who had been of most use to the assailants, and the Trojan prisoners
themselves being called on to decide, gave it to Ulysses. At the last,
when Achilles was dead, and the Greeks were all worn out and despairing,
it was his fertile brain which originated the snare into which the
Trojans fell.

Now, with the other Greeks, Ulysses set out to return to his home. Yet
first he stopped with his Ithacans to attack the Trojan city of Ciconia.
The assault was unexpected and successful. Great treasure fell into the
hands of the conquerors; but, in spite of their leader's entreaties,
they persisted in stopping in the captured city for a night's carouse.
The dispersed Ciconians rallied, gathered together their allies, and
attacking the revellers, defeated them with great slaughter, so that
less than half of them escaped in their ships. Yet this was only the
first of the many mishaps which befell the ill-starred Ulysses. So
persistently did misfortune pursue him that the superstitious Greeks
declared that he must have incurred the hatred of the sea-god, Neptune,
who would not let him cross his domains.

No sooner had his flying ships escaped from Ciconia than they were
struck by a terrific tempest which drove them far out of their course.
For three days the storm continued; then, as it abated, they saw before
them an unknown shore on which they landed to rest and recover their
strength. It was the land of the lotos-eaters, and when Ulysses sent
messengers to find out where he was, they, too, ate of the lotos fruit.
It caused them to forget everything; their struggles and exhaustion,
their homes, their leader, the great battles they had fought, all were
obliterated. They only cared to lie there as the other lotos-eaters did,
doing no work, but just dreaming all their lives, nibbling at the fruit,
which was both food and drink, until they grew old and died.

Ulysses knew that any life, no matter how wretched, was far better than
this death in life. He forbade any other of his men to touch the fruit,
and binding those who had already eaten it, he bore them, despite their
pleading and weeping, back to his ships, which he at once led away from
that clime of subtle danger. They next sighted a fertile island, where
leaving most of his comrades for the rest they needed, Ulysses sailed
in his own ship, exploring. He soon found himself in a beautiful
country, where were seen vast herds of sheep and goats, but no people.
Landing with his men, they explored it and found great caves full of
milk and cheese, but still no people, only a huge giant in the distance.
So sitting down in one of the caves they feasted merrily and awaited the
return of the inhabitants.

Now these inhabitants were giants, such as the one they had seen. They
were called Cyclops, and had only one great eye in the middle of the
forehead. The Cyclops who owned the cave in which the adventurers were
was a particularly large and savage one named Polyphemus. When he
returned at night and saw the men within, he immediately seized two of
them, cracked their heads together, and ate them for supper. Then he
went to bed. Ulysses and his terrified men would have slain the huge
creature as he slept; but he had rolled a great stone in front of the
door, and they could not possibly move it to escape. In the morning the
monster ate two more of the unfortunates and then went off with his
flocks, fastening the door as before. In the evening he ate two more.

By this time the crafty Ulysses, as Homer delights to call him, had
perfected his plans. He offered Polyphemus some wine, which so delighted
him that he asked the giver his name, and said he had it in mind to do
him a kindness. The crafty one told him his name was No-man. Then said
the ogre, "This shall be your reward, I will eat No-man the last of you
all." Then, heavy with the wine, he fell into a deep sleep. The tiny
weapons of the wanderers would have been of little effect against this
man-mountain, so taking a great pole, they heated it red-hot in the
fire, and all together plunged it into his one great eye, blinding him.
Up he jumped, roaring and howling horribly, and groping in the dark to
find his prisoners; but they easily avoided him. Then came other Cyclops
running at the noise from their distant caves, and called to him, "Who
has hurt thee, Polyphemus?"

He answered them, "No-man has hurt me, No-man has blinded me."

Then they said, "If no man has hurt thee, thy trouble is from the gods,
and we may not interfere. Bear it patiently, and pray to them."

In the morning Polyphemus opened the door, and sitting in it, let his
sheep pass out, feeling each one, so that the Greeks might not escape.
But the crafty one fastened himself and his remaining comrades under the
breasts of the largest sheep, and so, hidden by the wool, escaped
unnoticed. They hurried to their ship and put out to sea. And now
feeling safe, Ulysses shouted to the blind monster and taunted him,
whereon, rushing to the shore, Polyphemus lifted up a vast rock and
hurled it toward the sound he heard. It almost struck the vessel, and
its waves swept the little craft back to the land. In great haste they
shoved off again, and when they felt safe, shouted at him once more. He
followed them, hurling rocks, but now they were beyond his reach and
returned safely to their companions.

Next the wanderers reached the island of Æolus, who controls the winds.
He received them with royal hospitality, pointed out to them their
proper course to Ithaca, and when they left him, gave to Ulysses a bag
in which he had tied up all the contrary winds, that they might have a
fair one to waft them home. For nine days they sailed, and at last were
actually in sight of their destination; but the seamen fancying there
was treasure in Æolus's bag opened it while their leader slept. At once
leaped out all the wild winds, and there was a terrible tempest which
swept the vessels back to their starting-point. Æolus, however, refused
to help them again, for he said they were plainly accursed of the gods.

So they journeyed on as best they might, and came to the land of the
Læstrygonians. These people were of enormous strength and were
cannibals; but Ulysses and his men knowing nothing of this, sailed into
the narrow harbor. As they landed the cannibals rushed upon them and
slew them, and hurling rocks from the top of the narrow entrance, sank
those ships which would have escaped. Ulysses in his own ship managed to
force his way out, but all the other ships were taken and their crews
slain.

Then, in deep mourning, Ulysses sailed on till he came to the home of
Circe, a beautiful but wicked enchantress. Here he divided his crew into
two parties, and while one half rested, the others went to find what
place this was. Circe welcomed them in her palace, feasted them, and
gave them a magic drink. When they had drunk this, she touched them with
her wand, and they were turned into swine, all except one, who had
feared to enter the palace, and now returning, told Ulysses that the
others had disappeared. Then the hero arose and went alone to the
palace; but on the way he sought out a little herb which might render
the drink harmless. This he ate, and when Circe having given him the
deadly cup, would have turned him also into a brute, he drew his sword
as if to slay her. Terribly frightened, she besought mercy, and at his
request restored his men to their own forms.

Directed by her, Ulysses is said to have entered the abode of the dead,
and conversed with the ghosts of all the great warriors who had been
slain in the Trojan war, or who had died since. At last, when Circe had
no more wonders to show him, the wanderer left her, once more directed
on the road to Ithaca, and to some extent warned of the dangers which
beset the path.

First he had to pass the Sirens, beautiful but baleful maidens, who sat
on a rocky shore and sang a magic song so alluring, that men hearing it
let their ships drift on the rocks while listening, or threw themselves
into the sea to swim to the maidens, and were drowned. No man had ever
heard them and lived. Here the crafty one filled his companions' ears
with wax, so they could not hear the Sirens' song, and he bade them bind
him to the mast, so that he might hear it but could not go to them. This
was done, and they passed in safety. Ulysses heard the sweet song, and
raved and struggled to break his bonds, but they held fast. So he was
the first to hear the Sirens' song and live. And some say he was the
last as well, for in despair, thinking their music had lost its power,
the maidens threw themselves into the sea.

[Illustration: Ulysses defying the Cyclops.]

Next the wanderers came to a narrow strait, on one side of which was
Charybdis, a dread whirlpool from which no ship could escape, and on the
other was the cave of Scylla, a monster having six snake-like heads,
with each of which she seized a man from every passing ship. Choosing
the lesser evil, the bold Ulysses sailed through the strait close to
Scylla; and six poor wretches were snatched by the monster from the deck
and devoured, but the rest escaped.

[Illustration: Menelaus. Paris. Diomedes. Ulysses. Nestor. Achilles.
Agamemnon.]

Then they came to an uninhabited island, filled with herds of cattle.
These were held sacred to the sun, and no man might slay or eat them
without being punished by the gods. This Ulysses knew well, and warned
his men against touching them; but great tempests now swelled up, and
for a whole month the sailors could not leave the island. Their
provisions gave out and they were starving. Then their leader wandered
away looking for help, and while he was gone they slew some of the oxen
and ate their fill. The storm died, and, Ulysses returning, they again
set sail; but at once came a terrific hurricane, upset the ship, and
drowned all of the guilty ones. Ulysses had not eaten the flesh of the
oxen; and he alone was saved, clinging to a spar, and was tossed on the
island of the nymph Calypso. After a long sojourn he escaped from here
on a raft. But his old enemy Neptune again raised a storm, which broke
his raft; and, naked and almost dead, he was thrown upon another shore,
from which at last the pitying people sent him home. He had been away
twenty years.

His fair wife Penelope had been for four years past pestered with
suitors, who declared that Ulysses must be dead. She put them all off,
by saying that first she must finish a wonderful cloth she was weaving;
and on this she undid each night what she had done in the day. Meanwhile
they stayed in the palace, haughty and insolent, terrifying everybody,
in defiance of the protests of Ulysses' infant son, now grown to be
almost a man.

The wanderer, coming alone and finding how things were, feared they
would slay him; so, disguised as an old beggar man, he went to the
palace. The suitors mocked him, and then in sport it was proposed to see
who could bend the great Ulysses's bow. It was brought out, but none
could bend it. The beggar asked leave to try, and they hesitated, but
gave him leave. Right easily he bent it, and sent then a broad arrow
through the leader of the suitors. Ulysses's son ranged himself by his
side. Some old servants, recognizing him, did the same; and soon all
those parasites were slain. Then was there a royal welcome from wife and
son, and afterward from kinsmen and friends and servants, for the royal
wanderer, whom the gods had spared, and who at last was returned home.



ÆNEAS

By CHARLOTTE M. YONGE

[Illustration: Æneas.]


Among the Trojans at the fall of Troy there was a prince called Æneas,
whose father was Anchises, a cousin of Priam, and whose mother was said
to be the goddess Venus. When he saw that the city was lost he rushed
back to his house and took his old father Anchises on his back, giving
him his penates, or little images of household gods, to take care of,
and led by the hand his little son Iulus, or Ascanius, while his wife
Creusa followed close behind, and all the Trojans who could get their
arms together joined him, so that they escaped in a body to Mount Ida;
but just as they were outside the city he missed poor Creusa, and though
he rushed back and searched for her everywhere, he never could find her.
Because of his care for his gods, and for his old father, he is always
known as the pious Æneas.

In the forests of Mount Ida he built ships enough to set forth with all
his followers in quest of the new home which his mother, the goddess
Venus, gave him hopes of. He had adventures rather like those of Ulysses
as he sailed about the Mediterranean. Once in the Strophades, some
clusters belonging to the Ionian Islands, where he and his troops had
landed to get food, and were eating the flesh of the numerous goats
which they found climbing about the rocks, down on them came the
harpies, horrible birds with women's faces and hooked hands, with which
they snatched away the food and spoiled what they could not eat. The
Trojans shot at them, but the arrows glanced off their feathers and did
not hurt them. However, they all flew off except one, who sat on a high
rock, and croaked out that the Trojans would be punished for thus
molesting the harpies, by being tossed about till they should reach
Italy, but there they should not build their city till they should have
been so hungry as to eat their very trenchers.

They sailed away from this dismal prophetess, and touched on the coast
of Epirus, where Æneas found his cousin Helenus, son to old Priam,
reigning over a little new Troy, and married to Andromache, Hector's
wife, whom he had gained after Pyrrhus had been killed. Helenus was a
prophet, and he gave Æneas much advice. In especial he said that when
the Trojans should come to Italy they would find, under the holly-trees
by the river-side, a large, white, old sow lying on the ground, with a
litter of thirty little pigs round her, and this should be a sign to
them where they were to build their city.

By his advice the Trojans coasted round the south of Sicily, instead of
trying to pass the strait between the dreadful Scylla and Charybdis, and
just below Mount Etna an unfortunate man came running down to the beach
begging to be taken in. He was a Greek, who had been left behind when
Ulysses escaped from Polyphemus's cave, and had made his way to the
forests, where he had lived ever since. They had just taken him in when
they saw the Cyclop coming down, with a pine-tree for a staff, to wash
the burning hollow of his lost eye in the sea, and they rowed off in
great terror.

Poor old Anchises died shortly after, and while his son was still
sorrowing for him, Juno, who hated every Trojan, stirred up a terrible
tempest, which drove the ships to the south, until, just as the sea
began to calm down, they came into a beautiful bay, enclosed by tall
cliffs with woods overhanging them. Here the tired wanderers landed,
and, lighting a fire, Æneas went in quest of food. Coming out of the
forest they looked down from a hill, and beheld a multitude of people
building a city, raising walls, houses, towers, and temples. Into one of
these temples Æneas entered, and to his amazement he found the walls
sculptured with all the story of the siege of Troy, and all his friends
so perfectly represented, that he burst into tears at the sight.

Just then a beautiful queen, attended by a whole troop of nymphs, came
into the temple. This lady was Dido; her husband, Sichæus, had been King
of Tyre, till he was murdered by his brother, Pygmalion, who meant to
have married her; but she fled from him with a band of faithful Tyrians
and all her husband's treasure, and had landed on the north coast of
Africa. There she begged of the chief of the country as much land as
could be enclosed by a bullock's hide. He granted this readily; and
Dido, cutting the hide into the finest possible strips, managed to
measure off ground enough to build the splendid city which she had named
Carthage. She received Æneas most kindly, and took all his men into her
city, hoping to keep them there forever, and make him her husband. Æneas
himself was so happy there that he forgot all his plans and the
prophecies he had heard, until Jupiter sent Mercury to rouse him to
fulfil his destiny. He obeyed the call; and Dido was so wretched at his
departure that she caused a great funeral pile to be built, laid herself
on the top, and stabbed herself with Æneas's sword; the pile was burnt,
and the Trojans saw the flame from their ships without knowing the
cause.

By and by Æneas landed at a place in Italy named Cumæ. There dwelt one
of the Sibyls. These were wondrous virgins whom Apollo had endowed with
deep wisdom; and when Æneas went to consult the Cumæan Sibyl, she told
him that he must visit the under-world of Pluto to learn his fate.
First, however, he had to go into a forest, and find there and gather a
golden bough, which he was to bear in his hand to keep him safe. Long he
sought it, until two doves, his mother's birds, came flying before him
to show him the tree where gold gleamed through the boughs, and he found
the branch growing on the tree as mistletoe grows on the thorn.

Guarded with this, and guided by the Sibyl, after a great sacrifice,
Æneas passed into a gloomy cave, where he came to the river Styx, round
which flitted all the shades who had never received funeral rites, and
whom the ferryman, Charon, would not carry over. The Sibyl, however,
made him take Æneas across, his boat groaning under the weight of a
human body. On the other side stood Cerberus, but the Sibyl threw him a
cake of honey and of some opiate, and he lay asleep, while Æneas passed
on and found in myrtle groves all who had died for love--among them, to
his surprise, poor forsaken Dido. A little farther on he found the home
of the warriors, and held converse with his old Trojan friends. He
passed by the place of doom for the wicked, Tartarus; and in the Elysian
Fields, full of laurel groves and meads of asphodel, he found the spirit
of his father Anchises, and with him was allowed to see the souls of all
their descendants, as yet unborn, who should raise the glory of their
name. They are described on to the very time when the poet wrote to whom
we owe all the tale of the wanderings of Æneas, namely, Virgil, who
wrote the "Æneid," whence all these stories are taken. He further tells
us that Æneas landed in Italy, just as his old nurse Caiëta died, at the
place which still is called Gaëta. After they had buried her they found
a grove, where they sat down on the grass to eat, using large round
cakes or biscuits to put their meat on. Presently they came to eating up
the cakes. Little Ascanius cried out, "We are eating our very tables,"
and Æneas, remembering the harpy's words, knew that his wanderings were
over.

Virgil goes on to tell at much length how the king of the country,
Latinus, at first made friends with Æneas, and promised him his daughter
Lavinia in marriage; but Turnus, an Italian chief who had before been a
suitor to Lavinia, stirred up a great war, and was only conquered and
killed after much hard fighting. However, the white sow was found in the
right place with all her little pigs, and on the spot was founded the
city of Alba Longa, where Æneas and Lavinia reigned until he died, and
his descendants, through his two sons, Ascanius or Iulus, and Æneas
Silvius, reigned after him for fifteen generations.



XENOPHON[2]

         [Footnote 2: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By PROFESSOR J. PENTLAND MAHAFFY

(445-354 B.C.)

[Illustration: Xenophon.]


There is no figure in Greek history more familiar to us than this famous
Athenian. There are passages in his life known to every schoolboy; we
possess all the books he ever wrote; we know therefore his opinions upon
all the important questions of life, religion, ethics, politics,
manners, education, as well as upon finance and military tactics, not to
speak of social intercourse and sport. And yet his early youth and late
age are hidden from us. Like the models of Greek eloquence, which begin
with tame obviousness, rise into dignity, fire, pathos, and then close
softly, without sounding peroration, so Xenophon comes upon us, an
educated young man, looking out for something to do; we lose him in the
autumn of his life, when he was driven from the fair retreat which the
old man had hoped would be his final resting-place. During seven years
of his early manhood we find him in the middle of all the most stirring
events in the Greek world. For thirty years later (394-62 B.C.), we hear
him from his retired country-seat recording contemporary history,
telling the adventures of his youth, from the fascinations of the ragged
Socrates to the fascinations of the magnificent Cyrus, preaching the
lessons of his varied life. Then came the bitter loss of his brave son,
killed in the van at Mantinea. According to good authority he only
survived this blow a couple of years. But even then he appears to have
found distraction from his grief by a dry tract upon the Attic revenue.
Such is the general outline which we shall fill up and color from
allusions throughout his varied and manifold writings.

He was a pure Athenian, evidently of aristocratic birth, and attracted,
probably by his personal beauty, the attention of Socrates, who is said
to have stopped him in the way, and asked him did he know where men of
honor were to be found; upon his replying _no_, the sage said, follow me
and learn. This apocryphal anecdote, at all events, records the fact
that Xenophon attached himself to Socrates's teaching, and so afforded
us perhaps the most remarkable instance of the great and various
influence of that great teacher. We do not wonder at disciples like
Plato; but here is a young man of fashion, of a practical turn, and
loving adventure, who records in after years the teaching after his own
fashion, and in a perfectly independent way, as the noblest of
training. His youth, however, was spent in the distressful later years
of the Peloponnesian War, which ended in fearful gloom and disaster for
his native city. Intimate, apparently, with the great historian
Thucydides, whose unfinished work he seems to have edited, and
subsequently to have continued in his own "Hellenica," he must have long
foreseen the collapse of the Athenian empire, and then he and many other
adventurous spirits found themselves in a society faded in prosperity,
with no scope for energy or enterprise. Such was the somewhat tame and
vulgar Athens which succeeded to that of Pericles and Aristophanes, and
which could not tolerate the spiritual boldness of Socrates. He tells us
himself, in the third book of his "Anabasis," how he was tempted to
leave Athens for the East by his friend Proxenus, who had made the
acquaintance of the chivalrous and ambitious Cyrus, brother of the
Persian king, and governor of southern Asia Minor. This prince was
preparing secretly to invade Persia and dethrone his brother, and for
that purpose was gathering troops and courting the favor of the Greeks.
His splendid gifts were on a scale sufficient to dazzle men of small
means and smaller prospects, like the youth of conquered Athens.
Xenophon thought it right to consult his spiritual guide, Socrates, on
the propriety of abandoning his country for hireling service. The
philosopher advised him to consult the oracle at Delphi, but the young
man only asked what gods he might best conciliate before his departure,
and Socrates, though noting the evasion of his advice, acquiesced.

When Xenophon arrived at Sardis, Proxenus presented him to Cyrus, who
invited him to accompany him on his pretended campaign to Pisidia, and
then coaxed him on with the rest into his enterprise against the king
Artaxerxes. On this expedition or _anabasis_ up the country, Xenophon
was only a volunteer, with no command, and under no man's orders, but
accompanying the army on horseback, and enjoying the trip as a bright
young man, well appointed by the prince, and full of intelligent
curiosity, was sure to enjoy it. But then came the decisive day of
Cunaxa, where Xenophon offered his services as an extra aide-de-camp to
Cyrus, and where he witnessed the victory of his countrymen and the
defeat of their cause by the rashness and death of Cyrus. In the crisis
which followed he took no leading part, till the generals of the 10,000
Greeks were entrapped and murdered by Tissaphernes. Then, in the midst
of the panic and despair which supervened, he tells us in graphic words
how he came to be a leader of men. He, too, with the rest, was in sore
distress, and could not sleep; but anon getting a snatch of rest he had
a dream. It seemed to him that there was a storm, and a thunderbolt fell
on his father's house and set it all in a blaze. He sprang up in terror,
and, pondering the matter, decided that in part the dream was good, in
that when in great danger he had seen a light from Zeus; but partly,
too, he feared it, for it came from the king of heaven. But as soon as
he was fully awake the first clear thought that came into his head was:
"Why am I lying here? The night advances, and with the coming day the
enemy will be upon us. If we fall into the king's hands we must face
torture, slavery, and death, and yet here we lie, as if it were a time
for rest! What am I waiting for? Is it a general to lead me? and where
is he? or till I am myself of riper age to command? Older I shall never
be, if to-day I surrender to mine enemies." And so he rouses the
officers of his murdered friend, Proxenos, and appeals to them all to be
up and stirring, to organize their defence and appoint new leaders to
direct them. Before dawn he has some kind of confidence restored, and
the new organization in progress. Presently the Persians send to demand
the surrender of the army whose generals they had seized, and find to
their astonishment that their task of subduing the Greeks must begin
afresh. Meanwhile the policy of the Greek army becomes defined. They
threaten to settle in Mesopotamia and build a fortified city which shall
be a great danger and a torment to the king. They really desire to
escape to the coast, if they can but find the way.

It was the king's policy to let them depart, but so harass them by the
way as to produce disorder and rout, which meant absolute destruction.
It was in conducting this retreat, as a joint general with the Spartan
Cheirisophos, that Xenophon showed all his resource. There were no great
pitched battles; no room for strategy or large combinations; but ample
scope for resource in the details of tactics for meeting new and sudden
difficulties, for maintaining order among an army of men that only
acknowledged leaders for their ability. At first, in the plains, as they
journeyed northward, the danger was from the Persian cavalry, for their
own contingent had deserted to the enemy. This difficulty, which
well-nigh ruined the 10,000, as it ruined Crassus in his retreat at
Carrhæ, he met by organizing a corps of Rhodian slingers and archers,
whose range was longer than that of the Persians, and who thus kept the
cavalry in check. When the plains were passed, and the mountains
reached, there arose the new difficulties of forcing passes, of
repelling wild mountaineers from positions commanding the road, of
providing food, and avoiding false routes. The narrative of the
surmounting of all these obstacles with tact and temper is the main
subject of the famous "Anabasis." Still graver dangers awaited Xenophon
when the retreating army had at last hailed the welcome sea--the Black
Sea--and with returning safety returned jealousies, insubordinations,
and the great problem what to do with this great army when it arrived at
Greek cities. Xenophon had always dreamt of forming on the border of
Hellenedom a new city state, which should honor him as its founder. The
wilder spirits thought it simpler to loot some rich city like Byzantium,
which was saved with difficulty from their lawlessness. The Spartan
governors, who now ruled throughout the Greek world, saw the danger, and
were determined to delay and worry the dangerous horde until it
dissipated; and they succeeded so well that presently the 6,000 that
remained were glad to be led by Xenophon to take service under the
Spartan commander Thibron in Asia Minor (399 B.C.). But Xenophon was not
given any independent command. He appears to have acted on the staff of
the successive Spartan commanders till with King Agesilaus he attained
personal influence, and probably planned the new expedition of that king
to conquer Persia, which was only balked by a diversion wrought by
Persian gold in Greece. With Agesilaus Xenophon returned therefore to
Greece, and was present at the great shock of the rival infantries, the
Theban and the Spartan, at Coronea (394 B.C.). But either his presence
in the Spartan army, or his former action against the King of Persia,
whom shifting politics were now bringing over to the Athenian side,
caused him to be sentenced to banishment at Athens, and so made his
return to his native city impossible. He went, therefore, with his royal
patron to Sparta, and sojourned there for some time, even sending for
his sons, now growing boys, from Miletus, and submitting them, at
Agesilaus's advice, to the famous Spartan education. They grew up fine
and warlike young men, so that the death of one of them, Gryllus, in a
cavalry skirmish just before the great battle of Mantinea (362 B.C.)
caused universal regret. But long before this catastrophe the Spartans
gave Xenophon possession of an estate at Skillus, near the famous
Olympia, which combined the pleasures of seclusion and of field sports
with those of varied society when the stream of visitors assembled for
the Olympic games (every four years). He himself tells us that he and
his family, in company with their neighbors, had excellent sport of all
kinds. He was not only a careful farmer, but so keen at hunting hares
that he declares a man at this delightful pursuit "will forget that he
ever cared for anything else." He had also built a shrine to his
patroness, the goddess Artemis, and the solemn sacrifices at her shrine
were the occasion of feasts, whose solemnity only enhanced their
enjoyments. As Mr. Dakyns writes: "The lovely scenery of the place, to
this day lovely; the delicious atmosphere; the rare combination of
mountain, wood, and stream; the opportunity for sport; the horses and
the dogs; the household, the farmstead, and their varying occupations;
the neighboring country gentlemen, and the local politics; the recurring
festival at Olympia with its stream of visitors; the pleasures of
hospitable entertainment; the constant sacrifices before the cedar image
of Artemis in her temple--these things, and above all the serene
satisfaction of successful literary labors, combined to form an enviable
sum total of sober happiness during many years." There can be no doubt
that this was the first great period of his literary activity, though he
may have edited, in early youth, his predecessor Thucydides, and
composed the first two books of his historical continuation entitled
"Hellenica." In his retreat at Skillus he composed a series of
"Dialogues," in what is termed the Socratic vein; "Memorials" of his
great master, a tract on household "Economy," another on a "Symposium,"
or feast, one called "Hiero," or on the Greek tyrant, and an account of
the "Laconian Polity," which he had so long admired and known. The tract
on "Hunting" also speaks the experience at Skillus. The tract "On the
Athenian State," preserved among his writings, is not from his hand, but
the work of an earlier writer.

With the sudden rise of the Theban power, and consequent depression of
Sparta, he and other settlers around Skillus were driven out by the
Eleans, and he lost his country-seat, with all its agreeable diversions.
But probably the ageing man did not feel the transference of his home to
Corinth so keenly as an English gentleman would. He was a thorough
Greek, and therefore intensely attached to city life, Elis, his adopted
country, being the only state which consisted of a country gentry.

In the next place, a daily thoroughfare such as the Isthmus, must have
been far more suitable for the collecting of historical evidence than
Skillus, where the crowd came by only once in four years. And then his
grown-up sons could find something more serious to do than hunting deer,
boars, and hares in the glades of Elis. He may have known, too, that his
chances of restoration to Athens were improving, and that he would do
well to be within easy reach of friends in that city. Indeed we find
that the rescinding of exile soon followed, and so he was able to send
his two sons to do cavalry duty for Athens (and Sparta) against the
Thebans. It is, indeed, likely that the young men were enrolled as
Spartan volunteers. He himself must have kept very close to his literary
work; for in these closing years of his life he brought out or re-edited
the "Anabasis;" he discussed "Cavalry Tactics," he kept writing up
contemporary history to the year 362 B.C., when the star of Thebes set
with the death of Epaminondas; he completed his long and perhaps tedious
historical novel, the "Education of Cyrus" (the elder), and lastly
composed a curious and fanciful tract on the "Revenues of Athens." There
is no evidence that he ever changed his residence back to his native
city, but that he often went there when no obstacle remained, from the
neighboring Corinth, is most probable. An open sailing boat could carry
him, with a fair wind, in a few hours. Though a very old man, he was,
however, still active with his pen when we lose him. His promising
remaining son disappears with him from the scene; we hear of no
descendants. The only offspring he has left us are his immortal works.
The names of these have already been given, with the exception of the
speech put into Socrates's mouth as his Defence, the tract on "The
Horse," appendant to his "Cavalry Tactics," and his "Panegyric on
Agesilaus." It remains to estimate their general features. Without
controversy, he excelled all his great contemporaries in breadth of
culture and experience, and in the variety of his interests. Philosophy,
politics, war, husbandry, sport, travel, are all represented in his
works. And upon all he has written with a clearness and a grace which
earned for him the title of the "Attic Bee." But this breadth implies
(as usual) a certain lack of depth, as is particularly obvious in his
case, owing to the almost necessary comparison with his two mighty
rivals--Thucydides, in history, Plato, in philosophy. It may, indeed, be
considered hard luck for him that he stood between two such men, for
they have necessarily damaged his reputation by comparison. Xenophon's
portrait of Socrates is quite independent, and probably historically
truer than that of Plato; but the sage lives for us in Plato, not in
Xenophon. The Retreat of the Ten Thousand, and the wars of Epaminondas
were far more brilliant than the operations of the Peloponnesian War.
Yet, to the scholar, a raid in Thucydides is more than a campaign in
Xenophon. For neither is his style so pure as that of either of his
rivals, nor is his enthusiasm the same. We feel him always a polished
man of the world--never the rugged patriot, never the rapt seer. He
seems, too, to lack impartiality. He lavishes praise upon Agesilaus, a
second-rate man, while he is curt and ill-tempered concerning
Epaminondas, the real genius of the age. It is more than likely that he
has colored his own part in the famous "Retreat," in glowing colors.
His hereditary instincts lead him to approve of autocrats as against
republics, Spartan discipline as against Attic freedom. Yet in himself
he has shown a striking example how the latter could appreciate and
embrace the former. As the simplest specimen of pure Attic prose he will
ever be paramount in schools, neglected in universities--the recreation
rather than the occupation of mature scholars. He is a great worthy, a
man of renown; "nevertheless, he did not attain unto the first
three"--the two masters of his own day, and the colossal Demosthenes.

[Signature: J. Pentland Mahaffy.]



THE GRACCHI

Extracts from "Cæsar, a Sketch," by JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, LL.D.
(164-133, 153-121 B.C.)

[Illustration: The Gracchi.]


Tiberius Gracchus was born about the year 164 B.C. He was one of twelve
children, nine of whom died in infancy, himself, his brother Caius, and
his sister Cornelia being the only survivors. His family was plebeian,
but of high antiquity, his ancestors for several generations having held
the highest offices in the Republic. On the mother's side he was the
grandson of Scipio Africanus. His father, after a distinguished career
as a soldier in Spain and Sardinia, had attempted reforms at Rome. He
had been censor, and in this capacity he had ejected disreputable
senators from the Curia; he had degraded offending Equites; he had
rearranged and tried to purify the Comitia. But his connections were
aristocratic. His wife was the daughter of the most famous of them,
Scipio Africanus the Younger. He had been himself in antagonism with the
tribunes, and had taken no part, at any time, in popular agitations.

[Illustration: The Mother of the Gracchi.]

The father died when Tiberius was still a boy, and the two brothers grew
up under the care of their mother, a noble and gifted lady. They early
displayed remarkable talents. Tiberius, when old enough, went into the
army, and served under his brother-in-law in the last Carthaginian
campaign. He was first on the walls of the city in the final storm. Ten
years later he went to Spain as quæstor, when he carried on his father's
popularity, and by taking the people's side in some questions, fell into
disagreement with his brother-in-law. His political views had perhaps
already inclined to change. He was still of an age when indignation
at oppression calls out a practical desire to resist it. On his journey
home from Spain he witnessed scenes which confirmed his conviction and
determined him to throw all his energies into the popular cause. His
road lay through Tuscany, where he saw the large estate system in full
operation--the fields cultivated by the slave gangs, the free citizens
of the Republic thrust away into the towns, aliens and outcasts in their
own country, without a foot of soil which they could call their own. In
Tuscany, too, the vast domains of the landlords had not even been fairly
purchased. They were parcels of the _ager publicus_, land belonging to
the state, which, in spite of a law forbidding it, the great lords and
commoners had appropriated and divided among themselves. Five hundred
acres of state land was the most which by statute any one lessee might
be allowed to occupy. But the law was obsolete or sleeping, and avarice
and vanity were awake and active. Young Gracchus, in indignant pity,
resolved to rescue the people's patrimony. He was chosen tribune in the
year 133. His brave mother and a few patricians of the old type
encouraged him, and the battle of the revolution began. The Senate, as
has been said, though without direct legislative authority, had been
allowed the right of reviewing any new schemes which were to be
submitted to the Assembly. The constitutional means of preventing
tribunes from carrying unwise or unwelcome measures lay in a consul's
veto, or in the help of the College of Augurs, who could declare the
auspices unfavorable and so close all public business. These resources
were so awkward that it had been found convenient to secure beforehand
the Senate's approbation, and the encroachment, being long submitted to,
was passing by custom into a rule. But the Senate, eager as it was, had
not yet succeeded in engrafting the practice into the constitution. On
the land question the leaders of the aristocracy were the principal
offenders.

Disregarding usage, and conscious that the best men of all ranks were
with him, Tiberius Gracchus appealed directly to the people to revive
the Agrarian law. His proposals were not extravagant. That they should
have been deemed extravagant was a proof of how much some measure of the
kind was needed. Where lands had been enclosed and money laid out on
them, he was willing that the occupants should have compensation. But
they had no right to the lands themselves. Gracchus persisted that the
_ager publicus_ belonged to the people, and that the race of yeomen, for
whose protection the law had been originally passed, must be
re-established on their farms. No form of property gives to its owners
so much consequence as land, and there is no point on which in every
country an aristocracy is more sensitive. The large owners protested
that they had purchased their interests on the faith that the law was
obsolete. They had planted and built and watered with the sanction of
the government, and to call their titles in question was to shake the
foundations of society. The popular party pointed to the statute. The
monopolists were entitled in justice to less than was offered them. They
had no right to a compensation at all. Political passion awoke again
after the sleep of a century. The oligarchy had doubtless connived at
the accumulations. The suppression of the small holdings favored their
supremacy, and placed the elections more completely in their control.
Their military successes had given them so long a tenure of power that
they had believed it to be theirs in perpetuity; and the new sedition,
as they called it, threatened at once their privileges and their
fortunes. The quarrel assumed the familiar form of a struggle between
the rich and the poor, and at such times the mob of voters becomes less
easy to corrupt. They go with their order, as the prospect of larger
gain makes them indifferent to immediate bribes. It became clear that
the majority of the citizens would support Tiberius Gracchus, but the
constitutional forms of opposition might still be resorted to. Octavius
Cæcina, another of the tribunes, had himself large interests in the land
question. He was the people's magistrate, one of the body appointed
especially to defend their rights, but he went over to the Senate, and,
using a power which undoubtedly belonged to him, he forbade the vote to
be taken.

There was no precedent for the removal of either consul, prætor, or
tribune, except under circumstances very different from any which could
as yet be said to have arisen. The magistrates held office for a year
only, and the power of veto had been allowed them expressly to secure
time for deliberation and to prevent passionate legislation. But
Gracchus was young and enthusiastic. Precedent or no precedent, the
citizens were omnipotent, he invited them to declare his colleague
deposed. They had warmed to the fight, and complied. A more experienced
statesman would have known that established constitutional bulwarks
cannot be swept away by a momentary vote. He obtained his Agrarian law.
Three commissioners were appointed, himself, his younger brother, and
his father-in-law, Appius Claudius, to carry it into effect; but the
very names showed that he had alienated his few supporters in the higher
circles, and that a single family was now contending against the united
wealth and distinction of Rome. The issue was only too certain. Popular
enthusiasm is but a fire of straw. In a year Tiberius Gracchus would be
out of office. Other tribunes would be chosen more amenable to
influence, and his work could then be undone. He evidently knew that
those who would succeed him could not be relied on to carry on his
policy. He had taken one revolutionary step already; he was driven on to
another, and he offered himself illegally to the Comitia for
re-election. It was to invite them to abolish the constitution, and to
make him virtual sovereign; and that a young man of thirty should have
contemplated such a position for himself as possible, is of itself a
proof of his unfitness for it. The election day came. The noble lords
and gentlemen appeared in the Campus Martius with their retinues of
armed servants and clients; hot-blooded aristocrats, full of disdain for
demagogues, and meaning to read a lesson to sedition which it would not
easily forget. Votes were given for Gracchus. Had the hustings been left
to decide the matter, he would have been chosen; but as it began to
appear how the polling would go, sticks were used and swords; a riot
rose, the unarmed citizens were driven off, Tiberius Gracchus himself
and three hundred of his friends were killed, and their bodies were
flung into the Tiber.

Thus the first sparks of the coming revolution were trampled out. But
though quenched and to be again quenched with fiercer struggles, it was
to smoulder and smoke and burst out time after time, till its work was
done. Revolution could not restore the ancient character of the Roman
nation, but it could check the progress of decay by burning away the
more corrupted parts of it. It could destroy the aristocracy and the
constitution which they had depraved, and under other forms preserve for
a few more centuries the Roman dominion. Scipio Africanus, when he heard
in Spain of the end of his brother-in-law, exclaimed "May all who act as
he did perish like him!" There were to be victims enough and to spare
before the bloody drama was played out. Quiet lasted for ten years, and
then, precisely when he had reached his brother's age, Caius Gracchus
came forward to avenge him, and carry the movement through another
stage. Young Caius had been left one of the commissioners of the land
law; and it is particularly noticeable that, though the author of it had
been killed, the law had survived him, being too clearly right and
politic in itself to be openly set aside. For two years the
commissioners had continued to work, and in that time forty thousand
families were settled on various parts of the _ager publicus_, which the
patricians had been compelled to resign. This was all which they could
do. The displacement of one set of inhabitants and the introduction of
another could not be accomplished without quarrels, complaints, and
perhaps some injustice. Those who entered on possession were not always
satisfied. The commissioners became unpopular. When the cries against
them became loud enough, they were suspended, and the law was then
quietly repealed. The Senate had regained its hold over the Assembly,
and had a further opportunity of showing its recovered ascendency when,
two years after the murder of Tiberius Gracchus, one of his friends
introduced a bill to make the tribunes legally re-eligible. Caius
Gracchus actively supported the change, but it had no success; and,
waiting till times had altered, and till he had arrived at an age when
he could carry weight, the young brother retired from politics, and
spent the next few years with the army in Africa and Sardinia, he served
with distinction; he made a name for himself, both as a soldier and an
administrator. Had the Senate left him alone, he might have been
satisfied with a regular career, and have risen by the ordinary steps to
the consulship. But the Senate saw in him the possibilities of a second
Tiberius; the higher his reputation, the more formidable he became to
them. They vexed him with petty prosecutions, charged him with crimes
which had no existence, and at length, by suspicion and injustice, drove
him into open war with them. Caius Gracchus had a broader intellect than
his brother, and a character considerably less noble. The land question
he perceived was but one of many questions. The true source of the
disorders of the commonwealth was the Senate itself. The administration
of the empire was in the hands of men totally unfit to be trusted with
it, and there he thought the reform must commence. He threw himself on
the people, he was chosen tribune in 123, ten years exactly after
Tiberius. He had studied the disposition of parties. He had seen his
brother fall because the Equites and the senators, the great commoners
and the nobles, were combined against him. He revived the Agrarian law
as a matter of course, but he disarmed the opposition to it by throwing
an apple of discord between the two superior orders. The high judicial
functions in the commonwealth had been hitherto a senatorial monopoly.
All cases of importance, civil or criminal, came before courts of sixty
or seventy jurymen, who, as the law stood, must be necessarily senators.
The privilege had been extremely lucrative. The corruption of justice
was already notorious, though it had not yet reached the level of infamy
which it attained in another generation. It was no secret that in
ordinary causes jurymen had sold their verdicts, and, far short of
taking bribes in the direct sense of the word, there were many ways in
which they could let themselves be approached, and their favor
purchased. A monopoly of privileges is always invidious. A monopoly in
the sale of justice is alike hateful to those who abhor iniquity on
principle, and to those who would like to share the profits of it. But
this was not the worst. The governors of the provinces, being chosen
from those who had been consuls or prætors, were necessarily members of
the Senate. Peculation and extortion in these high functions were
offences, in theory, of the gravest kind; but the offender could only be
tried before a limited number of his peers, and a governor who had
plundered a subject state, sold justice, pillaged temples, and stolen
all that he could lay hands on, was safe from punishment if he returned
to Rome a millionnaire and would admit others to a share in his spoils.
The provincials might send deputations to complain, but these complaints
came before men who had themselves governed provinces, or else aspired
to govern them. It had been proved in too many instances that the law
which professed to protect them was a mere mockery.

Caius Gracchus secured the affections of the knights to himself, and
some slightly increased chance of an improvement in the provincial
administration, by carrying a law in the Assembly disabling the senators
from sitting on juries of any kind from that day forward, and
transferring the judicial functions to the Equites. How bitterly must
such a measure have been resented by the Senate, which at once robbed
them of their protective and profitable privileges, handed them over to
be tried by their rivals for their pleasant irregularities, and stamped
them at the same time with the brand of dishonesty! How certainly must
such a measure have been deserved when neither consul nor tribune could
be found to interpose his vote! Supported by the grateful knights, Caius
Gracchus was for the moment all-powerful. It was not enough to restore
the Agrarian law. He passed another aimed at his brother's murderers,
which was to bear fruit in later years, that no Roman citizen might be
put to death by any person, however high in authority, without legal
trial, and without appeal, if he chose to make it, to the sovereign
people. A blow was thus struck against another right claimed by the
Senate, of declaring the Republic in danger, and the temporary
suspension of the constitution. These measures might be excused, and
perhaps commended; but the younger Gracchus connected his name with
another change less commendable, which was destined also to survive and
bear fruit. He brought forward and carried through, with enthusiastic
clapping of every pair of hands in Rome that were hardened with labor, a
proposal that there should be public granaries in the city, maintained
and filled at the cost of the state, and that corn should be sold at a
rate artificially cheap to the poor free citizens. Such a law was purely
socialistic. The privilege was confined to Rome, because in Rome the
elections were held, and the Roman constituency was the one depositary
of power. The effect was to gather into the city a mob of needy
unemployed voters, living on the charity of the state, to crowd the
circus and to clamor at the elections, available no doubt immediately to
strengthen the hands of the popular tribune, but certain in the long run
to sell themselves to those who could bid highest for their voices.
Excuses could be found, no doubt, for this miserable expedient, in the
state of parties, in the unscrupulous violence of the aristocracy, in
the general impoverishment of the peasantry through the land monopoly,
and in the intrusion upon Italy of a gigantic system of slave labor. But
none the less it was the deadliest blow which had yet been dealt to the
constitution. Party government turns on the majorities at the polling
places, and it was difficult afterward to recall a privilege which, once
conceded, appeared to be a right. The utmost that could be ventured in
later times, with any prospect of success, was to limit an intolerable
evil, and if one side was ever strong enough to make the attempt, their
rivals had a bribe ready in their hands to buy back the popular support.
Caius Gracchus, however, had his way, and carried all before him. He
escaped the rock on which his brother had been wrecked. He was elected
tribune a second time. He might have had a third term if he had been
contented to be a mere demagogue. But he, too, like Tiberius, had
honorable aims. The powers which he had played into the hands of the mob
to obtain, he desired to use for high purposes of statesmanship, and his
instrument broke in his hands. He was too wise to suppose that a Roman
mob, fed by bounties from the treasury, could permanently govern the
world. He had schemes for scattering Roman colonies, with the Roman
franchise, at various points of the empire.

Carthage was to be one of them. He thought of abolishing the distinction
between Romans and Italians, and enfranchising the entire peninsula.
These measures were good in themselves--essential, indeed, if the Roman
conquests were to form a compact and permanent dominion. But the object
was not attainable on the road on which Gracchus had entered. The
vagabond part of the constituency was well contented with what it had
obtained, a life in the city, supported at the public expense, with
politics and games for its amusements. It had not the least inclination
to be drafted off into settlements in Spain or Africa, where there would
be work instead of pleasant idleness. Carthage was still a name of
terror. To restore Carthage was no better than treason. Still less had
the Roman citizens an inclination to share their privileges with
Samnites and Etruscans, and see the value of their votes watered down.
Political storms are always cyclones. The gale from the east to-day is a
gale from the west to-morrow. Who and what were the Gracchi, then?--the
sweet voices began to ask--ambitious intriguers, aiming at dictatorship,
or perhaps the crown. The aristocracy were right, after all; a few
things had gone wrong, but these had been amended. The Scipios and
Metelli had conquered the world: the Scipios and Metelli were alone fit
to govern it. Thus, when the election time came round, the party of
reform was reduced to a minority of irreconcilable radicals, who were
easily disposed of. Again, as ten years before, the noble lords armed
their followers. Riots broke out and extended day after day. Caius
Gracchus was at last killed, as his brother had been, and under cover of
the disturbance three thousand of his friends were killed along with
him. The power being again securely in their hands, the Senate proceeded
at their leisure, and the surviving patriots who were in any way
notorious or dangerous were hunted down in legal manner, and put to
death or banished.



ZENOBIA, QUEEN OF PALMYRA

By ANNA JAMESON

(REIGNED 267-273 A.D.)

[Illustration: Zenobia.]


Of the government and manners of the Arabians before the time of
Mahomet, we have few and imperfect accounts; but from the remotest ages
they led the same unsettled and predatory life which they do at this
day, dispersed in hordes, and dwelling under tents. It was not to those
wild and wandering tribes that the superb Palmyra owed its rise and
grandeur, though situated in the midst of their deserts, where it is now
beheld in its melancholy beauty and ruined splendor, like an enchanted
island in the midst of an ocean of sands. The merchants who trafficked
between India and Europe, by the only route then known, first colonized
this singular spot, which afforded them a convenient resting-place; and
even in the days of Solomon it was the emporium for the gems and gold,
the ivory, gums, spices, and silks of the far Eastern countries, which
thus found their way to the remotest parts of Europe. The Palmyrenes
were, therefore, a mixed race--their origin, and many of their customs,
were Egyptian; their love of luxury and their manners were derived from
Persia; their language, literature, and architecture were Greek.

Thus, like Venice and Genoa, in more modern times, Palmyra owed its
splendor to the opulence and public spirit of its merchants; but its
chief fame and historical interest it owes to the genius and heroism of
a woman.

[Illustration: Zenobia Captive.]

Septimia Zenobia, for such is her classical appellation, was the
daughter of an Arab chief, Amrou, the son of Dharb, the son of Hassan.
Of her first husband we have no account; she was left a widow at a
very early age, and married, secondly, Odenathus, chief of several
tribes of the desert, near Palmyra, and a prince of extraordinary valor
and boundless ambition. Odenathus was the ally of the Romans in their
wars against Sapor (or, more properly, Shah Poor), king of Persia; he
gained several splendid victories over that powerful monarch, and twice
pursued his armies even to the gates of Ctesiphon (or Ispahan), his
capital. Odenathus was as fond of the chase as of war, and in all his
military and hunting expeditions he was accompanied by his wife
Zenobia--a circumstance which the Roman historians record with
astonishment and admiration, as contrary to their manners, but which was
the general custom of the Arab women of that time. Zenobia not only
excelled her countrywomen in the qualities for which they were all
remarkable--in courage, prudence, and fortitude, in patience of fatigue,
and activity of mind and body--she also possessed a more enlarged
understanding; her views were more enlightened, her habits more
intellectual. The successes of Odenathus were partly attributed to her,
and they were always considered as reigning jointly. She was also
eminently beautiful--with the oriental eyes and complexion, teeth like
pearls, and a voice of uncommon power and sweetness.

Odenathus obtained from the Romans the title of Augustus, and General of
the East; he revenged the fate of Valerian, who had been taken captive
and put to death by Shah Poor: the eastern king, with a luxurious
barbarity truly oriental, is said to have used the unfortunate emperor
as his footstool to mount his horse. But in the midst of his victories
and conquests Odenathus became the victim of a domestic conspiracy, at
the head of which was his nephew Mæonius. He was assassinated at Emessa
during a hunting expedition, and with him his son by his first marriage.
Zenobia avenged the death of her husband on his murderers, and as her
sons were yet in their infancy, she first exercised the supreme power in
their name; but afterward, apparently with the consent of the people,
assumed the diadem with the titles of Augusta and Queen of the East.

The Romans, and their effeminate emperor Gallienus, refused to
acknowledge Zenobia's claim to the sovereignty of her husband's
dominions, and Heraclianus was sent with a large army to reduce her to
obedience; but Zenobia took the field against him, engaged and totally
defeated him in a pitched battle. Not satisfied with this triumph over
the haughty masters of the world, she sent her general Zabdas to attack
them in Egypt, which she subdued and added to her territories, together
with a part of Armenia and Asia Minor. Thus her dominions extended from
the Euphrates to the Mediterranean, and over all those vast and fertile
countries formerly governed by Ptolemy and Seleucus. Jerusalem, Antioch,
Damascus, and other cities famed in history, were included in her
empire, but she fixed her residence at Palmyra, and in an interval of
peace she turned her attention to the further adornment of her
magnificent capital. It is related by historians, that many of those
stupendous fabrics of which the mighty ruins are still existing, were
either erected, or at least restored and embellished, by this
extraordinary woman. But that which we have most difficulty in
reconciling with the manners of her age and country, was Zenobia's
passion for study, and her taste for the Greek and Latin literature.
She is said to have drawn up an epitome of history for her own use; the
Greek historians, poets, and philosophers were familiar to her; she
invited Longinus, one of the most elegant writers of antiquity, to her
splendid court, and appointed him her secretary and minister. For her he
composed his famous "Treatise on the Sublime," a work which is not only
admirable for its intrinsic excellence, but most valuable as having
preserved to our times many beautiful fragments of ancient poets whose
works are now lost, particularly those of Sappho.

The classical studies of Zenobia seem to have inspired her with some
contempt for her Arab ancestry. She was fond of deriving her origin from
the Macedonian kings of Egypt, and of reckoning Cleopatra among her
progenitors. In imitation of the famous Egyptian queen, she affected
great splendor in her style of living and in her attire; and drank her
wine out of cups of gold richly carved and adorned with gems. It is,
however, admitted that in female dignity and discretion, as well as in
beauty, she far surpassed Cleopatra. She administered the government of
her empire with such admirable prudence and policy, and in particular
with such strict justice toward all classes of her subjects, that she
was beloved by her own people, and respected and feared by the
neighboring nations. She paid great attention to the education of her
three sons, habited them in the Roman purple, and brought them up in the
Roman fashion. But this predilection for the Greek and Roman manners
appears to have displeased and alienated the Arab tribes; for it is
remarked that after this time their fleet cavalry, inured to the deserts
and unequalled as horsemen, no longer formed the strength of her army.

While Gallienus and Claudius governed the Roman empire, Zenobia was
allowed to pursue her conquests, rule her dominions, and enjoy her
triumphs almost without opposition; but at length the fierce and active
Aurelian was raised to the purple, and he was indignant that a woman
should thus brave with impunity the offended majesty of Rome. Having
subdued all his competitors in the West, he turned his arms against the
Queen of the East. Zenobia, undismayed by the terrors of the Roman name,
levied troops, placed herself at their head, and gave the second command
to Zabdas, a brave, and hitherto successful, general. The first great
battle took place near Antioch; Zenobia was totally defeated after an
obstinate conflict; but, not disheartened by this reverse, she retired
upon Emessa, rallied her armies, and once more defied the Roman emperor.
Being again defeated with great loss, and her army nearly dispersed, the
high-spirited queen withdrew to Palmyra, collected her friends around
her, strengthened her fortifications, and declared her resolution to
defend her capital and her freedom to the last moment of her existence.

Zenobia was conscious of the great difficulties which would attend the
siege of a great city, well stored with provisions and naturally
defended by surrounding deserts; these deserts were infested by clouds
of Arabs, who, appearing and disappearing with the swiftness and
suddenness of a whirlwind, continually harassed her enemies. Thus
defended without, and supported by a strong garrison within, Zenobia
braved her antagonist from the towers of Palmyra as boldly as she had
defied him in the field of battle. The expectation of succors from the
East added to her courage, and determined her to persevere to the last.
"Those," said Aurelian in one of his letters, "who speak with contempt
of the war I am waging against a woman, are ignorant both of the
character and power of Zenobia. It is impossible to enumerate her
warlike preparations of stones, of arrows, and of every species of
missile weapons and military engines."

Aurelian, in fact, became doubtful of the event of the siege, and he
offered the queen the most honorable terms of capitulation if she would
surrender to his arms; but Zenobia, who was aware that famine raged in
the Roman camp, and daily looked for the expected relief, rejected his
proposals in a famous Greek epistle, written with equal arrogance and
eloquence; she defied the utmost of his power; and, alluding to the fate
of Cleopatra, expressed her resolution to die like her rather than yield
to the Roman arms. Aurelian was incensed by this haughty letter, even
more than by dangers and delays attending the siege; he redoubled his
efforts, he cut off the succors she expected; he found means to subsist
his troops even in the midst of the desert; every day added to the
number and strength of his army, every day increased the difficulties of
Zenobia, and the despair of the Palmyrenes. The city could not hold out
much longer, and the queen resolved to fly, not to insure her own
safety, but to bring relief to her capital--such at least is the excuse
made for a part of her conduct which certainly requires apology. Mounted
on a fleet dromedary, she contrived to elude the vigilance of the
besiegers, and took the road to the Euphrates; but she was pursued by a
party of the Roman light cavalry, overtaken, and brought as a captive
into the presence of Aurelian. He sternly demanded how she had dared to
oppose the power of Rome? to which she replied, with a mixture of
firmness and gentleness, "Because I disdained to acknowledge as my
masters such men as Aureolus and Gallienus. To Aurelian I submit as my
conqueror and my sovereign." Aurelian was not displeased at the artful
compliment implied in this answer, but he had not forgotten the
insulting arrogance of her former reply. While this conference was going
forward in the tent of the Roman emperor, the troops, who were enraged
by her long and obstinate resistance, and all they had suffered during
the siege, assembled in tumultuous bands calling out for vengeance, and
with loud and fierce cries demanding her instant death. The unhappy
queen, surrounded by the ferocious and insolent soldiery, forgot all her
former vaunts and intrepidity; her feminine terrors had perhaps been
excusable if they had not rendered her base; but in her first panic she
threw herself on the mercy of the emperor, accused her ministers as the
cause of her determined resistance, and confessed that Longinus had
written in her name that eloquent letter of defiance which had so
incensed the emperor.

Longinus, with the rest of her immediate friends and counsellors, were
instantly sacrificed to the fury of the soldiers, and the philosopher
met death with all the fortitude which became a wise and great man,
employing his last moments in endeavoring to console Zenobia and
reconcile her to her fate.

Palmyra surrendered to the conqueror, who seized upon the treasures of
the city, but spared the buildings and the lives of the inhabitants.
Leaving in the place a garrison of Romans, he returned to Europe,
carrying with him Zenobia and her family, who were destined to grace his
triumph.

But scarcely had Aurelian reached the Hellespont, when tidings were
brought to him that the inhabitants of Palmyra had again revolted, and
had put the Roman governor and garrison to the sword. Without a moment's
deliberation the emperor turned back, reached Palmyra by rapid marches,
and took a terrible vengeance on that miserable and devoted city; he
commanded the indiscriminate massacre of all the inhabitants--men,
women, and children; fired its magnificent edifices, and levelled its
walls to the ground. He afterward repented of his fury, and devoted a
part of the captured treasures to reinstate some of the glories he had
destroyed; but it was too late; he could not reanimate the dead, nor
raise from its ruins the stupendous Temple of the Sun. Palmyra became
desolate; its very existence was forgotten, until about a century ago,
when some English travellers discovered it by accident. Thus the blind
fury of one man extinguished life, happiness, industry, art, and
intelligence through a vast extent of country, and severed a link which
had long connected the eastern and western continents of the old world.

When Aurelian returned to Rome after the termination of this war, he
celebrated his triumph with extraordinary pomp. A vast number of
elephants and tigers, and strange beasts from the conquered countries;
sixteen hundred gladiators, an innumerable train of captives, and a
gorgeous display of treasures--gold, silver, gems, plate, glittering
raiment, and Oriental luxuries and rarities, the rich plunder of
Palmyra, were exhibited to the populace. But every eye was fixed on the
beautiful and majestic figure of the Syrian queen, who walked in the
procession before her own sumptuous chariot, attired in her diadem and
royal robes, blazing with jewels, her eyes fixed on the ground, and her
delicate form drooping under the weight of her golden fetters, which
were so heavy that two slaves were obliged to assist in supporting them
on either side; while the Roman populace, at that time the most brutal
and degraded in the whole world, gaped and stared upon her misery, and
shouted in exultation over her fall. Perhaps Zenobia may in that moment
have thought upon Cleopatra, whose example she had once proposed to
follow; and, according to the pagan ideas of greatness and fortitude,
envied her destiny, and felt her own ignominy with all the bitterness of
a vain repentance.

The captivity of Zenobia took place in the year 273, and in the fifth
year of her reign. There are two accounts of her subsequent fate,
differing widely from each other. One author asserts that she starved
herself to death, refusing to survive her own disgrace and the ruin of
her country; but others inform us that the Emperor Aurelian bestowed on
her a superb villa at Tivoli, where she resided in great honor; and that
she was afterward united to a Roman senator, with whom she lived many
years, and died at a good old age. Her daughters married into Roman
families, and it is said that some of her descendants remained so late
as the fifth century.



SIEGFRIED[3]

         [Footnote 3: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By KARL BLIND

(ABOUT 450)

[Illustration: Siegfried.]


Siegfried is the name of the mythic national hero of the Germans, whose
tragic fate is most powerfully described in the "Nibelungen Lied," and
in a series of lays of the Icelandic Edda. A matchless warrior, a
Dragon-killer and overthrower of Giants, who possesses a magic sword, he
conquers the northern Nibelungs and acquires their famed gold hoard. In
the great German epic he is the son of Siegmund and Siegelinde, who rule
in the Netherlands. Going Rhine-upward to Worms, to Gunther, the King of
the Burgundians, he woos and wins Kriemhild, the beautiful sister of
that king, after having first helped Gunther to gain the hand of
Brünhild, a queen beyond sea, in Iceland. No one could obtain that
valiant virgin's consent to wedlock unless he proved a victor over her
in athletic feats, and in trials of battle. By means of his own colossal
strength and his hiding hood, Siegfried, standing invisibly at the side
of Gunther, overcomes Brünhild. Even after the marriage has been
celebrated at Worms, Siegfried has once more to help the Burgundian king
in the same hidden way, in order to vanquish Brünhild's resistance to
the accomplishment of the marriage. When, in later times, Kriemhild and
Brünhild fall out in a quarrel about their husbands' respective worth,
the secret of such stealthy aid having been given, is let out by the
former in a manner affecting the honor of the Burgundian queen as a
wife. Thereupon Hagen promises her to effect a revenge. Having deftly
ascertained from Kriemhild the single vulnerable part of the hero, whose
skin had otherwise been made impenetrable by being dipped into the
Dragon's blood, Hagen treacherously murders Siegfried at a chase. The
gold hoard is then sunk in the Rhine by Hagen, lest Kriemhild should use
it as a means of bribing men for wreaking her own revenge. She afterward
becomes the consort of Etzel, the heathen king of the Hiunes (Hunns) in
Hungary, who resides at Vienna. Thither she allures the Burgundians,
Hagen alone mistrusting the invitation. In Etzel's eastern land all the
Burgundian knights, upon whom the Nibelung name had been conferred,
suffer a terrible death through Kriemhild's wrath. Hagen, who refuses to
the end to reveal to her the whereabouts of the sunken gold hoard, has
his head cut off with Siegfried's sword by the infuriated queen herself.
At last, she, too, is hewn down by the indignant, doughty warrior,
Hildebrand; and so the lofty Hall, into which fire had been thrown, is
all strewn over with the dead. "Here," says the poem, "has the tale an
end. These were the sorrows of the Nibelungs."

In this "Iliad of the Germans," which dates from the end of the twelfth
century, the Siegfried story is given as a finished epic. But its
originally heathen Teutonic character is overlaid there with admixtures
of Christian chivalry. In the Edda and other Scandinavian sources, the
tale appears in fragmentary and lyrical shape, but in a purer version,
without additions from the new faith or from mediæval chivalry. It is in
the Sigurd-, Fafnir-, Brynhild-, Gudrun-, Oddrun-, Atli-, and Hamdir
Lays of the Norse Scripture that the original nature of the older German
songs, which must have preceded the epic, can best be guessed. Rhapsodic
lays, referring to Siegfried, were, in all probability, part of the
collection which Karl the Great, the Frankish Kaiser, ordered to be
made. Monkish fanaticism afterward destroyed the valuable relics.
Fortunately, Northmen travelling in Germany had gathered some of those
tale-treasures, which then were treated by Scandinavian and Icelandic
bards in the form of heroic lyrics. Hence the Eddic lays in question
form now a link between our lost Siegfried "Lieder" and our national
epic.

Even as in the "Nibelungen Lied" so also in the "Edda," Sigurd
(abbreviation for Siegfried) is not a Scandinavian, but a Southern, a
Rhenish, a German hero. The whole scene of the tragic events is laid in
the Rhinelands, where the killing of the Worm also takes place. On a
hill in Frank-land Sigurd frees Brynhild from the magic slumber into
which Odin had thrown her on a rock of punishment, because she, as a
Valkyr, or shield-maiden of his, had brought about the death of a Gothic
king to whom the god of battle had promised victory. In the south, on
the Rhine, Sigurd is murdered. In the Rhine, Högni (Hagen) hides the
Nibelung treasure. Many German tribes--Franks, Saxons, Burgundians,
Goths, even a Svava-land, or Suabian land, are mentioned in the "Edda."
The "Drama of Revenge," after Sigurd's death, though motives of the act
somewhat different from those stated in the "Nibelungen Lied" are
assigned, is also localized on the Lower Rhine, in the Hall of Atli, the
King of the Hunes. In the "Nibelungen Lied," that name appears as Etzel
(Attila), King of the Hunns.

In the "Edda" and in the "Vilkina Saga," Germans are referred to as
sources for some details of the Sigurd story. So strong was, in
Scandinavia, the tradition of the Teutonic origin of the tale, down to
the twelfth century, that, in a geographical work written in Norse by
the Abbot Nicolaus, the Gnita Heath, where Sigurd was said to have
killed the Dragon, was still placed half-way between Paderborn and
Mainz. Thus it was from Germany that this grand saga spread all over the
North, including the Faröer. In the "Hvenic Chronicle," in Danish songs,
we even find Siegfried as "Sigfred;" Kriemhild as "Gremild;" and she is
married to him at Worms, as in the "Nibelungen Lied," while in the
"Edda" Sigurd's wife is called Gudrun, and the remembrance of Worms is
lost. The scene of the Norse poems is wholly on Rhenish ground.

[Illustration: Siegfried slaying the Dragon.]

Now, in that neighborhood, in the northwest of Germany, a Teutonic tribe
once dwelt, called Hunes, which is also traceable in Scandinavia. Sigurd
himself is, in the "Edda," described as a Hunic king. His kith and
kin dwell in Huna-land. "Hune" probably meant a bold and powerful
warrior. The word still lingers in Germany in various ways; gigantic
grave-monuments of prehistoric times are called Hunic Graves or
"Hünen-Betten," and a tall, strong man a "Hüne." In his "Church History"
the Anglo-Saxon monk Baeda, or Bede, when speaking of the various German
tribes which had made Britain into an Angle-land, or England, mentions
the Hunes. In the Anglo-Saxon "Wanderer's Tale" they also turn up,
apparently in connection with a chieftain Aetla; that is, Atli. In
Friesland, the Hunsing tribe long preserved the Hunic name. The word
occurs in many personal and place names both in Germany and in England;
for instance: Hunolt (a Rhenish hero), Hunferd, Hunlaf, Hunbrecht
(champions among Frisians and Rhinelanders in the "Beowulf" epic);
Huneboldt (bold like a Hune); Ethelhun (noble Hune); then there are, in
German geography, the Hunsrück Mountain; Hunoldstein, Hunenborn,
Hunnesrück, near Hildesheim, etc. Again, in England: Hundon, Hunworth,
Hunstanton, Huncote, Hunslet, Hunswick, and many other places from Kent
and Suffolk up to Lancashire and Shetland, where certainly no Mongolic
Hunns ever penetrated. The Hunic Atli name is also to be found on
English soil, in Attlebridge and Attleborough.

After the Great Migrations the various tribes and races became much
intermixed. It was by a misunderstanding which arose then between the
German Hunes and the Hunns under Attila's leadership, that Kriemhild's
revenge after the murder of Siegfried was poetically transferred from
the Rhine to the Danube. The name of the Rhenish Atli, which is
preserved in the "Edda," and which also occurs as a German chieftain's
name on the soil of conquered Britain, easily served to facilitate the
confusion. Even the composition of Attila's army lent itself to this
transplantation of the second part of the Siegfried story to Danubian
lands. For, though Attila was overthrown on the Catalaunian fields,
mainly by Germanic hosts, to which Roman and Gallic troops were added,
he had a great many Teutonic warriors in his own army. From this
military intermingling of races so utterly dissimilar in blood and
speech as the Hunns and the Germans, one of whose tribes were called
Hunes, it is not difficult to conceive the shifting of the tragic issue
of the Nibelung story to the East. Attila, the Hunn, slid into the
previous Teutonic hero-figure of Atli, the Hune. This change will the
more easily be understood when the deep impression is remembered which
the terrible Mongolic war-leader had made on the popular mind in
southern Germany, where the Nibelungen epic was cast into its present
shape.

The hold which the Siegfried story has had on the German people, through
ages, can be gathered from the fact of its having kept its place, down
to our days, in the workman's house and the peasant's hut, first by oral
tradition, and then by rudely printed and illustrated chap-books ("Die
Geschichte vom hürnenen Siegfried"). In this "Volksbuch" there are
remarkable details concerning the hero's early life in a smithy and the
prophecy of his assassination, which are lost in the "Nibelungen Lied,"
but preserved in the "Edda." This circumstance--overlooked even by
Simrock, who, like Jacob Grimm, has done much to show the German origin
of the Norse Sigurd saga--is another curious bit of evidence of the
undeniable Teutonic source of the corresponding Scandinavian and
Icelandic stories and poems.

Many attempts have been made to get at the historical kernel of the
tale. Some would see in it traces of the songs which, according to
Tacitus, were sung, of old, in honor of Armin (usually, though
mistakenly, called Hermann), the deliverer of Germany from the Roman
yoke. It has been assumed that the contents of these songs were combined
with traditions of the deeds of Civilis, the leader of the Batavian
Germans against Roman dominion, as well as of the conquest of Britain by
Hengest. Recently, the Norse scholar, Gudbrand Vigfússon, has once more
started this "Armin" interpretation of the tale, under the impression
that he was the first to do so; whereas, in Germany, Mone and
Giesebrecht had worked out that idea already some sixty years ago. In
order to support his theory, Vigfússon boldly proposed to change the
Hunic name of Sigurd, in the Eddic text, into "Cheruskian." He imagined
the former name to be absurd, because Siegfried was not a Hunn; but
Vigfússon was unacquainted with the wide historical distribution of the
Hunic name in Germany and England.

Others saw in the Siegfried story an echo of the overthrow of the
Burgundian king Gundahari (Gunther), by Attila, on the Rhine. Gundahari,
who first threw himself with an army of 20,000 men against the Hunnic
leader, gloriously fell with all his men. In the same way, in the
"Nibelungen Lied," the Burgundian king, Gunther, is killed, with all his
men, in the land of Etzel, the ruler of the Hiunes. Again, others have
pointed to the feats of Theodorick, the king of the Eastern Goths; or to
the fate of Siegbert, the king of the Austrasian Franks, who was
murdered at the instigation of Fredegunda; or to the powerful Frankish
family of the Pipins, from whom Karl the Great hailed, by way of trying
to explain some parts of the Siegfried story. With the Pipins of
"Nivella," we come upon a word in consonance with "Nibelung."

Then the wars which the Frankish Kaiser Karl waged against the Saxons of
Witukind, have been held to be indicated in the war which the Frankish
Siegfried, in the "Nibelungen Lied," wages against the Saxons. To all
appearance, however, the tale is a mixture of mythological and
historical traditions. In the Middle Ages, and still much later,
Siegfried was looked upon as an undoubtedly historical figure. His
praise was sung through all Germany. His very tomb, one of his weapons,
as well as his carved image, were shown under the name of Siegfried's
grave, Siegfried's spear, and Siegfried's statue. So persistent was this
belief that when, in the fifteenth century, Kaiser Frederick III. came
to Worms, he had the alleged grave of "that second Hector and powerful
giant" opened, to see whether his bones could be found. Only a head and
a few bones were dug up, "larger than men's heads and bones usually
are." At Worms, the Siegfried story was pictured, in ancient times, in
the Town Hall and on the Mint. All round Worms, place-names connected
with the Nibelung tale occur with remarkable frequency. If the lost
rhapsodic songs could be recovered, both mythological and historical
allusions would, in all likelihood, be found in them.

An eminently Frankish tale, the Nibelungen cycle, has arisen in that
martial German tribe which once held sway in the greater part of Europe.
In its origin, the tale is considered by many careful investigators--so
also by Richard Wagner, who founded his famous music-drama on it--to
have been a Nature myth, upon which real events became engrafted. From
this point of view, the earliest meaning of Siegfried's victory over the
Dragon would signify the triumph of the God of Light over the monster of
the chaotic aboriginal Night. It would be, on German ground, the
overthrow of Python by Apollon. In this connection it is to be pointed
out that Sigurd appears in the "Edda" as the hero "with the shining
eyes," and that, in one of the German Rose Garden tales, twelve swords
are attributed to him--a description which might be referred to the
zodiac and to sunshine; so that he would be a solar hero. And even as
Day is, in its turn, vanquished by Night; as Summer must yield to
Winter; so also Siegfried falls in the end. The god which he originally
was thus becomes human; the sad fate of so noble a champion gives rise
to feelings of revenge for what is held to be an evil and criminal deed;
and a tragedy is constructed, in which generations appear as actors and
victims.

A special feature of the Frankish myth is the hoard, the fatal treasure
which works never-ending mischief. It is said to represent the metal
veins of the subterranean Region of Gloom. There, as is stated in an
Eddic record, Dark Elves (Nibelungs, or nebulous Sons of the Night) are
digging and working, melting and forging the ore in their smithies,
producing charmful rings that remind us of the diadems which bind the
brows of rulers; golden ornaments and sharp weapons; all of which confer
great power upon their owner. When Siegfried slays the Dragon, when
Light overcomes Darkness, this hoard is his booty, and he becomes master
of the Nibelungs. But the Dragon's dark heir ever seeks to regain it
from the victor; so Night malignantly murders the Day; Hagen kills
Siegfried. The treasure on which Siegfried's power is founded becomes
the cause of his death; and through Death he himself, albeit originally
a refulgent God of Light, is turned into a figure of gloom; that is, a
Nibelung.

There is much in the Norse Skalds which seems to support this
mythological aspect of the tale. The name of Siegfried's murderer,
Hagen--who is one-eyed, even as Hödur, the God of Night, who kills
Baldur, the God of Light, is blind--has also been adduced for this
interpretation. Hagen is explained as the Thorn of Death, the hawthorn
(German Hagedorn), with which men are stung into eternal sleep, or
rather into a death-like trance. Odin stings Brynhild into her trance
with a sleeping-thorn. Hagen, in the sense of death, still lingers in
the German expression, "Friend Hain," as a euphemism for the figure
which announces that one's hour has come. The hawthorn was the special
wood used for fire-burial in Germany; hence the figurative poetical
expression which would make Hagen a synonym for death.

In the German and Norse poems, as we possess them now, myth and
apparently historical facts are inextricably welded together. A
powerful representation of the Siegfried tale is given in the series of
large pictures, at Munich, by the distinguished painter Schnorr von
Karolsfeld.

[Signature: Karl Blind.]



KING ARTHUR

By Rev. S. BARING-GOULD

(About 520)

[Illustration: King Arthur.]


Arthur, king of the Siluri, or Dumnonii--British races driven back into
the west of England by the Saxons--is represented as having united the
British tribes in resisting the pagan invaders, and as having been the
champion not only of his people but also of Christianity. He is said to
have lived in the sixth century, and to have maintained a stubborn
contest against the Saxon Cerdic, but the "Saxon Chronicle" is
suspiciously silent as to his warfare and as to his existence. Indeed,
the Welsh bards of the earliest period do not assert that he was a
contemporary, and it is more than doubtful whether he is an historic
personage. It is worthy of remark that the fame of Arthur is widely
spread; he is claimed alike as a prince in Brittany, Cornwall, Wales,
Cumberland, and the lowlands of Scotland; that is to say, his fame is
conterminous with the Brithonic race, and does not extend to the Goidels
or Gaels. As is now well known, Great Britain was twice invaded by races
of Celtic blood and tongue; the first wave was that of the Goidels, and
after a lapse of some considerable time a second Celtic wave, that of
the Brithons, or Britons, from the east, overran Britain, and drove the
Gaels to west and north. Finn and Ossian belong to the mythic heroic
cycle of the Gaels, and Arthur and Merlin to that of the Britons. These
several shadowy forms are probably deities shorn of their divinity and
given historic attributes and position, much as, among the Norsemen,
Odin, when he ceased to be regarded as the All-father, or God, came to
be reckoned as an ancestor of the kings.

In the lays of the Welsh bards, supposed to be as early as the sixth and
seventh centuries (although no MS. is extant of older date than the
twelfth century), Arthur and his brave companions are celebrated, but
modestly and without marvels. It is possible that there may have existed
in the sixth century a prince bearing the already well-known heroic
name; and if so, about him the myths belonging to the remote ancestor or
god have crystallized. The legendary additions begin to gather in the
history of the Britons by Nennius, a writer supposed to have lived at
the beginning of the seventh century; but Mr. Thomas Wright has shown
("Biographia Literaria," Saxon period) that his history is a forgery of
a much later date, probably of the tenth century. Mr. Skene, however
("The Four Ancient Books of Wales"), makes fight to give Arthur an
historic place, and we do not deny that there may have been a prince of
that name. Next in order come the so-called Armoric collections of
Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford (latter part of eleventh century), from
which Geoffrey of Monmouth professes to translate, and in which the
marvellous and supernatural elements largely prevail. Here for the first
time the magician Merlin comes into association with Arthur. According
to Geoffrey, Arthur's father, Uther, conceiving a passion for Igerna,
wife of Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, is changed by Merlin into the
likeness of Gorlois, and Arthur is the result. After his father's death
Arthur becomes paramount leader of the British, and makes victorious
expeditions to Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, and also to France,
where he defeats a great Roman army. During his absence his nephew,
Modred, revolts, and seduces Prince Arthur's wife, Gweniver
(Gwenhwywar). Arthur returning, falls in a battle with his nephew, and
is carried to the Isle of Avalon to be cured of his wounds. Geoffrey's
work apparently gave birth to a multitude of fictions, which came to be
considered as quasi-historical traditions. From these, exaggerated by
each succeeding age, and recast by each narrator, sprung the famous
metrical romances of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, first in
French and afterward in English, from which modern notions of Arthur are
derived. In these his habitual residence is at Caerlon, on the Usk, in
Wales, where, with his beautiful wife, Guinevere, he lives in splendid
state, surrounded by hundreds of knights and beautiful ladies, who serve
as patterns of valor, breeding, and grace to all the world. Twelve
knights, the bravest of the throng, form the centre of this retinue, and
sit with the king at a round table, the "Knights of the Round Table."
From the court of King Arthur knights go forth to all countries in
search of adventure--to protect women, chastise oppressors, liberate the
enchanted, enchain giants and malicious dwarfs, is their knightly
mission.

The earliest legends of Arthur's exploits are to be found in the bardic
lays attributed to the sixth and seventh centuries ("Myoyrian Archæology
of Wales," 1801). A Welsh collection of stories called the "Mabinogion,"
of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and translated into English
by Lady Charlotte Guest in 1849, gives further Arthurian legends. Some
of the stories "have the character of chivalric romances," and are
therefore probably of French origin; while others "bear the impress of a
far higher antiquity, both as regards the manners they depict and the
style of language in which they are composed." These latter rarely
mention Arthur, but the former belong, as Mr. Skene puts it, to the
"full-blown Arthurian romance." Chrétien de Troies, the most famous of
the old French trouvères in the latter part of the twelfth century, made
the Arthur legend the subject for his "Romans" and "Contes," as well as
for two epics on Tristan; the Holy Grail, Peredur, etc., belonging to
the same cycle. Early in the same century the Arthurian metrical romance
became known in Germany, and there assumed a more animated and artistic
form in the "Parzival" of Wolfram of Eschenbach, "Tristan und Isolt" of
Gottfried of Strasburg, "Erec and Iwein" of Hartmann, and "Wigalois" of
Wirnt. The most renowned of the heroes of the Arthurian school are
Peredur (Parzival or Perceval), Tristan or Tristram, Iwein, Erec,
Gawein, Wigalois, Wigamur, Gauriel, and Lancelot. From France the
Arthurian romance spread also to Spain, Provence, Italy, and the
Netherlands, even into Iceland, and was again transplanted into England.
One of the publications that issued from the press of Caxton (1485) was
a collection of stories by Sir Thomas Malory, either compiled by him in
English, from various of the later French prose romances, or translated
directly from an already existing French compendium. Copland reprinted
the work in 1557, and in 1634 the last of the black-letter editions
appeared. A reprint of Caxton's "Kynge Arthur," with an introduction and
notes by Robert Southey, was issued in 1817--"The Byrth, Lyfe, and Actes
of Kyng Arthur." The most complete edition is that by Thomas Wright,
from the text of 1634.

The name of King Arthur was given during the Middle Ages to many places
and monuments supposed to have been in some way associated with his
exploits, such as "Arthur's Seat," near Edinburgh, "Arthur's Oven," on
the Carron, near Falkirk, etc. What was called the sepulchre of his
queen was shown at Meigle, in Strathmore, in the sixteenth century. Near
Boscastle, in Cornwall, is Pentargain, a headland called after him
"Arthur's Head." Other localities take his name in Brittany. In the
Middle Ages, in Germany, Arthur's Courts were buildings in which the
patricians assembled. One such still remains at Danzig. There was one
anciently at Thorn, about which a ballad and legend exist. Milton was
meditating an Arthurian epic in 1639; and in our own day the interest of
the legends about King Arthur and his knights has been revived by
Tennyson's "Idylls of the King" and some of Wagner's operas. We must not
omit to note the magnificent life-sized ideal bronze figure of Arthur,
cast for the monument of Maximilian I., now in the Franciscan church at
Innsbruck, and regarded as the finest among the series of heroes there
represented.

[Illustration: The Ruins of King Arthur's Castle.]



ROLAND

(740-778)

  "O, for a blast of that dread horn,
  On Fontarabian echoes borne
      That to King Charles did come,
  When Rowland brave, and Olivier,
  And every paladin and peer
      On Roncesvalles died!"--_Marmion._

  "When Charlemain with all his peerage fell,
      By Fontarabbia."--_Paradise Lost._

[Illustration: Roland.]


"A Roland for an Oliver!" Saving the passing reference by Scott and
Milton, quoted above, Roland and Olivier are almost unknown to English
readers, and yet their once familiar names, knit together for centuries,
have passed into a proverb, to be remembered as we remember the
friendship of David and Jonathan, or to be classed by the scholar with
Pylades, and Orestes of classic story, or with Amys and Amylion of
romance.

The "Song of Roland" might be called the national epic of France. It
corresponds to the "Mort d'Arthur" of England, the "Cid Chronicles" of
Spain, the "Nibelungen Lied" of Germany, and the Longobardian legends of
North Italy. Italian mediæval literature is rich in the Roland romances,
founded on the fabulous "Chronicle of John Turpin" and the "Chansons de
Gestes," of which the "Song of Roland" is one. Of the Italian romances
the "Morgante Maggiore" of Pulci was published as early as 1488,
Boyardo's "Orlando Innamorata" in 1496, and Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso"
in 1515. English versions of Boyardo and Ariosto have since been
translated into the rhyming couplets of Hoole, and as late as 1831 into
the _ottava rima_ stanzas of W. S. Rose. It was not, however, till
April, 1880, that a full English translation of the original "Song of
Roland," from MSS. written in the old _langue d'oil_ of Northern France,
was published by Kegan, Paul & Co., from the pen of Mr. O'Hagan, Q.C.,
of Dublin. Most probably it was a curtailed version of this romance that
is referred to by Wace in his "Roman le Rou," when he records how, as
the Normans marched to Senlac Hill, in 1066, the minstrel Taillefer
sang,

  "Of Roland and the heroes all
   Who fell at fatal Roncesvall."

Turning to the historical data on which the romance is based, it will be
found that in the year 778 A.D. Charlemagne, accompanied by his nephew,
Count Roland of Bretagne, and the flower of Frankish chivalry, made a
raid across the Spanish border. Abdalrahman, the first of the great
Spanish caliphs of Cordova, was engaged in putting down the rebellious
chiefs who had refused to own their allegiance to the new caliphate. The
frontier was therefore comparatively unprotected. The Spanish
Christians, who maintained a precarious independence among the Asturias
and Pyrenees, and who found it the wisest policy to be at peace with the
Mohammedan rulers, were not strong enough to resist Charlemagne.
Accordingly the Franks advanced nearly to Saragossa. On returning to
France laden with spoil through the winding defile of Roncesvalles (the
valley of thorns or briers), their rear-guard was cut off by a band of
Basques or Gascons and Spanish-Arabians, and their leader, Roland,
slain. To the presence of these Spanish Christians in the Moorish army
must be attributed the origin of the many Spanish ballads on the
victory, in which all the glory is due to the prowess of the national
hero, Bernardo Del Carpio, "the doughtiest lance in Spain." It is
curious also to note, on the other hand, that the Arabians themselves in
their chronicles, translated by the Spanish historian Condé, make little
of this victory, merely mentioning the fact. The Saracen King Marsil, or
Marsilius, of Saragossa, so often referred to in this and other
Carlovingian romances, is identified by Condé with the Mohammedan Wali,
or Governor of Saragossa, Abdelmelic, the son of Omar, called by the
Christians Omarus Filius, hence the corruption Marsilius.

With these brief outlines of the history of Roncesvalles before us it is
interesting to observe the grandiloquent strain of the old Norman
_rymours_, the fearless exaggerations, and the total ignorance of the
actual state of affairs in Spain under the enlightened and accomplished
Arabians.

  _"Carles li reis nostre emperere magnes,
    Set anz tut pleins ad estet en Espaigne."_

Our great emperor Charles the King had been for seven full years in
Spain, so runs the chronicle; castle and keeper alike had gone down
except Saragossa, the mountain town, where King Marsil held his court,
surrounded by 20,000 Mohammedan nobles. At their council it was agreed
to accept Spain as a fief from the emperor, and ten knights set out with
golden bridles and silver saddles,

  "And they ride with olive boughs in hand,
   To seek the lord of the Frankish land."

Near the pass of Roncesvalles, one of the Pyrenean "gates" of Spain,
sits the emperor upon a throne of beaten gold. His form is tall and
majestic, and his long white beard flows over his coat of mail. 'Tis
whispered, too, that he is already two hundred years old, and yet, there
he is in all his pride. Beside him stand his nephew Roland, the Lord
Marquis of the marches of Bretagne; Sir Olivier; Geoffrey of Anjou, the
progenitor of the Plantagenets; "and more than a thousand Franks of
France." The Moslem knights are introduced to this council of war, King
Marsil's offer is accepted, and Sir Ganelon is sent to Saragossa to
represent the emperor. Jealous of Roland's military glory, and envious
of the stores of pagan gold, the false Ganelon conspires with King
Marsil to put the all-powerful Roland to death. King Marsil is assured
that on receipt of the golden tribute, Charlemagne will be persuaded to
leave Spain, while by the traitor's advice Roland will be appointed to
remain behind and guard the rear of the retiring hosts. The scheme
succeeded. Ganelon returned to the Frankish camp with the tribute-money
for the emperor, and the traitor's gold for himself. The Franks begin
their homeward march. They are now descending the mountains into their
own fertile Gascon plains, and their hearts beat lightly, for

  "They think of their homes and their manors there,
   Their gentle spouses and damsels fair."

But their great chief is silent and gloomy. Roland, the bravest of the
brave, has been left behind with all the paladins, save Ganelon, beyond
the gates of Spain. Last night the emperor dreamed he seemed to stand by
Cizra's pass in Roncesvalles, when Ganelon appeared before him, wrenched
the emperor's spear from out his hand, waved it on high, then dashed it
in pieces. What did it mean? He remembered the ominous words of his
peers, "Evil will come of this quest, we fear," and Ganelon's strange
reply, "Ye shall hear."

Meanwhile Sir Roland was far behind in Roncesvalles. He rode his gallant
steed Veillantif; his white pennon, fringed with gold and set with
diamonds, sparkled in the sunshine; and by his side he wore his famous
sword Durindana, with its hilt of gold shaped like a cross, on which was
graven the name of "Jesus." What a glorious picture of the Christian
hero of mediæval times! With him were Olivier, the good Archbishop
Turpin, and the remaining knights who made up the Order of the Paladins
of Charlemagne, together with an army of 20,000 men.

The drums beat to arms in Saragossa's town, the tambours roll, the
tabors sound, and 400,000 men attend the call of King Marsil. From a
neighboring height Sir Olivier observes this countless host approaching.
He calls to Roland to blow his ivory horn and bring back the emperor.
Roland refuses, and the Franks prepare to fight; not, however, before on
bended knee they receive the archbishop's benediction and a promise of
paradise to all who die in this holy war against the pagan foe. With the
old French battle-cry, "Mont-joie! Mont-joie!" the Christians dash the
rowels into their steeds and close with the enemy. Homer does not relate
a bloodier fight than that which follows, and which takes eighty-six
stanzas, or fifty of Mr. O'Hagan's pages, to describe. Again and again
the Christians charge the Saracens. What deeds the great sword Durindana
did that day! The slain lie in thousands; the Saracens flee; and in the
pursuit all are killed save _one_, who reaches Saragossa. The triumph,
however, is short-lived; Ganelon had decreed that Roland must die, and
so a mightier army than before marches forth to exterminate Roland's
handful, now reduced to 300.

During this battle a terrible storm passes over France,--thunder and
whirlwinds, rain and hail, there came.

The people thought that the end of the world had come, but this was only
a foreshadowing of Roland's death. At last all the nobles are killed
except Roland, Olivier, the archbishop, and sixty men. Then only will
Roland deign to blow his horn. Charlemagne hears it thirty leagues away,
and orders his army to return to Roncesvalles. Ganelon alone seeks to
dissuade him, and is put in chains by the desire of the nobles, who
suspect him. The army of Charles hurries back, but all too late. They
will not arrive in time. Away in the Pass of Cizra, Roland looks around
on his dead comrades and weeps. He returns to Olivier's side, who is
engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter with King Marsil's uncle, the Moslem
prince, Algalif, from whom he receives his death-wound. Olivier reels in
his saddle, his eyes are dimmed with blood, and as he strikes madly
about with his spear, he smashes Roland's helmet. The friend of Olivier
is astonished, but soft and low he speaks to him thus:

  "'Hast thou done it, my comrade, wittingly?
    Roland who loves thee so dear am I.
    Thou hast no quarrel with me to seek?'
    Olivier answered, 'I hear thee speak,
    But I see thee not; God seeth thee.
    Have I struck thee, brother, forgive it me?'
   'I am not hurt, O Olivier;
    And in sight of God, I forgive thee here.'
    Then to each other his head hath laid,
    And in love like this was their parting made."

With hands clasped Sir Olivier cries to God for admittance into
Paradise, and for a blessing on "King Karl and France the fair," and
above all on his brother Roland. Then his hands fall, his head sinks on
his breast, and he passes away. Filled with grief, Roland murmurs:

  "So many days and years gone by
   We lived together.
   And thou hast never done me wrong.
   Since thou art dead, to live is pain."

Once more Roland turns to where Count Walter of Hum and the archbishop
alone stand at bay:

  "And the heathen cries, 'What a felon three!
   Look to it, lords, that they shall not flee.'"

[Illustration: Roland at Roncesvalles.]

Count Walter falls at last, just as they hear the welcome sound of
Charlemagne's trumpets, at which the Saracens flee, leaving Roland and
the archbishop unconquered. But their end is near. Roland swoons, and
the good archbishop, in attempting to bring water in the famous horn
for the dying Paladin, falls from loss of blood. Roland recovers only in
time to see him die; then, as he feels that death is near him also, he
looks once more on his goodly sword Durindana, and as he looks he cries:

  "Oh fair and holy, my peerless sword,
   What relics lie in thy pommel stored--
   Tooth of St. Peter, Saint Basil's blood,
   Hair of St. Denis beside them strewed,
   Fragment of Holy Mary's vest--
  'Twere shame that thou with the heathen rest,
   Thee should the hand of a Christian serve,
   One who should never in battle swerve."

In despair lest it fall into pagan hands he tries to break it in pieces,
and the mighty slashes he made in the rocks are still pointed out as the
"Brèche de Roland." You remember Wordsworth's lines:

                    "the Pyrenean breach,
  Which Roland clove with huge two-handed sway,
  And to the enormous labor left his name,
  Where unremitting frost the rocky crescents bleach."

Surely Roland might now rest from his labors, amid the "flowerets of
Paradise." But no; he had yet to smash the head of a prowling Saracen
who thought him an easy prey. In doing so he spoiled forever the ivory
horn, his only weapon. Not till then could he clasp his hands as he went
to rest, and not till then did

  "God from on high send down to him
   One of His angel cherubim."

St. Michael it was, who with St. Gabriel bore his soul to Paradise.

It would be too long a story to tell of the vengeance of the Emperor
Charles, how _the sun stood still_ till the Franks had killed every one
of the Saracens; how Ganelon was accused of treachery, tried by combat,
and sentenced to be torn to pieces by wild horses. The story is a true
tragedy, terrible as the tragedy of Oedipus. From another source we
gather the mournful sequel.

Long before the battle of Roncesvalles Roland and Olivier had met in
single combat on a quiet island in the Rhone. Toward even a fleecy cloud
hovered over them, and from its midst an angel "wrapped in rosy light"
separated the combatants, bidding them be friends, and telling them to
turn their swords against the enemies of the Faith. The heroes shook
hands, the angel vanished, and from that day there were no truer friends
than Roland and Olivier. Their union was further cemented by the
betrothal of Roland to the Lady Alda, Sir Olivier's sister, a maiden who
had already, in Roland's presence, proved herself as bold in war as she
was loving in peace.



ROLLO THE GANGER[4]

         [Footnote 4: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By HJALMAR HJORTH BOYESEN

(860-932)

[Illustration: Rollo the Ganger.]


When King Harold the Fair-haired, in 872 A.D., had united all the
scattered earldoms of Norway under his own sway, he issued a stringent
order forbidding pillaging within his kingdom under penalty of outlawry.
The custom of sailing out into the world as a viking and plundering
foreign lands, was held to be a most honorable one in those days; and
every chieftain who wished to give his sons the advantages of "a liberal
education" and foreign travel, strained his resources in order to equip
them for such an expedition. But the Norwegians of the ninth century had
as yet no national feeling; and they regarded King Harold's prohibition
against plundering their own shores as absurd and arbitrary. Rollo or
Rolf, the son of the king's best friend, Ragnvald, Earl of Möre,
undertook to disregard the order. Coming home from a cruise in the
Baltic and being short of provisions, he landed in the south of Norway
and made havoc among the coast dwellers. The king, determined to make an
end of the nefarious practice, kept his word and outlawed him.

Rollo, being unequal to a struggle with the king, betook himself to the
Hebrides, where a number of other Norse chieftains had sought a refuge
from similar persecutions. His great strength and sagacity, no less than
his distinguished birth, secured him a favorable reception and much
influence. He was so tall that no Norwegian horse could carry him, for
which reason he was compelled always to walk, and was surnamed Rollo the
Ganger, or Walker. Though not formally recognized as chieftain, he seems
gradually, by dint of his eminence, to have assumed command over the
Norse exiles; and it was probably at his advice that they resolved to
abandon the bleak and barren Hebrides, and seek a more congenial home in
a sunnier clime. At all events a large expedition was fitted out and set
sail for the south, early in the tenth century. It landed first in
Holland, but finding that all-too-accessible country already devastated
by other vikings, they proceeded to the coast of France and entered the
mouth of the river Seine. Charles the Simple, a feeble, foolish, and
good-natured man, was then king of France, but utterly unequal to the
task of defending his territory against foreign invaders or domestic
pretenders. The empire of Charlemagne had been broken up and divided
among his grandsons; and the fraction which was to be France, was then
confined between the Loire and the Meuse.

Here was a golden opportunity for Rollo the Ganger and his vikings.
Meeting with no formidable opposition, they sailed up the Seine and cast
anchor at the town of Jumièges, five leagues from Rouen. This ancient
city, which had suffered much from recent sieges and invasions, was in
no condition to defend itself. It was of slight avail that the priests
chanted in the churches, with the fervor of despair: "Deliver us, oh
God, from the fury of Norsemen!" The vikings continued to pillage the
surrounding territory, and were daily expected to sack the city. In this
dire dilemma the Archbishop of Rouen offered himself as an ambassador to
the pagans, in the hope that perhaps he might become an instrument in
the hand of God to avert the impending doom. But if, as seemed more
probable, martyrdom was in store for him, he was ready to face death
without flinching. Rollo, however, who could honor courage even in an
enemy, received him courteously, and after a brief negotiation pledged
himself, in case the city surrendered, to take peaceful possession of it
and to molest no one. This pledge he kept to the letter. His ships
sailed up the river, and the tall chieftain, at the head of his band of
yellow-haired warriors, made his entry into Rouen, without a sword being
drawn or a torch lighted. He inspected the fortifications, the water
supply, and all points of strategic interest, and finding everything
tolerably satisfactory, resolved to remain. Making Rouen his
headquarters and base of supplies, the Norsemen made expeditions up the
Seine and established a great fortified camp near the confluence of the
Seine and the Eure. Hither a French army, under the command of Regnault,
Duke of France, was sent to drive them out of the country. But before
risking a battle Regnault chose to negotiate. He sent a certain Hasting,
Count of Chartres, to Rollo in order to find out what was the aim and
object of his invasion. This Hasting was himself a Norseman, and had,
twenty years before, proved himself so formidable a foe, that the King
of France had been compelled to buy his friendship by a concession of
land and a noble title, in return for which favors Hasting had become a
Christian and a vassal to the king. It was doubtful, perhaps, if this
man, even though he may have acted in good faith, was the best
ambassador to his countrymen. For he was himself a living example of
what might be gained by audacity and a shrewd use of one's advantages.

The following conversation is reported to have taken place between the
Count of Chartres and the Norwegian vikings:

"Gallant soldiers!" shouted Hasting, from afar, "what is your
chieftain's name?"

"We have no lord over us," they replied; "we are all equal."

"For what purpose have you come to France?"

"To drive out the people who are here, or make them our subjects, and
win for ourselves a new country. But who are you? How is it that you
speak our tongue?"

"You know the story of Hasting," the count made answer; "Hasting, the
great viking, who scoured the seas with his multitude of ships, and did
so much damage in this kingdom?"

"Ay, we have heard of that; but Hasting has made a bad end to so good a
beginning."

"Will you submit to King Charles?" was the ambassador's next query.
"Will you give your faith and service, and receive from him gifts and
honor?"

"No, no," they cried back; "we will not submit to King Charles. Go back
and tell him so, you messenger, and say that we claim the rule and
dominion of whatever we win by our own strength and our swords."

Hasting lost no time in communicating this message to the French and in
urging a compromise. But Regnault called him a traitor, and would have
none of his advice. He promptly attacked Rollo and his Norsemen, but
suffered an overwhelming defeat. His army was cut to pieces, and he
himself slain by a fisherman of Rouen who had attached himself to the
invading force. Rollo followed up his victory by sailing up the river
and laying siege to Paris; but the capital of France proved too strong
for him and he had to retire to Rouen, whence he continued to havoc the
surrounding country. He conquered the city of Bayeux and slew its ruler,
Count Berenger, whose beautiful daughter, Popa, he married. Instead of
organizing mere plundering expeditions, Rollo gradually changed his
tactics and took permanent possession of the towns that fell into his
hands. The peasants, too, who lived in the open country, found that it
was their best policy to seek his friendship and pay him tribute, rather
than rely upon the uncertain protection of the King of France. They had
discovered before this that Rollo was a man whose word could be
trusted--a lord of mighty will, who had a ruthless way of enforcing
obedience, but was open-handed and generous withal to those who would
serve his purposes.

It could no longer be said with truth, as the vikings had said to
Hasting, that they had no lord over them. Rollo, whose chieftainship had
hitherto been based upon his genius for ruling, was now formally chosen
king--a title which he later exchanged for that of Duke of Normandy. In
Norway, previous to the conquests of Harold the Fair-haired, each
province had had its king, who was not always hereditary, but was often
chosen by the peasants themselves, because he possessed the qualities
required of a leader. It was in accordance with the same custom that
they now conferred kingship upon Rollo, whose valor, sagacity, and
firmness of purpose had been amply proven. It was the power of the
man--the weight and force of his personality--which they respected, no
less than his clear-sightedness, his readiness of resource, and his
skill in the rude statecraft of his age.

[Illustration: Rollo the Ganger attacks Paris.]

Encouraged by his previous successes, Rollo now made larger plans, and
with the view to carrying them out, formed an alliance with some Danish
vikings who had managed to effect a lodgement and maintain themselves
for some years at the mouth of the Loire. Together they started upon an
extensive campaign, the objective point of which was again Paris. But
the powerful fortifications baffled the Norsemen, who possessed no
machinery of destruction fit to cope with such defences. The siege had
therefore to be abandoned. Dijon and Chartres also made a successful
resistance. But a long chain of smaller cities surrendered, and the
country was ravaged far and wide. The peasants took to the woods and
refused to sow their fields, knowing that there was small chance of
their reaping them. So desperate became the situation that nobles and
peasants alike entreated the king to make peace with the Norsemen on
whatever terms he could procure. The king was not unwilling to listen to
such prayers. It occurred to him that in making a treaty with Rollo he
would be killing two birds with one stone. He would not only be ridding
France of a dangerous foe, but he might secure for himself a powerful
friend who might help him keep the unruly nobles in order, and secure
him in the possession of his shorn and reduced kingdom. With this end in
view he invested Rollo with the sovereignty of his northern province,
named after the Norsemen, Normandy, and conferred upon him the title of
duke (912 A.D.). Rollo was to recognize Charles as his overlord, and
defend him against external and internal foes; and he was to become a
Christian and marry the king's daughter, Gisla. It is told, however,
that when Rollo was required to kneel down and kiss the royal foot in
token of fealty, he stoutly refused.

"I will never bend my knee before any man," he said, "nor will I kiss
anyone's foot."

After much persuasion however, he permitted one of his men to perform
the act of homage in his stead. His proxy stalked sullenly forward, and
pausing before the king, who was on horseback, seized his foot and
raised it to his lips. By this manoeuvre, the king came to make a
somersault, at which there followed a great and disrespectful burst of
laughter from the Norsemen.

Shortly after the conclusion of this treaty Rollo was baptized, and his
marriage to the Princess Gisla was celebrated with great pomp in the
city of Rouen. His previous marriage to Popa does not seem to have
caused him any scruple, though, as a matter of fact, he continued to
regard the latter as his wife, and when Gisla died he resumed his
marital relations with her, if indeed they had ever been interrupted.
The princess had been to him nothing but a hostage from the king and a
pledge of his good faith. But Popa, who was the mother of his son
William, surnamed Longsword, he loved, and we do not hear that the fact
that he had killed her father caused any serious trouble between them.

As Duke of Normandy, Rollo exhibited a political insight and a genius
for administration which in those turbulent days was certainly
remarkable. He had the true welfare of his people at heart, and with a
firm hand he maintained justice, protecting the weak, and restraining
the strong. The laws which he made he enforced with stern impartiality,
and no man could plead birth or privilege before him, if he wantonly
offended. The farmers were Rollo's special care; for warrior though he
was, he well knew that war is destructive, and that the prosperity of a
land must be founded upon productive labor. The peasantry of Normandy
were not slow to discover that they were better off under their new
ruler than they ever had been under the old; and they rewarded Rollo
with a sincere loyalty and devotion. Their confidence in his power to
right wrong, became in the course of time half superstitious; and if any
of them was in peril or suffered at the hands of his enemy, it became
the fashion to shout: "Ha, Rou!"--Rou being a corruption of Raoul, the
French form of Rolf or Rollo. Then it was the duty of everyone who heard
this cry, to hasten to the aid of the sufferer or to pursue his
assailant. It has been asserted that our "hurrah" is derived from this
Norman shout, but I hold this to be more than doubtful.

That Normandy was prosperous under the reign of Rollo, and that its
people were contented, seems, however, to be well established. According
to the legend, so great was the public security that property left on
the highway could be found untouched after days and weeks; the farmer
left his implements in the field without fear of losing them; and theft
and robbery became comparatively rare. In a great measure this was, no
doubt, due to the strict organization which Rollo introduced, and his
insistence upon the personal accountability of each one of his subjects
to himself. For he had learned one most important lesson from his enemy,
Harold the Fair-haired. This king was the first to establish in Europe
what is called the feudal system of land-tenure. He declared all land to
be the property of the crown, and merely held in fief by the nominal
owners. In recognition of the king's proprietorship, the latter,
therefore, pledged themselves to pay a certain tribute, and to support
the king in case of war, with a given number of armed men, in accordance
with the size and value of their holdings. This same system Rollo is
said to have introduced into Normandy, whence it spread over all Europe.
Though we have now no more use for it, it proved a great and important
element in the progress of civilization.

Rollo the Ganger must have been nearly eighty years old when he died in
927. His son, William Longsword, who succeeded him as Duke of Normandy,
was a man of gentler disposition and in vigor and sagacity inferior to
his father. Rollo's descendant in the fifth generation was William the
Conqueror, who inherited in a larger measure the qualities of his great
ancestor.

[Signature: Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen.]



LEIF ERICSON[5]

         [Footnote 5: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By HJALMAR HJORTH BOYESEN

(About 1000)

[Illustration: Leif Ericson.]


The story of the Finding of Wineland the Good is contained, in somewhat
differing versions, in two parchment books, the one belonging to the
first, and the other to the last, quarter of the fourteenth century.
Both agree in attributing the discovery to Leif the Lucky, the son of
Eric the Red; though the Flatey Book says that he was induced to
undertake this voyage by a certain Bjarne Herjulfson, who, having been
driven out of his course by storms, had seen strange lands, but had not
explored them.

Leif's father, Eric the Red, was, like most Norsemen of his day, an
unruly and turbulent man, whose sword sat loosely in its sheath. He was
born about the middle of the tenth century at Jaederen, in Norway, but
was outlawed on account of a manslaughter, and set sail for Iceland,
where he married a certain Thorhild, the daughter of Jorund and
Thorbjorg the Ship-chested. But the same high temper and quarrelsome
spirit which had compelled him to leave Norway got him into trouble also
in his new home. He was forced by blood-feuds and legal acts of
banishment to change his abode repeatedly, and finally he was declared
an outlaw. Knowing that his life was forfeited, Eric, as a last
desperate chance, equipped a ship, and sailed "in search of that land
which Gunbjörn, the son of Ulf the Crow, had seen when he was driven
westward across the main;" and promised, in case he found it, to return
and apprise his friends of the discovery. Fortune favored him, and he
found a great, inhospitable continent, which (in order to allure
colonists) he called Greenland; "for," he said, "men would be more
easily persuaded thither, if the country had a good name." He landed in
three or four places, but, being dissatisfied, broke up and started in
search of more favorable localities. At the end of three years he
returned to Iceland fought his foes and was defeated, but finally
succeeded, by the backing of friends, in effecting a reconciliation with
them. He spent the winter in Iceland, and sailed the following spring
for Greenland, where he settled at a place called Brattahlid (Steep Lea)
in Ericsfirth. Thirty-five ship-loads of people followed him, but only
fourteen arrived safely. The remainder were shipwrecked, or driven back
to Iceland.

The interest now shifts from Eric to his son, Leif the Lucky, who
becomes the hero of the Saga. Sixteen years after his father's
settlement in Greenland, Leif, as behooved the son of a chieftain,
equipped a ship and set out to see the world, and gather fortune and
experience. He must then have been between twenty and twenty-five years
old. He arrived in Drontheim, Norway, in the autumn, and met there King
Olaf Tryggveson. The king, who had been baptized in England, was full of
zeal for the Christian faith, and was employing every means in his power
to christianize the country. But the peasantry, who were worshippers of
Odin and Thor, refused to listen to him, and even compelled him to eat
horse-flesh and participate in pagan rites. Under these circumstances it
is not to be wondered at that he took kindly to the handsome young
Icelander who displayed such an interest in the new religion, and
listened attentively while the king expounded the faith to him. For Leif
was a courteous and intelligent man, of fine presence, good address, and
indomitable spirit. The king, says the Saga, "thought him a man of great
accomplishments." It was not long before he concluded to accept
Christianity, whereupon he was baptized, with all his shipmates. King
Olaf then charged him to return to Iceland and induce the people to
abandon idolatry and accept the true faith. Leif, knowing how deeply
attached the Icelanders were to their old gods, was very reluctant to
undertake this mission, but finally yielded to the king's persuasions,
"provided the king would grant him the grace of his protection."

He accordingly put to sea; but encountered heavy weather and was driven
out of his course. For a long while he was tossed about by the tempest,
until he came upon "lands of which he had previously no knowledge. There
were self-sown wheat-fields and vines growing there. There were also
those trees which are called _masur_ (maples?). And of all these things
they took samples."

The other version to which I have alluded is much more explicit, and
recounts how Leif went to Greenland to visit his father, Eric the Red,
and how there he heard the account of Bjarne Herjulfson's voyage, and of
the unknown lands to the westward which he professed to have seen. The
people, we read, blamed Bjarne for his lack of enterprise in failing to
explore the territories of which he had caught glimpses, "so as to be
able to bring some report of them." Leif, being of an adventurous
spirit, was fired by this talk, and resolved to accomplish what the
incurious Bjarne had left undone. He gathered together a crew of
thirty-five men, and invited his father to command the expedition. Eric
at first declined, saying that he was well stricken in years, and unable
to endure the exposure of such a voyage. Leif insisted, however, that
"he would be most apt to bring good luck," and the old man, yielding to
his son's solicitation, mounted his horse and rode forth at the head of
the ship-crew. But when he was nearing the beach, the horse stumbled and
Eric was thrown and wounded his foot. This was held to be a bad omen,
and as he was trying to rise, he exclaimed:

"It is not destined that I shall discover any more lands than the one in
which we are now living; nor can we now continue longer together."

Leif, knowing persuasion to be vain, pursued his way alone, and embarked
with his thirty-five shipmates.

"When they were ready, they sailed out to sea and found first that land
which Bjarne and his shipmates found last."

It is not stated how long they had been at sea when this land was found.
The account goes on as follows:

"They sailed up to the land and cast anchor, and launched a boat and
went ashore, and saw no grass there. Great ice mountains lay inland,
back from the sea, and it was as a [table land of] flat rocks all the
way from the sea to the ice mountains; and the country seemed to them to
be entirely devoid of good qualities. Then said Leif: 'It has not come
to pass with us in regard to this land as with Bjarne, that we have not
gone upon it. To this country I will now give a name and call it
Helluland' (_i.e._, The Land of Flat Rocks).

"They returned to the ship and put out to sea, and found a second land.
They sailed again to the land, came to anchor, launched a boat, and went
ashore. This was a level wooded land, and there were broad stretches of
white sand, where they went, and the land was level by the sea. Then
said Leif: 'This land shall have a name according to its nature, and we
will call it Markland' (_i.e._, Wood Land). They returned to the ship
forthwith and sailed away upon the main, with northeast winds, and were
out two 'doegr' before they sighted land. They sailed toward this land
and came to an island which lay to the northward off the land. There
they went ashore and looked about them, the weather being fine, and they
observed that there was dew upon the grass; and it so happened that they
touched the dew with their hands, and touched their hands to their
mouths; and it seemed to them that they had never tasted anything so
sweet as this. They went aboard their ship again, and sailed into a
certain sound, which lay between the island and a cape which jutted out
from the land on the north, and they stood in westering past the cape.
At ebb-tide there were broad stretches of shallow water there, and they
ran their ship aground; and it was a long distance from the ship to the
ocean. Yet were they so anxious to go ashore that they could not wait
until the tide should rise under their ship, but hastened to the land,
where a certain river flows out from a lake. As soon as the tide rose
beneath their ship, however, they took the boat and rowed to the ship,
which they towed up the river, and then into the lake, where they cast
anchor and carried their hammocks ashore, and built themselves booths
there. They afterward determined to establish themselves there for the
winter, and they accordingly built a large house. There was no lack of
salmon either in the river or in the lake, and larger salmon than they
had ever seen before. The country thereabouts seemed to be possessed of
such good qualities that cattle would need no fodder there during the
winter. There was no frost there during the winter, and the grass
withered but little. The days and the nights were of more nearly equal
length than in Greenland or Iceland."

Now follows an account of the exploring parties which Leif sent out,
some of which he joined, while at other times he remained behind to
guard the house. Here occurs, with curious abruptness, this graphic bit
of characterization: "Leif was a large and powerful man, and of most
imposing bearing, a man of sagacity, and a very just man in all things."

A very pretty incident is now related of the German Tyrker, who had been
one of the thralls of Eric the Red, and of whom Leif was very fond. It
was the custom in the households of Norse chiefs to give children into
the special charge of a trusted thrall, who was then styled the child's
foster-father. Sometimes the thrall was presented to the child as a
"tooth-gift," _i.e._, in commemoration of its cutting its first tooth.

"It was discovered one evening that one of their company was missing;
and this proved to be Tyrker, the German. Leif was sorely troubled by
this; for Tyrker had lived with Leif and his father for a long time, and
had been very devoted to Leif when he was a child. Leif severely
reprimanded his companions and prepared to go in search of him. They had
proceeded but a short distance from the house when they were met by
Tyrker, whom they received most cordially. Leif observed at once that
his foster-father was in lively spirits.... Leif addressed him and
asked: 'Wherefore art thou so belated, foster-father mine, and astray
from the others?'

"In the beginning Tyrker spoke for some time in German, rolling his
eyes, and grinning, and they could not understand him. But after a time
he addressed them in the Norse tongue.

"'I did not go much farther [than you]; yet I have something novel to
relate. I have found grapes and vines.'

"'Is this indeed true, foster-father?' asked Leif.

"'Of a certainty it is true' replied he; 'for I was born where there is
no lack of either grapes or vines.'

"They slept the night through, and on the morrow Leif said to his
shipmates:

"'We will now divide our labors; and each day will either gather grapes,
or cut vines, or fell trees, so as to obtain a cargo of these for my
ship.'

"They acted upon this advice, and it is said that their after-boat was
filled with grapes. A cargo sufficient for the ship was cut, and when
the spring came they made their ship ready and sailed away. And from its
products Leif gave the land a name and called it Wineland.

"They sailed out to sea and had fair winds until they sighted Greenland,
and the fells below the glacier; then one of the men spoke up and said:
'Why do you steer the ship so close to the wind?' Leif answered: 'I have
my mind upon my steering and upon other matters as well. Do you not see
anything out of the common?' They replied that they saw nothing unusual.
'I do not know,' says Leif, 'whether it is a ship or a skerry that I
see.' Now they saw it, and said that it must be a skerry. But he was so
much more sharp-sighted than they, that he was able to discern men upon
the skerry. 'I think it best to tack,' says Leif, 'so that we may draw
near to them and be able to render them assistance, if they stand in
need of it. And if they should not be peaceably disposed, we shall have
better command of the situation than they.'

[Illustration: Leif Ericson off the Coast of Vineland.]

"They approached the skerry, and lowering their sail, cast anchor and
launched a second small boat, which they had brought with them.
Tyrker inquired who was the leader of the party. He replied that his
name was Thare, and that he was a Norwegian. 'But what is thy name?'
Leif gave his name. 'Art thou a son of Eric the Red, of Brattahlid?'
says he. Leif replied that he was. 'It is now my wish,' Leif continued,
'to take you all into my ship, and likewise as much of your possessions
as the ship will hold.'

"This offer was accepted, and [with their ship] thus laden, they held
their course toward Ericsfirth, and sailed until they arrived at
Brattahlid. Having discharged his cargo, Leif invited Thare, with his
wife, Gudrid, and three others to make their home with him, and procured
quarters for the other members of the crew, both for his own and Thare's
men. Leif rescued fifteen men from the skerry. He was from that time
forth called Leif the Lucky."

The time of Leif's voyage to Wineland has been fixed at 1000 A.D. For we
learn that it took place while Olaf Tryggveson (995-1000 A.D.) was king
in Norway; and scarcely less than four or five years could have elapsed
since Leif's first meeting with the king in Drontheim, shortly after the
death of his predecessor, Earl Hakon.

The remainder of the Saga of Eric the Red is occupied with an account of
the successive Wineland voyages of Thorwald Ericson, the brother of
Leif, Thorfinn Karlsefne, and of Leif's sister, Freydis, who was as
quarrelsome, proud, and pugnacious as her father. The Indians (called by
the Norsemen Skrellings), who had failed to disturb Leif, made
demonstrations of hostility against Thorfinn Karlsefne, and after the
loss of several of his men, compelled him to abandon the attempt at a
permanent settlement.

The tradition of these Wineland voyages continued, however, to be
transmitted from generation to generation in Iceland, and in the early
part of the fourteenth century was committed to writing.

It will be seen that the saga to which I have referred was not written
primarily with a view to establish Leif's claim to be the discoverer of
Wineland. In the first place the story, in the shape in which we have
it, is more than a century and a half older than the Columbian
discovery, and there could, accordingly, be no great glory in having
found a country which had since been lost. Secondly, the saga is (like
most Icelandic sagas) a family chronicle, purporting to relate all
matters of interest pertaining to the race of Eric the Red. The Wineland
voyages are treated as remarkable incidents in this chronicle, but they
hardly occupy any more space than properly belongs to them in a family
history which is concerned with a great many other things besides. The
importance of this as corroborating the authenticity of the narrative,
can scarcely be over-estimated.

[Signature: Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen.]



HAROLD, KING OF ENGLAND

(1022-1066)

[Illustration: Harold, King of England.]


Harold II., the last of the native English kings, was the second son of
Earl Godwin by his Danish wife Gytha, the sister of Earl Ulf, and was
born about 1022. At an early age he was made Earl of the East Angles and
he shared his father's outlawry in 1051, finding a refuge in Ireland.
Next year, together with his brother Leofwin, he crossed the Channel
with nine ships, defeated the men of Somerset and Devon at Porlock, and
ravaged the country, next joined his father at Portland, and shared the
triumph of his return. Harold was at once restored to his earldom, and
next year (1053) succeeded to his father's earldom of the West Saxons.
Henceforward he was the right hand of King Edward, and still more after
the deaths of the old Earls Leofric and Siward, he directed the whole
affairs of the kingdom, with an unusual union of gentleness and vigor.
His brother Tostig succeeded Siward as Earl of the Northumbrians in
1055, and two years later two other brothers were raised to earldoms:
Gurth to that of the East Anglians, Leofwin to one formed out of Essex,
Kent, and the other shires round about London. Meantime Harold drove
back the Welsh marauders of King Griffith out of Herefordshire, and
added that post of danger to his earldom. The death in 1057 of the
Ætheling Edward, the son of Edmund Ironside, who had been brought back
from Hungary as heir to the throne, opened up the path for Harold's
ambition, and from this time men's eyes rested on him as their future
king. And nature had equalled fortune in her kindness, for his handsome
and stalwart figure and his gentle and conciliatory temper were kingly
qualities that sat well upon his sagacity, his military skill, and his
personal courage. Harold's policy throughout was thoroughly English,
contrary to the predominant French influences that had governed the
early part of Edward's reign. He was English in everything, even to his
preference for secular priests to monks. He made his pilgrimage to Rome
in 1058, and after his return completed his church at Waltham, known
later as Waltham Abbey. In 1063, provoked by the fresh incursions of
Griffith, he marched against him, and by making his men put off their
heavy armor and weapons, and adopt the Welshmen's own tactics, he was
able to traverse the whole country, and beat the enemy at every point.
Griffith was killed by his own people, whereupon Harold gave the
government to the dead king's brothers, Bleddyn and Rhiwallon, who swore
oaths of fealty both to King Edward and to himself.

It is impossible to say exactly at what date occurred that famous visit
of Harold to the court of Duke William, in Normandy, of the results of
which the Norman writers make so much, although with many
contradictions, while the English writers, with the most marked and
careful unanimity, say nothing at all. It seems most likely that Harold
did make some kind of oath to William, most probably under compulsion,
when he had fallen into his hands after being shipwrecked on the coast
of Ponthieu, and imprisoned by its Count Guy. Mr. Freeman thinks the
most probable date to be 1064. It is at least certain that Harold helped
William in a war with the Bretons, and in the Bayeux tapestry we see his
stalwart form lifting up two Normans at once when they were in danger of
being swept away by the river Coesnon, which divides Normandy from
Brittany. The Norman writers make Harold formally swear fealty to
William, promising to marry one of his daughters, and we are told that
additional sanctity was given to this oath by its being made upon a
chest full of the most sacred relics.

In 1065, the Northumbrians rebelled against the rule of Tostig, and
Harold found himself compelled, between policy and a sense of justice,
to side with them, and to acquiesce in their choice of Morcar and the
banishment of Tostig. At the beginning of 1066 King Edward died, his
last breath being to recommend that Harold should be chosen king. He was
crowned on January 6th, and at once set himself with steadfast energy to
consolidate his kingdom. At York he won over the reluctant men of
Northumbria, and he next married Ealdgyth, Griffith's widow, in order to
secure the alliance of her brothers, Morcar and Edwin. His short reign
of forty weeks and one day was occupied with incessant vigilance against
the attacks of two formidable enemies at once. Duke William lost no time
in beginning his preparations for the invasion of England, and Tostig,
after trying the Normans and the Scots, and filibustering along the
coasts on his own account, succeeded in drawing to his side the famous
Harold Hardrada, king of Norway. In the month of September the two
reached the Humber, and Harold marched to meet them, resting neither day
nor night. The Icelandic historian, Snorro, in his dramatic narrative of
the fight, tells how Harold rode out accompanied with twenty of his
housecarls to have speech with Earl Tostig, and offer him peace; and
when asked what amends King Hardrada should have for his trouble in
coming, replied, "Seven feet of the ground of England, or more
perchance, seeing he is taller than other men." At Stamford Bridge
Harold overtook his enemy, and after a bloody struggle won a complete
victory (September 25, 1066), both Tostig and Harold Hardrada being
among the slain. But four days later Duke William landed at Pevensey.
Harold marched southward with the utmost haste, bringing with him the
men of Wessex and East Anglia, and the earldoms of his brothers; but the
two earls, Edwin and Morcar, held aloof and kept back the men of the
north, although some of the men of Mercia, in the earldom of Edwin,
followed their king to the fatal struggle which was fought out from
nine in the morning till past nightfall, on October 14, 1066. The
English fought with the most stubborn courage, and the battle was only
lost by their allowing the pretended flight of the Normans to draw them
from their impregnable position on the crest of the hill, ringed with an
unbroken shield wall. On its slope, right in front of the Norman army,
waved the golden dragon of Wessex, as well as the king's own standard, a
fighting man wrought upon it in gold. Here Harold stood with his mighty
two-handed axe, and hewed down the Normans as they came. Before
nightfall he fell, pierced through the eye with an arrow. His housecarls
fought where they stood till they fell one by one; his brothers, Gurth
and Leofwin, died beside him. The king's body was found upon the field,
recognized only by a former mistress, the fair Eadgyth Swanneshals
("Edith of the swan's neck").

At first, William ordered it to be buried on the rocks at Hastings, but
seems after to have permitted it to be removed to Harold's own church at
Waltham. Than Harold, no braver or more heroic figure ever filled a
throne; no king ever fought more heroically for his crown. If he failed,
it was because he had to bow his head to fate, and in his death he saved
all the honor of his family and his race. His tragic story has given a
subject for a romance to Lytton, and for a stately drama to Tennyson.

[Illustration: Edith searching for the Body of Harold.]



THE CID

By HENRY G. HEWLETT

(1026-1099)

[Illustration: The Cid.]


The narratives concerning the life and exploits of the Cid are, to a
great extent, merely poetic. Yet it has been wisely said, that much
which must be rejected as not fact may still be accepted as truth; that
is, there is often to be found under the husks of legend and myth, a
sound kernel of historical reality. This may be the case with respect to
the Cid, who probably was a warrior so remarkable for genius or bravery
above his fellows that he gathered up in a single fame the reputation of
many others, with whose deeds he was credited, and whom, as a class, he
accordingly represents in history.

Spain, long one of the most flourishing provinces of the Roman Empire,
was among the first to fall under the sway of the Visigoths, a warlike
but enlightened race, which soon embraced Christianity. For three
centuries the country remained under Gothic rule, but fell, in 712,
by the invasion of the Arabian conquerors of Africa--a remnant of
Christians only preserving an independent monarchy in the mountains of
Asturia. This little seed of freedom grew and bore fruit. France proved
a formidable barrier against further invasion; and in Spain itself
internal jealousies among the Arab families weakened the Moslem and
strengthened the Christian power. In the eleventh century there were
several states in Spain wholly unfettered by a foreign yoke. The enmity
between the two races and creeds was bitter, and war raged perpetually.
Yet it often happened that, at the prompting of private revenge or
family quarrels, alliances were made between kingdoms thus naturally
opposed to each other. A recollection of this fact is essential to a
clear understanding of Spanish history at this period.

At the commencement of the eleventh century the chief Christian states
of Spain became, through divers marriages, united under one king,
Sancho, who died in 1034 dividing his territories among his three sons:
of whom Garcia took Navarre, Ferdinand, Castile, and Ramirez, Aragon.
Leon, the remaining Christian monarchy, was ruled by Bermudez III.,
whose sister Ferdinand of Castile had married. Just as this apparent
junction of interest occurred among the warriors of the Cross, the
greatest confusion prevailed among those of the Crescent. The mighty
house of the Ommiades--perhaps the most illustrious of the factions into
which the successors of the Prophet were divided--no longer commanded
the allegiance of the Arabs of Spain. Its last prince fled, and the
chief cities fell into the hands of independent lords, who constituted
themselves petty Emirs in their own dominions. Instead, however, of
taking full advantage of this state of anarchy to extend their united
power, the Christian kings weakened each other by unnatural and deadly
quarrels. Ferdinand, King of Castile, seems to have been the principal
aggressor. His great captain in his wars, both with Moslem and Christian
states, was Rodrigo Laynez, who was called also by the Spaniards Ruy
Diaz de Rivar, from the name of his birthplace, and by the Arabs _El
Sayd_ (Lord), which has been altered into Cid. He was probably born
about the year 1026, or rather later, at the Castle of Rivar, near
Burgos, in Old Castile, of a noble but not wealthy family. He joined the
army of Ferdinand, and rose by his talents, strength, and courage to the
highest place in that king's service. Among the romantic stories told of
his early career is one concerning his marriage, which forms the subject
of a popular ballad. The father of Rodrigo, having been injured by a
Count Gomez, the young knight defied the latter to a duel and slew him.
The count's daughter, Ximena, in a storm of grief and rage, flew to the
king, and cried for vengeance on Rodrigo, who met her face to face, and
awaited the result of her entreaties.

No one, however, was hardy enough to offer himself as the damsel's
champion against so doughty a warrior, and Rodrigo calmly retired. His
manly bearing and fame won him a place in the very heart which he had so
deeply offended; and, with truly Spanish impetuosity, Ximena gave him,
not only pardon, but love. She again repaired to the king and asked
leave to bestow her hand upon the knight, urging the curious plea that
she foresaw he would one day be the most powerful subject in the realm.
Informed of this request, of which the king approved, Rodrigo consented
to the marriage, as an act of obedience to his sovereign and of justice
to the lady. The meeting of this strangely matched pair is thus
described in the ballad (Lockhart's translation):

  "But when the fair Ximena came forth to plight her hand,
   Rodrigo, gazing on her, his face could not command:
   He stood, and blushed before her: thus at the last said he,
  'I slew thy sire, Ximena, but not in villany:
   In no disguise I slew him; man against man I stood;
   There was some wrong between us, and I did shed his blood:
   I slew a man; I owe a man; fair lady, by God's grace,
   An honored husband shalt thou have in thy dead father's place.'"

It is unfortunate that this charming story is supposed to have but
little foundation in fact. Many of Rodrigo's legendary exploits are
still less authentic; but history and fable unite in declaring him a
warrior of no common stamp. His master, King Ferdinand, as we have said,
invaded the territories of his brothers and friends, besides those of
his enemies. Garcia, Ramirez, and Bermudez successively fell before his
attacks, which Rodrigo, in the true spirit of knightly obedience to his
lord, did not hesitate to lead. Sancho, the king's eldest son, was
Rodrigo's most intimate friend; and on the accession of the prince to
his father's throne on the death of Ferdinand, in 1065, Rodrigo became
Campeador (or, as the Arabs call him, _El Cambitur_); that is, head of
the army. The new king followed in his father's courses of injustice,
and drove his brother, Alfonso, King of Leon, into exile.

[Illustration: The Cid ordering the Execution of Ahmed.]

In 1072 Sancho besieged Zamora, which one of his sisters, whom he had
likewise despoiled, held out against him. The king was killed during the
siege, and, as it was suspected, by the agency of his exiled brother,
Alfonso, who succeeded to the throne. Rodrigo felt his friend's death
deeply, and did not scruple to avow his suspicions of Alfonso. Before
promising allegiance, the Campeador insisted that the king should
cleanse himself by an oath of the accusation which popular rumor had
brought against him. To this Alfonso, whether innocent or guilty, not
unnaturally demurred; but the powerful warrior was firm, and the king at
last yielded. When the appointed day arrived, Alfonso made his
appearance, surrounded by his courtiers, all obsequiously vying in
praise of his glory and virtue, and contemptuous denunciations of his
daring accuser. Rodrigo stood alone and gazed on the king sternly. Some
of the nobles endeavored to dissuade him from holding this attitude of
opposition, and to induce him to forego the demand which he had made;
but he put them aside and repeated his challenge. Alfonso dared not
refuse to accept, and accordingly recited aloud the form of oath
prescribed on such occasions, affirming, in the presence of his maker
and the saints of heaven, that he was guiltless of the death of his
brother. He had no sooner concluded than all eyes were turned upon the
Cid, who, in deep, solemn tones, and with the most impressive
earnestness of manner, imprecated on the head of his king every curse
that heaven or hell could inflict, if, in taking that oath, he had
committed perjury. The awed assembly then broke up. Rodrigo, from that
hour, was hated by the king and shunned by the court.

Yet, aware of the Cid's value, Alfonso seems to have concealed his
resentment for some time, and even endeavored to win the affection of
his great subject by allying him in marriage with one of the royal
family. Rodrigo's wife was now dead, and he consented to marry the
princess proposed to him, whose name was also Ximena. The marriage took
place in 1074. It had not the effect, however, of uniting the king and
the Cid. After having achieved a brilliant success over the Arabs of
Granada, who were at war with two other Moslem states in alliance with
Castile, and having signalized his humanity by releasing all his
prisoners, the great Campeador was disgraced and banished by his
ungrateful master. At the court of the Emir of Saragossa the exile found
a ready welcome, and was appointed to a high post in the government of
the kingdom. He did not bear arms against his own sovereign, but headed
the Arabs in several battles with the Christians of Aragon and other
states. The invasion of a Moorish host in Spain, under the eminent
Caliph Jusef Ben Taxfin, chief of the Almoravides and conqueror of
Morocco; the rapid subjugation of the independent Emirs, and the defeat
of Alfonso's army at the battle of Zalaka, in 1087, recalled the
Castilians to a sense of Rodrigo's worth. He was invited to return by
Alfonso, and with great generosity consented, bringing with him a large
body of men raised by his own exertion and cost. For two years he made
his name terrible to the Moors, as the great Christian champion.

But even this fame was not sufficient to secure his influence at court,
and about the year 1090 he was once more banished, and his estates were
seized. He appears from this time to have commenced a life of
adventurous and independent warfare with the Moors. He besieged Alcocer,
a strong Moorish fortress on the borders of Aragon, and finally took it.
With a band of determined warriors of his own stamp he ravaged,
consumed, and spoiled all the Moslem territories which he invaded,
making a castle on a rock in Ternel his chief stronghold, and thence
sallying out in forays. The place has been ever since called the Rock of
the Cid.

The last and greatest achievement of this hero was the taking of
Valencia. This city was in the hands of a Moslem prince, Alcadir by
name, who had refused to acknowledge the authority of Jusef and the
Almoravides over Spain, which they were attempting to subdue. The Cid,
either as an ally of Alcadir, or from motives of policy, assisted him in
the defence of the city; but it was taken through the treachery of its
Cadi, Ahmed. For this service, the traitor was made governor in the room
of Alcadir, who fell fighting bravely. A kinsman of the betrayed king
determined to avenge his death, and asked the Cid's aid, which was
promptly given. The Arabian historians relate that Ahmed yielded after a
brief siege, on conditions of safety for himself and family. It is
further related that this promise was faithlessly broken, and the guilty
Ahmed sentenced by Rodrigo to be burned alive for his crimes. The
Christian historians happily acquit the Cid's memory of this barbarity;
but all unite in recording the successful siege of the city, which he
took in 1094. While he lived, the Moors vainly tried to retake it; but
on his death, which is supposed to have occurred in 1099, Valencia again
fell. Romance has colored with glowing tints this scanty historic
outline of the Cid's life. Spanish literature, for two or three hundred
years after his death, is almost confined to epic or ballad poetry, of
which he is the hero. To acquire such a fame demanded a force of
character, which, if not accurately painted by these loving and fanciful
narrators, cannot have fallen far short of the glory with which the
world will forever associate the name of the Cid Campeador.



ST. BERNARD

By HENRY G. HEWLETT

(1091-1153)

[Illustration: St. Bernard.]


In 1091, when the career of the Cid was drawing to a close in Spain, a
yet greater Christian champion was born in France; greater, if only in
this, that the weapons of his warfare were not carnal. That the work was
good in itself, we think will be clear from a perusal of the life of the
warrior-monk, St. Bernard.

His birthplace was Fontaines, near Dijon, in Burgundy; his father,
Tecelin, a knight of honorable reputation, and so absorbed in his
profession that he was compelled to leave the care of his seven sons, of
whom Bernard was the third, to his wife Aleth. She was a pious and
gentle woman, strictly attached to the duties of religion, and anxious
for the spiritual rather than the temporal welfare of her children, whom
she therefore devoted to the cloister. A dream, it is said, had
indicated to her the future fame of her third son, before his birth. He
rapidly displayed signs of possessing no ordinary character. His
education was undertaken by the then celebrated school of Chantillon and
the University of Paris, where he remained some years, actively pursuing
his studies. His mother died soon after his return home, and he then
proceeded to fulfil her wish, which accorded with his own, of becoming a
monk. His father and friends endeavored to dissuade him from this step,
but instead, he persuaded five of his brothers and twenty-five other
friends to join him in the career which he had chosen. His father and
remaining brothers subsequently followed him, and the whole family took
monastic vows. Bernard did not select for his abode one of those
monasteries whose wealth and splendor had corrupted the intention of
their founders, and softened the severity of the original discipline.
His motive was truly religious, and took the superstitious form then
almost inseparable from earnest piety. He and his comrades entered the
poor convent of Citeaux, near Dijon, where the rules of life enjoined by
St. Benedict in the sixth century were observed with great rigor.
Frequent watchings, fasts, bleedings, and scourgings, for the purpose of
mortifying the body; abstinence from conversation or laughter; habits of
perpetual devotion, laborious exertion, and humble obedience to the
abbot, were the main features of the system. Bernard undertook the
duties of his office with such incessant zeal, and displayed such
amazing control over his appetites, that he seriously weakened his
health, but at the same time enlarged his reputation to such an extent
that the convent became overcrowded with the number of those whom he had
attracted thither. He was therefore appointed, after three years'
residence at Citeaux, to head a colony of monks which was to be fixed in
the valley of Clairvaux--a desolate though beautiful spot in the
bishopric of Langres. The tears of their brethren accompanied the
departure of Bernard and the twelve others who composed the band. It was
in the year 1115, and at the age of twenty-six, that he was made Abbot
of Clairvaux. His appearance at the consecration is described as that of
a corpse rather than a man, so emaciated with the rigors of devotion had
he become. He had frequent visions, perhaps from his weakness, in one of
which he imagined that the Virgin Mary herself appeared to him. The
privations of the members of his little colony were most severe. The
season for sowing had been spent in building the convent, and when the
winter came they were reduced to little better than starvation. Coarse
bread and beech-leaves steeped in salt were their only food. This scanty
sustenance, together with the strict adherence to the Benedictine rule,
in which Bernard still persisted, so shattered his health, that the
bishop of the diocese, who was his personal friend, at last interfered,
and released him from the active duties of abbot. But as soon as a brief
respite had restored his strength, Bernard renewed his self-mortifying
practices. A fresh attack of illness followed, and he was obliged
permanently to relax his habits. In after-years he lamented the error
into which his early enthusiasm and mistaken zeal had led him, the
effects of which greatly marred his future influence for good.

Though debarred from laboring in his own sphere, Bernard's energetic
mind would not let him rest, and he began from this time to exercise
the power which his reputation for sanctity had brought him, in
political life. He well knew the nature of the position which he was
thus enabled to take, and did not shrink from its perils. "Bernard!
wherefore art thou here on earth?" is said to have been his
constant self-appeal. Poor and unarmed, a priest or monk in those
days had nothing wherewith to oppose the tyranny of the powerful
nobility, save the weapons of religion and intellect. How
righteously they could be used we shall see in the case of Bernard.
In repeated instances he interposed the weight of his authority
between the anger of a king or noble and the weakness of a subject
or tenant, and scarcely ever failed in his object. One of the most
remarkable examples of this kind was his conduct toward the Count of
Aquitaine. This nobleman, a man of immense strength of will no less
than body, and violent and despotic beyond his fellows, having
espoused the cause of one rival Pope against another, dismissed from
their sees several excellent bishops in his territory who were
adverse to his views, and supplied their places without regard to
fitness of character. Bernard, having twice remonstrated in vain,
after the last interview held a solemn mass in the church near the
count's castle, at which that nobleman, as excommunicated, could not
be present, but stood outside. The consecration of the wafer was
duly performed, and the blessing bestowed upon the people, when
Bernard suddenly made his way through the crowd, bearing in his hand
the Host on its paten (or plate), and confronted the astonished
count as he stood at the church door amid his soldiery. With pale,
stern face, and flashing eyes, the daring monk thus addressed the
haughty chief: "Twice have the Lord's servants entreated you, and
you have despised them. Lo! now the blessed Son of the Virgin--the
Head and Lord of that Church which you persecute--appears to you!
Behold your Judge, to whom your soul must be rendered! Will you
reject Him like His servants?" A hush of awe and expectation among
the bystanders followed these words, broken by a groan from the
conscience-stricken count, whose imagination was filled with such
lively terror of Divine wrath that he fell fainting to the ground.
Though raised up by his men, he again fell speechless. Bernard,
seizing the opportunity, called to his side one of the deposed
bishops, and on the count's recovery ordered that the kiss of
reconciliation should be bestowed, and the exile restored. The
effect of this scene was not transient, for the proud spirit had
been subdued in the count's heart, and he performed penance for his
offences by going on pilgrimage.

[Illustration: The Vision of St. Bernard.]

Various other instances of Bernard's boldness in rebuking kings, nobles,
and even Popes, might be adduced. His most remarkable appearance as a
political peace-maker was in the dispute which took place after the
death of Pope Honorius II., as to the succession to the popedom. Two
rival factions at Rome contended for the claims of separate candidates:
one a wealthy and worldly, the other a learned and pious, cardinal.
Bernard, as we may suppose, supported the cause of the latter, who took
the name of Innocent II. At the council of Etampes, where Louis VI. of
France and his nobles were assembled, the monk's eloquence prevailed
over all the arguments of diplomacy, and the influence of France was
pledged to the side of Innocent. Bernard next engaged aid from Henry I.,
of England, and Lothaire, the Emperor of Germany. He then proceeded to
Milan, where the party of the rival Pope, Anaclete, and his supporter,
Conrad, Duke of Suabia, Lothaire's antagonist, was strongest. Bernard's
fame was so great, and the imaginations of those who beheld him so
fascinated by his force of will, that on his way the sick were carried
forth to meet him, and numerous miracles were said to be wrought by the
touch of his garments. In Milan, through his eloquence, Anaclete's party
was completely vanquished, and the Milanese so impressed that they
offered to displace their archbishop in Bernard's favor. But on this and
other occasions he steadily refused any such rank, content to live and
die in a sphere where he could be more useful, if less exalted. He
returned to France, after a lengthened absence, in 1135, meeting on his
way with a royal reception.

He was once more absorbed in the duties of his office, as Abbot of
Clairvaux, when again summoned to Italy by Innocent II., to oppose the
power of Roger, the Norman King of Sicily, whose aid Anaclete had
obtained. Bernard first passed into Germany, and successfully mediated
between the emperor and the Suabian princes, inducing the latter to
relinquish their rebellion. Lothaire was then prevailed upon to aid
Innocent by force of arms, while Bernard proceeded to employ force of
intellect in the same service. He first won over by his arguments many
of Anaclete's chief supporters, and then accepted a challenge which King
Roger threw out, to dispute publicly in the Court of Salerno as to the
claims of the rival Popes, with Anaclete's champion, Cardinal Pietro di
Pisa. At this public contest Bernard not only confuted, but converted,
the cardinal, and reconciled him to Innocent. With Roger, Bernard was
not so successful, and a battle ensued between the armies of the
contending Popes. Innocent was captured, but contrived to make favorable
terms with Roger; and a peace was agreed to, which was finally ratified
by the death of Anaclete, in 1138. Another anti-pope having been set up,
Bernard used his personal influence with the pretender, and induced him
to yield. Thus the schism in the Church was healed, and the good abbot
returned to Clairvaux.

In 1146 he was mainly instrumental in promoting the second crusade. News
reached Europe that, two years before, the Christian state of Edessa
(which, as we have already seen, was founded by Baldwin, brother of
Godfrey de Bouillon) had, through the weakness of its government, fallen
into the hands of the Sultan of Bagdad, and Jerusalem was again in
peril. Inflamed with enthusiasm, Bernard stirred up the hearts of his
countrymen to zeal in the cause of the Cross. Louis VII., of France, was
readily persuaded to undertake the crusade as a penance for his crimes;
but the Emperor Conrad, of Germany, was indisposed to exertion; and to
him, therefore, Bernard hastened, rousing the people of France and
Germany as he travelled through. The frozen reluctance of the monarch
could not withstand the fiery earnestness of the monk. Conrad is said to
have dissolved into tears at the discourse, and eagerly accepted the
cross which was offered. While in Germany Bernard showed his liberality
of thought--rare in those days--by sternly rebuking the ignorance of a
monk who was denouncing the Jews as the cause of the recent calamities.
At the council of Vezelay (in Burgundy), held in 1146, Bernard's
eloquence was as exciting in its influence on his hearers as that of
Pope Urban had been on a previous occasion. As the speaker, at the end
of his oration, held up the cross which was to be the badge of the
enterprise, Louis VII. threw himself at the feet of his subject, and the
whole assembly thronged round him, shouting the old war-cry, "It is
God's will!" Bernard distributed to thousands of eager hands all the
crosses which he had brought with him; and finding these insufficient
for the demand, took off the Benedictine robe which he wore, and tore it
into cross-shaped pieces. So impressed were the chiefs of the crusading
army with his power over the people, that at a subsequent assembly they
even offered the command of the expedition to him--an unwarlike monk.

He declined the post on the ground of unfitness, but had he accepted it,
the issue of the crusades might have been different from what it was.
His authority would at least have kept in check the discords, perfidies,
and excesses to which he, probably with justice, afterward attributed
the failure of the enterprise. From these causes, together with a fatal
incapacity on the part of the French and German generals, the second
crusade resulted in nothing but the wholesale massacre of the Christian
armies by the Turks. Bernard, who had predicted the success of the
expedition, was deeply distressed at the unfortunate result; the more
as, with great injustice, the weight of popular indignation fell upon
him and seriously damaged his influence. This disappointment, however,
did not discourage him, and only served to concentrate his attention for
the rest of his life on the more immediate duties of his calling.

These he had never neglected, even while immersed in religious politics.
By advice and example he greatly reformed the discipline of monastic
life. He continually preached in his own convent; and, either personally
or through agents, is said to have founded upward of sixty monasteries
in alliance with Clairvaux. Among them the Hospice of Mount St. Bernard,
in Switzerland, has distinguished itself by loving deeds worthy of its
founder. Bernard was an eminent theologian, both in theory and practice,
and many of his works are extant. They disclose very forcibly his strong
intellect and warm heart. Many of his opinions were most liberal for his
age, and he rejected several tenets, on which the Roman Catholic Church
has since insisted, with a decision which would have ranked him among
heretics had he lived a few centuries later. He manifested,
nevertheless, a want of freedom in his conduct toward the great Abelard,
who in that age represented the true Protestant spirit of inquiry into
the received doctrines of the Church. Against this daring thinker
Bernard unjustifiably employed the weight of authority which he
possessed, to silence what he deemed a dangerous boldness of opinion.
Toward Abelard personally, however, he displayed nothing but generous
and respectful courtesy, even in the heat of controversy; and it is
satisfactory to know that a cordial interchange of kindly feeling passed
between these two eminent men long before their deaths.

Many of Bernard's wise and good deeds are recorded, which cannot be
noticed here. We may refer to but one, which greatly influenced the
world for centuries after his death; namely, the sanction and aid which
he gave to the establishment of the Knight-Templars, a body of
soldier-priests, who devoted their lives to the preservation of the
Holy Places and the protection of pilgrims. Had they faithfully adhered
to the statutes which he drew up for their conduct, the exhibition of
zeal which they were designed to make might have been as blessed to
Christendom as their arrogance was cursed.

A few years before his death, Bernard had the gratification of seeing
one of his own disciples raised to the papal chair, as Pope Eugenius
III. The new pontiff recognized his master's authority no less than
before his accession, and Bernard's counsel and influence were
repeatedly used in his behalf. But the over-activity of the good abbot
too soon decayed the slender strength which his firm will had wrested,
as it were, from death in a hand-to-hand struggle that lasted for more
than forty years. Always sickly, frequently reduced to the brink of the
grave, yet perpetually at work, his constitution gave way in 1155, at
the age of sixty-three. His last act was worthy of his life. He was on a
dying-bed when a discord broke out between the nobles and the burghers
of the town of Mentz. Bernard rose, and once more entered the arena of
strife with the olive-branch of peace in his hand. The proud barons and
the angry citizens listened humbly to his gentle words, and shrank from
the mild glances of those eyes which his biographers scarcely ever
mention without calling _dove-like_. The turbulence of passion was
hushed, and Bernard returned to die. The filial tears of his disciples
at Clairvaux, and the regrets of all the nation, followed him to the
grave. About twenty years after his death a decree of canonization
awarded him the title of Saint, which, considering how it has been
disgraced by unholy bearers, will not seem so fitly to recognize his
merit as that name which the reverence of the Church has further
bestowed on him--the _last_ of the Fathers.



FREDERICK BARBAROSSA

By Lady LAMB

(1121-1190)


It seems almost incredible that no history should exist of the childhood
and early life of an emperor of such note as "Barbarossa;" yet, in spite
of most diligent search, we have been compelled almost to renounce one
of the most pleasing tasks of a biographer, which consists in making
acquaintance with a hero in his infancy, and through childhood and youth
following his career to fame and glory. So far as we have been able to
discover, no trace, except a few dry data, exists of "Frederick of the
Red Beard," until we find him setting out with his uncle, Conrad III.,
in the spring of 1147, to join the second crusade against the Saracens.
The date of his birth is given as 1121, his father being Duke Frederick
of Hohenstauffen (surnamed "le Borgne") and his mother Judith, daughter
of Henry the Black, Duke of Bavaria; opinions are divided on the
subject of his birthplace, some writers mentioning the castle of
Veitsberg, near Ravensburg, others the town of Weiblingen, in Nuremburg;
but since the main interest of his history does not begin until his
succession to the paternal duchy of Swabia, and his departure for the
Holy Land in 1147; his marriage with Adelaide, daughter of Theobald,
Margrave of Vohburg, in 1149; and finally his accession to the imperial
throne in 1152, we must resign ourselves to silence on the subject of
his earlier years, and take up his history from the death of Conrad
III., and that monarch's choice of him as a successor, to the exclusion
of his own son.

[Illustration: Frederick Barbarossa.]

From every possible point of view, Frederick of Hohenstauffen justified
his uncle's choice: endowed with the most brilliant qualities of heart
and mind, he had already earned the suffrages of a great portion of his
new subjects by the manner in which he had distinguished himself during
the above-mentioned campaign in the Holy Land; moreover, as the son of
Frederick of Hohenstauffen and Judith, daughter of Henry the Black, Duke
of Bavaria, Ghibelline by his father and Guelph on his mother's side,
there seemed good ground for the hope that in him might terminate the
differences of the two contending factions. The election diet was
accordingly assembled at Frankfort, and it being there decided to
confirm Conrad's choice and to invest Frederick with the imperial
insignia, he was proclaimed King of the Romans and of Germany, and
anointed at Aix-la-Chapelle on March 5, 1152, the ceremony being
performed by Arnoul de Gueldre, Archbishop of Cologne. Not lightly or
eagerly did the new emperor accept these dignities, but after mature and
careful consideration of his capacity to undertake the responsibility of
guiding Germany through shoals and quicksands which had little by
little enveloped the fair countries won three hundred years before by
the valiant Charlemagne.

Tidings of ever-recurring disturbances determined Frederick to make an
expedition into Italy, as soon as affairs in Germany would admit of his
absence; but there was much to be done first--many princes to be dealt
with, who, from different motives viewing his election with
dissatisfaction, would take immediate advantage of his departure to
bring all the horrors of civil war into his dominions. Bavaria, for
example, had been wrested from Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, during
his minority, by Conrad III., and now he conjured Frederick, with tears
and threats, to restore it to him. This, by dint of much diplomacy,
Frederick effected, and the result was that for some years he gained a
stanch ally, instead of a designing enemy.

Having decided this quarrel and several others, into which we need not
enter, Frederick prepared for that first expedition into Italy which, as
we have seen, he had resolved on from the commencement of his reign.

At the head of a numerous army he passed into Switzerland, and encamped
near the lake of Constance; when, under the banner of Count von
Lenzburg, the inhabitants of the three "cents" or cantons of Schwyz,
Uri, and Unterwalden came to do homage and offer their feudal service in
the field. At the same time, and while still engaged in assembling the
forces with which to march into Italy, deputies from the city of Lodi
arrived, and throwing themselves at his feet, besought his interference
against the oppressions of the Milanese, who had declared for Adrian
IV., and whose town was indeed the very hot-bed of the papal faction.
The emperor instantly sent letters commanding the Milanese to make full
reparation to their unfortunate neighbors; but on perusal of his behests
they tore the missives in a thousand pieces, and flung them in the faces
of the messengers, sending back by them as their sole answer an open
defiance of his authority. Enraged at this insolence, Frederick crossed
the Alps, but, too prudent to risk an immediate attack on Milan,
strongly fortified and well garrisoned as it was, he sought rather to
weaken it through the other towns with which it was in league, and
accordingly besieged in turn Rosate, Cairo, and Asti, which all fell
into his hands, and ended with the total demolition of the city of
Tortona, which he reduced to ashes, afterward even levelling the ground
upon which it had stood. This last victory proved the accuracy of
Barbarossa's judgment, as regarded the remainder of the fifteen towns of
the so-called "Lombard League," most of which, intimidated by his
energetic measures, sent ambassadors to do homage on their account. He
now seized the iron crown of Lombardy; was crowned at Pavia and again at
Monza, after which he entered into negotiations with Adrian IV. for the
performance of the coronation ceremony at Rome.

We now come to the second marriage of our hero, when Beatrix, the only
child and heiress of Reinold of Burgundy, became his bride; and an echo
of the old romantic halo which surrounds that incident in Barbarossa's
life reaches us, even in this prosaic age, as we picture to ourselves
the gallant, handsome Frederick riding off with his trusty knights to
deliver the fair heiress of Count Reinold from the gloomy prison in
which her uncle, Count William, had confined her in order to appropriate
the rich domains of "Franche-Comté." Over hill and dale sped the
chivalrous band till the grim castle was reached; a halt was ordered,
and an envoy sent to summon Count William to yield both his fortress and
the fair prisoner. At first the count meditated resistance, but on
looking out and investigating the number of Frederick's followers, he
decided to submit, and congratulated himself on his determination when
Frederick's messenger said, on behalf of his master, that if the castle
were not given freely it would be taken by force, the fair Beatrix
released, and her gloomy prison walls be prevented from hiding any other
like iniquity by being razed to the ground. Prudence, we hear, is the
better part of valor, and evidently Count William shared in the opinion,
for we learn that he promptly let down the drawbridge, over which
Frederick and his followers passed, and whence they presently issued,
bearing in their midst the quondam prisoner, the lovely Beatrix, whose
eyes, moist with tears of gratitude, looked trustingly in the handsome
face of her deliverer. So now, away, away to the old church at
Wurtzburg! deck the streets, ring the bells, bid priests don their
vestments and burghers their best, and fall in merrily with the gay
procession that comes to do honor to Barbarossa and his fair bride!

Thus far the little romance of our emperor and Beatrix; now to return to
the sober and solemn statement of facts. During 1157 and the next year,
Frederick busied himself with a campaign against Poland, and compelled
Boleslaw, the king, to acknowledge the supremacy of the head of the
German Empire, and to take the oath of fealty, barefoot and with his
naked sword hung round his neck; after which he bestowed the kingdom
upon Wladislaw of Bohemia, whom he had appointed regent of the German
states during his absence, and whom he now took this opportunity to
reward. New disputes began to arise between Pope Adrian and Frederick;
and when at Besançon some indiscreet remarks of His Holiness as to
having "conferred the imperial crown" on, and "accorded it by favor" to
Frederick, were mentioned, that monarch waited no longer, but collected
a fresh army, and marched into Italy to chastise the pontiff, who, on
hearing of his approach, and scared at the prospect of such a calamity,
hastened to explain away his words as best he might. The emperor
accepted his excuses, but as he was so far on the road, determined to
attack Milan, whose inhabitants had increased the anger he already felt
for them by rebuilding Tortona (which, as we know, he had totally
destroyed), and expelling the inhabitants of Lodi from their dwellings
for having called him to mediate on the subject of their wrongs. With
100,000 men (for almost all of the Lombard cities had, either willingly
or by force, contributed their militia) and 15,000 cavalry, he advanced
toward Milan and laid siege to it. The inhabitants made a most obstinate
resistance, and were at length only vanquished by the impossibility of
finding food for the vast population within the walls. A capitulation
was effected, by which the emperor contented himself with very moderate
conditions, the most severe being that which condemned the city to the
loss of her privileges; but when the chief nobles came to deliver the
keys, barefooted and with every token of humility, he forgot their
former insolence, and only required, in return for his clemency, a
renewal of the oath of fealty and their promise to rebuild the town of
Lodi.

To put an end to these ever-recurring disputes Frederick called together
a diet at Roncaglia, to which each of the Italian towns was commanded to
send its representative; the four most learned jurists from the
university of Bologna being also requested to attend, for the purpose of
drawing up a document which should conclusively define the relations
between himself, as head of the empire, and the vassals and imperial
cities of Italy. But when the learned quartet had heard all the points
of dispute, and were in possession of the facts, their decision gave
such almost limitless power to Frederick that several of the towns, and
more especially Milan, refused to abide by it and prepared for further
resistance.

Frederick had not been idle all the time these schisms were raging; on
the contrary, he had made a third expedition to Italy, from which he had
been compelled to return, leaving the flower of his army lying dead,
stricken down with pestilence. The next six years were spent in settling
various disputes and complications which had arisen in Germany during
his absence; in causing his son Henry, a child of only five years of
age, to be crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle; and in keeping some sort of check
on his vassal, Henry the Lion, who, now that he had increased his power
by a marriage with Matilda, daughter of Henry II. of England, was no
unimportant person in the empire, and moreover one extremely liable to
become sulky and unmanageable if he had a chance, or the smallest
grievance to complain of.

The news now spread through Europe of the reconquest of Jerusalem by
Saladin. These tidings effaced every other thought; the new Pope, Urban,
forgot the thunders of the Church which he had been keeping, like a
second sword of Damocles, suspended over Frederick's head; the emperor
buried his resentment; a general peace was concluded, and Barbarossa,
then in his seventieth year, gave the regency of his dominions to his
son Henry, and joyfully taking up the cross--accompanied by his son
Frederick, the flower of German chivalry, and an army of 100,000
men--marched by way of Vienna to Presburg, and thence through Hungary,
Servia, and Roumelia.

Isaac Angelus, the Greek emperor, who had promised to furnish the German
troops with provisions and assist Frederick in all ways, with the
proverbial duplicity of his nation, broke his word, harassed him on his
march, and threw Count von Diez, his ambassador, into prison; which
treachery greatly incensed the emperor, and caused him to give
permission to his soldiers to plunder; the results being that the
country soon bore sad traces of their passage, and that the two
important towns of Manioava and Philippopolis were completely destroyed.
This reduced Isaac, professedly, to a state of contrition; and when
Barbarossa advanced toward Constantinople, the Greek emperor, anxious to
conciliate him, placed his entire fleet at his disposal for the
transport of the German army. Scarcely had they entered Asia Minor
before Isaac's good resolutions abandoned him, and leaguing himself with
another faithless ally of Frederick, the Sultan of Iconium, they beset
the German troops, and did everything they possibly could to make the
march more difficult; however, though they tried both fair means and
foul, their evil practices resulted in their own defeat, and the
Oriental Christians soon found they had every reason to congratulate
themselves upon the arrival of such a champion.

The fanaticism of a Turkish prisoner, who, acting as guide, wilfully
sacrificed his life in order to mislead Frederick's army, involved the
Germans in almost endless troubles by taking them amidst pathless
mountains, where the horrors of starvation and the entire lack of water
added yet more miseries to their condition. Brave where all were
despairing, encouraging his men with cheering words and hopeful looks,
their gallant old leader rode on, and footsore, half-starved, thirsty,
and wretched as they were, the men tried, though tears of agony filled
their eyes, to raise the notes of their Swabian war-song to please him.
Frederick, Duke of Swabia, hastened forward with half the remaining
army, and gaining a victory over a body of Turks, pushed on till he came
to the town of Iconium; when, scattering the enemy before him, he put
the inhabitants to the sword, gained a great booty, and, more than all,
food, drink, and rest for his weary men.

A body of Turks had meanwhile crept round the town, and surrounded the
columns which were advancing under Barbarossa; worn out with sorrow,
hunger, and thirst, even his courage gave way for one moment, as he
thought that this band of Turks had only, in all probability, reached
him by passing over the dead bodies of his brave son and the gallant
Swabians; the aged monarch bowed his head, and the scorching tears of
rage ran down his cheeks; then dashing his hand across his eyes, he
cried: "Christ still lives! Christ conquers!" and shouting to his
followers, they fell on the Turks like lions; Barbarossa with his own
hand sending many a one to his last sleep. Then they marched forward to
Iconium, where rest and plenty awaited them, and where the old emperor
doubtless found much cause for thankfulness when he threw himself into
the arms of his brave son.

At Iconium the army stayed for some time, the soldiers being in sad need
of repose; and then starting afresh, continued as far as the little
river Saleph; when, the road being encumbered with cattle, and the
emperor impatient of delay, he commanded his men to cross the stream and
plunged into the water. Here this hero of many combats, this brave and
wise king, was destined to end his long life in an obscure river, of
which he had probably never heard; the current was too strong for his
horse, and, nobly as the animal battled against it, both rider and steed
were drowned.

The Germans, almost frantic with grief and dismay, made frenzied efforts
to regain the body of their leader; and, when at last they succeeded,
they conveyed it with much loving care to Antioch, where it was buried
in St. Peter's Church.

With the history of the crusade after the death of our hero, we have
nothing to do further than to say that his son, Frederick, took the
chief command and led the brave followers of his gallant father until a
pestilence occasioned his death at Acre, in the following year, when the
remnant of the once formidable army returned to Germany.

[Illustration: The Death of Barbarossa.]

How Barbarossa still lingers in the hearts of his people even now, when
all these hundreds of years divide his time from theirs, is shown by
a dozen legends. Most of these profess an utter disbelief in the death
of their loved emperor; one of them tells how, in a rocky cleft of the
Klyfhaüser Mountains, Barbarossa still sleeps calmly and peacefully; he
sits before a marble table into which and through which his red beard
has grown; his head is bowed on his folded hands, and though he from
time to time lifts it and opens his eyes, it is but to shut them again
quickly, for the right time of his awakening is not come; he has seen
the ravens flying round the mountain, and his long sleep will only end
when their black forms are no longer visible, when he will step forth
and avenge the wrongs of the oppressed.

Another story says that he is lying in the Untersberg near Salzburg, and
that when the dead pear-tree which, thrice cut down, plants itself
afresh, shall bud forth and blossom, the gallant "Rothbart" will come
out into the bright daylight, hang his shield on the pink-flowered
bough, throw down his gauntlet as a gage to all evil-doers, and, aided
by the good and chivalrous few who will still be inhabitants of this bad
world, will vanquish cruelty and wickedness, and realize the dream of a
golden age they have for so long anticipated.



RICHARD COEUR DE LION

(1157-1199)

[Illustration: Richard Coeur de Lion.]


Richard I., King of England, surnamed Coeur de Lion, was the third son
of Henry II. and his queen, Eleanor, and was born at Oxford, in the
king's manor house there, afterward the monastery of the White Friars,
in September, 1157. By the treaty of Montmirail, concluded on January 6,
1169, between Henry and Louis VII. of France, it was stipulated that the
duchy of Aquitaine should be made over to Richard, who should do homage
and fealty for it to Louis, and should espouse Adelais, or Alice, that
king's youngest daughter; and in 1170 King Henry, being taken ill at
Domfront, in Maine, made a will, by which he confirmed this arrangement.
In 1173 Richard, with his younger brother, Geoffrey, and their mother,
joined their eldest brother, Henry, in his first rebellion against their
father. On the submission of the rebels, in September, 1174, Richard
received two castles in Poitou, with half the revenue of that earldom,
and, along with Geoffrey, did homage and swore fealty to their father.
Nevertheless Richard continued from this time to hold the government of
the whole of Aquitaine, and to be usually styled, as before, Duke of
Aquitaine, or Duke of Poitou (which were considered as the same title),
although it appears that King Henry now looked upon the arrangements
made at the treaty of Montmirail as annulled, and that dukedom to have
actually reverted to himself. In 1183 Richard refused, when commanded by
his father, to do homage for Aquitaine to his elder brother, Henry; on
which his brothers Henry and Geoffrey invaded the duchy, and a new war
ensued between them and their father, who was assisted by Richard,
which, however, was terminated by the death of the eldest of the three
brothers in June of that same year, when Richard became his father's
heir-apparent. But at an interview between King Henry and Philip
Augustus, now King of France, in November, 1188, Richard, apparently
impelled by a suspicion that his father intended to leave his crown to
his younger brother, John, and also professing to resent his father's
conduct in withholding from him his affianced bride, the French king's
sister, suddenly declared himself the liegeman of Philip for all his
father's dominions in France; whence arose a new war, in which Philip
and Richard speedily compelled King Henry to yield to all their demands,
and a treaty to that effect was about to be signed when King Henry died,
on July 6, 1189. Richard was present at the burial of his father in the
choir of the convent of Fontevrault.

Notwithstanding his apprehensions, real or affected, of his brother
John, Richard made no particular haste to come over to England, but,
contenting himself with ordering his mother, Queen Eleanor, to be
liberated from confinement, and to be invested with the regency of that
kingdom, he first proceeded to Rouen, where he was formally acknowledged
as Duke of Normandy on July 20th, and it was August 13th before he
arrived at Portsmouth (or, as others say, at Southampton). His
coronation, from which the commencement of his reign is dated, took
place in Westminster Abbey on September 3d. It was on occasion of that
ceremony that a furious riot broke out among the Jews in London, which
was in the course of the next six months renewed in most of the great
towns throughout the kingdom. At York, in March, 1190, a body of 500
Jews, with their wives and children, having taken refuge in the castle,
found no other way of saving themselves from their assailants than by
first cutting the throats of the women and children and then stabbing
one another.

A short time before his father's death Richard, and his then friend,
Philip Augustus, had, as it was expressed, taken the cross, that is to
say, had publicly vowed to proceed to the Holy Land, to assist in
recovering from the infidels the city and kingdom of Jerusalem, which
had recently (1187) fallen into the hands of the great Saladin. The
mighty expedition, in which all the principal nations of Western
Christendom now joined, for the accomplishment of this object is known
by the name of the Third Crusade. Leaving the government of his kingdom
during his absence in the hands of William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely and
chancellor, and Hugh Pudsey, Bishop of Durham and justiciary, Richard
took his departure from England on December 11th of this same year,
1189, and proceeding to Normandy, united his forces with those of
Philip Augustus in the plain of Vezelay on July 1, 1190. The two friends
proceeded together at the head of an army of more than 100,000 men as
far as Lyons, where they separated on the 31st; Philip taking the road
to Genoa, Richard that to Marseilles, where he was to meet his fleet.
The fleet, however, not arriving so soon as was expected, Richard in his
impatience hired thirty small vessels for the conveyance of himself and
his suite, and, sailing for Naples, arrived there on August 28th. On
September 8th he proceeded by sea to Salerno, where he remained till the
23d, and then sailed for Messina, which port his fleet had reached about
a week before, with the army, which it had taken on board at Marseilles.
The French king had also arrived at Messina a few days before his
brother of England.

The two kings remained together at Messina till the end of March, 1191.
During their stay Richard compelled Tancred, who had usurped the crown
of Sicily, to relinquish the dower of his sister Joan, the widow of
William, the late sovereign, and to pay him besides forty thousand
ounces of gold. In return he betrothed his nephew, Arthur, the son of
his next brother, Geoffrey, to Tancred's infant daughter, and formed a
league offensive and defensive with the Sicilian king--a connection
which afterward cost him dear, for it was the source of the enmity of
the Emperor Henry VI., who had married Constantia, the aunt of William,
and claimed the throne of Sicily in right of his wife. After the dispute
with Tancred had been settled, the latent rivalry of Richard and Philip
broke out in a quarrel about the Princess Adelais, whom her brother
Philip insisted that Richard should espouse, in conformity with their
betrothment, now that his father no longer lived to oppose their union.
But if Richard had ever cared anything for the French princess, that
attachment had now been obliterated by another, which he had some years
before formed for Berengaria, the beautiful daughter of Sancho VI.
(styled the Wise), King of Navarre; in fact he had by this time sent his
mother Eleanor to her father's court to solicit that lady in marriage,
and, his proposals having been accepted, the two were now actually on
their way to join him. In these circumstances Philip found himself
obliged to recede from his demand; and the matter was arranged by an
agreement that Richard should pay a sum of ten thousand marks, in five
yearly instalments, and restore Adelais, who had previously been
conducted into England, and the places of strength that had been given
along with her as her marriage portion, when he should have returned
from Palestine.

Richard, having sent his mother home to England, sailed from Messina on
April 7th, at the head of a fleet of about two hundred ships, of which
fifty-three were large vessels of the sort styled galleys; his sister,
the queen dowager of Sicily, and the Princess Berengaria accompanying
him. The King of France had set sail about a week before. Several
months, however, elapsed before Richard reached the Holy Land, having
been detained by an attack which he made upon the island of Cyprus;
Isaac, the king, or emperor, of which had ill used the crews of some of
the English ships that had been driven upon his coasts in a storm.
Richard took Limasol, the capital, by assault; and that blow was soon
followed by the complete submission of Isaac and the surrender of the
whole island. Isaac was put into confinement, and remained a captive
till his death in 1195. Meanwhile the island of Cyprus was made over by
Richard, in 1192, to Guy of Lusignan, upon his resignation of the now
merely titular royalty of Jerusalem to his rival Henry of Champagne and
Guy's posterity reigned in that island till the year 1458.

Having married Berengaria at Limasol, Richard set sail from Cyprus, on
June 4th (1191), with a fleet now described as consisting of thirteen
large ships called busses, fifty galleys, and a hundred transports; and
on the 10th he reached the camp of the crusaders assembled before the
fortress of Acre, the siege of which had already occupied them not much
less than two years, and had cost the lives, it is said of nearly two
hundred thousand of the assailants. But the presence of the English
king, although he was suffering from severe illness, and had to be
carried to the trenches on a litter, immediately inspired so much new
vigor into the operations of the Christian army that, on July 12th, the
place surrendered, and Saladin, who had been harassing the besiegers
from the neighboring mountains, withdrew, in conformity with the terms
of capitulation. This great event, however, was immediately followed by
an open rupture between Richard and King Philip, whose rivalry had
already exhibited itself in a variety of ways, and more particularly in
the support given by Richard to the claim of Guy of Lusignan, and by
Philip to that of Conrad of Montferrat to the vacant crown of Jerusalem.
Philip, in fact, took his departure from Palestine on the last day of
July, leaving only ten thousand men, under the command of the Duke of
Burgundy.

[Illustration: Richard at the Battle of Arsur.]

Richard performed prodigies of valor in the Holy Land, but, although a
signal defeat of Saladin on September 7th at Arsur was followed by the
capture of Jaffa and some other places of less importance, Jerusalem,
which was the main object of the crusade, so far from being taken was
not even attacked. Jaffa, however, after it had again fallen into the
hands of Saladin, was recovered by the impetuous valor of the English
king. At last, on October 9, 1192, Richard set sail from Acre in a
single vessel, his fleet, having on board his wife, his sister, and the
daughter of the captive King of Cyprus, having put to sea a few days
before. The three ladies got safe to Sicily; but the first land the king
made was the island of Corfu, which he took about a month to reach. He
left Corfu about the middle of November with three coasting-vessels
which he hired there; but after being a few days at sea he was compelled
by a storm to land on the coast of Istria, at a spot between the towns
of Aquileia and Venice. After narrowly escaping first from falling at
Goritz into the hands of Maynard, a nephew of Conrad of Montferrat (to
whose murder in Palestine Richard, upon very insufficient evidence, was
suspected to be an accessory), and then at Friesach from Maynard's
brother, Frederick of Batesow, he was taken on December 21st, at Erperg,
near Vienna, by Leopold, Duke of Austria (a brother-in-law of Isaac of
Cyprus), and was by him consigned to close confinement in the castle of
Tyernsteign, under the care of his vassal, Baron Haldmar. In the course
of a few days, however, by an arrangement between Leopold and the
Emperor Henry VI., the captive king was transferred to the custody of
the latter, who shut him up in a castle in the Tyrol, where he was bound
with chains, and guarded by a band of men who surrounded him day and
night with drawn swords. In this state he remained about three months.
Meanwhile, intelligence of his having fallen into the hands of the
emperor had reached England, and excited the strongest sensation among
all ranks of the people. It is sufficient to mention that during his
absence a struggle for supremacy had for some time been carried on with
varying success between the king's brother, John, and Longchamp, the
chancellor, who had acquired the entire regency, and had also been
appointed papal legate for England and Scotland; and that this had
resulted, in October, 1191, in the deposition of Longchamp, by a council
of the nobility held in St Paul's Churchyard, London; after which he
left the country, and although he soon ventured to return, ultimately
deemed it most prudent to retire to Normandy. The supreme authority was
thus left for a time in the hands of John, who, as soon as he learned
the news of his brother's captivity, openly repaired to Paris, and did
homage to the French king for the English dominions on the Continent.

[Illustration: Richard Coeur de Lion.]

On returning to England, John raised an army to support his pretensions,
while his confederate, Philip, took up arms in his behalf in France,
and, entering Normandy, overran a great part of that duchy, although
Rouen, the capital, was preserved principally by the exertions of the
Earl of Essex, lately one of Richard's companions in the Holy Land. In
England, also, John met with a general opposition to his usurpation of
the regal authority, which soon compelled him to conclude an armistice
with a council of regency that had been appointed by the prelates and
barons. This was the position of affairs when Longchamp, having
discovered Richard's place of confinement, after much solicitation
prevailed upon the emperor to allow the royal prisoner to be brought
before the diet at Hagenau, where, accordingly, he made his appearance
on April 13, 1193, and defended himself with so much eloquence against
the several charges made against him in regard to Tancred and the
kingdom of Sicily, to his conquest of Cyprus, and to the murder of
Conrad of Montferrat, that Henry found himself compelled by the general
sentiment of the diet to order his chains to be immediately struck off,
and to agree to enter upon negotiations for his ransom. Longchamp was
immediately despatched to England with a letter to the council of
regency, and the result was, that, notwithstanding the insidious efforts
both of John and his friend, Philip of France, to prevent the
conclusion of the treaty, Richard was at last liberated, on February 4,
1194, after seventy thousand marks had been actually paid to the
emperor, and hostages given for the payment of thirty thousand more. The
English king had also engaged to release both Isaac of Cyprus and his
daughter, and he had besides, at the persuasion, it is said, of his
mother, Eleanor, the more effectually to conciliate Henry, formally
resigned his crown into the hand of the emperor, who immediately
restored it to him to be held as a fief of the empire, and burdened with
a yearly feudal payment to his superior lord of five thousand pounds.
This strange transaction rests on the authority of the contemporary
annalist Hoveden. Richard, descending the Rhine as far as Cologne,
proceeded thence across the country to Antwerp, and, embarking there on
board his own fleet, landed at Sandwich on March 13th.

Most of John's strongholds had been wrested from his hands before his
brother's return, and now the rest immediately surrendered and he
himself fled the country, and with his principal adviser, Hugh, Bishop
of Coventry, having been charged with high treason, and not appearing to
plead after forty days, was outlawed and divested of all his
possessions.

Meanwhile it was thought necessary that Richard should be crowned again,
and that ceremony was accordingly performed at Winchester by Hubert,
Archbishop of Canterbury, on April 17th. Then, leaving Hubert guardian
of England and grand justiciary, on May 2d, following, having, with his
characteristic activity employed almost every moment since his arrival
in raising an army and procuring funds for its maintenance by all sorts
of exactions and the most unscrupulous use of every means in his power,
he again set sail from Portsmouth, his whole soul bent on chastising the
King of France. Owing to adverse winds he was a fortnight in reaching
Barfleur, in Normandy, where, as soon as he landed, he was met by his
brother John, who professed contrition and implored his pardon, which,
on the intercession of his mother, Eleanor, was granted. Richard now
marched against Philip, and several engagements took place between them,
in most of which the English king was successful. But the war, though it
lasted for some years, was distinguished by few remarkable events. A
truce for one year was agreed to on July 23d, and although hostilities
were resumed some time before the expiration of that term, a peace was
again concluded in the end of the following year, which lasted till the
beginning of 1197.

All this time Hubert, assisted by Longchamp, who had been restored to
his office of chancellor, is said to have presided over the government
at home with great ability. Hubert had been educated under the famous
Glanvil, and he seems, in the spirit of his master, to have exerted
himself in re-establishing and maintaining the authority of the law, by
which alone, even if he did no more, he must have materially contributed
to the revival of industry. The large sums, however, which he was
obliged to raise by taxation to meet the expenses of the war, in the
exhausted state to which the country had been reduced provoked much
popular dissatisfaction; and the third year of the king's absence in
particular was distinguished by the remarkable commotion excited by
William Fitz-Osbert, styled Longbeard, a citizen of London, who is
admitted to have possessed both eloquence and learning, and whose whole
character and proceedings might not improbably, if he had had his own
historian, have assumed a very different complexion from what has been
given to him. Longbeard, who acquired the names of the Advocate and King
of the Poor, is affirmed to have had above fifty thousand of the lower
orders associated with him by oaths which bound them to follow
whithersoever he led. When an attempt was made to apprehend him by two
of the wealthier citizens, he drew his knife and stabbed one of them,
named Geoffrey, to the heart, and then took refuge in the church of St
Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside, the tower of which he and his followers
fortified, and held for three days, when they were at last (April 7,
1196), dislodged by fire being set to the building. Fitz-Osbert was
first dragged at a horse's tail to the Tower, and then to the Elms in
West Smithfield, where he was hanged, with nine of his followers. The
people, however, long continued to regard him as a martyr.

The war between Richard and Philip broke out again in 1197, and in the
course of this campaign Richard had the gratification of capturing the
Bishop of Beauvais, a personage whom he had reason to regard as a main
instigator of the severities and indignities which he had sustained at
the hands of the emperor. The bishop was taken armed cap-à-pie and
fighting, and when Pope Celestine recommended him to the clemency of
Richard as his son, the English king sent his holiness the bishop's coat
of mail, with the following verse of Scripture attached to it: "This
have we found; know now whether it be thy son's coat, or no." This same
year, too, finished the career of the Emperor Henry, who, in his last
moments, is said to have expressed the extremest remorse for the manner
in which he had treated the great champion of the Cross. Richard's other
enemy, Leopold, Duke of Austria, had been killed by a fall from his
horse two years before.

A truce, as usual, at the end of the year, again suspended hostilities
for a space. The war was renewed on its termination, and in this
campaign (of the year 1198) Richard gained one of his greatest victories
near Gisors, when Philip in his flight fell into the river Epte, and was
nearly drowned. After this, by the intercession of the Pope's legate, a
truce was concluded between the two kings for five years, and they never
met again in fight; although they probably would, notwithstanding the
truce, if both had lived. But on March 26th in the following year, 1199,
as Richard was engaged in reducing the castle of Chaluz, the stronghold
of one of his Aquitanian vassals, Vidomar, Viscount of Limoges, who it
seems had refused to surrender a treasure found on his estate, to which
the king laid claim in right of his feudal superiority, Coeur de Lion
was struck in the left shoulder by an arrow, aimed from the rampart of
the castle by a youth named Bertrand de Gurdun. The wound would not have
been dangerous but for the mismanagement of the surgeon in his attempts
to extract the arrow-head, which had broken off in the flesh. As it was,
Richard lived only till Tuesday, April 16th. The shot was a fatal one in
every way; in the fury into which the wound of the king threw the
besieging army the castle was taken by storm, and all the persons found
in it were immediately hanged, as some authorities say, by the king's
orders, with the exception only of Gurdun. He was brought into the
presence of his dying victim, when Richard, under the impulse of
generosity or compunction, gave him his liberty, with a hundred
shillings to take him home; but after the king's death he was flayed
alive, and then hanged, by order of Marchadee, the leader of the
Brabantine mercenaries serving in Richard's army.

The character of Richard is, of course, not to be judged without
reference to the general manners of the age in which he lived. It is
probable enough that there was hardly an excess, either of violence or
licentiousness, into which his impetuous temperament did not
occasionally precipitate him; but he seems to have had nothing base or
malignant in his composition; and that he was as capable of acts of
extraordinary generosity and disinterestedness as of excesses of brutal
fury or profligacy. Of the courage and strength of will proper to his
race, he had his full share, with more than his share of their strength
of thew and sinew; and his intellectual powers, both natural and
acquired, were also of a high order. He was renowned in his own day not
only as beyond all dispute the stoutest and most gallant of living
heroes, but as likewise occupying a place in the foremost rank of those
who excelled in wit, in eloquence, and in song.



ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI[6]

         [Footnote 6: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By GEORGE PARSONS LATHROP, LL.D.

(1182-1226)

[Illustration: St. Francis of Assisi.]


One reason why those beings who are known to us as saints are so little
understood is, that their lives are usually written in one of two ways,
both equally unsuited to popular appreciation. Either they are presented
in a dry, bare, matter-of-fact manner, which requires all the knowledge
and sympathy of the initiated to give it vital meaning; or else they are
surrounded with an appanage of portents, visions, miracles,
legends--spread before the reader without discrimination or
explanation--which confuse the mind and soul, and absolutely repel all
who do not share the faith of the subject and the biographer.

As a matter of fact, no Catholic is obliged to accept these legends and
traditions literally, except in those cases where the authorities of
the Church, after a scrutiny, which is always deliberate and searching,
declare that a miracle was wrought. But every Catholic, by the very
nature of his belief in the actual presence of the Divinity among men,
must acknowledge and maintain that miracles have been wrought by that
supernatural power constantly, ever since apostolic times; that they may
and do occur, through the same power, at any moment to-day; and always
will occur. In the ordinary gossip of the world, men hold to the maxim
that if reports are current, all pointing to one particular fact, there
must be truth in them. "Where there is so much smoke there is sure to be
some fire." We should at least accord the same, if not a greater, degree
of probability and of credence to stories of the saints which have been
carefully, competently examined. "The love of the marvellous," says
Chavin de Malin, in his book on St. Francis, "is but a remnant of our
original greatness. Man was created to contemplate the wonders of the
Divinity; and, until he clearly beholds them, he is borne onward by an
interior desire to love and admire everything which bears the slightest
resemblance to them.... _A person utterly ignorant of the practices of a
spiritual life can no more do justice to the life of a saint, than a
blind man could adjudicate on the merits or demerits of a painting._" He
adds that, with regard to the religious occupations of the Middle Ages,
"the positive bounds of history could not be kept, digressions were made
on all sides, and thus around the true history of saints, like a poetic
wreath, wonder and amazement were both entwined. Christianity has had
its denominated legendary tales, which invariably are based on truth,
and should not be rejected by the historian without serious reflection
and profound study."

There is still another way of regarding the saints; the purely material
view, which denies the immediate action of supernatural power upon the
details of natural daily life, mental or physical. This view--or rather,
this abstention from seeing--is futile; because, without a particle of
actual proof to sustain its negative, it refuses to admit possibilities
of truth to which the really comprehensive and perceptive mind must
always hold itself open.

Saint Francis was born at Assisi, in Umbria, in 1182; near the close of
the twelfth century, which has been called a "century of mud and blood,
when darkness prevailed over light, evil over good, the flesh over the
spirit." Umbria was then, as it is now, a beautiful and fertile valley,
rich in citron, almond, aloe, with forest trees of oak and pine and fir,
to which long cultivation has added grapevines, engarlanding the elms,
and orchards of the pale-leaved olive-tree, that give the landscape a
somewhat transparent, aërial effect. The province is encircled on one
hand by the yellow Tiber; on the other, by the bluish foot-hills of the
Apennines; and it is full of ancient little towns, nestled in the vales,
or perched upon the airy hill-crests, with crenelated towers and
terraces which command far-reaching and inspiring views. Old Perugia
guards the northern entrance to this exquisite region; and five leagues
to the northeast of that town is the saint's birthplace, Assisi.

His father was Peter Bernard of Moriconi, better known as "Bernardone,"
a rich merchant who carried on extensive business with France. In those
days Italian merchants maintained a lavish mode of life, resembling that
of the nobles; and as the disorders of the period and the perils
attending travel compelled them to send armed escorts with their convoys
of merchandise, there was something of military daring and display
mingled with their business and their surroundings. The wife of
Bernardone, however, whose name was Pica (of the noble Bourlemont family
of Provence), was remarkable for her piety; the son--in this, as in so
many historic instances of genius or distinction--inheriting his rare
quality from the mother's side. She had but one other child, a younger
son, Angelo, who, notwithstanding his heavenly name, seems to have been
a boy after Bernardone's own pattern; since he, later on, reviled
Francis and called him a fool for his piety and self-renunciation.
Angelo's descendants were still living in Assisi in the latter half of
the sixteenth century. Whether they shared their ancestor's contemptuous
opinion of the Saint has not been recorded; but it seems probable that
the homage of the world, rendered to the poor ascetic for several
centuries, may have made some impression on their minds, if not their
souls.

Just before the birth of Francis, his mother suffered greatly. A
pilgrim, coming to the house for alms, told the servants: "The mother
will be delivered only in a stable, and the child see the light upon
straw." This appeared strange and unreasonable enough. Nevertheless his
advice was followed. Pica was carried to the stable, and there she gave
birth to her first son, whom she caused to be baptized John, after the
beloved apostle of Jesus. Her husband, Bernardone, was absent at the
time on a business tour in France. Upon his return, he was delighted at
finding that he had a boy; and he insisted on giving him the surname
Francis, in commemoration of that country with which he drove such a
flourishing trade. Possibly he was also moved by the thought--albeit the
chroniclers do not say so--that his wife's family came from Southern
France. At all events, Francis was the name by which the son came to be
known throughout his life and in history.

Under priestly teachers he received an education which, for that time,
was a fairly good one, in Latin, French, and literature. At the age of
fourteen his father took him into partnership; and for ten years the
young man bought and sold with him, or travelled for him. But while
Bernardone was a hard, avaricious man, the son differed from him greatly
in disposition; being fond of dress, of song, and feasting, gayety, and
gaming. He was generous even to prodigality, full of wit and
imagination, very sympathetic withal, and compassionate. Thomas of
Celano thus describes him: "His figure was above the middle height and
well set. He was thin, and of a very delicate constitution. He had an
oval face, broad brow, white, close-set teeth, dark complexion, black
hair, regular features, expressive countenance, rosy lips, and a
charming smile." With all his roystering, dissipation, and extravagance,
however, he was a foe to immorality, always rebuked impurity in severe
terms, and kept his own purity intact. This lavish and somewhat reckless
pursuit of other pleasures gave his parents much anxiety; although his
mother, Pica, said in his defence, "I see in him, even in his
amusements, a nobility of character which gives me the highest hopes of
his future." But up to his twenty-fourth year nothing seemed more
unlikely than that he should have any vocation to a holy life. He was
called the "flower of the youth" of Assisi, rejoiced in his gay
leadership of the rich young men of the place, and dreamed of winning
military glory.

In this capacity of taking the lead, and in the confident belief he
often expressed that he would one day receive honor from the world, we
see one natural germ of his later spiritual eminence. Another and more
potent germ was the love of the poor, and his pity for them, which he
manifested from childhood. In 1201, taking part as a soldier in a brief
war between Assisi and Perugia, he was captured, with several of his
companions, and imprisoned for a year. This experience, his first touch
of adversity, sobered him a little; opening his eyes to the contrast
between prosperity, with idle amusement and flattery, on the one hand,
and on the other, suffering. Soon after his return home, also, he was
stricken down by a long and painful illness. When he rose from it and,
as a convalescent, took his first walk into the country, he was
astonished to find that the beautiful Umbrian landscape which he had
always so enjoyed, seemed to him cold, discolored, and sombre. A natural
effect of illness, one may say. Yet it more often happens that when a
convalescent returns to fresh air and the beauty of the earth, his
pleasure in them is heightened. At all events Francis was vividly
impressed with the nothingness of nature, as compared with the eternal
splendor of God. But presently the passion for warlike renown took
possession of him again. In 1206 he volunteered to join the Count of
Brienne, a Guelph champion of Italian national independence, who was
defending the Two Sicilies against the attacks of the German emperor,
Frederick II. Announcing to his friends that he was about to become a
great captain, Francis set out for the field of war, richly apparelled
and with a brilliant retinue.

In truth he was shortly to become a great captain, though not as he
expected, in war, but in peace. On the way to Spoleto, southward, a
voice that seemed to come from heaven sounded in his ears; just as Saul
was appealed to while on his way to Damascus and was converted by it
into _St. Paul_. To the young Umbrian, half asleep, the voice said:
"Francis, which can do thee most good; the master or the servant, the
rich one or the pauper?" He replied: "The master and the rich one." And
the voice resumed: "Why, then, leavest thou God, who is both rich and
the Master, to run after man, who is only the servant and the pauper?"
Then Francis cried: "Ah, Lord; what willest Thou I should do?" "Go,"
said the voice, "return to thy native city, for the vision thou hast had
has a spiritual meaning. It is from God, not men, thou shalt receive its
accomplishment."

Heedless of whatever taunts might be flung at him, he turned back. But
the youth of Assisi, though surprised, were rejoiced to see him, and
begged him to preside once more at their revels. He gave them a final
magnificent banquet, at which they noticed that he was silent and
preoccupied. Immediately afterward he retired to a grotto, where he
passed his days alone, entreating God to pardon the misspent years of
youth and to direct him in the right way. Here he had a vision of Jesus
Christ nailed to the cross. It is probably impossible to prove a vision;
but that this one was real to Francis, at least, we may judge by its
effects. Thenceforth he devoted himself to a pious life of marvellous
self-abnegation. Seeing the change that had come upon him, his former
friends fell away; but he, undisturbed, went on performing works of
charity; making gifts of money, food, and even his own clothes to the
poor. Again a voice spoke to him, from the crucifix of the dilapidated
old church of St. Damien: "Francis, go and repair my house, which you
see falling into ruins!" The young ascetic obeyed literally, and,
passing through the streets, begged from all whom he met a stone or two
to help rebuild the old church. Bernardone had been absent several
months on one of his business trips; but his home-coming, this time, was
not so pleasing to him as when his boy had been born. For, seeing the
young man's complete transformation, all his selfish love of him turned
into rage. He imprisoned him for a while in his own house; but Pica,
recognizing that it was useless to oppose her son's religious vocation,
finally set him free, and Francis took refuge in St. Damien's church.
His father pursued him there, and brought before the Bishop of Assisi a
complaint against him, demanding that he should give up all the money in
his hands. Francis not only surrendered his money, but stripped off his
clothing and gave it to his father, saying: "Until now I have called
Peter Bernardone my father. Henceforth I can boldly say, 'Our Father,
who art in heaven,' in whom I have placed all my treasures and my
hopes."

The bishop covered him with his mantle and held him clasped in his arms,
until the by-standers brought Francis the cloak of a poor peasant. "Oh,
what a grand bankrupt this merchant becomes to-day!" Bossuet wrote of
him, long afterward. "Oh man worthy of being written in the book of the
evangelical poor, and henceforward living on the capital of Providence!"
From that time Francis wore mendicant's garb and begged his food in the
streets.

What did he accomplish by all this? To begin with, he succeeded in
rebuilding three churches. But his influence was destined to be much
more far-reaching than that, and of a very different nature. One day,
while he was supplicating in church, his brother Angelo passed near him,
and said to a friend, scoffingly: "Go, ask him to sell you some drops of
his sweat." "No," said Francis; "I shall not sell my sweat to men. I
shall sell it at a higher price, to God." He gave his sweat, his toil,
his sufferings, and his renunciation to God, in exchange for the
regeneration of men in a corrupt age.

All Europe, at that time the whole civilized world, was suffering. The
mass of the people were the poor, who were in deep distress, ground down
by the pride and oppressions of the barons and the rich. The country was
devastated by wars, large and small. The emperors of Germany were trying
to establish their dominion over Italy and to control the Pope. The
Church itself, after emerging from an heroic struggle with centuries of
barbarism, had been obliged to accept and use the feudal system as a
means of self-defence; and now the wrongs, the injustices, the
selfishness of feudal society were beginning to exercise a corrupting
influence on the exterior of the Church itself. Unselfish and holy men
in ecclesiastical places, both high and humble, preserved the spirit and
sanctity of Christian faith, but were not able wholly to counteract the
evils of pride, wealth, and luxury that invaded the Church from the
worldly side, and infected its unworthy servants. Francis perceived that
the only hope or relief possible to that age lay in a decisive spiritual
revolution, to be effected without violence, which would recall people
to the primitive simplicity, unselfishness, and absolute devotion of the
time of Christ and the apostolic period. This revolution could be
accomplished, he saw, only by a personal example so strong, so
undeviating, so entirely free from self-seeking, that all men would be
compelled to pause and consider it, and then to act upon it. He
therefore sacrificed his whole life for the good of the race. In the end
he achieved his aim, single-handed, single-souled. No one who believes
in God and in Christianity throughout, can maintain that Francis of
Assisi brought about these results by mere unaided human power. The
human element relies upon will, coercion, manoeuvre, and even intrigue.
Francis gave up all these means. He first served the lepers for a month,
living with them and taking care of them. This should especially
interest us to-day; since Father Damien's self-immolating life among the
lepers of the Hawaiian Islands in recent years is so well known to us,
and since the first refuge of Saint Francis from the world was St.
Damien's church, in Assisi. Portiuncula, "The Little Portion," was one
of the churches which he had rebuilt, and was his favorite. While he was
listening to the Gospel there, one day in February, 1209, these words
were read from the altar: "Do not possess gold nor silver, nor money in
your purses; nor scrip for your journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a
staff."

That precept decided him. He saw his vocation as a devotee of holy
poverty. Straightway he began preaching everywhere the duty of poverty
and love of the poor; and gradually he drew to himself disciples, until
they numbered twelve; sometimes accosting his old friends, sometimes
strangers, who immediately joined him and consented to give up all
worldly things, for the love of God. Most of them were men of rank and
wealth, who had never known privation; yet they gave up social positions
where they had been accustomed to command, accepted dire penury with him
in a hut at Rivotorto, and submitted themselves to him in entire
obedience. "Bread begged from door to door is the bread of angels," said
Francis. They went barefoot, wore a coarse gray tunic with a cincture of
cord, prayed much, helped the sick and needy, discoursed to and exhorted
the people, and lived on bread and water chiefly. Amid all these
austerities they thanked God that they had been chosen to give an
example of perfect happiness! Their leader insisted upon incessant
industry and unfailing cheerfulness. "Think of your errors in your
cells," he commanded. "Weep, kneeling before God. But before others be
gay, and maintain an air of ease." At first they called themselves
simply "penitents from Assisi," and for a time they were treated with
ridicule, scorn, and even violence. But their mission was to suffer
everything, to rejoice at insults and injuries and, by patience, compel
recognition of the dignity of every human creature under whatsoever
guise he might present himself. In this they succeeded.

To a novice he said one day, "Brother, let us go out and preach." Taking
him along, he went up into Assisi and they walked through the streets
without saying a word; then returned to the convent. "And our preaching,
father?" asked the novice. "It is done," replied the Saint; implying
that a modest, thoughtful exterior and the force of example are often
the most eloquent kind of preaching. But in 1209 it became clear to him
by an inward vision in which the Christ came to him as a shepherd, that
great numbers would flock to follow him; and, though he had not thought
of founding an Order, he now saw that it would be necessary. He
therefore drew up a simple Rule in twenty-three chapters; the gist of
which was that they were to possess no money, no property whatever; that
they were neither to blame nor to judge any one; were to hold themselves
profoundly respectful toward all members of the clergy; to say not a
word against the rich or against luxury; to preach, everywhere, concord
and the love of God and one's neighbor; to bind themselves to obedience
and chastity, as well as poverty; to do penance and persist in the
perfect faith of Christ. Not until sixteen years later did the Lateran
Council ordain that all religious orders must receive the approval of
the Holy Father. But Francis did not wait for decrees. His humility,
obedience, and loyalty to the Vicar of Christ led him to repair to Rome
with his companions and there ask the permission of Pope Innocent III.,
which he quickly obtained. The Rule was rewritten in 1619. Some of the
brethren suggested that he take the advice of a cardinal in formulating
his rules; but the Saint declared that God had willed that he should
"appear as a new sort of madman in the world," arresting the attention
of the people and bringing them to reflect, without qualification, upon
"the folly of the cross," and that he alone must direct the manner in
which this was to be done.

[Illustration: The Vision of St Francis.]

His order multiplied rapidly, and convents were established in all parts
of Europe; although he was inclined to object to costly buildings, and
was prevailed upon to let them stand on the plea that they were needed
to shelter travellers and pilgrims. He established also the order of
Poor Clares, so called from a noble maiden, Clare, who became its first
superior. This was, for women, what his order of the Friars Minor was
for men; though the Clares remained strictly enclosed, while the Friars
went abroad preaching, and established missions in various quarters of
the globe. Finally, he formed his Third Order, which included laymen and
laywomen living in the world, who bound themselves by simple vows of
virtue and charity, while continuing in their accustomed phase of life.
Thousands joined the Friars; and probably millions were enrolled in the
Third Order. It has been said that Francis first made known to the
Middle Ages the power of association among the weak and humble, and that
from the pages on which he inscribed his institutes sprang modern
democracy in Italy. Certain it is that the Emperor Frederick II.
received a letter from some of his Italian feudal supporters, saying:
"The Friars Minor ... have raised themselves against us. They have
publicly condemned both our mode of life and our principles, they have
shattered our rights, and have brought us to nothingness." Yet the
Franciscan Friars and the Third Order had done this only by the contrast
of example, of poverty, fasting, prayer, self-denial, and charity of the
heart as well as of the hands.

The work of Saint Francis did much to undermine feudalism; and it almost
regenerated the spirit of Christianity in the thirteenth century. "Man
of the people," writes R. F. O'Connor, "he did more for the people than
ever yet had been done by any one; whose vocation was to revive in the
midst of a corrupting opulence the esteem and practice of poverty, which
he ennobled, ... and, without setting class against class, _or violating
the least point of the divine or human law_, levelled every social
barrier and united princes and peasants in a bond of union which neither
time nor eternity was to sever."

This phase of his influence should interest us of to-day, when the same
problems of wealth and poverty and of superficiality in religion
confront our arrogant modern "civilization." That St. Francis was not a
madman is evident from the orderliness of his work, his clear
legislative and administrative capacity, his calm, powerful, amiable
sway over all sorts of people. Yet he was possessed by an absolute
passion and ecstasy of charity and universal love, which raised him
above the apprehension of the gross, material mind. It was this
supremacy of the spiritual in him which enabled him to accomplish
marvels of practical result. Toward the end of his life, this exaltation
of the spirit produced upon his body a singular phenomenon. His hands
and feet appeared to be transpierced by large nails, and a wound opened
in his side, from which blood frequently flowed. In a word, he bore the
wounds, or "stigmata" of Christ, on his own body. The nails were
distinct from the wound, but were apparently blackened flesh; being
inseparable from the hands and feet. This phenomenon was well attested
at the time. Within the present century several similar cases have
occurred, under the observation of modern and approved sceptical men of
science, who find that they occur when there has been much fasting, loss
of sleep, and constant meditation upon the Passion of Christ. Their
testimony states the conditions and verifies the fact, but does not
explain it.

He died at his convent of St. Mary of the Angels (Portiuncula), October
4, 1226, in perfect lucidity of mind, with patience and simple
resignation, while giving good counsel to his brethren. Of death he
spoke gently as "our sister death;" and when, during his illness, his
physician was obliged to cauterize him with a red-hot iron, he blessed
the iron, speaking of it as "our brother fire," and submitted to the
cauterization, or moxa, without a murmur or sign of pain. One remarkable
thing about him was his extraordinary recognition of all the powers and
elements of nature as related to man in one family under God. This was
the origin of his famous short "sermon to the birds," which has been
preserved. He talked to them and to all other animals as though he
firmly believed that they could understand him, and could adore their
Creator as well as he; though it is not probable that he supposed they
would understand him precisely as men would, or adore in the same way.
It is clear that St. Francis had a great influence over animals, even
over wolves.

Nowadays we have many lion-tamers and tiger-tamers, who rely simply upon
human will and craft. Therefore it is not astonishing that St. Francis,
who relied upon Divine power, should have been able to tame beasts. What
is surprising is, that he should have been able to control men, who are
so much harder to tame.

The poems of St. Francis--his "Canticle of the Sun," "Canticle of Love,"
and "Canticle of Charity"--exemplify the immense and tender scope of his
exquisite love and good-will. His Order continues, and has given rise to
subsidiary organizations such as the Recollects and the Capuchins.
Thousands of people in common life belong to his Third Order, now, and
continue his work unostentatiously. His spirit is alive and operative in
the world to-day, nearly six hundred and seventy years since he left
this earth.

[Signature: George Parsons Lathrop.]



ST. LOUIS

By HENRY G. HEWLETT

(1215-1270)

[Illustration: St. Louis.]


The most striking features of the political history of France during the
tenth and eleventh centuries are the conflict of the feudal aristocracy
on the one hand, with monarchical and democratical power on the other,
and the influence exerted by the Crusades on both.

[Illustration: The Education of Louis IX.]

The Crusades aided much in the accomplishment of the final result, the
destruction of the power of the nobility. In the first place, they
glorified the character of feudalism by enforcing the principles of
chivalry. To be a "true knight," a man must be devout, just, merciful,
and pure. Many Crusaders, indeed, fell far short of this high ideal; but
there can be no doubt that, on the whole, it elevated the standard of
morality, and checked the rampant tyranny which had previously
prevailed. Founded on a principle of sincere though mistaken piety, the
Crusaders recognized all who took the cross as brethren; hence the
meanest serf became, in some measure, free; and the same benign
sentiment extended its effect to all classes. The attraction of a common
cause in foreign lands further contributed to wean the Crusaders from
the class quarrels and domestic feuds which occupied them at home.
During their absence the crown was enabled to acquire a strength which
had previously been spent in the repression of constant rebellions. And
the need of money for the expedition obliged many feudal lords to
contract with the communes for the sale of lands or liberties.

Such was the condition of France at the commencement of the thirteenth
century. The balance of power, however, was only sustained by the
activity of all the parties concerned. The slightest wavering on the
part of the crown would be fatal, the least opportunity seized. A wise,
sincere, and humane ruler was needed to confirm and enlarge the vantage
ground which law and order had already obtained; and such a ruler rose
in the person of Louis IX., who ascended the throne in 1226.

His father, Louis VIII., was a man of weak character, whose reign was
chiefly signalized by the horrible persecution of the Protestant
Albigenses of Provence, which, under the sanction of Innocent III., and
later Popes, had been carried on by Simon de Montfort and other
fanatics, since 1209. Louis himself had died of fever when about to
commence the siege of Toulouse.

The Queen Dowager, Blanche, of Castile, was a woman of great energy, and
during the minority of her son she bravely contested her claims to the
regency of the kingdom against those of Philip, her husband's brother,
whom Henry III., of England, supported. She appealed, not in vain, to
the gratitude of the metropolis, which the Capetian kings had
befriended; and at her call a large force of citizens joined her. With
their aid she defeated Philip and other nobles, who opposed her son's
coronation, and by two treaties, in 1229 and 1231, she both extended the
limits of her kingdom and put an end to civil war. Over Louis, who was
but eleven years old when his father died, she exercised a somewhat
rigorous, but a holy and prudent discipline, to which he was much
indebted for strengthening his moral and mental constitution. He was
educated at the Abbey of Royaumont by Vincent de Beauvais, and though
not remarkable for talents, possessed considerable decision of
character, and a large share of personal courage. It is, however, by the
piety, purity, and benevolence of his soul that he stands forth so
prominently in the history of Europe. The year of his coronation all the
jails of the kingdom were thrown open by the royal command. A nature
more truly loving and lovable has rarely been bestowed on any member of
the human family. Yet, with all these paramount excellences, his life
presents a tragedy--the fatal consequences of unreasoning faith. All his
errors--we cannot justly call them faults--proceeded from this prolific
source. Before recording these, it will be gratifying to point out the
happier results of those noble and wise qualities which have consecrated
his name.

After the treaty of 1231, France remained at peace for some years,
during which time Louis married Margaret of Provence, a princess only
inferior in worth to himself. Soon after attaining his majority he was
called upon to contend with the Count of Brittany and other nobles who
resisted his authority. At the head of his vassals Louis marched against
the rebels, and was so prompt and energetic in his measures that the
count was forced to yield and sue for pardon in the attitude of a
criminal, with a rope round his neck. Henry III. crossed the channel
with an army to support the rebellion, and recover, if possible, the
possessions which King John had surrendered to King Philip. The armies
met at Saintes, in 1242, where the French were victorious, the rebels
subsequently submitting, and Henry returning home.

In 1244 Louis had a severe illness, which was attended with danger to
his life. During the progress of it, he vowed to undertake a new crusade
should he recover. The fulfilment of this vow was opposed by Blanche of
Castile (who still had great influence over her son) and many of his
best counsellors; but Louis was inflexible where religion and honor
demanded a sacrifice.

In 1248 he collected a large army, and prepared to start by way of
Sicily, the nearest route to Palestine, when he remembered that the
island belonged to Frederick II., of Germany, who was under
excommunication by the Pope. All attempts to shake the decision of
Innocent IV. failed; and yielding to the pious weakness of fearing to
rest in an excommunicant's territory, Louis changed his plans, and
determined to pass by way of Cyprus and Egypt--a route which proved the
ruin of the expedition. He committed the regency of France to his
mother, assumed the staff of pilgrimage, and accompanied by his wife and
brothers, left Paris on June 12, 1248. He stayed for several months in
Cyprus, until his armament amounted to 50,000 men, and then sailed for
Egypt.

Arrived at the port of Damietta, he caused the oriflamme (the national
standard of France) to be waved above his head; and, arrayed in complete
armor, he unsheathed his sword, and leaped into the sea, followed by the
knights. The inhabitants fled, and the French took possession of the
city. The inundation of the Nile prevented their further movements for
several months. Licentiousness and disease were fostered by this delay,
in spite of the king's remonstrances; and their unopposed success made
the Crusaders careless as to the tactics of the enemy.

On the subsidence of the Nile, Louis fortified Damietta, and left his
queen and her ladies there, while he, with the main army, advanced on
Cairo, the metropolis of Egypt, where the sultan resided. Near
Mansourah, the Crusaders became perplexed by the intricacy of the
canals, and a hasty dash across one of these, made by the king's
brother, the Count of Artois, with 2,000 men, led to a calamitous
result. Mansourah was apparently deserted, and the count's troops, who
preceded their comrades at some distance, commenced pillaging the
houses. The inhabitants, who were only concealed, showered down stones
from the roofs; and at the same moment, a large body of the sultan's
army made an attack in front. Louis reached Mansourah in time to save a
few of his men, but found his brother and several others slain. The
Moslem camp was captured, but proved a doubtful prize. The plains were
barren and scorching, and the harassing assaults of the Egyptians, who
poured "Greek fire" (missiles filled with combustible materials) on
their foes, rendered the situation more intolerable still. Pestilence
broke out, and the king himself fell dangerously ill. He then ordered a
retreat to Damietta, whither the sick were to be conveyed in galleys.
These were intercepted, and the sick murdered by the Egyptians; while,
at the same time an attack was made on the Christian camp.

[Illustration: St. Louis.]

Louis was so weak that he could scarcely ride, but nevertheless would
not desert his post. He rode between the ranks, encouraging his men,
till he fainted and was obliged to withdraw from the field. His quaint
and affectionate biographer, the Lord of Joinville, who was with him in
this expedition, thus describes the scenes which ensued: "Of all his
men-at-arms there was only one with him, the good knight, Sir Geoffrey
de Sargines; and who, I heard say, did defend him like as a faithful
servant doth guard his master's cup from flies--for every time that the
Saracens did approach the king he defended him with vigorous strokes of
the blade and point of his sword, and his strength seemed doubled. At
last he brought the king to a house where there was a woman from Paris;
and laying him on the ground, placed his head on the woman's lap,
expecting every moment that he would breathe his last." In this
half-dying condition a body of Egyptians found him, and bore him to the
tent of the sultan. The defeat of the Christians, who were weakened by
the climate, disease, and want of food, was general; many fell by the
sword, and the rest were taken prisoners with their king.

In captivity Louis showed a noble resignation and courage amid the
apostasy of many. He won the respect of the sultan, who treated him with
generosity, and listened to the terms of ransom which he proposed. The
queen remained at Damietta, which was strongly garrisoned. Fearful,
nevertheless, of falling into the hands of the Moslems, who would have
carried her into the sultan's harem, she prayed an old knight in her
suite to slay her with his sword, should there be any danger of that
event. "I had determined on so doing, madam," was the answer. Margaret's
heroism was not put to this severe test, for the surrender of Damietta
was one of the conditions of her husband's release; and after paying in
addition a sum of 400,000 livres, Louis was on the point of being set
free. An insurrection, however, suddenly arose among the Mamelukes, or
Tartarian troops, in whose hands the real power of the state was placed,
and the sultan was murdered. A party of the assassins, it is said,
entered the chamber of Louis with their scimitars drawn, but his calm
dignity saved him, and the treaty was carried out by the new sultan.

Many of the French nobles returned home, but the king, faithful to his
vow, proceeded to Syria, and spent four years in strengthening the
fortresses of Tyre and other Christian towns, redeeming many Crusaders
from slavery, and reducing to order the disturbed condition of the
country.

The death of the Queen Dowager Blanche, who had governed France wisely
during her regency, recalled him in 1254, after an absence of six years.
He still wore the cross upon his shoulder, as a token that his oath as a
Crusader was not yet fulfilled; but he never once neglected the more
pressing and necessary duties which devolved on him as a monarch. His
immediate work was to supersede the arbitrary legislation which the
nobles exercised in their manorial courts over their tenants. He
accordingly introduced into general use the famous code of Roman laws
known as the Pandects of Justinian, and constituted the chief civil
lawyers, who had studied its contents and were best acquainted with its
principles, into a Parliament, or Court of Justice. The nobles and the
clergy were duly represented in this assembly; but its clerks, or
lawyers, were especially favored by the king, who seconded their own
efforts to absorb the business of the court as much as possible. Louis
further mediated between the tyranny of the nobles and the weakness of
their tenants, by encouraging the practice of appealing to the crown in
case of injustice. This he even extended to ecclesiastical matters; a
bold step for one so devoted to the Church. The prohibition of the
barbarous custom of duelling to decide personal quarrels was another of
his humane laws. These, and divers other ordinances, founded in a like
spirit of equity, are known in a collected shape as the _Institutes of
St. Louis_. His enactment touching appeals from the Church to the Crown,
and the prohibition which he likewise issued against the levying of
money in France for the use of the Pope without the king's license, are
known as a _Pragmatic Sanction_--a term applied to any especially
important national decree. Louis set the example of enforcing the laws
personally, and none was fitter to administer them than he. Under an oak
in the forest of Vincennes, near Paris, often sat the good king to hear
appeals and petitions from his poor subjects. His social and foreign
relations were as fully attended to as his political reforms. He first
placed the French navy on a substantial footing. To him Paris owed a
public library, a hospital for the blind, and the establishment of a
body of police. Under his sanction, also, his confessor, Robert de
Sorbon, founded the famous theological college called by his name. So
scrupulously just and honorable was Louis, that he appointed a
commission to ascertain what restitution of territory should be made to
nations which had been mulcted by the conquests of his predecessors, and
he thus more than once sacrificed extensive possessions for the sake of
a principle. By a treaty in 1255, made with Henry III., Louis restored
to the English crown the provinces of which Philip Augustus had deprived
it, and obtained in return the surrender of Henry's rights in Normandy
and other fiefs. The reputation which Louis thus acquired among his
fellow-monarchs led to his being asked to act as mediator in several
quarrels, and gave him many opportunities of exhibiting his peaceful and
loving policy.

[Illustration: Louis IX. opens the Jails of France.]

The mental blindness of which we have spoken led him to commit errors,
which, if his misled conscience had not sanctioned them, would deserve
the name of crimes. Toward Jews and heretics he showed no mercy,
issuing severe and unjust laws against them "for the good of his soul."
The duty of the historian is to record these failings of a noble nature
as impartially as its beauties; but the evil must, in all fairness, be
credited to the Church and system which taught, and not to the believer
who practised.

In 1270 the affairs of the East again attracted the attention of Europe,
and recalled Louis to the fulfilment of his vow, which he had only
postponed. The Greeks had retaken the city of Constantinople from the
French and Venetian Crusaders some years previously, yet the
reconstitution of the Christian Empire of the East had not availed to
check the aggressions of the Moslem in Palestine. Benocdar, the Sultan
of Egypt, had already taken Cæsarea and Jaffa; and news now came that
Antioch had fallen, 100,000 Christians having been massacred in the
siege. The seventh and last Crusade was at once set on foot by outraged
Europe, and Louis led the expedition, in which France was, as usual,
foremost. He raised an army of 6,000 horse and 30,000 foot, and was
accompanied by his three sons, the King of Navarre, and several nobles
of high rank. His brother, Charles of Anjou (the new King of Naples),
and Edward I., of England, (then prince), were to join the French in the
course of the year. Some romantic intelligence that the Moslem King of
Tunis was desirous of being baptized, induced the pious Louis again to
try the African, instead of the Asiatic, route to Palestine. He narrowly
escaped with his life, in a tempest which overtook the fleet in the
Mediterranean, but landed in Sardinia, and after recruiting here again
set sail, and anchored off Carthage. He met with opposition, instead of
welcome, from the inhabitants of the coast, and was obliged to besiege
Tunis. The excessive heat of the climate and the unhealthiness of the
soil proved a second time fatal to the army. Plague at last broke out,
and Louis was himself seized. Finding himself dying, he sent for Philip,
his eldest son and successor. Placing in his hand a written paper, the
good king prayed his son to follow the directions which it
contained--directions for the conduct of his life, as king and
individual; enforcing those principles of love to God and man which had
guided his own career. Then, requesting to be lifted from his bed, Louis
instructed his attendants to strew the floor of his tent with ashes and
place him thereon, that he might die as he had lived, in an attitude of
humiliation and penitence toward his creator. This was done, and shortly
afterward, as though in vision fulfilling the vow which he was not
permitted to realize, he uttered, "I will enter thy house--I will
worship in thy sanctuary!" and expired. His age was but fifty-four.

A few hours elapsed, and the sound of a trumpet echoed through the
plague-stricken and half-deserted camp. It was the note of Charles of
Naples, whose fleet had just arrived off the coast. Meeting with no
response, he rode rapidly toward the tent of the king, and on entering
saw his body lying still warm upon the ashes. The rites of burial were
not performed with the usual formalities, his remains being distributed
among his relatives. The flesh was kept by Charles, who buried it, on
his return to Sicily, in the great Abbey of Monreale, at Palermo. The
bones and other parts were conveyed back to France. Those who have
visited Paris will not forget the exquisite Gothic structure known as
the "Sainte Chapelle," which is attached to the Palais de Justice,
containing the courts of law. It was erected by Louis as a receptacle
for certain supposed relics of Christ. The windows of the chapel are
entirely composed of stained glass, and as the sunbeams strike upon
them, their tints of crimson, blue, and orange blend into a rainbow-like
harmony of glowing and lustrous color, which recalls the heart of Louis
IX., enshrined within those walls, as its fitting human antitype. He was
canonized about thirty years afterward, under the title of St. Louis.



MARCO POLO[7]

         [Footnote 7: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By NOAH BROOKS

(1256-1324)

[Illustration: Marco Polo.]


In the month of November, in the year 1295, there appeared in the
beautiful city of Venice three strangers, who were clothed in an
outlandish and shabby garb of a Tartar cut. They claimed to be of
Venice, but, according to one of their biographers, one Ramusio,
"through the many worries and anxieties they had undergone, they were
quite changed in aspect, and had got a certain indescribable smack of
the Tartar both in air and accent, having, indeed, all but forgotten
their Venetian tongue." They went to the house of the Polo family,
demanding entrance and claiming to be Nicolo Polo, Maffeo, his brother,
and Marco, son of the elder of the two brothers, Nicolo. They were
laughed to scorn as pretenders and impostors; for the three missing
members of the Polo family had been gone away from Venice some
twenty-odd years; it was in 1271 that the Polos were last heard from,
then at Acre, journeying into the Far East.

But the three somehow gained access to their own house, then in the
possession of one of their relations. And the news of their home-coming
was presently noised abroad throughout the city of Venice; so much so
that the people for days talked of little else save the reappearance in
the land of the living of the long-lost travellers. Many, however,
doubted if these really were the brothers Polo and young Marco; this
last was a mere lad of seventeen when he went away, and now was grown to
be a portly man of forty-odd years. So incredulous were the townsfolk
that the brothers hit upon a scheme to convince the doubting ones. They
made a grand feast to which all the gentry were invited, for the Polo
family were of noble birth and had held station in the state. The
entertainment was served in great splendor with gold and silver dishes,
and the three travellers, when they sat down, were dressed in robes of
the richest crimson satin flowing down to the ground. After some of the
courses had been eaten, they retired to their chamber and came forth
again dressed in other robes of crimson silk damask, very rich, and the
satin garments were cut up and divided among the servants. Again, later
on in the repast, they retired, and when they came again to the table
they wore other robes, of the richest crimson velvet, and the second
garments were cut up and divided as the others had been. When the dinner
was over they took off the velvet robes, and these were disposed of in
like manner. "These proceedings," says the honest Ramusio, "caused much
wonder and amazement among the guests," which we can well imagine.

Next, dismissing all the servants, the younger one of the three, Marco
Polo, went to an inner chamber and brought forth to the table the coarse
and shabby dresses in which the three had arrived in Venice. Then,
taking sharp knives, the travellers ripped open the seams and welts of
the garments, and shook from them a vast profusion of diamonds, rubies,
sapphires, carbuncles, emeralds, and other precious stones. The guests
were dumfounded and amazed. "And now," says Ramusio, "they recognized
that in spite of all former doubts, these were in truth those honored
and worthy gentlemen of the Casa Polo that they claimed to be; and so
all paid them the greatest honor and reverence." Furthermore, we are
told that when the story got wind in Venice, straightway the whole city,
gentle and simple, flocked to the house to embrace the three travellers,
and to make much of them with every conceivable demonstration of
affection and respect.

This was the wonderful home-coming of the three Polos, who for
twenty-four years had been wandering in the East, and who, when they set
out on their homeward journey, a journey beset with untold difficulties
and dangers, took the precaution to conceal in their garments, as above
told, the wealth which they had accumulated while they were at the court
of the Great Khan of Tartary. It reads like a romance, a story out of
"The Arabian Nights' Entertainments." But it is all true, and the
archives of Venice corroborate pretty nearly all the details herein set
forth. Indeed, as a prophet is not without honor save in his own country
and among his own kindred, it must be said that the later generation of
Venetians found less difficulty in believing the tales of the three
travellers than did those who first heard them. In telling these tales,
they had frequent occasion to use the word "millions," a word not then
common among the Venetians, as to say that the Great Khan had revenues
amounting to ten or fifteen _millions_ of gold, and so on. And the
people gave Marco, who seems to have been the story-teller of the party,
the nickname of Messer Marco Millioni. Curiously enough, this name
appears in the public records of old Venice.

Of the final exit of the elders of the Polo family, Nicolo and Maffeo,
we have no trustworthy account. As they were well stricken in years when
they returned from their long sojourn in Cathay, we may suppose that
they did not live long after their return to Venice. But the younger
Marco had a busy and stirring life. At that time the republics of Venice
and Genoa were rivals for the ruling of the seas and the monopoly of
maritime trade everywhere. A Venetian galley could not meet one from
Genoa without a fight, and the fleets of the two states were continually
at war.

Marco, being one of the representatives of the noble Venetian families
who were required to come to the support of the state with at least one
galley, entered the naval service of Venice in command of a war galley,
and was engaged in the great battle between Venice and Genoa near
Curzola, off the Dalmatian coast, in 1298, three years after his return
from Cathay. The Venetians were beaten ignominiously, and 7,000 of them
were taken prisoners and carried to Genoa. It was a lucky thing for the
world that Marco Polo was thus put into enforced idleness, and that he
had for a companion in confinement an educated gentleman, one
Rusticiano, of Pisa. Otherwise, most likely we never would have heard of
the travels of Marco Polo, whom some of the later chroniclers have
likened to Columbus, the discoverer of America.

To beguile the tedium of their imprisonment, Marco was wont to tell his
traveller's tales to his companion, Rusticiano, and this worthy
gentleman conceived the notion of writing out the marvellous adventures
and observations of his fellow-prisoner. We must bear in mind that the
Italian gentry of that time did not hold in high esteem the art of
writing, and although Marco was not inferior to any man in daring or
adventurousness, he was willing to leave to the scriveners the task of
writing about such matters. But, in the end, the advice of Rusticiano
prevailed, and the Pisan gentleman set down from the dictation of Marco
"The Book of Ser Marco Polo Concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the
East." This was, up to that time, the most important book of travels and
voyages ever written. Indeed, it was the most important book of any kind
written during the Middle Ages.

The book contributed more new facts toward a knowledge of the earth's
surface, says one skilled authority, than any book that had been written
before. The writer was the first to describe China, or Cathay, in its
vastness of territory, its wonderfully rich and populous cities, and the
first to tell of Tartary, Thibet, Burmah, Siam, Cochin-China, the Indian
Archipelago, the Andaman Islands, of Java and Sumatra, of the fabled
island of Cipangu, or Japan, of Hindustan, and that marvellous region
which the world learned to know as Farther India. From far-voyaging
sailors he brought home accounts of Zanzibar and Madagascar, and the
semi-Christian country of Abyssinia, where some accounts located that
mysterious potentate called Prester John. He had traversed Persia and
had picked up a vast amount of information concerning the country of
Siberia, with its polar snows and bears, its dog-sledges, and its almost
everlasting winter. He traversed the entire length of Asia.

Surely, Europe might well be dazed when this account of regions, until
then unknown, was unrolled before the scholars and explorers who could
read the few precious books then in circulation. For it should be
remembered that the art of printing was then unknown, and only in
manuscript did any book make its appearance. Rusticiano wrote in a very
poor sort of French; for then, as now, that language was commonest in
all the cities of Europe. How much of the language of the book of Marco
Polo's travels was Marco's, and how much was the worthy Rusticiano's, we
are unable to decide. The facts in that famous book were duly vouched
for by Marco. The opening chapter, or prologue, inflated and wordy,
after the fashion of the times, was undoubtedly Rusticiano's. He began
thus: "Great Princes, Emperors, and Kings, Dukes and Marquises, Counts,
Knights, and Burgesses! and People of all degree who desire to get
knowledge of the various races of mankind and of the diversities of the
sundry regions of the World, take this Book and cause it to be read to
you. For ye shall find therein all kinds of wonderful things, and the
divers histories of the Great Hermenia, and of Persia, and of the Land
of the Tartars, and of India, and of many another country of which our
Book doth speak, particularly and in regular succession, according to
the description of Messer Marco Polo, a wise and noble citizen of
Venice, as he saw them with his own eyes."

This portentous prologue ends with these great swelling words: "And I
may tell you that in acquiring this knowledge he spent in those various
parts of the World good six-and-twenty years. Now, being thereafter an
inmate of the Prison at Genoa, he caused Messer Rusticiano, of Pisa, who
was in the same Prison likewise, to reduce the whole to writing; and
this befell in the year 1298 from the birth of Jesus."

One year later, in the summer of 1299, Marco Polo was set at liberty and
returned to Venice, where he died peacefully in 1324. His last will and
testament, dated January 9, 1323, is preserved among the archives of
Venice, and a marble statue in his honor was set up by the Venetians, in
the seventeenth century, and may be seen unto this day in the Palazzo
Morosini-Gattemburg, in the Campo S. Stefano of that city.

How came Marco Polo to be drawn so far into the vague and shadowy East?
Somewhere about the middle of the thirteenth century, certain members of
the Polo family had established a trading-house in Constantinople, then
pretty near the end of the world from Europe. These adventurous
Venetians, in 1260, sent the two brothers, Nicolo and Maffeo, still
further to the eastward on a trading journey to the Crimea. Led on by
one adventure and another, and lured by the hope of new and greater
gains, they ascended the Volga northward and eastward, crossed Bokhara,
and finally broke into one of the northwestern provinces of China, or
Cathay, then faintly known in Europe by various names, the most classic
of which was Seres.

Here they made their way to the capital city of the Great Mongol Empire,
the seat of government where ruled the Great Khan, a very mighty
potentate, Kublai Khan, grandson of the famous conqueror, Ghenghis Khan.
Kublai Khan resided at the wonderful city of Cambuluc, which we now know
as Pekin. North of the Great Wall, and some one hundred and eighty miles
from Cambuluc, was the Great Khan's summer palace, one of the wonders of
the world, reading of which in Purchas' account of Marco Polo's
travels, it is said that Coleridge fell asleep and dreamed the famous
poem beginning:

  "In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
     A stately pleasure dome decree,
   Where Alph, the sacred river, ran,
   Through caverns measureless to man,
     Down to a sunless sea."

These Polo brothers were the first Europeans that the Great Khan had
ever seen; but before this time, Friar Plano Carpini, in 1246, and Friar
William Rubruquis, in 1253, had penetrated into Mongolia on some errand
not now distinctly understood, but far enough to learn that a great and
civilized country existed somewhere in the eastern extremity of Asia.
They also learned that beyond this extremity of the continent there was
a sea; people had until then believed that the eastern end of Asia
disappeared in a vast and reedy bog, beyond which was deep and
impenetrable darkness. More exact knowledge of that far eastern sea was
subsequently acquired by the Venetian travellers. From these wandering
friars the Great Khan had heard, at second-hand, doubtless, of European
princes, potentates, and powers, and of the Pope of Rome.

He was mightily taken with the noble Venetians, and we are told that he
treated them with every courtesy and consideration. He was anxious to
secure through them the aid of the Sovereign Pontiff, of whose functions
he entertained high respect, in the civilizing of the hordes that had
lately been added to the Mongol Empire by wars of conquest. And he
entreated the good offices of the polished and cultivated Venetians in
securing for him the good offices of the Pope for that end. Accordingly,
the two brothers, after satisfying to some degree their curiosity, set
out for home, full of tales of their strange adventure, we doubt not;
and they reached Venice in 1269, only to find that the Pope Clement IV.
was dead, and that no successor had been chosen in his place.

There was a long interregnum, and the brothers, taking with them the son
of Nicolo, the young Marco, then a stout lad, began to retrace their
steps to Cathay, despairing of being able to enlist the one hundred
priests which the Great Khan had asked them to borrow for missionary
purposes from the Pope.

At Acre, then held by European powers that had been engaged in the
crusades for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre, they took counsel with
one Tebaldo Visconti, an eminent prelate, who was Archdeacon of Liége
and a person of great consequence in the Eastern church. At their
request, he wrote letters to the Great Khan, authenticating the causes
of their failure to fulfil the wishes of the Khan in the matter of
obtaining the missionaries whom he desired. Then they pushed on toward
the farther East, and while waiting for a vessel to sail from the port
of Ayas, on the Gulf of Scanderoon, then the starting-point for the
Asiatic trade, they were overtaken by the news that their friend the
Archdeacon Tebaldo had been chosen Pope, under the title of Gregory X.
They at once returned to Acre, and were able to present to the newly
elected pontiff the request of the Great Khan and get a reply. But
instead of one hundred teachers and preachers, they were furnished with
only two Dominican friars; and these lost heart and drew back before the
journey was fairly begun. It may be said here that the Great Khan, being
disappointed by the Roman Church, subsequently applied to the Grand
Llama of Thibet, and from that source secured the teachers whom he so
greatly desired. The Great Khan appears to have been an enlightened and
liberal sovereign, and, according to his lights, was willing to furnish
to his people the best form of religion that was to be had. He preferred
the religion of the elegant and polished Italians, but, failing to get
this, he naturally turned his eyes in the direction of Thibet, then an
unknown land to all Europeans, but regarded in Mongolia as a region of
some considerable civilization.

The three members of the Polo family finally set out on their return to
Cathay, leaving Acre in November, 1271. They proceeded by the way of
Ayas and Sivas to Mardin, Mosul, and Bagdad to Hormuz, at the mouth of
the Persian Gulf. Here they met with some obstacle and turned from
Hormuz, and traversed successively Kerman and Khorassan, Balkh, and
Badakhshan, by the way of the upper Oxus, to the plateau of Pamir;
thence crossing the steppes of Pamir, the three travellers descended
upon Kashgar, whence they proceeded by Yarkand and Khotan to the
vicinity of Lake Lob; and, crossing the desert of Gobi, they reached the
province of Tangut in the extreme northwestern corner of China, or
Cathay. Skirting the northern frontier, they finally reached the actual
presence of the Great Khan, who was then at his summer palace of
Kaipingfu, before spoken of, situated at the base of the Khingan
Mountains, fifty miles north of the Great Wall. One may form some idea
of the difficulties of Asiatic travel in those days, as well as the
leisurely habits of the time, by considering that this journey occupied
the three Venetians three years and a half. They arrived at the palace
of the Khan about May, 1275.

The Polos were very cordially and gladly received by the potentate, then
ruling over a territory so vast that it has been well said that, "In
Asia and Eastern Europe scarcely a dog might bark without Mongol leave,
from the borders of Poland and the coast of Cilicia to the Amoor and the
Yellow Sea." Kublai Khan regarded the young Marco with especial favor,
and soon began to employ him in errands and commissions of importance.
"The Young Bachelor," as he is called in his book, took pains to acquire
at once an acquaintance with the Chinese alphabet, and to learn the
languages and dialects of the countries in which he found profitable and
interesting employment.

It appears that the Khan had been greatly annoyed by the stupidity of
his own officials and agents. They attended only to the errands on which
they were sent, and brought back absolutely no knowledge of the distant
countries that they visited, except that which they were specially
directed to fetch. Very different was the conduct of the young Venetian.
He was shrewdly observant, of a lively disposition, and given to
inquiring into the strange and wonderful things which he beheld in those
remote parts of the world, hitherto secluded from the observation of
Europeans. He made copious and minute notes of all that he saw and
heard, for the benefit of his imperial master. These notes afterward
served him a good purpose, as we shall see; for they were the basis of
the book that has made the name of Marco Polo famous throughout the
world. When he returned to the imperial court, we can imagine the
satisfaction with which the picturesque and intelligent narrations of
what he had seen and heard were received by the Great Khan.

In the records of the Mongol dynasty has been found a minute setting
forth the fact that a certain Polo, undoubtedly young Marco, was
nominated a second-class commissioner attached to the privy council of
the Empire, in the year 1277. His first mission appears to have taken
him on public business to the provinces of Shansi, Shensi, Sechuen and
Yunnan, in the southern and southwestern part of China, and east of
Thibet. Even now, those regions are comparatively unknown to the rest of
the world; and one must needs admire the intrepidity of the young
Venetian who penetrated their wild mountain fastnesses, traced their
mighty rivers, and carried away for the delight of the Great Khan, much
novel information concerning the peoples that so numerously flourished
in that cradle of the human race.

In his book Marco Polo does not greatly magnify himself and his office,
and it is only incidentally, as it were, that we know that he was for
three years governor of the great city of Yangchau. Following the
details laid down in his book, the accuracy of which we have no reason
to doubt, we find him visiting the old capital of the Khans, in
Mongolia, employed in Southern Cochin-China, and on a mission to the
Indian Seas, when he visited some of the states of India, of which
Europeans at that time had only dimly heard the most fabulous and vague
accounts. That the Polos were all favorites of the Great Khan is
sufficiently evident; but it does not appear that any but Marco was in
the employment of the Khan. All three of them doubtless made hay while
the sun shone, and gathered wealth as they could, trading with the
people and making use of their Venetian shrewdness in dealing with the
natives, who were no match for the cunning traders from the Rialto.

Naturally, they longed to carry their wealth and their aged heads--for
the two elders were now well stricken in years--safely back to their
beloved Venice on the Adriatic, so far away. But Kublai Khan would not
listen to any of their suggestions, and turned a deaf ear to their
hints. A happy chance intervened to bring them out of the wild,
mysterious realm of the Great Khan. Arghun, Khan of Persia, a
great-nephew of Kublai, had lost by death his favorite wife, who was of
one of the Mongol tribes, and who, dying in 1286, laid a parting
injunction on the Khan that he should wed none but a Mongol princess.
Sorely mourning her, the Persian Khan sent an embassy to the court of
Kublai Khan to solicit a suitable bride for him. The Lady Kuchachin, a
damsel of seventeen, beautiful and virtuous, was selected by the Court
and was made ready to be sent to Tabriz, then the capital of the Persian
Empire. The overland journey was highly dangerous, as it lay through
regions tenanted by hostile and warlike tribes, besides being
portentously long to be undertaken by a delicate young princess. The
Persian envoys, accordingly, entreated the Great Khan to send with them
by sea the three foreigners, of whose seamanship they undoubtedly held
high opinion, especially as the young Marco had just returned from his
distant and venturous voyage to the Indian Seas. With much reluctance
the Khan consented, and the argosy set forth.

Having given leave for the three Venetians to sail, the Great Khan
fitted them out nobly and endowed them with handsome presents at
parting. They sailed, so far as we can now make out, from the port of
Zayton, better known as Chinchau, in Fokien, at the beginning of the
year 1292, two hundred years before Columbus set forth upon his voyage
across the Ocean Sea.

It was an ill-starred and unfortunate voyage for the three Polos and
their precious charge, although all escaped with their lives and
treasure. They were detained five months on the coast of Sumatra, and
there were even longer detentions off the southern coast of India, so
that more than two years had passed since their departure from Fokien,
when they arrived at the camp of the then reigning prince of Persia. The
Khan of Persia, they found, had died before they set sail from China,
and his son, Ghazan Khan, reigned in his stead.

After the custom of the times and the people, however, the princess was
married without ado to the successor of the royal person to whom she had
been betrothed before leaving far-off Cathay. It is related that she
took her leave of the three noble Venetians, to whom she had become like
a daughter and sister, with many tears and protestations of affection;
for they had been very choice in their care of her, and she lamented
their departure with sincere sorrow and many tears.

Leaving the princess at the camp of the Khan (for he was now at war),
the Venetians pushed on to Tabriz, where they made a long halt, resting
and refreshing themselves after their long and wearisome journey. Then
they again took up their line of march westward, and reached Venice, as
we have seen, in November, 1295, only to find their identity denied and
their stories disbelieved, until, by an artifice, they made themselves
truly known to their fellow-townsmen, who had long since given them up
for dead.

Marco Polo's book, dictated by him in prison, is remarkable for its
reserve and its scantiness of all semblance of ornament in its literary
style. Messer Marco evidently did not greatly affect the arts and graces
of fine writing. Like most of the Italian gentlefolk of his day and
generation, he held the business of writing in low esteem. Some of his
chapters are very brief indeed, the text being no greater in bulk than
the headings which his amanuensis put over them of his own motion. Of
the original manuscript, written in French, copies were made for the use
of the learned, the art of printing being as yet not invented. There are
now in existence no less than eighty of these manuscripts, in various
languages, more or less differing from each other in unimportant
details; but all substantially verifying the facts of the wonderful
history of Messer Marco Polo as here set forth. The most precious of
these is known as the Geographical text, and is preserved in the great
Paris Library; from it was printed, in 1824, one of the most valued of
the texts now in existence. But the most useful and satisfactory of all
the printed editions is that edited and annotated by Colonel Henry Yule,
and printed in London in 1871. The first printed edition of Marco Polo's
book was in the German text, and was published in 1477.

Many writers have dwelt long on the question, Did Columbus gather any
information from the book of Marco Polo that aided him in forming his
theory, that one could reach India and Cathay by sailing westward from
Spain out into the Sea of Darkness? We cannot satisfactorily answer that
question. But we do know that all Europe, at the time of Marco Polo's
adventurous journey eastward, resolutely turned its back upon the
Atlantic, and looked toward Cathay and the Far Orient for a road to the
fabulous diamond mines and spice islands that were believed to exist
somewhere in the vague and mysterious East. Many philosophers, among
whom was Columbus himself, thought the globe much smaller than it really
is; but it was Columbus who was apparently charged with a divine mission
to teach the world that sailing due westward from the Pillars of
Hercules would bring the voyager to the dominions of Prester John, the
Indies, and Cipangu.

When Columbus set sail for his hazardous venture into the Sea of
Darkness, he was armed with letters to Prester John, the traditional
Christian prince of the Far East; and his first landfall, as we know
now, was by him supposed to be an outlying portion of that vast region
vaguely known to the explorers who followed Marco Polo, as Farther
India. But centuries rolled away before the world saw the facts of
geography as we know them, or learned to accept as true the marvellous
stories of Marco Polo, whose priceless legacy was first dimly known to
the few, and was dubbed the Romance of the Great Khan.

[Signature: Noah Brooks.]



SIR WILLIAM WALLACE

(1270-1305)


The life and exploits of this most popular national hero of the Scots
have been principally preserved in a legendary form by poetry and
tradition, and are only to a very small extent matter of contemporary
record, or illustrated by authentic documents. There is no extant
Scottish chronicler of the age of Wallace. Fordun, the earliest of his
countrymen from whom we have any account of him, is his junior by nearly
a century. Wyntoun, the next authority, is still half a century later.
His chief celebrator is the metrical writer Blind Harry, or Harry the
Minstrel, whose work confesses itself by its very form to be quite as
much of a fiction as a history, and whose era, at any rate, is supposed
to be nearly two centuries subsequent to that of his hero. Some few
facts, however, may be got out of the English annalists Trivet and
Hemingford, who were the contemporaries of Wallace.

[Illustration: Sir William Wallace.]

There are contradictory statements of the year of his birth, but it is
probable he was born about 1270. His family was one of some distinction,
and he is said to have been the younger of the two sons of Sir Malcolm
Wallace, of Elderslie and Auchinbothie, in the neighborhood of Paisley.
His mother, who according to one account was Sir Malcolm's second wife,
is stated by the genealogists to have been Margaret, daughter of Sir
Raynald or Reginald (other authorities say Sir Hugh) Crawford, who held
the office of Sheriff of Ayr.

The history of Wallace down to the year 1297 is entirely legendary, and
only to be found in the rhymes of Harry the Minstrel; though many of the
facts which Harry relates still live as popular traditions in the
localities where the scenes of them are laid, whether handed down in
that way from the time when they happened, or only derived from his
poem, which long continued to be the literary favorite of the Scottish
peasantry. Harry, who, it may be observed, professes to translate from a
Latin account written by Wallace's intimate friend and chaplain, John
Blair, makes him to have been carefully educated by his uncle, a wealthy
churchman who resided at Dunipace, in Stirlingshire, and to have been
afterward sent to the grammar-school of Dundee. Here his first memorable
act is said to have been performed; his slaughter of the son of Selby,
the English governor of the castle of Dundee, in chastisement of an
insult offered him by the unwary young man; Wallace with his dagger
struck him dead on the spot. This must have happened, if at all, in the
year 1291, after Edward I. of England had obtained possession of all the
places of strength throughout Scotland on his recognition as Lord
Paramount by the various competitors for the crown, which had become
vacant by the death of the infant Margaret, the Maiden of Norway, in
September, 1290.

This bold deed committed by Wallace, who in making his escape is
asserted to have laid several of young Selby's attendants as low as
their master, was immediately followed by his outlawry. He now took to
the woods, and gifted as he was with eloquence, sagacity, and other high
mental powers and accomplishments (to this the testimony of Fordun is as
express and explicit as that of his poetical biographer), not less than
with strength and height of frame and all other personal advantages, he
soon found himself at the head of a band of attached as well as
determined followers, who under his guidance often harassed the English
soldiery, both on their marches and at their stations, plundering and
slaying, as it might chance, with equally little remorse. Particular
spots in nearly every part of Scotland are still famous for some deed of
Wallace and his fellow-outlaws, performed at this period of his life;
but for these we must refer to the Blind Minstrel. The woods in the
neighborhood of Ayr would seem to have been his chief haunt; and some of
his most remarkable feats of valor were exhibited in that town, in the
face and in defiance of the foreign garrison by which it was occupied.
Both his father and his elder brother are said to have fallen in
_rencontres_ with the English during this interval. It was now also that
he fell in love with the orphan daughter of Sir Hew de Bradfute, the
heiress of Lamington, having, it is said, first seen her at a church in
the neighborhood of Lanark. The Scotch writers affirm that this lady,
whom he appears to have married, and who at any rate bore him a
daughter, a year or two after forming her connection with Wallace fell
into the hands of his enemies, and was barbarously executed by order of
Hazelrig, the English Sheriff or Governor of Lanark, while her husband,
or lover, was doomed to witness the spectacle from a place where he lay
in concealment. Such private injuries were well fitted to raise his
hatred to an unextinguishable flame.

How far the guerilla warfare maintained by Wallace and his associates
contributed to excite and spread the spirit of resistance to the English
government, we have scarcely the means of judging; but it seems probable
that it aided materially in producing the general insurrection which
broke out in the spring of 1297. The accounts we have of the
commencement of that movement represent Wallace at its head, in command
of a considerable force, and in association with some of the most
distinguished persons in the kingdom, such as the Steward of Scotland
and his brother, Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, Sir William Douglas, etc.
Soon after this he was joined by the younger Robert Bruce (afterward
King Robert I.) who had hitherto, as well as his father, who was still
alive (the son of the original competitor for the crown), professed to
adhere to the English king.

This, however, appears to have been but an ill-cemented confederacy.
When the force despatched by Edward to quell the revolt presented itself
before the Scottish army posted near Irvine, in Ayrshire, the leaders of
the latter, throwing off the authority of their nominal chief, could no
more agree what to do than whom to obey: and the result was that Bruce,
the Steward, Douglas, and others of them, availing themselves of the
diplomatic talents of the Bishop of Glasgow, concluded a treaty on July
9th, by which they agreed to acknowledge Edward as their sovereign lord.
All the rest ultimately acceded to this arrangement, except only Wallace
and his friend, Sir Andrew Moray, of Bothwell. The treaty of Irvine,
which is printed by Rymer, is, we believe, the first of the few public
documents in which mention is made of Wallace; to the instrument (which
is in French) are subjoined the words, "Escrit à Sir Willaume," the
meaning of which Lord Hailes conceives to be, "that the barons had
notified Wallace that they had made terms of accommodation for
themselves and their party." The words, moreover, on the supposition
that they refer to Wallace, of which there seems to be little doubt,
show that he had before this date obtained the honor of knighthood. It
had probably been bestowed upon him (as was then customary) by some
other knight, one of his companions in arms, since his elevation from
being the captain of a band of outlaws to be the commander-in-chief of
the national forces.

Wallace now retired to the north, carrying with him, however, a
considerable body of adherents, to whom additional numbers rapidly
gathered, so that he soon found himself in a condition to recommence
aggressive operations. Directing his force to the northeastern coast, he
surprised the castle of Dunottar, cleared Aberdeen, Forfar, Brechin, and
other towns of their English garrisons, and then laid siege to the
castle of Dundee. While he was engaged in this last attempt, news was
brought that the English army was approaching Stirling; upon which,
leaving the siege to be carried on by the citizens of Dundee, he
hastened to meet the enemy in the field. The result was the complete
defeat and rout of the English, at the battle of Stirling Bridge, fought
on September 11, 1297--a battle which once more, for the moment,
liberated Scotland. The English were immediately driven or fled from
every place of strength in the country, including Berwick itself.

Availing himself of this panic and of the exhilaration of his
countrymen, Wallace pursued the fugitives across the border; and putting
himself at the head of a numerous force, he entered England on October
18th, and, remaining till November 11th, wasted the country with fire
and sword from sea to sea, and as far south as to the walls of
Newcastle. It was during this visitation that the prior and convent of
Hexham obtained from him the protection preserved by Hemingford. It is
dated at Hexildesham (Hexham), November 7th, and runs in the names of
"Andreas de Moravia, et Wilhelmus Wallensis, duces exercitus Scotiæ,
nomine præclari principis Joannis, Dei gratia, Regis Scotia illustris,
de consensu communitatis regni ejusdem," that is, "Andrew Moray and
William Wallace, commanders-in-chief of the army of Scotland, in the
name of King John, and by consent of the community of the said kingdom."
The John here acknowledged as King of Scotland was Baliol, now in the
hands of Edward, and living in a sort of free custody in the Tower of
London. Wallace's associate in the command was the young Sir Andrew
Moray, son of his faithful friend of that name, who had retired with him
from the capitulation of Irvine, and who had fallen at the battle of
Stirling Bridge.

One of the most curious of the few public papers in which the name of
Wallace occurs was a few years since discovered by Dr. Lappenburg, of
Hamburg, in the archives of the ancient Hanseatic city of Lübeck. It is
a letter, in Latin, addressed to the authorities of Lübeck and Hamburg,
informing them that their merchants should now have free access to all
ports of the kingdom of Scotland, seeing that the said kingdom, by the
favor of God, had been recovered by war from the power of the English.
The letter is dated "apud Badsing tonam" (the true word, it has been
suggested, is probably Haddingtonam), October 11, 1297, that is, a few
days before the invasion of Cumberland and Northumberland. It is in the
name of "Andreas de Moravia et Willelmus Wallensis, duces exercitis
regni Scotiæ, et communitas, eiusdem regni"--like the Hexham
protection--but without any mention of King John.

After his triumphal return from his incursion into England, Wallace
assumed the title of Guardian of the Kingdom in the name of King John,
whether formally invested with that dignity or only hailed as such by
the gratitude of his countrymen. In a charter, printed in Anderson's
"Diplomata," conferring the constabulary of Dundee on Alexander
Skirmischur (Scrimgeour) and his heirs, and dated at Torphichen (in the
county of Linlithgow) March 29, 1298, he styles himself, "Willelmus
Walays miles, Custos Regni Scotiæ, et ductor exercituum ejusdem, nomine
præclari principis Domini Johannis, Dei gratia Regis Scotiæ illustris,
de consensu communitatis ejusdem." The grant is stated to have been made
with the consent and approbation of the nobility ("per consensum et
assensum magnatum dicti regni.")

But this supreme elevation did not last long. Supported only by his own
merits and the admiration and attachment of his humbler
fellow-countrymen, Wallace, a new man, and without family connection,
would probably have found it difficult or impossible to retain his high
place, even if he had had nothing more to contend with than domestic
jealousy and dissatisfaction. Fordun relates that many of the nobility
were in the habit of saying, "We will not have this man to rule over
us." Meanwhile the energetic English king, who had been abroad when the
defeat of Stirling Bridge lost him Scotland, had now returned home, and
was already on his march toward the borders at the head of a powerful
army. A body of English, which had landed in the north of Fife, led by
Aymer de Vallois, Earl of Pembroke, is said by the Scottish authorities
to have been attacked and routed by Wallace on June 12, 1298, in the
forest of Blackironside, in that county; but when the two main armies
met on July 22d, in the neighborhood of Falkirk--the Scots commanded by
Wallace, the English by their king in person--the former, after a
gallant and obstinate resistance, were at last forced to give way, and
the battle ended in a universal rout accompanied with immense slaughter.

This defeat did not put an end to the war; but it was taken advantage of
by the Scottish nobility to deprive Wallace of his office of guardian or
chief governor of the kingdom. The Scottish accounts say that he
voluntarily resigned the supreme power; it is certain, at any rate, that
Bruce, his rival Comyn, and Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrew's, were now
appointed joint guardians of Scotland, still in the name of Baliol. For
some years after this our accounts of Wallace are slight and obscure;
but he appears to have returned with a chosen band of followers to the
practice of the desultory warfare in which he had originally
distinguished himself. The legendary histories continue to detail his
deeds of prowess performed in harassing the enemy both on their marches
and in their camps and strongholds. And to fill up the story, they also
make him to have paid two visits to France--the first in 1300, the
second in 1302. The next well-ascertained fact regarding him is that
when the Scottish leaders were at last obliged to submit to Edward at
Strathorde, on February 9, 1304, Wallace was not included in the
capitulation, one of the clauses of which (printed in the original
French in Ryley's "Placeta Parliamentaria") is to the effect that as for
Wallace (Monsieur Guillaume de Galeys), he might, if he pleased, give
himself up to the king's mercy ("quil se mette en la voluntè et en la
grace nostre seigneur le Roy, si lui semble, que bon soit"). He was soon
after summoned to appear before a parliament or convention of Scotch and
English nobility, held at St. Andrew's; and upon their not presenting
themselves, he and Sir Simon Frisel, or Fraser, were pronounced outlaws.
For some time his retreat remained undiscovered, although his active
hostility still continued occasionally to make itself felt. A principal
person employed in the attempts to capture him appears to have been
Ralph de Haliburton; but how he was actually taken is not known. Sir
John Menteith (a son of Walter Stewart, Earl of Menteith), to whose
treachery his delivery to the English king is attributed by Blind Harry
and popular tradition, appears to have really done nothing more than
forward him to England after he was brought a prisoner to Dumbarton
Castle, of which Menteith was governor under a commission from Edward.

On being brought to London, Wallace was lodged in the house of William
Delect, a citizen, in Fenchurch Street; and on the next day, being the
eve of St. Bartholomew, he was brought on horseback to Westminster, and
in the hall there, "being placed on the south bench," says Stow,
"crowned with laurel for that he had said in times past that he ought to
bear a crown in that all," he was arraigned as a traitor, and on that
charge found guilty, and condemned to death. After being dragged to the
usual place of execution--the Elms, in West Smithfield--at the tails of
his horses, he was there hanged on a high gallows, on August 23, 1305,
after which he was "drawn and quartered." His right arm was set up at
Newcastle, his left at Berwick; his right leg at Perth, his left at
Aberdeen; his head on London Bridge. Wallace's daughter, by the heiress
of Lamington, married Sir William Bailie, of Hoprig, whose descendants
through her inherited the estate of Lamington.



ROBERT BRUCE

By Sir J. BERNARD BURKE, LL.D.

(1274-1329)


Robert Bruce was born in the year 1274, on the Feast of the translation
of St. Benedict, being March 21st, and was undoubtedly of Norman origin.
In an annual roll containing the names of those knights and barons who
came over with William the Conqueror, we find that of Brueys; and from
the Domesday Book it appears that a family of the same name were
possessed of lands in Yorkshire. Coming down to a later period, 1138,
when David I. of Scotland made his fatal attack upon England--fatal,
that is, to himself and his people--the English barons, previous to the
battle of Cutton Moor, near Northallerton, sent a message to the
Scottish king, by Robert Bruce, of Cleveland, a Norman knight, who
possessed estates in either country. Upon his death, this knight
bequeathed his English lands to his eldest son, and those in Annandale
to his younger, who received a confirmation of his title by a charter of
William the Lion. From this root sprung Robert Bruce, the competitor for
the crown with Baliol, whose grandson was the more celebrated Robert
Bruce, the younger, Earl of Carrick in virtue of his mother's title, and
afterward King of Scotland. He was the eldest of three brothers and
seven sisters, whose marriages with some of the leading families of
Scotland proved an important element of success to the future hero. His
earliest years were passed at the castle of Turnberry, where his mother
resided; but as he grew older, his father, who considered himself an
English baron, thought proper that he should be removed to the English
court. The friendship subsisting between Edward the First and the Earl
of Carrick induced the former to adopt the earl's son; so that the
confiding monarch trained up his mortal enemy in the use of those arts
and weapons which were one day to be turned against himself.

[Illustration: Robert Bruce.]

The family of Bruce, as we have already noticed, were competitors for
the Scottish throne with Baliol, in whose favor an award was pronounced
by Edward, when called upon to arbitrate between them. At this time the
elder Bruce was far advanced in years; his son, the Earl of Carrick, was
still in the prime of life, and his grandson, Robert Bruce was eighteen
years of age. Upon the old man being required to do homage for his lands
in Scotland to the new monarch of that country, he indignantly refused,
exclaiming, "I am Baliol's sovereign, not Baliol mine; and rather than
consent to such a homage, I resign my lands in Annandale to my son, the
Earl of Carrick." But Carrick was not less proud, or averse to anything
that might call in question his claim to the crown of Scotland, and in
like manner refused to hold any lands of Baliol. As, however, according
to the feudal law, he must either divest himself of his estate, or do
homage for it, he adopted the former alternative, and resigned the lands
of Annandale in favor of his son, Robert. The young baron, less
scrupulous than his relatives, did not hesitate to accept his father's
gift, which, upon feudal principles, carried with it the title of Earl
of Carrick, and did homage for the same to Baliol. By his father's
death, in 1304, he became possessed of the family estates in England.

From this time Bruce played his part with skill, though in justice it
must be allowed that his patriotism was not altogether without the alloy
of a selfish ambition; and perhaps it would be expecting too much from
human nature, even in its best and highest forms, to look for anything
else. Neither can we free him from the charge of dissimulation in that
he swore a fealty to Baliol, which it is plain he never intended to
observe, and affected gratitude and attachment for the English monarch,
while in secret he was preparing to undermine him. An excuse for this
has been sought by his more partial admirers in the necessity of the
case, arising from the well-known sagacity of Edward, who would
otherwise have penetrated his purposes and crushed them in the bud
without scruple. Nor was this the only obstacle in his path to empire.
Upon the failure of Baliol and his only son, Edward, the ancient and
powerful family of the Comyns were ready to dispute his title to the
crown, which they claimed for themselves. John, commonly called the Red
Comyn, who had been the determined opponent of Wallace, possessed, in
the event of the monarch dying without issue, the same right to the
throne which was vested in Bruce himself. He, too, had connected himself
by marriage with the royal family of England, and was at this time one
of the most powerful subjects in Scotland. When Baliol leagued with
Comyn to throw off the supremacy of Edward, whose hand, whether justly
or not, had raised him to the Scottish throne, the Bruces and their
party, tempted by the promise of a crown, lent their best aid to the
English monarch. Upon the termination of the campaign the elder Bruce
demanded the fulfilment of Edward's promise, to which the latter
indignantly replied that he had not come into Scotland to conquer a
kingdom for him; so that Bruce reaped nothing else at the time from his
service, than the satisfaction of seeing his rival, Baliol, dethroned,
and the influence of the Comyns effectually diminished.

In 1296 Edward held a parliament at Berwick, compelling the Scotch
barons to do him homage, and the young lord of Carrick concurred in the
national submission. But notwithstanding this outward show of fealty, he
became, in the time of Wallace's success, suspected of entertaining
designs upon the crown. At first, indeed, he had joined against Wallace,
and wasted the lands of his adherent, Douglas, with fire and sword; yet,
soon after his return home, he summoned the Annandale men, who were the
vassals of his father, then in the service of Edward, and thus addressed
them: "You have already heard, without doubt, of that solemn oath, which
I lately took at Carlisle, and I cannot deny the fact; but the oath was
a foolish one, and exacted by fear; it was my body that took the oath,
and not my mind; but its having been taken at all is now to me the cause
of much remorse and sorrow; yet erelong I hope to be absolved from it by
our Holy Father. In the meanwhile, I am resolved to go and join my
fellow-countrymen, and assist them in their efforts to restore to its
liberty the land of my nativity, for none, as you know, is an enemy of
his own flesh, and as for me, I love my people. Let me beseech you,
then, to adopt the same resolution, and you shall ever be esteemed my
most dear friends and approved counsellors."

To this request the men of Annandale deferred giving any answer till the
morning, and took advantage of the night to retire, so that Bruce could
only join the insurgents with his own vassals of Carrick.

The first disappointment might have taught Bruce to desist from his
design, for which the time was not yet ripe; but blinded by ambition, he
entered into a strict alliance with Wishart, the Bishop of Glasgow, and
the Steward of Scotland, the principal leaders of the insurrection. Upon
joining his new associates, he found their purposes utterly incompatible
with his views upon the crown. Wallace, the soul of the party, had ever
supported the claims of Baliol, and his great supporter, Sir Andrew
Moray, a near connection of the Comyns, had the same object. During the
campaign, therefore, of 1298, which concluded with the battle of
Falkirk, Bruce shut himself up in his castle of Ayr, maintaining a
cautious neutrality, while his father continued to reside in England and
to serve Edward in his wars. The king, however, did not admire this cold
system of neutrality. He in consequence determined to attack the castle
of Ayr, and Bruce, dreading the consequences, razed it to the ground,
and sought an asylum in the mountain fastnesses of Carrick.

In the following year, when Wallace had resigned the regency, John
Comyn, of Badenoch, and Sir John de Soulis, were chosen governors of the
kingdom, and the party of Bruce availed themselves of the opportunity to
advance his influence by opposition to those in power, and by defeating
every measure taken for the public benefit. An attempt was made by those
who really wished well to the national cause, or who dreaded that their
disunion might be fatal to all alike, to reconcile the contending
factions; with this view they elected Bruce, and Lamberton, Bishop of
Glasgow, joint regents in the name of Baliol; but this ill-assorted
coalition soon fell to pieces, as might have been expected, where the
views which one party entertained in secret were so utterly opposed to
the avowed purposes of all.

The policy which actuated Bruce on this occasion may be easily
explained. It was clear that Edward would never consent to the
restoration of Baliol, then in exile, and the Comyns had taken so
decided a part against him, that it seemed most improbable he would ever
consent to raise one of that family to the throne. Continuing,
therefore, the same line of duplicity with which he had commenced, and
which he had only abandoned for a single instant in the vain hope of
persuading the party of Wallace to openly adopt his claims, he now
endeavored by submission and affected attachment to win the favor of the
English monarch. Edward, he well knew, had the power, could he be
brought to entertain the inclination, to place him on the Scottish
throne, and if this point were once attained, Bruce trusted that means
would afterward occur of shaking off all dependence upon his benefactor.
In these designs he to a certain extent succeeded, but not in his main
object. If he was crafty, Edward was yet craftier. He had fallen into
the same error that his father had, in 1296, and was outwitted by the
superior political ability of him whom he had intended to deceive, and
who, it must be confessed, was equally insincere. Edward cheated both
father and son, by holding out to them the hope of a crown he never
meant them to attain, his object being to unite the two countries; an
excellent purpose in itself, if we could only bring ourselves to
overlook the fraud and violence by which it was to be accomplished.
When, therefore, the Comyns submitted, in 1304, and he proceeded to the
settlement of his new dominions, the Earl of Carrick found that his only
gain was the being employed among the commissioners in organizing a
system of government. He had, however, reaped no little advantage from
his dissimulation. While Baliol was an exile and Comyn in disgrace, he
had preserved his estates, and won the king's confidence without losing,
but rather augmenting, his influence with the Scotch. At the same time
he saw that Comyn was still powerful; his claims to the throne were more
generally admitted by the people, and without his concurrence nothing
could be effected. Thus situated, Bruce submitted to his rival this
alternative: "Give me your land, and I shall bind myself to support your
title to the kingdom, and, when we have expelled our enemies, to place
the crown upon your head; or, if thou dost not choose to assume the
state of the kingdom, here am I ready to resign to you my estates, on
condition that you second me in my efforts to regain the throne of my
fathers." Comyn accepted the latter alternative, but immediately
betrayed the design to Edward, and sent him the letter, or indenture, by
which Bruce had bound himself. But the latter, when suddenly charged
with it, denied his hand and seal with a coolness that could only belong
to one long practised in the arts of dissimulation, and demanded time to
prove his innocence. Arch-deceiver as the English king himself was, he
yet allowed himself to be duped by this specious effrontery, and Bruce
escaping into Scotland, murdered Comyn in the church of the Grey Friars,
at Dumfries. Soon afterward he was crowned at Scone, and the revolution
spread far and wide; upon hearing which, Edward sent an invading army
into Scotland. Superiority of force and military skill soon compelled
Bruce to retreat to the mountain fastnesses, that offered a better place
of security than the strongest castle, for castles might be stormed; but
here, if danger threatened him at one point, he had only to retreat to
one more remote and more rugged, and thus at any time was enabled to
baffle his pursuers when he found them too powerful to be resisted. A
series of fights--battles they could hardly be called--and adventures
now ensued which have all the coloring of romance, but which entailed so
much of hardness and privation upon his followers, that after a while it
became evident he would not be able much longer to keep them from
abandoning a cause so desperate. Then, again, a spark of hope was
kindled by the disaffection growing out of the severity which Edward
exercised upon all who had been in arms to resist him. Numbers in
consequence flocked to Bruce, and fresh adventures succeeded of a yet
more romantic nature than those already mentioned; the fortunes of the
wanderer seeming now to be at the lowest ebb, and then again rising into
a prosperous flood, which as rapidly subsided, making it a matter of
some difficulty for him to escape being stranded by the falling waters.
It was during this season that Douglas disgraced himself and the
Scottish name by barbarities that have never been surpassed, and rarely
even equalled.

The death of the great Edward--for great he was, in spite of all his
faults--and the accession of his son, the feeble Edward II., left an
open field to Bruce, who was as much superior to those that now opposed
him, as he had been overcrowned by the genius of his late adversary. He
marched from victory to victory, and would, no doubt, have brought the
contest to a happy termination, had he not been seized by an alarming
sickness. At first, it threatened to be fatal; things were again
beginning to look gloomy for Scotland; but in the moment of extreme
peril, he shook off his disease by a strong effort, and once more led
his followers through a series of triumphs, which were crowned by the
great battle of Bannockburn. Though we cannot allow the ambition which
seeks a crown to pass for patriotism, it is impossible to deny the
highest praise to the courage, firmness, and ability displayed by Bruce
through the whole of this trying period. None may deny that he deserved
a crown, and when once obtained, it acquired a lustre from the talents
of him who wore it.

Bruce soon found himself in a condition to assist his brother Edward in
the attempt to drive the English out of Ireland. But here the usual good
fortune of the Scotch abandoned them. After a hard-fought campaign,
attended by many vicissitudes, his sagacity saw that the attempt was
hopeless, and he returned to Scotland. Shortly afterward, the turbulent
and aspiring Edward Bruce was slain in battle.

His wonted success attended Bruce in the field, in the midst of which,
however, a plot was formed against his life and government. Fortunately
it was revealed in time by the Countess of Strathearn, to whom the
conspirators had the weakness to confide their intentions; and soon
afterward, to crown his prosperity, Edward II. was compelled by a series
of defeats to conclude a peace. But Bruce's health began to be impaired,
and when war again broke out between the countries, upon the deposition
of Edward II. and the succession of his son, Edward III., he was unable
to lead his projected expedition against England. It ended in failure,
if not in defeat.

A short interval of health and hope gleamed upon him after this attack,
and peace was concluded between the two countries, greatly to the
dissatisfaction of the English, who, justly enough, considered
themselves sacrificed to the ambition of the queen-mother, Isabella, and
of her favorite, Mortimer. But this momentary promise of health and
vigor soon passed away, and it became plain to all that the life of this
brave and sagacious monarch was drawing rapidly to a close. In
expectation of the final event he had given orders to have a magnificent
tomb made at Paris; which was brought to Bruges, thence through England
into Scotland, and on its arrival erected in the church of the
Benedictines at Dunfermline.

Bruce died in his fifty-fifth year, and was buried in the abbey-church
of Dunfermline, as he had desired.

In the prime of his life Bruce was upward of six feet high; his
shoulders were broad, his chest full and open; the cheek-bones strong
and prominent, and the muscles of the back and neck of great size and
thickness; his hair curled short over a broad forehead, and the general
expression of his face was calm and cheerful; yet, when he pleased, he
could assume a character of stern command. Such, at least, Bruce has
been described by the old historian, and we may easily believe it, since
the outward semblance agrees so well with what is recorded of his life
and actions.



ARNOLD VON WINKELRIED

(DIED, 1386)

[Illustration: Arnold von Winkelried.]


The incident with which this name is connected is, after the purely
legendary feat of Tell, the best known and most popular in the early
history of the Swiss Confederation. We are told how, at a critical
moment in the great battle of Sempach, when the Swiss had failed to
break the serried ranks of the Austrian knights, a man of Unterwalden,
Arnold von Winkelried by name, came to the rescue. Commending his wife
and children to the care of his comrades, he rushed toward the
Austrians, gathered a number of their spears together against his
breast, and fell pierced through, having opened a way into the hostile
ranks for his fellow-countrymen, though at the price of his own life.
But the Tell and Winkelried stories stand in a very different position
when looked at in the dry light of history; for, while in the former
imaginary and impossible men (bearing now and then a real historical
name) do imaginary and impossible deeds at a very uncertain period, in
the latter we have some solid ground to rest on, and Winkelried's act
might very well have been performed, though, as yet, the amount of
genuine and early evidence in support of it is very far from being
sufficient.

The Winkelrieds of Stanz were a knightly family when we first hear of
them, though toward the end of the fourteenth century they seem to have
been but simple men without the honors of knighthood, and not always
using their prefix "von." Among its members we find an Erni Winkelried
acting as a witness to a contract of sale on May 1, 1367; while the same
man, or perhaps another member of the family, Erni von Winkelried, is
plaintiff in a suit at Stanz, on September 29, 1389, and in 1417 is the
landamman (or head-man) of Unterwalden, being then called Arnold
Winkelriet. We have, therefore, a real man named Arnold Winkelried
living at Stanz, about the time of the battle of Sempach. The question
is thus narrowed to the points, was he present at the battle, and did he
then perform the deed commonly attributed to him? The determination of
this question requires a minute investigation of the history of that
battle, to ascertain if there are any authentic traces of this
incident, or any opportunity for it to have taken place.

1. EVIDENCE OF CHRONICLES.--The earliest known mention of the incident
is found in a Zurich chronicle (discovered in 1862 by Herr G. von Wyss),
which is a copy, made in 1476, of a chronicle written in, or at any rate
not earlier than, 1438, though it is wanting in the sixteenth century
transcript of another chronicle written in 1466, which up to 1389
closely agrees with the former. It appears in the well-known form, but
the hero is stated to be "ein getrüwer man under den Eidgenozen," no
name being given, and it seems clear that his death did not take place
at that time. No other mention has been found in any of the numerous
Swiss or Austrian chronicles, till we come to the book "De Helvetiæ
Origine," written in 1538 by Rudolph Gwalther (Zwingli's son-in-law),
when the hero is still nameless, being compared to Decius or Codrus, but
is said to have been killed by his brave act. Finally we read the full
story in the original draft of Giles Tschudi's chronicle, where the hero
is described "as a man of Unterwalden, of the Winkelried family," this
being expanded in the first rescension of the chronicle (1564) into "a
man of Unterwalden, Arnold von Winkelried by name, a brave knight;"
while he is entered (in the same book, on the authority of the
"Anniversary Book" of Stanz, now lost) on the list of those who fell at
Sempach, at the head of the Nidwald (or Stanz) men, as "Herr Arnold von
Winkelried, ritter," this being in the first draft "Arnold Winckelriet."

2. BALLADS.--There are several war songs on the battle of Sempach
which have come down to us, but in one only is there mention of
Winkelried and his deed. This is a long ballad of sixty-seven
four-line stanzas, part of which (including the Winkelried section)
is found in the additions made between 1531 and 1545 to Etterlin's
chronicle by H. Berlinger of Basel, and the whole in Werner
Steiner's chronicle (written 1532). It is agreed on all sides that
the last stanza, attributing the authorship to Halbsuter, of
Lucerne, "as he came back from the battle," is a very late addition.
Many authorities regard it as made up of three distinct songs (one
of which refers to the battle and Winkelried), possibly put together
by the younger Halbsuter (citizen of Lucerne in 1435, died between
1470 and 1480); though others contend that the Sempach-Winkelried
section bears clear traces of having been composed after the
Reformation began, that is, about 1520 or 1530. Some recent
discoveries have proved that certain statements in the song, usually
regarded as anachronisms, are quite accurate; but no nearer approach
has been made toward fixing its exact date, or that of any of the
three bits into which it has been cut up. In this song the story
appears in its full-blown shape, the name of Winckelriet being
given.

[Illustration: Arnold Winkelried At Sempach.]



JOAN OF ARC[8]

         [Footnote 8: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

(1412-1431)

[Illustration: Joan of Arc.]


In the history of the world since the dawn of time, there is no other
character so remarkable to me as that of Joan of Arc.

You have but to think of any young girl of your acquaintance, seventeen
years old, and try to imagine her leading an army to battle, storming a
fort, or planning a campaign, in order to realize in a measure the
astounding qualities possessed by this wonderful being.

Not only did she do all this as wisely as the most astute general who
ever lived, but she succeeded in liberating France from the hands of the
English, where we have very good reason to think it might have otherwise
remained to this day; for the English were gaining ground steadily, and
the French dauphin was utterly discouraged, and had ceased to make an
effort to maintain his rights, when Joan of Arc came to his rescue.

The English king, Henry V., had died in the midst of his triumphs. Two
months later, imbecile Charles VI., of France, passed away also, and
Henry VI., of England, was proclaimed king of both nations; while at the
same time the dauphin was hailed King of France by his few followers.
But his fortunes were at the lowest ebb, his small army, stationed at
Orleans, was in need of food. Four thousand of his men went out to
search for provisions, and encountered half that number of English
soldiers. A battle ensued, and five hundred of the bravest French
soldiers were left dead on the field of strife. Despite their bravery,
hunger and fatigue had unfitted them to combat with their well-fed
adversaries.

The dauphin had shut himself in the castle of Chinon, with fair women
and gay comrades, while the siege was raging before the walls of
Orleans. He was at that time a weak and vacillant youth, given over to
the same pleasures and vices which drove his father mad and caused his
brother's death. He had no pride in rescuing his crown from the English,
and it must be confessed that the treatment he had received from his own
mother and his own countrymen, who sold him to the enemy, was sufficient
to dishearten a stronger nature than his. Added to this, he was doubtful
of his legitimate right to the throne, owing to his mother's depraved
career. But when, in the midst of his orgies, the news was brought to
him, in the castle of Chinon, that his army was defeated before the
walls of Orleans, what little hope or courage he had left seemed to
desert him and he sank into a state of despair.

And far away on the frontier, in the little village of Domremy, a young
girl watched her flocks, and wept over the fate of her beloved country;
and weeping, prayed that God would save France from the oppressor. How
earnestly she prayed, and how well God listened, history has recorded in
a tale more wonderful than any story ever conceived by the imagination
of man, and sadder than any other save the story of the Nazarene upon
the Cross of Calvary.

The end of France as a nation seemed at hand. The nobility had been led
into captivity and sold to an invading enemy; the clergy had seen its
altars defamed by arrogant strangers. Industry had been ruined by civil
wars during the long imbecility of Charles VI., and the succeeding
ravages made by the English. Villages were depopulated, homes desolated,
and look where they might, the people of France saw no hope of aid, save
from on high.

Of this epoch Henry Martin says, "The people expected nothing from human
sources; but a sentiment of indestructible nationality stirred in their
hearts and told them that France could not die. Hoping nothing from
earth, they lifted their souls to heaven; an ardent religious fervor
seized upon them, which had no part with clergy or creed. It rose from
the extremity of their need, and fixed its root in an old oracle of the
Middle Ages, which had predicted that France should be 'lost through a
woman and saved by a virgin.'"

France had certainly been lost through its wicked queen; that part of
the old prophecy had been fearfully fulfilled; the remaining clause was
yet to be verified. The people, excited to a religious frenzy by their
desperate straits and their faith in the old superstition, prayed more
fervently with each day; and their prayers rose like great white eagles
and settled upon the heart of that strange divine child, who was weeping
over the fate of France while she watched her sheep on the plains of
Domremy.

A humbly born girl was Joan of Arc, unable to read or write; women who
could do more than that were rare in those days, so she was not despised
on account of her ignorance, but highly respected for her industry and
piety. An enthusiastic Catholic, she added to her church duties by
active benevolence and kindness to the sick and poor in her native town.
Often she was seen to kneel in the fields and pray; and there was a
chapel some miles from Domremy to which she used to make a pilgrimage
every Sunday and offer prayers to the Virgin. There was, too, in the
forest of Bois Chemin a famous beech-tree under which a stream of clear
water flowed; and a superstition prevailed among the people of Domremy
that fairies had blessed this tree and bestowed healing properties upon
the waters of the stream. The priest and the villagers marched about the
sacred tree once each year singing solemn chants, and the young people
hung its boughs with garlands, and danced under its shading branches.
Joan dearly loved this spot, and it became her favorite haunt. The
echoes of war reverberated even to this quiet frontier hamlet, and in
her hours of reverie she dwelt sadly upon the stories of bloodshed and
suffering which she heard her elders repeat.

She was twelve years old when the dauphin was proclaimed king by his few
followers; and in all his flight from province to province, fleeing
before the usurpers of his throne, no heart in all France suffered more
keenly than the heart beating in the breast of this humble shepherd
girl. The misfortunes of the dauphin, the woes of her country, took
complete possession of her expanding mind. Her pure young soul yearned
toward the Infinite in one ceaseless prayer; and when any soul is so
lifted up above all thought of self, praying for the good of others, a
response never fails to come. It is only selfish prayers which remain
unanswered. Joan's beautiful nature was like the sensitive plate
prepared to receive the impression; and while she prayed the angels to
save France, the angels prepared her to become the saviour.

One summer day, when she was in her fourteenth year, she was running in
the fields with her companions, when, as she afterward declared, "she
felt herself lifted as by an invisible force and carried along as if she
possessed wings." Her companions gazed upon her with astonishment,
seeing her fly beyond their reach. Then she heard a voice, which
proceeded from a great light above her; and the voice said, "Joan, put
your trust in God, and go and save France."

This strange experience filled her with terror; but ere many days she
heard the voice again, and this time she saw the figure of a winged
angel. "I am the Archangel Michael," the voice said, "and the messenger
of God, who bids you to go to the aid of the dauphin and restore him to
his throne."

Overcome with fear, she fell on her knees in tears; but the angel
continued to appear to her, accompanied with two female forms, and
always urging her to go to the aid of her country. Fear gave place to
ecstacy, and in the heart of this divine child awoke the audacious idea
whose climax astounded the whole world.

At first she reasoned with the voices, telling them "she was but a poor
girl, who knew nothing of men or war." But the voices replied, "Go and
save France; God will be with you, and you have nothing to fear."

During three years she listened to these voices, which made themselves
heard by her two or three times each week. She seemed consumed by an
inward fever, and strange words escaped her. One day she said to a
laborer, that "midway between Coussi and Vaucouleurs there lived a maid
who should bring the dauphin to his throne."

These words were repeated to her father and they alarmed him; and we
cannot wonder that they did. How could he think otherwise than that his
little girl was losing her senses? How could he dream of the divine and
superhuman powers that had descended upon her from a higher world? He
told her brother that if Joan should attempt to follow the army, as he
feared she might, "he would rather drown her with his own hands." Her
parents set a watch upon her movements, and decided to marry her to a
young man who was secretly enamored of her. They connived with this
admirer to swear before an officer of the law that Joan had promised him
her heart; but she so strenuously denied the assertion before the judge
that she gained her case.

Just at this epoch the people of Domremy were obliged to fly before an
invading troop of soldiers. When they returned to their village they
found their church burned and their homes pillaged. Joan regarded this
as a direct punishment for her hesitation in heeding the "voices." She
would hesitate no longer, and after repeated delays and disheartening
rebuffs, she succeeded in winning her way, with a few believers in her
mission, to the king's castle.

When Charles finally consented to an interview, he disguised one of his
courtiers as king, and he was disguised as a courtier; but Joan was not
deceived by clothing; she fell at his feet, clasped his knees, and
exclaimed, "Gentle king, God has taken pity on you and your people; the
angels are on their knees praying for you and them."

The king was impressed with her lofty enthusiasm, and plied her with
questions. Her responses astonished him. One reliable authority tells us
that she revealed to him something known only to himself--and answered a
question which he had that day demanded of God in the privacy of
prayer--the question of his legitimate right to the throne. Joan told
him that he had asked this question of God, and that she was able to
reply to it in the affirmative.

The king was so astonished and overjoyed at this proof of the maiden's
powers, that he expressed belief in her divine mission; but he quickly
relapsed into doubt again, and Joan was obliged to endure a very
critical examination before a parliament, where she confused and
confounded the learned doctors by her simple words: "I know not A or B,
but I am commanded by my voices to raise the siege of Orleans and crown
the dauphin at Rheims." When one aggressive doctor, with a bad accent,
asked sarcastically; "what language her voices spoke," she replied,
"Better than yours, sir," which brought the laughter of the whole
parliament upon him. A messenger sent to Domremy, to ascertain the early
conduct of the maid, returned with accounts of her piety and
benevolence. All this worked in her favor, together with the strong
faith which the masses reposed in her; for the people remembered the old
prophecy and believed that the maiden had come to deliver France.

Even the doctors of theology were affected by this prophecy, and the
result was the final equipment of Joan for battle. When arrayed in a
knight's armor she refused to accept a sword. "The voices told me," she
said, "that in the church vault at Fierbois there lies a sword marked
with five crosses which I must carry, and no other."

A messenger was sent, who found the sword exactly as she had described
it. This naturally swelled the faith of the people in her divine
mission. She ordered a white banner made, covered with the lilies of
France, and with the inscription, "Jesus Maria," emblazoned upon it. At
the end of two months she entered the town of Blois, where the army was
stationed, seated upon a fine horse, her head bare, her dark curls
streaming in the wind, an air of triumph and joy on her face. Six
thousand soldiers were drawn up to receive her. But the pleasure-loving
young dauphin, be it said to his shame, was enjoying himself in his
castle and was not there to meet her. Nothing had yet been decided about
the position Joan was to occupy, but the wild enthusiasm of the army at
once made her its leader.

The very first act of this pure being was an attempt to uplift the moral
status of the army. Women of evil repute were sent away with good
advice, and the men were called to battle by prayer and confession.
Coarse soldiers followed her to mass, fascinated by her peculiar spell,
and rough language was silenced in her presence. Remarkable as has
seemed Joan's career up to this point, it was simple compared to the
miracles which ensued. Modest as the simplest maiden in private life,
gentle as a child in all matters pertaining to herself, utterly devoid
of self-seeking interests, she was yet enabled to plan campaigns, direct
attacks and lead armies with all the skill of any world-renowned
general. In the dead of night, with a band of 200 men, she entered the
beleaguered city of Orleans in the face of the English enemy. The
inhabitants crowded about her, regarding her rightly with wonder and
awe. Her first act was to hasten to a cathedral where the Te Deum was
being chanted by torch-light. She then selected her home with a lady of
spotless reputation, in order that all her hours of repose might be
guarded from suspicions of evil. The following day she directed a letter
of warning to be sent to the English, urging them to retreat before
compelled to do so by the "fire of Heaven." She then reconnoitred the
city, determining in her mind where to begin the attack; and as she saw
no signs that the English had taken heed of her letter, she finally
mounted the walls of the town, and in a loud voice warned the English to
depart before overtaken with the shame and disaster in store for them.
To this the English responded with insults and ribald words, and told
her to "Go home and keep her cows." Joan wept at their insults to her
modesty, and would have at once opened an attack, had she not been
dissuaded by her generals, who begged her to await the arrival of her
army.

Despite their bold words, the English were so influenced by Joan's
peculiar power, that they allowed her army to enter Orleans with a
convoy of provisions, and made no resistance. They seemed to be
paralyzed with fear, and many of them expressed a belief that she was
aided by the devil. Although the maid was immensely popular with the
army, a lurking secret jealousy of her was already at work in the
breasts of some of her officers; and these men chose an hour when she
was taking a brief repose, to open an attack upon the English, hoping to
take the glory of a conquest to themselves. But Joan's Voices awoke her,
and told her the blood of France was being spilled; and seizing her
white banner, she mounted her horse, and rushed into the strife, turning
the tide of battle at once in favor of the French army, which had
already suffered loss. Wherever the white flag was seen, a superhuman
strength seemed to take possession of the men; and after a fierce battle
of three hours, the bastile of St. Loup was won by the French.

The bastile des Augustins fell next, and here Joan was slightly wounded
in the foot; but she resolved to attack the only remaining hold of the
English the following day. Her officers counselled together and reported
themselves unfavorable to this project, as the bastile des Tournelles
was very strong, and filled with the bravest of the English army. But
Joan replied, "I, too, have been at council with God, and we shall fight
to-morrow."

They did fight, the English with fury, the French "as if they believed
themselves immortal." After three hours of warfare Joan saw her men
hesitate under the fierce attack of the enemy. She seized a ladder,
planted it against a wall, and began to ascend it. At that moment an
English arrow struck her between the neck and shoulder, and she fell to
the ground. The disheartened soldiers bore her from the field, and
dressed her wound, from which she extracted the arrow with her own hand,
shedding womanly tears meanwhile. After the wound was dressed, a vision
came to her, and with sudden strength she remounted her horse and rode
back to battle.

The English, believing her nearly dead from her wound, were terrified to
see her return, and lost courage from that moment; while the French,
electrified by her unexpected presence, fought with such zeal that
before nightfall the maid led her army into Orleans crowned with
triumph. It was only seven days since she had entered the city, and Joan
had already verified her assertion that she could and would "raise the
siege of Orleans."

The indolent and unworthy dauphin, however, refused to go to Rheims and
be crowned and so fulfil the second part of Joan's mission. He said
there were ports along the Loire which needed to be taken first so the
girl general laid out her campaign and added Beaugency and Jargeau to
her other conquests. The English had become filled with superstitious
fear of her power, attributing it to the devil. But the Dauphin of
France still dallied with light women in his castle, and treated Joan
with coldness and suspicion. The army now became so unanimous in the
desire that the king should go to Rheims, that he finally, with
reluctance, consented. On July 16th, after having taken Troyes and
Chalons on the way, the French army entered Rheims; and there, on the
following day, the dauphin was anointed with holy oil and received the
crown of France.

Happy, but modest and humble in her happiness, rejoicing only in the
prosperity of the king and the country, the sublime saviour of her land
knelt before her sovereign after the ceremonies were concluded and said,
"Gentle king, I wish now that I might return toward my father and my
mother, to keep my flocks and my herds as heretofore." Alas for the
happiness of the poor girl and the honor of two countries, that her
request was not granted!

Joan's father was present on this occasion, and the inn where he lodged
at the king's expense, and the cathedral where the dauphin was crowned,
still exist in Rheims.

[Illustration: Joan of Arc.]

During all Joan's life as a soldier and general, she exhibited a most
touching humanity toward the conquered enemy. She would spring from her
horse to sooth the wounds of a suffering English soldier, and it is
recorded of her that she carried a dying enemy in her arms to a
confessor, and remained with him till his soul took flight. The people
adored her, the soldiers of her army idolized her, and the king realized
that she was of too great value to him to permit her to go in peace to
her old humble home. So Joan remained, asking that the king would
remove all impost from the village of Domremy, in place of bestowing a
title upon her family as he offered to do. For three hundred years her
request was obeyed. From this time to the tragic end, the story of
Joan's life is a hard one to relate. Although we are nearing the fifth
centennial of her birth, the recital of her sufferings and death must
still wring tears from every heart which is not made of stone. The
feeling of jealousy which great success, of even the most worthy and
noble souls, arouses in meaner natures, had already sprung up against
Joan. This feeling increased as the days passed by and she added more
and more to her glory by the conquest of Laon, Soissons, Compiègne, and
Beauvais. Paris was next besieged, and here Joan was seriously wounded,
an event which depressed the king and the army.

Her wound disabled her from action, and she was left lying on the field
until evening, neglected, and seemingly forgotten. Already conscious of
the growing sentiment of jealousy among her officers, this final proof
of their indifference to her fate must have been more painful to her
pure and lofty mind than the physical agony she was enduring. But even
lying there, wounded, she cheered on the men as they passed her in the
combat, and revived their failing courage.

She was enabled to resume action the next day; her plans were all
perfected, and judging from her past triumphs we can but suppose victory
would have attended her, had not that most remarkable mandate arrived
from the king, commanding the French army to retreat to Saint-Denis.

To the undying shame of his memory be it said that Charles VII. entered
into a plot, with jealous enemies of Joan, to force failure upon her.
The people and the soldiers had grown to believe her infallible; the
king and his favorites determined that she should be proven fallible.
They deemed the country sufficiently safe, the army sufficiently strong,
to enable them to go on now and claim victories of their own, without
having their divine deliverer share the glory.

Next to the crime of Isabel, who sold her son and her country to the
enemy, this base act of Charles VII. stands unparalleled in infamy. So
discouraged and heart-broken was Joan over the conduct of the king,
although she did not understand the deep-laid plot against her, that she
resolved to abandon the life of a soldier and enter the church of
Saint-Denis. She hung up her armor and her sword, but when the king
heard of this he sent for her to return to the army. He was not yet sure
of himself, and he wanted her where he could call upon her if need be.

Joan returned with reluctance; "her Voices" counselled her to keep to
her resolution; but she was so accustomed to obey the king, that for the
first time she allowed an earthly voice to overrule the counsels of her
heavenly guides. And from this hour her star set; from this hour her
path led into darkness. Soon after her return to the army she broke the
magic sword with which she had achieved so many conquests; the Voices,
too, were silent, and all this troubled her. The king kept her away from
all active warfare, and she grew restive and impatient with her life of
inaction. The army, which under her influence had been reformed of half
its vices, now separated from her by the king's orders and fell into
the most wild excesses. Joan prayed and pleaded to be allowed to go
again into combat, and finally the king allowed her to do so; but such
success attended her, and such enthusiasm seized upon her soldiers, that
the jealous favorites of the king were alarmed. They resolved to prevent
any further triumphs for her, but to pretend great friendship and
admiration meanwhile.

The king was influenced to bestow honors and titles upon her family, and
to present her two brothers, who had fought in the army, with swords of
silver; all of which Joan received coldly and with indifference, for
meantime she was suffering such agony as only so brave and valiant a
soul could suffer in being kept from her duty.

After four months of this galling life, Joan could not fail to see that
she was the victim of a jealous plot. What suffering to a nature so
honest and self-sacrificing as hers, to discover that the king for whom
she had achieved such miracles, was a coward and a hypocrite, unworthy
of her respect and faith.

But it was surely this knowledge which actuated Joan to take a few brave
men, and without orders from the king, to go in aid of William de Flavy,
commander of the fortress of Compiègne, who was in distress. She set
out, and on the evening of May 24th, headed an attack upon the English.
She fought nobly and well, but before the close of the combat, she was
obliged to sound a retreat, and as she was attempting to escape through
the half-closed city gate, an English archer came up behind and pulled
her to the ground.

Joan of Arc was a prisoner. The joy of the English was overwhelming--the
despair of the French correspondingly great; and that despair gave place
to anger when it was learned that William de Flavy, the man whom she had
tried to defend, had betrayed her into the hands of the English because
he was jealous of her. This man's wife slew him when she learned of his
base act, and was pardoned for the crime when she told its cause. In all
the cities which Joan had delivered from English control, public prayers
and processions were ordered; people walked barefooted and bareheaded,
chanting the _Miserere_, in the streets of Tours. She was imprisoned
first at Beaurevoir, then in the prison of Arras, and from there she was
taken to Le Crotoy.

It was customary in those days to exchange prisoners taken in arms, or
to ransom them; but the English had suffered such loss and defeat
through Joan that they determined she should die.

Their only way to do this without publicly dishonoring themselves, was
to accuse her of being a witch, and to compel the "religious" tribunal
of her own land to become her murderer.

During the first six months of her captivity Joan was treated humanely;
but the defeat of the English at Compiègne awoke anew the superstitions
of the English, who believed that, though a prisoner, she exercised her
spell upon the army; and she was taken to Le Crotoy, and cast into an
iron cage with chains upon her wrists and ankles. After being starved,
insulted, and treated with the most hellish brutality in prison for
nearly ten months, the saviour of France was brought before a tribunal
of men, all of them her enemies. There were three days of this shameful
pretence of a trial, and the holy maid, deserted by those whom she had
crowned with glory and benefits, was trapped into signing a paper which
she supposed only a form of abjuration, but which proved to be a
confession of all the crimes with which she was charged; and after she
was returned to her dungeon this was exhibited to the people to convince
them of her guilt and turn the tide of public sympathy. The Bishop of
Beauvais then sentenced her to prison for the rest of her life, on
condition that she resume woman's apparel; yet one morning she woke to
find no dress in her prison but the clothes she had worn in battle. No
sooner had she donned these than the bishop appeared, and accused her of
disobedience to the orders of the Church, and he fixed her execution for
the next day.

When the horrible fact was made known to her that she was to be burned
at the stake in the market-place of Rouen, before a multitude of people,
she burst into piercing cries of agony. Her physical strength, courage,
and brain-power were all impaired by the months of abuse she had
endured, and her very soul was torn by the neglect and indifference
which the base king manifested toward her. Up to the very last hour she
had believed deliverance would come, but it came only through death.
Never since that spectacle of the bleeding Nazarene upon the Cross of
Calvary, has the world beheld so terrible a picture of crucified
innocence and purity as that of Joan of Arc, the saviour of France,
burning in the market-place of Rouen. With her dying breath she cried
out that the Voices were real, and that she had obeyed God in listening
to their counsels.

Her last word was the name of--Jesus.

[Signature: Ella Wheeler Wilcox.]



HANS GUTENBERG

By ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE

(1400-1468)


Hans Gensfleisch Gutenberg von Sorgeloch was a young patrician--born at
Mainz, a free and wealthy city on the banks of the Rhine, in the year
1400. His father, Friel Gensfleisch, married Else von Gutenberg, who
gave her name to her second son John.

It is probable that if Mainz, his country, had not been a free city,
this young gentleman would have been unable to conceive or to carry into
execution his invention. Despotism and superstition equally insist upon
silence; they would have stifled the universal and resistless echo which
genius was about to create for written words. Printing and liberty were
both to spring from the same soil and the same climate.

[Illustration: Hans Gutenberg.]

Mainz, Strasburg, Worms, and other municipal towns on the Rhine, then
governed themselves, under the suzerainty of the empire, as small
federal republics, like Florence, Genoa, Venice, and the other states of
Italy. The nobility warlike, the burgesses increasing in importance, and
the laboring population vacillating between these two classes, who
alternately oppressed and courted it, from time to time, here as
everywhere, fought for supremacy. Outbursts of civil war, excited by
vanity or interest, and in which the victory remained sometimes with the
patricians, sometimes with the burgesses, and at others with the
artisans, made them alternately victors, conquered, and proscribed. This
is the history of all cities, of all republics, and of all empires.
Mainz, was a miniature of Rome or Athens, only the proscribed party had
not the sea to cross to escape from their country; they went outside the
walls, and crossed the Rhine; those of Strasburg going to Mainz, and
those of Mainz to Strasburg, to wait until their party recovered power,
or until they were recalled by their fellow-citizens.

In these intestine struggles of Mainz, the young Gutenberg, himself a
gentleman, and naturally fighting for the cause most holy in a son's
eyes--that of his father--was defeated by the burgesses, and banished,
with all the knights of his family, from the territory of Mainz. His
mother and sisters alone remained there in possession of their property,
as innocent victims on whom the faults of the nobility should not be
visited. His first banishment was short, and peace was ratified by the
return of the refugees. A vain quarrel about precedence in the public
ceremonies on the occasion of the solemn entry of the Emperor Robert,
accompanied by the Archbishop Conrad, into Mainz, refreshed the
animosity of the two classes in 1420, and young Gutenberg, at the age of
nineteen, under went his second exile.

The free city of Frankfort now offered itself as a mediator between the
nobles and plebeians of Mainz, and procured their recall on condition of
the governing magistracy being equally shared between the high classes
and the burgesses. But Gutenberg, whether his valor in the civil war had
rendered him more obnoxious and more hostile to the burgesses; whether
his pride, fostered by the traditions of his race, could not submit
patiently to an equality with plebeians; or whether, more probably, ten
years of exile and study at Strasburg had already turned the bent of his
thoughts to a nobler subject than the vain honors of a free city,
refused to return to his country. His mother, who watched over her
son's interest at Mainz, petitioned the republic to allow him to receive
as a pension a small portion of the revenues of his confiscated
possessions. The republic replied that the young patrician's refusal to
return to his country was a declaration of war, and that the republic
did not pay its enemies. Gutenberg, persisting in his voluntary exile
and in his disdain, lived on the secret remittances of his mother.

But at Strasburg he already enjoyed so great a popularity for his
disposition and his acquirements, that one day, when the chief
magistrate of Mainz was passing the territory of Strasburg, he was
arrested by the friends of Gutenberg, shut up in a castle, and did not
recover his liberty until the city of Mainz had signed a treaty which
restored the exile his patrimony. Thus this youth, the great tribune of
the human mind, whose invention was destined to destroy forever the
prejudices of race, and to restore, in after-times, liberty and civil
equality to all the plebeians of the world, began his life, as yet
unrecognized, at the head of the patrician party of his country, in
these struggles between the privileged castes and the people. Fortune
seemed to delight in the contrast. But Gutenberg's wisdom, increasing
with his age, was afterward destined to reunite the people and nobility,
who looked on each other as enemies.

The restoration of his goods allowed young Gutenberg to satisfy his
literary, religious, and artistic tastes, by travelling from town to
town to study monuments, and visit men of all conditions celebrated for
their science, their art, or even their trade. The artisans of Germany
then held nearly the same rank as the artists. It was at the time when
the trades, scarcely known, were confused with the arts, and when the
most humble professions produced their earliest masterpieces, which, on
account of their novelty, were looked upon as prodigies. Gutenberg
travelled alone, on foot, carrying a knapsack containing books and
clothes, like a mere student visiting the schools, or a journeyman
looking for a master. He thus went through the Rhenish provinces, Italy,
Switzerland, Germany, and lastly, Holland, not without an object, like a
man who lets his imagination wander at the caprice of his footsteps, but
carrying everywhere with him a fixed idea, an unchanging will led by a
presentiment. This guiding star was the thought of spreading the word of
God and the Bible among a vaster number of souls.

Thus it was religion which, in this young wandering apostle, was seeking
the soil wherein to sow a single seed, of which the fruit hereafter was
to be a thousand various grains. It is the glory of printing that it was
given to the world by religion, not by industry. Religious enthusiasm
was alone worthy to give birth to the instrument of truth.

What mechanical processes Gutenberg may until then have revolved in his
mind, remains unknown. Whatever they were, chance effaced them all, and
brought him at once upon his great discovery. One day, at Haarlem, in
Holland, the verger of the cathedral, named Lawrence Koster, with whom
he had established friendly relations, showed him in the sacristy a
Latin grammar, curiously wrought in engraved letters on a wooden board,
for the instruction of the seminarists. Chance, that gratuitous teacher,
had produced this approach to printing.

The poor and youthful sacristan of Haarlem was in love. He used to walk
on holydays to the spring outside the town, and sit under the willows by
the canals, to indulge in his day-dreams. His heart full of the image of
his bride, he used to amuse himself, in true lover's fashion, by
engraving with his knife the initials of his mistress and himself,
interlaced, as an emblem of the union of their hearts and of their
interwoven destinies. But, instead of cutting these ciphers on the bark,
and leaving them to grow with the tree, like the mysterious ciphers so
often seen on the trees in the forests and by the brooks, he engraved
them on little blocks of willow stripped of their bark, and still
reeking with the moisture of their sap; and he used to carry them, as a
remembrance of his dreams and a pledge of affection, to his lady-love.

One day, having thus cut some letters on the green wood, probably with
more care and perfection than usual, he wrapped up his little work in a
piece of parchment, and brought it with him to Haarlem. On opening it
next day to look at his letters, he was astonished to see the cipher
perfectly reproduced in brown on the parchment by the relieved portion
of the letters, the sap having oozed out during the night and imprinted
its image on the envelope. This was a discovery. He engraved other
letters on a large platter, replaced the sap by a black liquid, and thus
obtained the first proof ever printed. But it would only print a single
page. The movable variety and endless combinations of characters
infinitely multiplied, to meet the vast requirements of literature, were
wanting. The invention of the poor sacristan would have covered the
surface of the earth with plates engraved or sculptured in relief, but
would not have been a substitute for a single case of movable type.
Nevertheless, the principle of the art was developed in the sacristy of
Haarlem, and we might hesitate whether to attribute the honor of it to
Koster or Gutenberg, if its invention had not been with one the mere
accidental discovery of love and chance, and, in the other, the
well-earned victory of patience and genius.

At the sight of this coarse plank, the lightning from heaven flashed
before the eyes of Gutenberg. He looked at the plank, and, in his
imagination, analyzed it, decomposed it, put it together again, changed
it, divided it, readjusted it, reversed it, smeared it with ink, placed
the parchment on it, and pressed it with a screw. The sacristan,
wondering at his long silence, was unwittingly present at this
development of an idea over which his visitor had brooded in vain for
the last ten years. When Gutenberg retired, he carried a new art with
him.

On the morrow, like a man who possesses a treasure, and knows neither
rest nor sleep until he has hidden it safely, Gutenberg left Haarlem,
hastened up the Rhine until he reached Strasburg, shut himself up in his
work-room, fashioned his own tools, tried, broke, planned, rejected,
returned to his plans, and again rejected them, only to return to them
again; and ended by secretly executing a fortunate proof upon parchment
with movable wooden types, bored through the side with a small hole,
strung together and kept close by a thread, like square beads on a
chaplet, each with a letter of the alphabet cut in relief on one
side--the first printer's alphabet, coarse, but wonderful--the first
company of twenty-four letters, which multiplied like the herds of the
patriarchs, until at last they covered the whole earth with written
characters, in which a new and immaterial element--human thought--became
incarnate.

Gutenberg, perceiving at the first glance the immense social and
industrial bearing of his invention, felt that his weak hand, short
life, and moderate property would be spent in vain on such a work. He
experienced two opposite wants--the necessity of associating with
himself persons to assist in meeting the expenses and in executing the
mechanical labor, and the necessity of concealing from his assistants
the secret and real object of their labors, for fear lest his invention
might be divulged and pirated, and the glory and merit of his discovery
taken from him. He cast his eyes on the nobility and rich gentry of his
acquaintance at Strasburg and Mainz. He probably met with rebuffs from
all quarters, on account of the prejudice then prevailing that
handicrafts were derogatory to a gentleman. He was, therefore, obliged
to sink his rank, become a workman, associate with artisans, and mix
with the people, in order to raise the people to the high level of
morality and intelligence.

Under the pretence of working together at _a new and marvellous craft_,
such as jewelry, clock-making, and grinding and setting precious stones,
he entered into a deed of partnership with two wealthy inhabitants of
Strasburg, Andrew Dritzchen and Hans Riffe, bailiff of Lichtenau; and
afterward with Faust, a goldsmith and banker of Mainz, whose name,
confounded with that of Faustus, the wondrous sorcerer of German fable,
the master of mystery, and the friend of the Evil One, caused the
invention of printing to be attributed to magic; and, lastly, with
Hulmann, whose brother had just established the first paper-mill at
Strasburg.

In order the more effectually to conceal from his partners the real
object of his pursuit, Gutenberg joined them in several artistic and
secondary enterprises. Continuing in secret his mechanical researches on
printing, he employed himself publicly in these other occupations. He
taught Dritzchen the art of cutting precious stones. He himself polished
Venetian glass for mirrors, or cut pieces of it into facets, setting
them in copper frames ornamented with wooden figurines representing
personages from history or fable, from the Bible or the Testament. These
articles, which found sale at the fair of Aix-la-Chapelle, kept up the
funds of the association, and assisted Gutenberg in the secret expenses
reserved for accomplishing and perfecting his design.

To conceal it the better also from the restless curiosity of the public,
who began to circulate a suspicion of witchcraft against him, Gutenberg
left the town, and established his workshop in the ruins of an old
deserted monastery, called the Convent of St. Arbogast. The solitude of
the place, only inhabited by the houseless poor of the suburbs, covered
his first attempts.

In a corner of one of the vast cloisters of the monastery, occupied by
his partners for their less secret labors, Gutenberg had reserved for
himself a cell, always closed with lock and bolt, and to which none but
himself ever had access. He was supposed to go there to draw the
designs, arabesques, and figurines for his jewelry and the frames of his
glasses; but he passed his days and sleepless nights there, wearing
himself out in the pursuit of his invention. There it was that he
engraved his movable types in wood, and projected casting them in metal,
and studied hard to find the means of inclosing them in _forms_, whether
of wood or of iron, to make the types into words, phrases, and lines,
and to leave spaces on the paper. There it was that he invented colored
mediums, oleaginous and yet drying, to reproduce these characters,
brushes and dabbers to spread the ink on the letters, boards to hold
them, and screws and weights to compress them. Months and years were
spent, as well as his own fortune and the funds of the firm, in these
persevering experiments, with alternate success and disappointment.

At length, having made a model of a press, which seemed to him to
combine all the requirements of printing, according to his ideas at that
time, he concealed it under his cloak, and walking to the town, went to
a skilful turner in wood and metal, named Conrad Saspach, who lived in
the Mercer's Lane, asking him to make the machine of full size. He
requested the workman to keep it secret, merely telling him that it was
a machine by the help of which he proposed to produce some masterpieces
of art and mechanism, of which the marvels should be known in due time.

The turner, taking the model in his hands, and turning it backward and
forward with the smile of contempt that a skilful artist usually puts on
when looking at a rough specimen, said, somewhat scornfully, "But it is
just simply a press that you are asking me for, Master Hans!"

"Yes," replied Gutenberg, with a grave and enthusiastic tone, "it is a
press, certainly, but a press from which shall soon flow in
inexhaustible streams the most abundant and most marvellous liquor that
has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of man! Through it God will spread
his Word. A spring of pure truth shall flow from it; like a new star, it
shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore
unknown to shine among men." He retired. The turner, who understood not
these words, made the machine, and delivered it at the monastery of
Arbogast.

This was the first printing-press.

As soon as he was in possession of his press, Gutenberg began printing.
Little is known of the first works which he sent out; but the strongly
religious disposition of the inventor leaves no doubt concerning the
nature of the labors to which he devoted the first-fruits of his art.
They were, to a certainty, religious books. The art invented for the
sake of God, and by his inspiration, began with his worship. His later
publications at Mainz are a proof of it; the divine songs of the
Psalmist, and the celebrated Latin Bible, were the first works issued at
Mainz from the machine invented by Gutenberg, and applied to the use of
the most sacred powers of man, lyrical praise of his Maker, and
lamentation for the woes of earth. Under the hands of this pious and
unfortunate man, praise and prayer were the first voices of the press.
The press ought ever to be proud of it.

[Illustration: Gutenberg's Invention.]

But great tribulation awaited him after his triumph. We have seen that
the necessity of procuring funds obliged him to take partners. The
necessity that subsequently arose of getting assistance for the
multifarious labor of a great printing establishment obliged him to
confide his occupation, and even the secret of his process, to his
partners and to a number of workmen. His partners, tired of supplying
funds to an enterprise which, for want of perfection, was not then
remunerative, refused to persevere in the ungrateful occupation.
Gutenberg begged them not to abandon him at the very moment that fortune
and glory were within his grasp. They consented to make fresh advances,
but only on condition of sharing completely his secret, his profits, his
property, and his fame.

He sold his fame to procure success to his work. The name of Gutenberg
disappeared. The firm absorbed the inventor, who soon became a mere
workman in his own workshop. It was a parallel to the case of
Christopher Columbus brought back in irons on board his own vessel, by a
crew to whom he had opened a new world.

This was not all. The heirs of one of the partners brought an action
against him to contest his invention, his property, and his right of
carrying on the work. They compelled him to appear before the judges at
Strasburg, to make him submit to some more complete and more legal
spoliation than the voluntary abandonment he had himself acknowledged.
His perplexity before the court was extreme. To justify himself, it was
necessary to enter into all the technical details of his art, which he
did not as yet wish to make completely public, reserving to himself, at
least, the secret of his hopes. The judges, being inquisitive, pressed
him with insidious questions, the answers to which would have exposed
the secret of all his processes. He evaded them, preferring an adverse
decision to the publication of his art. To succeed in penetrating the
secret of the discovery which filled people's imaginations, the judges
summoned his most confidential workmen, and required them to give
evidence of what they knew. These men, simple-minded, yet faithful and
strongly attached to Gutenberg, refused to reveal anything. Their
master's secret was safer in their hearts than in the breasts of his
more grasping associates. None of the great mysteries of the art
transpired. Gutenberg, ruined, condemned, perhaps banished, retired
alone and in poverty to Mainz, his native place, to recommence his
labors and begin his life and fame anew.

He was still young, and the report of his lawsuit at Strasburg had made
his fame known all over Germany, but he returned a workman to a city
which he had quitted as a knight. Humiliation, poverty, and glory
contended with each other in his fate and in the behavior of his
fellow-citizens. Love alone recognized him for what he had been, and for
what he was one day to become.

On his return to Mainz, having been relieved from degradation and ruin
by the woman he loved, as Mohammed was by his first wife, Gutenberg gave
himself entirely up to his art, entered into partnership with Faust and
Schoeffer, Faust's son-in-law; established offices at Mainz, and
published, still under the name of the firm, Bibles and Psalters, of
remarkable perfection of type.

Schoeffer had for a long time carried on the business of a scrivener,
and a trade in manuscripts in Paris. His travels, and his intimacy with
the artists of that town, had made him acquainted with mechanical
processes for working in metals, which he adapted, on his return to
Mainz, to the art of printing. These new means enabled him to cast
movable leaden types in a copper matrix, with greater precision than
before, and thus to give great neatness to the letters. It was by this
new process that the Psalter, the first book bearing a date, was printed
in 1457. Soon afterward the Mainz Bible, recognized as a masterpiece of
art, was produced under the direction of Gutenberg, from types founded
by Peter Schoeffer's process.

The tendency of the new art, which began by cheapening sacred books
under the auspices of the Church alone, escaped, during the first years
of its existence, the notice of the Roman court, which saw an auxiliary
in what it afterward considered as an opponent.

"Among the number of blessings which we ought to praise God for having
vouchsafed during your pontificate," says a dedication in the time of
Paul II., "is this invention, which enables the poorest to procure
libraries at a low price. Is it not a great glory to your Holiness, that
volumes which used to cost _one hundred pieces of gold_ are now to be
bought for four, or even less, and that the fruits of genius, heretofore
the prey of the worms and buried in dust, begin under your reign to
arise from the dead, and to multiply profusely over all the earth?"

Meanwhile, Faust the banker, and Schoeffer the workman, Gutenberg's new
partners, were not long in giving way, like his former partner, one
Mentel or Metelin at Strasburg, to the temptation of absorbing by
degrees Gutenberg's glory, the most tempting of all possessions, because
of its immortality. Like many others, they hoped to deceive posterity,
if not their own contemporaries. After recognizing, in the Epistle
Dedicatory prefixed to the German translation of Livy, printed by Hans
Schoeffer, and addressed to the Emperor Maximilian, "that the art of
printing was invented at Mainz by that sublime mechanician Hans von
Gutenberg," they forgot this confession, and seven years later assumed
to themselves all the merit and honor of the discovery.

A short time afterward, the Emperor Maximilian, erecting the printers
and compositors into a species of intellectual priesthood, relieved them
by the nobility of their occupation from all degradation of rank. He
ennobled the art and the artists together; he authorized them to wear
robes embroidered with gold and silver, which nobles only had a right to
wear, and gave them for armorial bearings an eagle with his wings spread
over a globe, a symbol of the flight of written thoughts, and of its
conquest of the world.

But Gutenberg was no longer upon earth to enjoy the possession of that
intellectual world, religious and political, of which he had only had a
glimpse, like Moses, in the vision of his dream in the monastery of St.
Arbogast. Despoiled by his partners of his property and of his fame;
expelled again, and for the last time, from his country by poverty, his
only consolation being that he was followed by his wife, who remained
faithful through all his troubles; deprived by death of all his
children; advanced in years, without bread, and soon afterward, by his
wife's decease, a widower, he was received by the Elector of Nassau,
the generous Adolphus. The elector created him his counsellor of state
and chamberlain, in order to enjoy in an honorable familiarity the
conversation of this surpassing genius, who was afterward to hold
converse with all times and all places. This shelter afforded to
Gutenberg sheds everlasting lustre on Nassau and its prince. We meet in
history with instances where a generous hospitality has given happiness
and immortal fame to the most insignificant potentates and to the
smallest of states.

Gutenberg continued printing with his own hands, at Nassau, under the
eyes of his Mæcenas, the elector, during several years of peace and
quiet. He died at the age of sixty-eight, leaving his sister no
inheritance, but bequeathing to the world the empire of the human mind,
discovered and achieved by a workman.

"I bequeath," he says in his will, "to my sister all the books which I
printed at the monastery of St. Arbogast." The poor inventor's only
legacy to his surviving relative was the common property of almost all
inventors like himself--wasted youth, a persecuted life, a name
aspersed, toil, watchings, and the oblivion of his contemporaries.



WILLIAM CAXTON

(1412-1491)

[Illustration: William Caxton.]


William Caxton, to whom England owes the introduction of printing, was
born, according to his own statement, in the Weald of Kent. Of the date
of his birth nothing is known with certainty, though Oldys places it in
1412. Lewis and Oldys suppose that between his fifteenth and eighteenth
years he was put apprentice to one Robert Large, a mercer or merchant of
considerable eminence, who was afterward, successively, sheriff and lord
mayor of London, and who upon his death, in 1441, remembered Caxton in
his will by a legacy of 20 marks. Caxton at this time had become a
freeman of the Company of Mercers. His knowledge of business, however,
induced him, either upon his own account or as agent of some merchant,
to travel to the Low Countries for a short time. In 1464 we find him
joined in a commission with one Robert Whitehill, to continue and
confirm a treaty of trade and commerce between Edward IV. and Philip,
Duke of Burgundy; or if they find it necessary, to make a new one. They
are styled in it ambassadors and special deputies. This commission at
least affords a proof that Caxton had acquired a reputation for
knowledge of business. Seven years afterward Caxton describes himself as
leading a life of ease, when, "having no great charge or occupation," he
set about finishing the translation of Raoul le Fevre's "Recueil des
Histoires de Troye," which he had commenced two years before, in 1469.
The original was the first book he printed, and this translation the
third. Of Caxton's pursuits and travels abroad, we know little more than
that in his peregrinations he confined himself, for the most part, to
the countries of Brabant, Flanders, Holland, and Zealand, and finally
entered into the service, or at least the household, of Margaret,
Duchess of Burgundy, who encouraged him to finish his translation of Le
Fevre's "History of Troy," assisted him with her criticisms upon his
English, and amply rewarded him upon the completion of his labor. From
the prologues and epilogues of this work we discover that he was now
somewhat advanced in years, and that he had learnt to exercise the art
of printing, but by what step he had acquired this knowledge cannot be
discovered; his types only show that he acquired it in the Low
Countries. He does not appear to have seen any of the beautiful
productions of the Roman, Venetian, and Parisian presses before he had
caused his own font of letters to be cut.

The original of Raoul's "History," the "Oration of John Russell on
Charles, Duke of Burgundy, being created a Knight of the Garter," and
the "Translation" of Raoul, were, as far as we know, Caxton's first
three works; the last finished in 1471. A "Stanza," by Wynkyn de Worde,
notices an edition of "Bartholomoeus, de Proprietatibus Rerum," as
printed by Caxton at Cologne (about 1470), but the actual existence of
this edition is unknown. Nor has more certain information yet been
obtained of the exact period of Caxton's return to his native country.
The usual supposition has been that he brought the art of printing into
England in 1474, and this date is indicated by the figures which are
united in the centre of his device as a printer. In 1477, however, he
had undoubtedly quitted the Low Countries and taken up his residence in
the vicinity of Westminster Abbey, where and in which year he printed
his "Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers." Stowe says he first
exercised his business in an old chapel near the entrance of the abbey;
but a very curious placard, a copy of which, in Caxton's largest type,
is now at Oxford in the late Mr. Douce's library, shows that he printed
in the Almonry. It is as follows: "If it plese any man spirituel or
temporel to bye ony Pyes of two and thre comemoracions of Salisburi vse
emprynted, after the forme of this present lettre whiche ben wel and
truly correct, late hym come to Westmonester in to the Almonesrye at the
reed pole and he shal have them good chepe. Supplico stet cedula."
According to Bagford, Caxton's office was afterward removed to King
Street.

[Illustration: The First Sheet from Caxton's Press.]

From the evidence of Wynkyn de Worde, in the colophon of his edition of
"Vitæ Patrum," 1495, it appears that these "Lives of the Fathers" were
"translated out of French into English by William Caxton, of
Westminster, lately dead," and that he finished the work "at the last
day of his life." His death, however, seems fixed, by two or three
entries in the parish accounts of St. Margaret, Westminster, to the
year 1491 or 1492, in which we read, "Item: atte bureyng of William
Caxton for iiij, torches vj^s viij^d. Item: for the belle at same
Bureyng vj^d." Wynkyn de Worde no doubt referred to this time.

Caxton, Mr. Warton observes, by translating, or procuring to be
translated, a great number of books from the French, greatly contributed
to promote the state of literature in England. In regard to his types,
Mr. Dibdin says he appears to have made use of five distinct sets, or
fonts, of letters, which, in his account of Caxton's works, he has
engraved plates in fac-simile. Edward Rowe Mores, in his "Dissertation
upon English Typographical Founders and Foundries," says Caxton's letter
was originally of the sort called Secretary, and of this he had two
fonts; afterward he came nearer to the English face, and had three fonts
of Great Primer, a rude one which he used anno 1474, another something
better, and a third cut about 1482; one of Double Pica, good, which
first appears 1490; and one of Long Primer, at least nearly agreeing
with the bodies which have since been called by those names. All of
Caxton's works were printed in what are called black letter.



CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS[9]

         [Footnote 9: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By A. R. SPOFFORD, LL.D.

(1436-1506)

[Illustration: Christopher Columbus.]


The discovery and the discoverer of America have furnished an almost
inexhaustible theme for the critic, the biographer, and the historian.
In the year 1892 there was celebrated an event which has come by common
consent to be regarded as a world-famous epoch, worthy to be held in
everlasting remembrance. We commemorated the man whose discovery almost
doubled the extent of the habitable globe.

The life, the voyages, the brilliant triumphs, and the mournful end of
Columbus are already familiar to most readers. To recount them at length
would be here a needless repetition. Let us rather attempt to glance at
some of the historic disputes involving the character and acts of the
great discoverer, to sketch briefly the sources of information about
him, and to characterize some of the more important writings upon the
subject.

There is no lack of biographical material concerning the discoverer of
America. He has left memorials of his personality and life-history more
abundant than most of the men who have influenced their age. There are
more than sixty authentic letters of Columbus in existence. There are
long narratives of his expeditions and discoveries, by persons who knew
him more or less intimately. There is an extended biography of him
written by his own son, Ferdinand Columbus, or from materials furnished
by him. There are numerous documents and state papers authenticating his
acts, his privileges, and his dignities. And yet, with all the wealth of
material, so copious upon his character and his career, it would seem,
from recent developments, that the true discoverer of America is yet to
be discovered.

Among the many lives of Columbus that have been written, there exist
some twenty-five in the English language. Of these two or three only
have any historical or critical value. The mass of biographies, both
English and American, are mere echoes or abridgments, in other forms of
language, of the great work of Washington Irving, first published in
1828. This book was written in Spain, and based upon collections of
documents (manuscript and printed) not previously used by biographers.
Hence its value as the most copious and systematic life of Columbus
which had appeared in any language. The finished and graceful style
which characterizes all the works of its accomplished author gave it a
high place in literature, which it has maintained for more than half a
century, being constantly reprinted.

Next in point of time to Irving, though treating Columbus with less
fulness of detail, came the polished historian Prescott, whose "History
of Ferdinand and Isabella" was published in 1837. This ardent and
laborious scholar was, like Irving, constitutionally inclined to the
optimistic view of his leading characters. To magnify the virtues and to
minimize the faults of their heroes has always been the besetting sin of
biographers. The pomp and picturesque circumstance of the Spanish court,
the splendid administrative abilities of Ferdinand, the beauty,
amiability, and devoted piety of Isabella, are depicted in glowing
colors, but the crimes and cruelties which they sanctioned, while
condemned upon one page, are softly extenuated upon others. Columbus
appears as a romantic figure in history, the glory of whose successful
discovery atones for his many failings.

Of the original sources of information about Columbus the most important
are:

1. The great collection of original documents printed in Spanish by
Navarrete, in 1825-37, in five volumes, and partly reprinted in a French
translation in 1828. These contain the precious letters of Columbus,
many of which have been translated and recently published in English.

2. The "Historia general de las Indias," of Oviedo, first published in
1535.

3. The "Historia de las Indias," of the Spanish Bishop Las Casas,
composed in 1527 to 1561, which remained in manuscript until 1875, when
it was printed from the original Spanish.

4. The "Letters and the Decades of Peter Martyr," written in part
contemporaneously with the discovery of America, and printed in Latin in
1530, and in English in 1555.

5. The "Historia de las Reyes Catolicos," of Andres Bernaldez.

6. The "Life of the Discoverer," by Ferdinand Columbus, first published
in 1571 at Venice, in Italian.

The last five writers had personal knowledge or intercourse with
Columbus, while Las Casas, Oviedo, and Ferdinand had the advantage of
residence in America, and intimate knowledge of the aborigines, and of
the men and events of the period.

Almost every item involved in the checkered and eventful life of
Columbus has afforded a fruitful theme for controversy. His birth, even,
is disputed, under stress of evidence, as falling anywhere between 1435
and 1447--a discrepancy of twelve years. His birthplace is claimed by
more towns than that of Homer, although his own statement, that he was a
native of Genoa, has met general concurrence. His knowledge of
geography, astronomy, and navigation is asserted and denied with various
degrees of pertinacity. His treatment by the sovereigns of Portugal,
Castile, and Aragon is so far in question that irreconcilable
differences of opinion exist. How much Columbus really owed to the aid
of the crown, and how much to private enterprise, in fitting out his
expeditions of discovery, cannot be definitely ascertained. How far he
was hindered by the bigotry, or helped by the enlightenment of powerful
ecclesiastics, as at the council of Salamanca, is a theme of perennial
controversy.

The island where he first landed is so far from being identified, that
many books have been written to prove the claims of this, that, or the
other gem of the sea to be the true land-fall of Columbus. His treatment
of the natives has been made the subject of unsparing denunciation and
of undiscriminating eulogy. His conduct toward his own, often mutinous,
crews is alternately lauded as humane and generous, or denounced as
arrogant and cruel, according to the sympathies or the point of view of
the critic. His imprisonment and attempted disgrace have been made the
theme of indignant comment and of extenuating apology. His moral
character and marital relations are subjects of irreconcilable
differences of judgment. His deep religious bias, so manifest in nearly
all his writings, has been praised as a mark of exalted merit by some
writers, and stigmatized by others as cant and superstition. The last
resting-place of his bones, even, is in doubt, which it required an
elaborate investigation by the Royal Academy of History of Madrid to
solve in favor of Havana, as against the cathedral of Santo Domingo;
though its report is still controverted, and M. A. Pinart has proved to
the satisfaction of many that a misprision took place and that the true
remains of Columbus still rest at Santo Domingo. The movement to
canonize the great discoverer has been championed with more zeal than
discretion by some over-ardent churchmen, while the too-evident human
frailties of the proposed candidate for the honors of sainthood have
inspired an abundant caution in the councils of the Vatican.

On a subject fraught with so much inherent difficulty, contradictory
evidence, and conflict of opinion, he is on the safest ground who
candidly holds his judgment in reserve. In the light of the
keenly-sifted evidence which modern critical study has brought to bear,
the laudatory judgments of Irving and Prescott, rendered sixty years
ago, cannot stand wholly approved.

Neither can a discerning reader accept the fulsome laudations of his
principal French biographer, Roselly de Lorgues, whose rhetorical
panegyrics and pious eulogies place its author in the front rank of the
canonizers.

On the other hand, those who have taken the unfavorable view of
Columbus, have done their utmost to divest him of most of the honors
which the general voice of history has assigned him as America's
greatest discoverer. The established fact that parts of North America
were seen centuries before, though no permanent settlement nor
continuity of intercourse ensued, has been used to discredit him, though
he was undeniably the pioneer who set out with a plan to discover, and
did discover by design, what others found only by accident. His
geographical ideas were derived, they say, from Behaim and Toscanelli;
his nautical skill from Pinzon; his certainty of finding new lands from
Alonzo Sanchez; his courage and daring from some of his fellow-voyagers.

We are pointed to his double reckoning on his first voyage, by which he
deceived his sailors as to their true distance from Spain, as evidence
of a false nature. He is charged with ambition, cupidity, and arrogance,
in demanding titles, dignities, and money as fruits of his discoveries.
He was, we are told, a fanatic, a visionary, a tyrant, a buccaneer, a
liar, and a slave-trader. He was proud, cruel, and vindictive.

What manner of man, then, was this Columbus, with whose name the trump
of fame has been busy so long? As to his person, we have no verified
portrait, while the likenesses (of all periods) claiming to represent
his features, present irreconcilable differences. But here is the
description of him given by Herrera: "Columbus was tall of stature,
long-visaged, of a majestic aspect, his nose hooked, his eyes gray, of a
clear complexion, somewhat ruddy. He was witty and pleasant, well-spoken
and eloquent, moderately grave, affable to strangers, to his own family
mild. His conversation was discreet, which gained him the affection of
those he had to deal with, and his presence attracted respect, having an
air of authority and grandeur. He was a man of undaunted courage and
high thoughts, patient, unmoved in the many troubles and adversities
that attended him, ever relying on the Divine Providence." Gomara
describes him as "a man of good height, strong-limbed, with a long
countenance, fresh and rosy in aspect, somewhat given to anger, hardy in
exposure to fatigues."

Benzoni says that Columbus was "a man of exalted intellect, of a
pleasant and ingenuous countenance."

Bernaldez, the historian of Ferdinand and Isabella, who knew him
intimately in his later years, says "he was a man of very lofty genius,
and of marvellously honored memory."

[Illustration: Columbus ridiculed at the Council of Salamanca.]

With these personal characteristics, Columbus united a restless spirit,
a firm will, and a singularly enthusiastic temperament. The latter
faculty gave him a consuming zeal for his undertakings, which was as
rare as it proved ultimately successful in compassing his great
discovery. He was discouraged by no rebuffs, would take no denials. His
motto seemed to be never to despair, and never to let go. His spiritual
nature was as remarkable as his intellectual. Here, his imagination was
the predominant faculty. He firmly believed himself divinely
commissioned to find out the Indies, and to bring their inhabitants into
the fold of the true faith. He had early vowed to devote the profits of
his enterprise, if successful, to rescue the tomb of Christ from the
infidels. Himself a devout son of the Church, he fervently believed that
he had miraculous aid on many perilous occasions of his life. Humble
before God, he was sufficiently proud and independent before men. He
insisted upon conditions with the haughty sovereigns of Spain which they
deemed exacting, but the high views and tenacity of Columbus carried the
day, and his own terms were granted at last. He never forgot, in all his
subsequent trials and humiliations, that he was a Spanish admiral, and
Viceroy of the Indies.

Such was the character of Columbus. Let us now look at his environment,
which in all men contributes so much to make or modify character. Born
in Genoa, the headquarters in that day of navigation, Columbus early
imbibed a passion for maritime affairs. His youthful days and nights
were given to the study of astronomy and of navigation. He was a trained
sailor and map-maker from his boyhood. He brooded over the problems
involved in the spherical form of the earth. He caught up all the hints
and allusions in classical and mediæval writers that came in his way, of
other lands than those already known. The Atlantis of Plato, and the
clear prediction in Seneca of another world in the west, fired his
imagination. He himself tells us that he voyaged to the Ultima Thule of
his day, which was Iceland, besides various expeditions in the Atlantic
and Mediterranean.

The early fancies of isles in the western sea loomed up before his eyes,
and repeated themselves in his dreams. These visions were heightened by
that vague sense of wonder that is linked with the unknown. No wonder,
then, that Columbus, with a bent almost preternatural toward the
undiscovered regions of the globe, should dream of new lands, new men,
new scenery, and new wealth. But to his vivid imagination dreams became
realities, until he believed with all the force of his ardent nature
that he was divinely commissioned to be a discoverer. Hitherto the
Portuguese voyages familiar to Columbus had only skirted the coast of
Africa, and discovered the Cape Verde Islands and the Azores. It was not
till 1486, years after the idea of his western voyage took firm root in
his mind, that the Cape of Good Hope was at last doubled by Vasco da
Gama. All voyages prior to his had been only tentative and brief, slowly
creeping from headland to headland, or else finding new islands by being
drifted out of courses long familiar to mariners.

It was the supreme merit of Columbus that he was the first to cut loose
from one continent to find another, and to steer boldly across an
unknown sea, in search of an unknown world. We need not belittle (still
less need we deny) the finding of Greenland and of other parts of North
America by the Norsemen in the ninth and tenth centuries. We may hail
Eric the Red and his stout son, Leif Ericson, as pioneers in what may be
termed coasting voyages of discovery. But the story of America gains as
little from these shadowy and abortive voyages as civilization has
gained from their fruitless results.

On the first voyage of Columbus, he was more fortunate in the uncertain
elements which always affect sea voyages so overpoweringly than in some
of his later ones. His own vessel, with single deck, was about ninety
feet long, by a breadth of twenty feet. The Pinta, a faster sailer, and
the Nina (or "baby") were smaller caravels, and without decks, commanded
respectively by the brothers Martin and Vicente Pinzon. The three
vessels carried ninety persons, sailing September 6, 1492, running first
south to the Canaries, and then stretching straight westward on the
twenty-eighth parallel for what the admiral believed to be the coast of
Japan. Delightful weather favored the voyagers, but when, on the tenth
day out from Spain, the caravels struck into that wonderful stretch of
seaweed and grass, known as the Sargasso Sea, fear lest they should run
aground or soon be unable to sail in either direction took possession of
the crews. In five days the caravels ran into smooth water again. But as
their distance from Spain grew greater, the spirit of protest and mutiny
grew louder. Columbus needed all of his invincible constancy and
firmness of purpose to quell and to animate his despairing crews. At
last, October 21, 1492--day ever memorable in the annals of this
world--the unknown land rose from the bosom of the water. It was named
by its pious discoverer San Salvador--Holy Saviour. The charm of climate
and of landscape enchanted all, and fear and despondency gave way to
delight and joy and the most extravagant anticipations. The subsequent
history of this first voyage, the wreck of the admiral's flag-ship Santa
Maria, the base desertion of Pinzon, and his baffled attempt to
forestall Columbus in the credit of the discovery, the triumphal honors
paid to the successful admiral, and the pope's bull conferring upon
Spain all lands west of a meridian one hundred leagues from the
Azores--all this is familiar to most readers. The actual discoveries of
the first voyage included Cuba and Hispaniola (or Haiti), with some
little islands of the Bahama group, of small importance.

On his second voyage Columbus found no difficulty in collecting
seventeen ships and 1,500 adventurers, so popular had the new way to the
Indies become when the way was once found. He set sail six months after
his return to Spain, or on September 15, 1493. He returned in June,
1496, after three years of explorations, interrupted by a long illness,
and having discovered Jamaica, Porto Rico, Santa Cruz, Antigua,
Montserrat, Dominica, and Guadaloupe.

The third voyage began May 30, 1498, and embraced six vessels and 200
men. Columbus struck southwestward from the Cape Verde Islands and ran
nearly to the equator, into a region of torrid heat, discovering
Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, and the Gulf of Paria, and making his first
landing on the continent, at the Pearl Coast, near the mouth of the
Orinoco, in what is now Venezuela. This voyage witnessed many
disasters--the rebellion of Roldan, the severe prostration of the
admiral by fever, and his seizure and imprisonment in chains by the
infamous Bobadilla.

The fourth and last voyage of Columbus, with four small caravels and 150
men, was begun May 11, 1502. On this voyage he discovered Martinique and
the coasts of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Veragua, on the mainland,
returning to Spain, after untold disasters and miseries, on November 7,
1504. Then followed the weary struggle of the infirm old voyager to
secure justice and a part of his hard-earned benefits from the crown.
But Isabella had died, and Ferdinand, under the influence of the
hard-hearted and cruel bigot, Fonseca, postponed all the claims of
Columbus. He who had given a world died in poverty, a suppliant for the
means of an honorable existence.

It is easy enough for the writers of the nineteenth century to criticise
the actors of the fifteenth; and learned scholars, sitting in luxurious
easy-chairs in great libraries, can pass swift and severe judgment upon
the acts and motives of Columbus. But let them go back four hundred
years, and divest themselves of the bias which the science of to-day
unconsciously inspires; let them quit the age of steam-engines,
telegraphs, democratic governments, printing-presses, and
Sunday-schools; let them orient themselves, and become Spaniards of
1492, instead of Americans of 1892; let them take the place of
Columbus--if they are gifted with imagination enough among their
manifold endowments to do it; let them think his thoughts, endure his
trials, cherish his resolves, encounter his rebuffs, overcome his
obstacles, launch out on his voyage, govern his mutinous crew, deal with
his savage and hostile tribes, combat the traitors in his camp, suffer
his shipwrecks, struggle with his disappointments, bear the ignominy of
his chains, see his visions, and pray his prayers.

Behold him, launched on his uncertain voyage across the "sea of
darkness," in three little caravels, no larger than the modern yacht,
and far less seaworthy. Watch his devoted and anxious look, his solitary
self-communings, his all-night vigils under the silent stars. See his
motley crew, picked up at random in Palos streets, ignorant,
superstitious, and full of fears, dreading every added mile of the
voyage, and alarmed at the prevalent east winds which they thought would
never permit them to sail back to Spain; so that Columbus, on a contrary
head-wind springing up, thanked God with all the fervency of his pious
soul. Pursue his career in his later expeditions, hampered by the
mutinous vagabonds whom fate had thrust upon him as followers, many of
them desperadoes just out of jail. See his baffled endeavors to maintain
order and discipline among such a crew; to restrain their excesses, curb
their lawless acts of violence, and secure some semblance of decency in
their conduct toward the natives. Many of them, we read, were so given
over to idleness and sloth, that they actually made the islanders beasts
of burden, to carry them on their backs. It is a most unhappy fact that
the missionaries of the cross were often accompanied by bands of
miscreants, who wantonly broke every commandment in the decalogue and
trampled upon every precept of the gospel. See him in his last voyage,
beating about the rocks and shoals of an unknown archipelago, overtaken
by West India hurricanes, almost engulfed in waterspouts, scudding under
bare poles amid perilous breakers, blinded by lightning, deafened by
incessant peals of thunder, his crazy little barks tossed about like
cockle-shells in the raging waves, his anchors lost, his worm-eaten
vessels as full of holes as a honey-comb, two caravels abandoned, and
the two remaining run ashore at Jamaica, where Columbus built huts on
their decks to shelter his forlorn crew. See him stranded here, pressed
by hunger and want, visited by sickness and almost blindness, burning
with fever under the wilting, fiery heat of the tropics, desolate,
forsaken, infirm, and old. There he lay a whole year without relief,
until the cup of his misery was full.

If Columbus was sometimes harsh and cruel, we are to remember that he
lived in an age when the most cruel and barbarous punishments were
common. There are numerous instances of his clemency both to natives and
to his revolted Spaniards, and he more than once jeopardized his own
life by sparing theirs. Among a treacherous and vindictive race, many of
whom were continually plotting for his overthrow, the admiral, endowed
with full power over the lives and acts of his followers, was compelled
to make examples of the worst, many of whom were criminals released from
the prisons of Spain. Like other fighters, he met treachery with
treachery, cruelty with cruelty. He had never learned to love his
enemies, nor to turn his cheek for the second blow. Show us the man
invested with absolute power, in that or in any former age, who abused
it less. Try him by the moral standards, not of our humane and
enlightened age, but by those of his own. Compared with the deeds of
darkness that were done by Bobadilla and Ovando, the governors who
replaced him, the reign of Columbus appears, even at its worst, to have
been mild and merciful.

By the side of the atrocities and cruel massacres perpetrated under
Cortes in Mexico, and Pizarro in Peru, the few deeds of blood under
Columbus appear slight indeed. While we have no right to extenuate his
errors and his abuses, we have as little right to hold him to a standard
nowhere set up in his day. He had learned his ethics in a school which
taught that, for great and pious objects, the end justified the means.
In the ardor of his zeal for what he deemed the Christian faith,
Columbus committed many glaring mistakes and errors; but what
over-zealous apostle or reformer has failed to do the same? Columbus was
unduly eager after gold, they say; but in our advanced age, when that
which Virgil called "the accursed hunger for gold" pervades all ranks,
and our cities are nothing but great encampments of fortune-hunters,
does it lie in our mouths to condemn him?

The age of Columbus took him as he was--all full of human imperfections
and frailties, but full also to overflowing with a great idea, and with
a will, a perseverance, a constancy, and a faith so sublime, as fairly
to conquer every obstacle, after a weary struggle of eighteen years, and
to carry forward his arduous enterprise to triumphant success. That the
great discoverer failed as a governor and administrator makes nothing
against his merits as a discoverer. That his light at last went out in
darkness--that the world he discovered brought nothing to Spain but
disappointment and Dead Sea ashes--that he dragged out a miserable old
age in rotten and unseaworthy ships, lying ill in the torrid heats of
the West Indies, racked with excruciating pain, and in absolute penury
and want--all this but adds point to a life so full of paradox that we
may almost pardon him for believing in miracles. After so much glory and
so much fame, his life darkened down to its dreary and pathetic close.
His ardent soul went at last where wicked governments cease from
troubling, and weary mariners are at rest. On May 20, 1506, worn out by
disease, anxieties, and labors, the great discoverer launched forth on
his last voyage of discovery, beyond the border of that unknown land
whose boundaries are hid from mortal ken.

His place among the immortals is secure. By the power of the
unconquerable mind with which nature had endowed him, he achieved a fame
so imperishable that neither the arrows of malice, nor the shafts of
envy, nor the keenest pens of critics, nor the assaults of iconoclasts
can avail to destroy it.

[Signature: A. R. Spofford.]



VASCO DA GAMA[10]

         [Footnote 10: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By Judge ALBION W. TOURGÉE

(1460-1525)

[Illustration: Vasco Da Gama.]


Vasco da Gama was the pet of fortune. Never did a man win immortality
more easily. As a discoverer and a navigator he should rank not only
below Columbus, but also below Bartolemeo Diaz and Cabral among his own
countrymen, as well as Vespucius and Magellan, who carried the Spanish
flag, and the Cabots, who established England's claim to the most
important portions of the New World. As a commander, an administrator,
and ruler of newly discovered regions, however, he ranks easily above
them all. He not only led the way to India, but laid securely the
foundations of Portuguese empire in the East.

Even in the hour of his birth he was fortunate. Prince Henry, surnamed
"the Navigator," to whose indefatigable exertions for more than forty
years was due that impulse to maritime achievement of which the
discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were the result,
had just died, and his influence hung like an inspiration over the
little kingdom for which he had wrought with such self-denying
patience. This grandson of John of Gaunt has received scant credit for
that wonderful series of discoveries by which the accessible earth was
more than quadrupled in extent. Yet without him, there is no reason to
believe that either the coast of Africa would have been explored, the
Cape of Good Hope passed, or the American continents discovered for a
century, at least, perhaps for two or three centuries afterward. He was
the father of discovery, and it was his hand more than any or all others
that rolled up the curtain of darkness which hid the major part of the
habitable globe. All the navigators and discoverers of that marvellous
age were but the agents of his genius and the creatures of his
indefatigable exertion.

The son of the most noted sovereign of Portugal, and grandson of that
rugged Englishman from whose loins have sprung so many royal lines, he
was fitted by descent and training for the heroic part which he
performed. Distinguished for military achievement before he had come to
man's estate, urged by four of the leading sovereigns of Europe to take
command of their armies, and made Grand Master of the Order of Christ
before he was twenty-five, there is hardly any limit to the military
distinction he might have won or the power he might have secured, had he
sought his own advancement.

But he gave himself to Portugal, and determined to raise the little
kingdom his father had so gallantly held against jealous and powerful
neighbors, to the rank of a first-class power. To seek to enlarge a
realm shut in by mountains on one side and the sea upon the other, by
constant strife with embittered enemies, he saw at once was to invite
annihilation. The sea afforded the only avenue of hope, the continent of
Africa, where his father had already gained something from the Moor, in
battling with whom he had himself won renown, the only visible
opportunity. So he determined to explore, and finally, to circumnavigate
Africa, and give to Portugal whatever of power or wealth the ocean or
the dark continent might hide. He believed that India might be reached
by sailing round its southern extremity, and he determined to pour the
wealth of the Orient into the treasury of the kingdom his father had
established.

In 1418, therefore, he turned his back on personal ambition, laid aside
the glory of military renown, and sat himself down to a hermit's life
and a scholar's labors on the promontory of Sagres, in the province of
Algarve, that point on the coast of Portugal which stretches farthest
out into the Atlantic in the direction of his hope. Here he built an
observatory whose light was the last his captains saw as they went
forth, and the first to greet them on their return. Here he opened a
school of navigation, and here were trained the discoverers who opened
the way for all who came afterward. Here was not only nourished the
impulse which fired the hearts of Columbus and his contemporaries, but
here was taught the science and here were gathered the facts which
enabled them to achieve success.

Up to that time, Cape Nun had been the boundary of the modern world to
the southward. With infinite patience, Prince Henry labored to convince
his captains that the terrors which they thought lay at the southward of
this point were wholly imaginary. Little by little his caravels crept
down the coast of Africa. Every year he sent out two or three.
Navigators and geographers flocked to his service. In two years he
re-discovered Madeira and Porto Santo, of which latter he afterward made
Perestrello, the father of Columbus's wife, the governor. By 1433 his
ships had reached Cape Bojador; eight years afterward they passed Cape
Blanco; in 1445 they were at the mouth of the Senegal. Still he urged
them on toward that "_thesaurus Arabum et divitia Indiæ_," to which he
set himself the task of opening up the way. The crown of Portugal
assumed all the cost of these expeditions. Gold, ivory, cinnabar,
dye-woods, spices, and slaves, added to the wealth of the kingdom only
to furnish forth new ventures.

He died before the end came, but not until many of the most important
problems of cosmographic condition had been solved. It was known by
actual experience that the "steaming sea" was a myth. Ships had crossed
the equator, and their crews came back to tell of southward-stretching
shadows. Ships were able, it was seen, to sail up the southern slope of
the world as well as down it. Why they did not fall off into space, none
knew, but that they did not was proved. Gravitation was a force whose
laws and character were yet unformulated. The diurnal motion of the
earth was hardly suspected until a hundred years later. But the facts on
which these two fundamental truths are based were being gathered for
Newton and Copernicus. When he died, those whom he had inspired and
instructed continued the work to which he had devoted himself, under the
patronage of his brother Alfonso and his nephew João II.; until, in
1486, Bartholomeo Diaz had sailed two hundred miles to the eastward of
the Cape of Good Hope and returned to assure his sovereign that the way
to India had at length been found.

It was not, however, until Dom Manoel had succeeded to the throne, in
1495, that any successful effort was made to follow up the success which
Diaz had achieved. The way to India was indeed open, but no one seems to
have had sufficient fortitude to undertake so long a voyage in order to
reach it by that route. Dom Manoel had, however, but one idea. He was
not a geographer like his predecessor, João, "the perfect," but he was a
man of action, and determined that the route Prince Henry's navigators
had opened to India should not remain unused. Vasco da Gama was then in
his thirty-fifth year, the handsomest man of his age, of ancient family,
and it is claimed was not without royal blood in his veins. As a soldier
he was trained in the war with Castile; as a navigator he had served
under Prince Henry's best captains. Camoens, the historical poet of
Portugal, declares that he was familiar not only with the recorded
achievements of his predecessors, but with all the regions they had
discovered. Dom João, on the return of Diaz, selected him to command the
fleet he meant to send to follow up this discovery. In the ten years
that elapsed before he actually sailed, it is probable that he had grown
to be not only a better geographer, but also a stronger, more
cool-headed, and reliable man. That he was able to command, those
mutineers who cavilled at his severity during the stormy passage of four
months from Lisbon to Table Bay, found out when they demanded that he
give up trying to reach India and return to Portugal as other captains
had done, at the behest of their crews. He made short work of them, and
in his whole career, so salutary was the lesson, no one under his
command ever again refused to obey his orders.

It was July 8, 1497, when he sailed from Lisbon, and it was not until
December 1st that he left Delagoa Bay, the farthest eastward point which
Diaz had reached, to pass over the actually unknown water that lay
between him and India. Even this could hardly be called "unknown water,"
for Corvilhan, who a dozen years before had made his way overland to
Aden, had sent back to Dom João II. this message:

"Anyone who will persist, is sure to sail around the southernmost point
of Africa, and can then easily make his way up the eastern shore and
across the gulf to India."

Literally were his words fulfilled. With favoring breezes, Gama reached
Malinda early in January, 1498, and securing the services of an Indian
pilot, who had not only sailed hither from Calicut, but seemed as
familiar as Gama himself with compass and astrolabe, he set out boldly
across the Indian Ocean, and in May arrived at Calicut. When we consider
that this latter part of the voyage was with a pilot accustomed to make
the trip in the far more fragile crafts of the Arabs, the boldness of
the undertaking does not seem so apparent to one of our day. Compared
with the voyages of Columbus, Magellan, Vespucius, or Cabral over
absolutely unknown seas, without pilots or charts of any kind, the
passage from Aden to India hardly seems remarkable. Yet upon this the
fame of Gama as an explorer rests, and as has been remarked, "few men
have won fame so easily." His real merit lay in the fact that he did
what so few of his predecessors were able to accomplish, controlled the
mutinous crews, who had after all been the most serious obstacle in the
path of Portugal to the coveted Indian possessions. It is probable that
if Prince Henry had encouraged his captains to exercise greater
severity, the darling object of his life might have been attained before
his death and the birth of the fortunate explorer, whose cheaply-won
fame has obscured his own, even with the king-loving Portuguese.

It would seem as if the capacity to control men, which was so prominent
a characteristic of the "Discoverer of India," was not of a conciliatory
character, for the Zamorin of Calicut received him but coldly, and
before his ships were loaded the difference had ripened into a quarrel,
and he was obliged to cut his way out of the harbor to begin his
homeward voyage. This lack of complaisance on the part of the Zamorin he
attributed, not without reason, to the jealousy of the Arab merchants,
whose swift-sailing dhows crowded the port. Why should they not be
jealous of him who came to take away their immemorial privilege?
Theretofore the treasures of the Orient had reached the western world
only through the hands of the Arab merchants. The dhow and the camel had
been its carriers. Gama had brought the more capacious caravel to bear
them over a new highway to the western consumers. His success meant the
loss of a great part of the business on which the sailors, merchants,
and camel-drivers of Arabia depended for a livelihood. Why should they
not conspire to kill him and destroy his fleet?

His homeward passage was as fortunate as the outward one had been. That
he did not experience the disasters which befell others, was no doubt
largely due to the fact that he foresaw and avoided peril whenever
possible. He was one of those men who, while shrinking from no
unavoidable danger, take no unnecessary risks. He was received with
unprecedented honors when, after two years and two months' absence, his
ships were again anchored in the Tagus. Their rich cargo attested the
rare value of the trade he had opened up. Despite the gold which the
miners of Española were beginning to send to Spain, and the pearls which
had come from Cubagua, the apparent value of the discoveries of Columbus
were as nothing to the boundless wealth which Gama's voyage assured to
Portugal. By the bull of Pope Alexander VI., all lands discovered east
of the meridian of the Azores belonged to the King of Portugal. It was
not only half the world, but that half which was of most inexhaustible
richness, Asia and Africa. Titles and honors and wealth were conferred
upon the fortunate explorer. In consideration perhaps of his royal
extraction, he was permitted to affix the kingly title, "Dom," to his
name. No wonder he was thus honored, when the cargo of one small caravel
loaded with spices, yielded a greater sum than the whole outfit of the
fleet Columbus commanded on his first voyage!

In an incredibly short time, thirteen ships were fitted out, and under
that prince of navigators, Cabral, set sail to secure the results of
Gama's discovery. On him, too, fortune smiled as it rarely has on them
that "go down to the sea in ships." Blown out of his course by
head-winds, his very mishaps ripened into the rarest fortune, for he
discovered Brazil, and thus added to his master's realm what was
destined to be one of the richest kingdoms of the world. With the
instinct of genius, and a courage as rare as it was heroic, he did not
return to notify his king of the new continent which had risen out of
the deep before him, but sending back a single caravel with the
marvellous news, he turned his battered prows to that point of the
compass where he judged the Cape of Good Hope to be, and after passing
three thousand miles of water that had never known a keel before, he
rounded the southern point of Africa and proceeded to carry out his
orders. He lacked, however, the soldierly qualities and administrative
power of the "Discoverer of India," who the year after his return was
sent out to complete his work. This time he had a fleet of twenty sail,
and from the outset was bent not only on taking permanent possession of
the countries whose trade it was desirable to secure, but on avenging
the affront that had before been offered him by the Zamorin of Calicut
and the Arab traders who had inspired the action.

On his way he founded the colonies of Mozambique and Sofala, and sailed
to Travancore. During the passage he fell in with a ship which was
carrying many Indian Mussulmans to Mecca, laden with rich presents for
the shrine of the Prophet. This he pillaged and burned, with all of her
300 passengers except twenty women and children, whom he saved more for
his own pleasure, no doubt, than from any pity for them. He excused this
act of savagery, so far as any excuse was necessary, on the ground that
they were paynim Moors, and some among them had incited the attack upon
him at Calicut on his former voyage. The truth is they were rich; he
wanted the plunder; and there was less likelihood of trouble if he
killed them than if they were left alive to publish and avenge their
losses. It was merely an application of the freebooter's maxim, that
"dead men tell no tales."

Arriving at Calicut, he found that forty Portuguese who had been left to
establish a permanent post, had been killed. With unusual deliberation,
he investigated the matter and demanded reparation, submission, and a
treaty acknowledging the sovereignty of Portugal over India. This being
refused, he bombarded the city, burned the ships in the harbor, and
compelled the Zamorin himself and all the native princes of the region
to submit and acknowledge themselves feudatories of Portugal. So rapid
were his movements, and so accurate his calculations, that before the
close of 1503 he had reached Lisbon again with thirteen vessels laden to
the gunwale with the plunder of the Orient--by all odds the richest
argosy that had come to any European port since the days of the Romans.

Da Gama was now forty-three years old, and must have been in the very
prime of manhood. Why so skilled a navigator, so intrepid a commander,
so shrewd a negotiator, and so successful an administrator, who had
established the power of Portugal from Delagoa Bay to Calcutta, should,
at that period of his life, have been laid upon the shelf for twenty
years, is a conundrum hard to answer. Knowing the character of Dom
Manoel, it is not difficult to guess that his sordidness lay somewhere
at the bottom of the trouble; but it is said to Gama's credit, that he
neither whined nor remonstrated.

It must be admitted, however, that he was succeeded by one who was
greatly his superior both as a general, a statesman, and an
administrator. If Vasco da Gama laid the foundations of Portuguese
empire in the East, Alfonso d'Albuquerque, "the Great," broadened and
built upon them as he could never have done. From Aden to Cochin blood
flowed beneath his blows, but peace followed; and though he was termed
"the Portuguese Mars," his justice became traditional, and his sagacity
was shown in the permanence of the settlements he made, even under the
incompetent viceroys who followed him.

It was twenty years since Vasco da Gama had commanded a ship.
Albuquerque was dead, and his successors had brought shame and defeat
upon the Portuguese power in the East. Dom Manoel was dead also, and
whatever grievance he had against "the Discoverer of India," seems to
have died with him. His successor, Dom João III., casting about for
someone to bring order out of confusion, success out of failure, and
honor out of shame, called again into his service the courtly and
sagacious mariner, now over sixty years of age; and conferring upon him
the title of viceroy, sent him to retrieve the prestige his successors
had lost. His high spirit was yet undaunted, and when he neared the
coast of India and found the waters in a strange ferment for which no
one could account, as there was neither wind nor tide, he said loftily:
"The sea beholds its conqueror and trembles before him!" It sounds
bombastic, but in the mouth of one who had first guided a civilized keel
over its surface, such arrogance is at least pardonable.

In the few months that intervened before his death he made the power of
Portugal once more respected in the East. When he died in Cochin, in
1525, he was mourned by the natives as a just ruler, and by his
countrymen as one who had saved to Portugal the richest part of the
national domain. It is not strange, therefore, that when his ashes were
conveyed to Lisbon, they were received with a pomp almost equal to that
which greeted him when he came as the discoverer of the Orient and its
priceless treasures. It is rare in history that one receives two
triumphs, the one while living and the other when dead, especially in
connection with the same achievement; but it is rarer still that one who
has won immortality should leave a record so singularly free from
bickering and strife as that of the dignified and self-contained
Portuguese rival of Columbus, Dom Vasco da Gama, the "Discoverer and
Sixth Viceroy of India, Count of Vidigueira," where he lies entombed.
Little is known of his private life; but there seems no doubt that it
was free from the stains that obscure his great rival's fame, from whom
he also differed in the fact that he neither begged nor boasted, and in
old age was honored even more than in his prime.

[Signature: Albion W. Tourgée.]



THE CHEVALIER BAYARD

By HERBERT GREENHOUGH SMITH

(1476-1524)

[Illustration: The Chevalier Bayard.]


Pierre Du Terrail was born in 1476, at Castle Bayard, in Dauphiny. The
house of Terrail belonged to the Scarlet of the ancient peers of France.
The Lords of Bayard, during many generations, had died under the flags
of battle. Poictiers, Agincourt, and Montlhéry had taken, in succession,
the last three; and in 1479, when Pierre was in his nurse's arms, his
father, Aymon du Terrail, was carried from the field of Guinegate with a
frightful wound, from the effects of which, although he survived for
seventeen years to limp about his castle with the help of sticks, he
never again put on his shirt of mail.

The old knight was thus debarred from bringing up his son as his own
squire. But the Bishop of Grenoble, his wife's brother, was a close
friend of Charles the Warrior, the great Duke of Savoy. When Pierre was
in his fourteenth year it was proposed that he should begin his knightly
education among the pages of the duke. The bishop promised to present
him. A little horse was bought; a tailor was set to work to make a
gorgeous suit of silk and velvet; and Pierre was ready to set out.

During six months the palace of Charles became his home. The lovable and
handsome boy soon won all hearts about him. The duke with delight saw
him leap and wrestle, throw the bar, and ride a horse better than any
page about the court. The duchess and her ladies loved to send him on
their dainty missions. His temper was bright and joyous; his only fault,
if fault it can be called, was an over-generosity of nature. His purse
was always empty; and when he had no money, any trifling service of a
lackey or a groom would be requited with a silver button, a dagger, or a
clasp of gold. And such was to be his character through life. Time after
time, in after years, his share of treasure, after some great victory,
would have paid a prince's ransom; yet often he could not lay his hand
on five gold pieces.

When Pierre had lived at the palace about half a year, the duke made a
visit to Lyons, to pay his duty to the king. That king was Charles the
Eighth, then a boy of twenty, who was making his days fly merrily with
tilts and hawking parties, and his nights with dances and the whispers
of fair dames. The duke desired to carry with him to his sovereign a
present worthy of a king's acceptance. A happy notion struck him. He
resolved to present the king with Bayard and his horse.

King Charles, delighted with his new page, placed him in the palace of
Lord Ligny, a prince of the great house of Luxemburg, and there for
three years he continued to reside. During that time his training was
the usual training of a page. But the child was the father of the man.
Thoughts of great deeds, of tilts and battle-fields, of champions going
down before his lance, of crowns of myrtle, and the smiles of lovely
ladies--such already were the dreams which set his soul on fire.

At seventeen Pierre received the rank of gentleman. Thenceforward he was
free to follow his own fortune; he was free to seek the glorious
Dulcinea of his dreams--a fame as bright and sparkling as his sword. And
thereupon begins to pass before us, brilliant as the long-drawn scenes
of a dissolving view, the strange and splendid series of his exploits.
He had not ceased to be a page ten days before the court was ringing
with his name.

Sir Claude de Vauldre, Lord of Burgundy, was regarded as the stoutest
knight in France. He was then at Lyons, and was about to hold a tilt,
with lance and battle-axe, before the ladies and the king. His shield
was hanging in the Ainay meadows, and beside it Montjoy, the
king-at-arms, sat all day with his book open, taking down the names of
those who struck the shield. Among these came Bayard. Montjoy laughed as
he wrote down his name; the king, Lord Ligny, and his own companions,
heard with mingled trepidation and delight that Bayard had struck the
blazon of Sir Claude. But no one had a thought of what was coming. The
day arrived, the tilt was held, and Bayard, by the voice of all the
ladies, bore off the prize above the head of every knight in Lyons.

The glory of this exploit was extreme. It quickly spread. Three days
later Bayard went to join the garrison at Aire. He found, as he rode
into the little town, that the fame of his achievement had arrived
before him. Heads were everywhere thrust out of windows, and a band of
fifty of his future comrades issued on horseback from the garrison to
bid him welcome. A few days after his arrival he held a tilt in his own
person, after the example of Sir Claude. The palms were a diamond and a
clasp of gold. Forty-eight of his companions struck his shield, and rode
into the lists against him. Bayard overthrew the whole band, one by one,
and was once more hailed at sunset by the notes of trumpets as the
champion of the tourney.

It is not in tournaments and tilts, however, that a knight can win his
spurs. Bayard burned for battle. For many months he burned in vain; but
at last the banners of the king were given to the wind, and Bayard, to
his unspeakable delight, found himself marching under Lord Ligny against
Naples.

The two armies faced each other at Fornovo. The odds against the French
were six to one, and the fight was long and bloody. When the great
victory was at last decided, Bayard was among the first of those called
up before the king. That day two horses had dropped dead beneath him;
his cuirass and sword were hacked and battered, and a captured standard,
blazing with the arms of Naples, was in his hand. At the king's order he
knelt down, and received upon the spot the rank of knight. At one bound
he had achieved the height of glory--to be knighted by his sovereign on
the field of battle.

Bayard was not yet nineteen. His figure at that age was tall and
slender; his hair and eyes were black; his complexion was a sunny brown;
and his countenance had something of the eagle's.

He was now for some time idle. He was left in garrison in Lombardy. But
fiercer fields were soon to call him. Ludovico Sforza took Milan. At
Binasco, Lord Bernardino Cazache, one of Sforza's captains, had three
hundred horse; and twenty miles from Milan was Bayard's place of
garrison. With fifty of his comrades he rode out one morning, bent on
assaulting Lord Bernardino's force. The latter, warned by a scout of
their approach, armed his party, and rushed fiercely from the fort. The
strife was fought with fury; but the Lombards, slowly driven back toward
Milan, at length wheeled round their horses and galloped like the wind
into the city.

Bayard, darting in his spurs, waving his bare blade, and shouting out
his battle-cry of "France," was far ahead of his companions. Before he
knew his danger, he had dashed in with the fugitives at the city gates
and reached the middle of the square in front of Sforza's palace. He
found himself alone in the midst of the fierce enemy--with the white
crosses of France emblazoned on his shield.

Sforza, hearing a tremendous uproar in the square, came to a window of
the palace and looked down. The square was swarming with the soldiers
of Binasco, savage, hacked, and bloody; and in the centre of the yelling
tumult, Bayard, still on horseback, was slashing at those who strove to
pull him from his seat.

Sforza, in a voice of thunder, bade the knight be brought before him.
Bayard, seeing that resistance was mere madness, surrendered to Lord
Bernardino, and was led, disarmed, into the palace. Sforza was a soldier
more given to the ferocity than to the courtesies of war. But when the
young knight stood before him, when he heard his story, when he looked
upon his bold yet modest bearing, the fierce and moody prince was moved
to admiration. "Lord Bayard," he said, "I will not treat you as a
prisoner. I set you free; I will take no ransom; and I will grant you
any favor in my power." "My Lord Prince," said Bayard, "I thank you for
your courtesy with all my soul. I will ask you only for my horse and
armor." The horse was brought; Bayard sprang into the saddle, and an
hour later was received by his companions with raptures of surprise and
joy, as one who had come alive out of the lion's den.

Milan fell; Sforza was taken; and Bayard went into garrison at
Monervino. At Andri, some miles distant, was a Spanish garrison under
the command of Don Alonzo de Sotomayor, one of the most famous knights
in Spain. Bayard, with fifty men, rode out one morning, in the hope of
falling in with some adventure. It happened that he came across Alonzo,
with an equal party, abroad on the same quest. Their forces met; both
sides flew joyously to battle, and for an hour the victory hung in the
balance. But at last Bayard, with his own sword, forced Alonzo to
surrender; and his party, carrying with them a large band of prisoners,
rode back in triumph to the garrison.

Sotomayor behaved in most unknightly fashion, and after being ransomed,
accused Bayard of ill-treating him. Bayard sent him the lie, and
challenging him to a duel to the death, slew him. A few days later, the
Spaniards, panting for reprisal, proposed to meet a party of the French
in combat, for the glory of their nations. Bayard received the challenge
with delight. On the appointed day, thirteen knights of either side,
glittering in full harness, armed with sword and battle-axe, and
prepared for a contest to the death, rode forth into the lists.

By the laws of such a tilt a knight unhorsed, or forced across the
boundary, became a prisoner, and could fight no longer. The Spaniards,
with great cunning, set themselves to maim the horses; and by these
tactics, eleven of the French were soon dismounted. Two alone were left
to carry on the contest, Bayard and Lord Orose.

Then followed such a feat of arms as struck the gazers dumb. For four
hours these two held good their ground against the whole thirteen. The
Spaniards, stung with rage and shame, spurred till their heels dripped
blood. In vain. Night fell; the bugles sounded; and still the
unconquerable pair rode round the ring.

But great as this feat was, it was soon to be succeeded by a greater. A
few weeks afterward the French and Spanish camps were posted on opposite
sides of the river Gargliano. Between them was a bridge, in the
possession of the French; and some way farther down the river was a
ford, known only to the Spanish general, Pedro de Paez. He proposed to
lure the French guards from the bridge, and then to seize it. And his
stratagem was ready.

Early in the morning the French soldiers at the bridge were startled to
perceive a party of the enemy, each horseman bearing a foot-soldier on
his crupper, approach the river at the ford and begin to move across it.
Instantly, as Paez had intended, they left the bridge and rushed toward
the spot. Bayard, attended by Le Basque, was in the act of putting on
his armor. He sprang into the saddle, and was about to spur after his
companions, when he perceived, across the river, a party of two hundred
Spaniards making for the bridge. The danger was extreme; for if the
bridge were taken the camp itself would be in the most deadly peril.
Bayard bade Le Basque gallop for his life to bring assistance. And he
himself rode forward to the bridge, alone.

The Spaniards, on seeing a solitary knight advance against them, laughed
loudly at his folly. Their foremost horsemen were already half-way over
when Bayard, with his lance in rest, came flying down upon them. His
onset swept the first three off the bridge into the river, and instantly
the rest, with cries of vengeance, rushed furiously upon him. Bayard,
not to be surrounded, backed his horse against the railing of the
bridge, rose up in his stirrups, swung his falchion with both hands
above his head, and lashed out with such fury that, with every blow a
bloody Spaniard fell into the river, and the whole troop recoiled in
wonder and dismay, as if before a demon. While they still stood,
half-dazed, two hundred glaring at one man, a shout was heard, and Le
Basque, with a band of horsemen, was seen approaching like a whirlwind.
In two minutes the Spaniards were swept back upon the land in hopeless
rout--and the French camp was saved.

Bayard received for this great feat the blazon of a porcupine, with this
inscription, _Unus agminis vires habet_--"One man has the might of
armies."

And still came exploit after exploit in succession--exploits of every
kind of fiery daring. At Genoa, when the town revolted, Bayard stormed
the fort of the insurgents, quelled the riot, forced the city to
surrender, and hanged the leader on a pole. At Agnadello, against the
troops of Venice, he waded with his men through fens and ditches, took
the picked bands of Lord d'Alvicino on the flank, scattered them to the
winds, and won the day. At Padua, during the long siege, he scoured the
country with his band of horse, and frequently rode back to camp at
nightfall with more prisoners than armed men. At Mirandola, where he
faced the papal armies, he laid a scheme to take the Pope himself. A
snowstorm kept the fiery Julius in his tent, and Bayard lost him. A few
days afterward the pontiff's life was in his hands. A traitor offered,
for a purse of gold, to poison the Pope's wine. But it is not the
Bayards of the world who fight with pots of poison; and the slippery
Judas had to fly in terror from the camp, or Bayard would infallibly
have hanged him.

So far, amid his life of perils, Bayard had escaped without a wound. But
now his time had come.

Brescia was taken by the troops of Venice. Gaston de Foix, the
thunderbolt of Italy, marched with 12,000 men to its relief. Bayard was
among them. At the head of the storming-party he was first across the
ramparts, and was turning round to cheer his men to victory when a pike
struck him in the thigh. The shaft broke off, and the iron head remained
embedded in the wound.

Two of his archers caught him as he fell, bore him out of the rush of
battle, and partly stanched the wound by stripping up the linen of their
shirts. They then bore him to a mansion close at hand. The master of the
house, who seems to have been a person of more wealth than valor, had
disappeared, and was thought to be hiding somewhere in a convent,
leaving his wife and his two daughters to themselves. The girls had fled
into a hay-loft, and plunged themselves beneath the hay; but, on the
thunderous knocking of the archers, the lady of the house came trembling
to the door. Bayard was carried in, a surgeon was luckily discovered
close at hand, and the pike-head was extracted. The wound was pronounced
to be not dangerous. But Bayard, to his great vexation, found he was
doomed to lie in idleness for several weeks.

According to the laws of war, the house was his, and all the inmates
were his prisoners. And the fact was well for them. Outside the house
existed such a scene of horror as, even in that age, was rare. Ten
thousand men lay dead in the great square; the city was given up to
pillage, and it is said that the conquerors gorged themselves that day
with booty worth three million crowns. The troops were drunk with
victory and rapine. No man's life, no woman's honor, was in safety for
an instant.

Bayard set his archers at the door-way. His name was a talisman against
the boldest; and in the midst of the fierce tumult that raged all round
it, the house in which he lay remained a sanctuary of peace.

The ladies of the house were soon reassured. Bayard refused to regard
them as his prisoners or to take a coin of ransom. The daughters, two
lovely and accomplished girls, were delighted to attend the wounded
knight. They talked and sang to him, they touched the mandolin, they
woke the music of the virginals. In such society the hours flew lightly
by. The wound healed, and in six weeks Bayard was himself again.

On the day of his departure the lady of the house came into his
apartment, and besought him, as their preserver, to accept a certain
little box of steel. The box contained two thousand five hundred golden
ducats. Bayard took it. "But five hundred ducats," he said, "I desire
you to divide for me among the nuns whose convents have been pillaged."
Then, turning to her daughters, "Ladies," he said, "I owe you more than
thanks for your kind care of me. Soldiers do not carry with them pretty
things for ladies; but I pray each of you to accept from me a thousand
ducats, to aid your marriage portions." And with that he poured the
coins into their aprons.

[Illustration: Bayard taking Leave of the Ladies of Brescia.]

His horse was brought, and he was about to mount, when the girls came
stealing down the steps into the castle court, each with a little
present, worked by their own hands, which they desired him to accept.
One brought a pair of armlets, made of gold and silver thread; the
other, a purse of crimson satin. And this was all the spoil that Bayard
carried from the inestimable wealth of Brescia--the little keepsakes of
two girls whom he had saved.

The scenes of Bayard's life at which we have been glancing have been
chiefly those of his great feats of arms. And so it must be still; for
it is these of which the details have survived in history. And yet it
was such incidents as these at Brescia which made the fame of Bayard
what it was and what it is. To his foes, he was the flower of chivalry;
but to his friends, he was, besides, the most adored of men. It is said
that in his native province of Dauphiny, at his death, more than a
hundred ancient soldiers owed to him the roof that covered their old
age; that more than a hundred orphan girls had received their marriage
portions from his bounty. But of such acts the vast majority are
unrecorded; for these are not the deeds which shine in the world's eye.

Gaston de Foix was now before Ravenna. Bayard rode thither with all
speed; he was just in time. Two days after his arrival came the battle.
Weak though he still was from his long illness, Bayard on that day was
seen, as ever, "shining above his fellow-men." He turned the tide of
victory; he tore two standards from the foe with his own hand; and he
was first in the pursuit.

Two months after, Bayard was at Pavia. The little troop with which he
was then serving had there sought refuge under Louis d'Ars. The armies
of the Swiss burst in upon them. Bayard, with a handful of soldiers in
the market-place, held, for two hours, their whole force at bay, while
his companions were retreating from the town across a bridge of boats.
As he himself was crossing, last of all, a shot struck him in the
shoulder, and stripped it to the bone. No surgeon was at hand. The
wound, roughly stanched with moss, brought on a fever, and for some time
he lay in danger of his life.

And now Bayard was to follow a new master. Louis XII. died; Francis I.
received the crown; and Bayard, with the young king, marched to Milan,
which the Swiss had seized and held.

On Thursday, September 13, 1515, King Francis pitched his camp at
Marignano, before the city of the spires. No danger of attack was
apprehended; the king sat calmly down to supper in his tent; when all at
once the Swiss, aroused to madness by the fiery eloquence of Cardinal de
Sion, broke like a tempest from the city, and fell upon the camp. The
French, by the red light of sunset, flew to arms, and fought with fury
till night fell. Both armies sat all night on horseback, waiting for the
dawn; and with the first streaks of morning, flew again to battle. It
was noon before the bitter contest ended, and the Swiss, still fighting
every inch of ground, drew slowly back toward the city. It had been,
indeed, as Trevulzio called it, a Battle of the Giants. And the greatest
of the giants had been Bayard and the king.

That evening Francis held, before his tent, the ceremony of creating
knights of valor. But before the ceremony began, a proclamation by the
heralds startled and delighted all the camp. Francis had determined to
receive the rank in his own person. Bayard was to knight the king!

In the days of the primeval chivalry, when even princes were compelled
to win their spurs, such a spectacle was not uncommon. But not for ages
had a king been knighted by a subject on a field of battle. Nor was any
splendor wanting that could make the spectacle impressive. Nowhere in
Ariosto is a picture of more gorgeous details than is presented by this
scene of history; the great crimson silk pavilion, the seat spread with
cloth of gold, the blazoned banners, the heralds with their silver
trumpets, the multitude all hushed in wonder, the plumed and glittering
company of knights and men-at-arms. Such were the surroundings amid
which Francis knelt, and Bayard, with his drawn sword, gave the
accolade.

The sword with which he had performed the ceremony Bayard kept
religiously until his death. It was then mislaid, and never
rediscovered. The loss is a misfortune. For few relics could exist of
more romantic interest than the sword with which the noblest of all
knights did honor to the most magnificent of kings.

Bayard's glory had long been at such a height that hardly any exploit
could increase it. And yet an exploit was at hand at which, even when
Bayard was the actor of it, all France and Germany were to stand in
wonder.

The German emperor, marching with a mighty army on Champagne, took
Monson by surprise, and advanced against Mézières. If Mézières were
taken, the whole province would be in the most deadly peril. And yet
defence seemed hopeless; the place had no artillery, and the ramparts
were in ruins. At this crisis Bayard volunteered to hold the crazy city.
"No walls are weak," he said, in his own noble style, "which are
defended by brave men."

With a small but chosen band he hastened to Mézières. Two days after his
arrival the Count of Nassau, with a vast array of men and cannon,
appeared before the walls. The siege began--a siege which seemed
impossible to last twelve hours.

But day after day went by, and still the town was standing. Every day
the ramparts gaped with cannon-shot; but every night, as if by miracle,
they rose again. The defenders suffered from wounds, pestilence, and
famine; but Bayard had put every man on oath to eat his horse, and then
his boots, before he would surrender. Three weeks passed; and when at
last the king arrived with forces to relieve the town, he found a few
gaunt spectres still glaring defiance from the battered ramparts against
a hundred cannon and more than forty thousand men.

Nothing can more strikingly describe the part of Bayard than the
testimony of his enemies themselves. Some time after, Mary of Hungary
asked the Count of Nassau in disdain how it came to pass that with a
host of troops and guns he could not take a crazy pigeon-house.
"Because," replied the count, "there was an eagle in it."

It was Bayard's last great exploit. It had been his lifelong wish that
he might fall upon the field of battle. And so it was to be.

Early in the spring of 1524, the French camp was posted at Biagrasso.
Lord Bonnivet, who was in command, found himself, after a prolonged
resistance, at last compelled by famine and sickness to retire before
the Spaniards. It was Bayard's constant custom to be first in an
advance and last in retreat, and that day he was, as usual, in the post
of danger. It was for the last time. Friends and enemies were to hear,
before night fell, the thrilling tidings that Bayard was no more.

On both sides of the road which the retreating army had to traverse the
Spaniards had placed in ambush a large force of arquebusiers. It was a
weapon which Bayard held in detestation; for while skill and courage
were required to wield a spear or sword, any skulking wretch could pull
a trigger from behind a stone. From one of these hated weapons he
received his death. As he was retreating slowly with his face toward the
foe, a stone from a cross-arquebus struck him on the side. He instantly
sank forward on his saddle-bow, exclaiming in a faint voice, "Great God!
I am killed."

His squire helped him from his horse, and he was laid beneath a tree.
His spine was broken in two places; and he felt within himself that he
was dying. He took his sword, and kissed the cross-hilt, murmuring aloud
the Latin prayer, "_Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam
tuam_."

The Spaniards were approaching. His friends made some attempt to raise
him and to bear him from the field. But the least movement made him
faint with agony; and he felt that all was vain. He charged his
companions, as they loved him, to turn his face toward the enemy, and to
retire into a place of safety; and he sent, with his last breath, his
salutation to the king. With breaking hearts they did as he desired, and
he was left alone.

When the Spaniards reached the spot, they found him still alive, but
sinking fast. The conduct of Lord Pescara, the Spanish general, toward
his dying foe, was worthy of a great and noble knight. He bade his own
pavilion to be spread above him; cushions were placed beneath his head;
and a friar was brought, to whom he breathed his last confession. As he
was uttering the final words, his voice faltered, and his head fell. The
friar looked upon his face--and saw that all was over.



GUSTAVUS VASA[11]

         [Footnote 11: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By CHARLES F. HORNE

(1496-1560)


Three or four hundred years ago the little country of Denmark was of
much greater importance than it is to-day. It had the mightiest navy in
the world, and its rule over the seas was undisputed. Its appearance on
the map was also very different then, for it not only extended over much
of the German territory now surrounding it, but also held all Norway as
a province. Sweden, too, though often rebelling, and being punished with
terrible cruelty, was, up to the year 1523, a dependency of the Danish
crown.

Naturally the Danes rather looked down on the conquered Swedes, and made
them the subject of many rude jests and taunts. There was in the
beginning of the sixteenth century at the great Danish university at
Upsala a Swedish boy, who with the rest of his countrymen must have
suffered many such insults. His proud, brave, little heart rebelled
against this treatment; and one day, when his teacher had driven him
beyond endurance with his severe punishments and bitter sneers, the boy
snatched out his little sword and plunged it straight through the
master's book. "I will teach you something, too," he cried; "teach you
that the Swedes are no cowards, for some day I will gather them together
and treat every Dane in Sweden as I do your book." Then he rushed out of
the school, never to return.

[Illustration: Gustavus Vasa.]

Many lads have, in some moment of passion made big boasts of what they
would do "some day." Few ever made so tremendous a vaunt; fewer still
ever so completely fulfilled their threats; and, perhaps, no one ever
struggled so patiently, so nobly, nor against such tremendous obstacles
before the goal was reached, as did this angry little Swede, known to
history as Gustavus Vasa. He was born in 1496, and was the oldest son of
Sir Eric Johansson, governor of a little group of islands in the Gulf of
Bothnia. Returning home after his precipitate flight from school,
Gustavus grew up under the eye of his stalwart father, who trained him
to be not only a strong and a shrewd man, but also a good one.

Sent at the age of eighteen to the court of Svante Sture, the regent
governing Sweden, he threw himself eagerly into the great war for
freedom which his countrymen had begun under that mighty leader. This
struggle was so far successful that four years later King Christian, of
Denmark, utterly defeated on land and with his fleet in sore danger
anchored off Stockholm, and proposed a peace. He asked that hostages be
sent to remain on his ships, while he was on shore arranging the treaty.
This was readily agreed to, and the hostages went on board without a
thought of evil, the king having guaranteed their safe return. Young
Vasa, although only twenty-two, had already gained such prominence among
the patriots as to be one of those selected for this duty. Just as he
and his companions reached the ships, the wind, which had hitherto blown
from such a direction that King Christian was unable to leave the
harbor, suddenly changed, and the king as promptly changing his plans,
hoisted sail and fled from Stockholm, carrying with him, as prisoners,
the hostages whom he was bound in honor to respect. But this grim and
cruel old king never at any time let himself be checked by his promised
word; and now he seriously considered slaying these men as rebels and
traitors. Finally he concluded to hold them as prisoners.

Gustavus was placed for safe keeping in the castle of Eric Bauer, a
Jutland noble, where he remained for two years. He lived on the very
poorest food, and far worse, had to endure taunts a hundred times more
bitter than those of his old school days, from the young nobles about
him. Worse still, he learned from them that King Christian was gathering
another and greater army with which to utterly crush the rebellious
Swedes; and he could neither warn his countrymen nor raise a finger to
give them help. But his courage and patience never failed him. Through
all that weary time he was always planning and watching for a chance to
escape. At last it came. Deceived by his apparent indifference his
jailers permitted him to ride, and even to hunt with them, but always
under a careful watch. One day, however, the hunt grew so exciting that
everyone forgot Gustavus and rode hard and fast after the game. He saw
his opportunity, and rode hardest and fastest of all. Soon he was first
in the race; but he did not stop when he reached the captured deer.
There was no one in sight and he hurried on faster than ever. When his
horse gave out he pressed forward on foot, and nightfall found him forty
miles from the castle. He astonished a countryman by trading clothes
with him; and the next day, thus disguised, he hired himself to a drover
to help him drive a herd of cattle to the great German city of Lubeck.
Probably no cattle had ever been so driven before. Our hero knew well
that the pursuit would be fast and furious, and he kept the herd almost
on a steady run. The old drover was in a perpetual state of amazement;
he did not know whether to regard his new assistant as a madman or as
the most valuable hand he had ever hired. Gustavus never let the poor
old fellow rest a moment; he had to eat his meals as he walked, and even
to totter along half asleep. At last animals and men reached Lubeck, all
badly worn out, but safe, for Lubeck was a free city and a powerful one,
and when, an hour later, the enraged Eric Bauer galloped up to its great
gates, he knew that his prisoner was beyond his reach, and that unless
he could persuade the citizens to give him up there was no chance of
recapturing him.

The citizens did not give Gustavus up. He and his jailer were brought
face to face before the City Council to argue their case. When Eric said
his prisoner had broken his word in escaping, Gustavus related how the
king had broken his in the capture. When Eric threatened them all with
his master's wrath, the shrewd old burghers laughed. They knew King
Christian had other things to keep him busy enough, and that he would
think twice before attacking their great league of cities. Besides, this
young man had already shown that he could do great things, and, as one
of the Council said, "Who knows what he may win if we send him home." So
Eric was forced to leave without his captive; and after some delay,
during which he was treated with high honor, Gustavus was sent home by
the kind Lubeckers with the promise to help him, if need be, with both
men and money.

Indeed Sweden needed all the help she could get just then; but it did
not seem as though one man could do much for her. King Christian had
carried out his threats, and landing with a great army, defeated the
brave Sture and spread terror and destruction through all the land. The
tale of his cruelty and treacheries belongs rather to the history of
Sweden than of Gustavus. Enough to say that, having by promises of
peace and pardon got all the leading Swedes into his power, he had them
murdered, and then he and his soldiers went on slaying the common people
right and left in mere wanton savagery. All the surviving nobles were in
his pay; the least suspicion of an uprising was crushed with an iron
hand, the least murmur of discontent brought death. Never had Sweden
seemed more helpless in the power of the Danes.

To this unhappy country came Gustavus Vasa, and at once he was declared
an outlaw, and a great price was offered for his head; for the king knew
that here survived one man whom he could neither terrify nor bribe. One
castle still held out against the besieging Danes, and for this Gustavus
set out. But its defenders were disheartened by their hopeless position,
and were almost on the point of surrender. They answered angrily to his
brave words, and he left them to try and rouse the peasantry all over
the land.

Now began for him such a period of danger, sorrow, and privation, as few
men could have endured and lived. The land was filled with Danes eager
for his capture. The peasants were timid and disheartened. To his
passionate patriotic appeal they answered only, "We have salt and
herring still. If we rebel we will lose them too." Often they drove him
away with stones. Sometimes his own countrymen would have slain him for
the promised reward. At length it was no longer possible for him to
remain in Southern Sweden, and with a single servant he fled to the
highlands of Dalecarlia, a province in the north. From this on his life
reads like some wild romance of adventure. He had the grim courage and
grit and perseverance of a bull-dog. Nothing could dishearten him in his
seemingly hopeless and insane resolve to raise the Swedes once more
against Christian.

He found as much devotion in some places, as he did treachery in others.
Having crossed a ferry in advance of his servant, this latter rode off
with their small stock of money. Gustavus plunged his horse into the
river, and riding back after the faithless servitor, pursued him all day
straight back into the enemy's country, until the terrified thief,
abandoning horse and money and all, fled into the woods. Gustavus
recovered his property and pursued his course. The Danes swarmed into
Dalecarlia after him. He disguised himself as a woodcutter, and lived as
such. One day he met in the woods a giant Dalesman named Liss Lars, and,
as they were chatting together, a great bear attacked Gustavus. After a
fierce battle Lars slew the brute with a blow of his axe. The two
woodcutters became friends, and Lars got his companion a place under the
same master as himself, where Gustavus remained a whole winter
unsuspected. Often he himself was questioned by the Danish spies,
hunting for the now famous Vasa.

[Illustration: Abdication of Gustavus Vasa.]

Once there was like to have been trouble between the two friends, for
Lars loved a maiden at the farm, who out of coquetry often smiled at
Gustavus, until the giant Dalesman became terribly jealous. One day when
she brought them their noon-day ale, she handed it first to Gustavus,
who, after drinking, returned it with a pleasant word and a pat on the
cheek. With a roar like a mad bull, Lars rushed on his comrade and
seized him in his giant arms. As he did so he saw around his neck the
embroidered collar worn by the Swedish nobility. The astounded Dalesman
staggered back, pointing to it. "Either thou art a thief, or the great
Gustavus himself." "Ay, friend Lars, I am the outlaw Gustavus, son of
Eric. Now, wilt thou hand me over to the Danes, or smash my head against
the floor, as just now thou seemedest minded?" "I will swear eternal
fealty to thee," cried Lars; "and if thou raisest the standard of
revolt, I will be the first to join."

Soon, however, even this retired spot became too unsafe, and Gustavus
fled farther north. Once an old schoolmate offered him shelter, and
then, while Gustavus slept, rode away to get help to capture him. But
the housewife, suspecting her husband's treachery, roused Gustavus, who
climbed through a window twenty feet from the ground, and escaped on a
horse the good woman had provided.

At another time, by burying himself in a load of hay he was carried past
some Danish soldiers who were searching for him. They thrust their
spears through the hay and then rode on. One of the spears wounded the
hidden man, and, seeing the blood trickle down, the soldiers hurried
back. But the driver had snatched out his knife and given a slight cut
to one of his horses; and when he pointed to this, charging one of them
with having done it, they rode away again laughing at their own
suspicions. In a hundred other equally dangerous situations he escaped
either by his own courage, or by the ready wit of the brave Dalecarlian
peasants; and at last the Danish spies gave up the hunt for him, and
returned to Stockholm.

Then he came forth again, and in ringing words urged the people to
revolt. But though they loved Gustavus, and loved Sweden, yet they held
back in doubt and fear from his daring plans; and so the hero left them,
and went on through the surrounding provinces, telling everywhere of
King Christian's cruelty, and sowing seed which was to ripen later on.
Yet nowhere could he rouse the peasants to action, until word came that
the cruel king had sworn to cut a hand and foot from every man in
Sweden, that they might never revolt again. Now all felt that there was
nothing left but fight. In great haste the Dalecarlians sent after
Gustavus and brought him back. They held a great meeting, and to it came
Gustavus' wood-cutter friend, Liss Lars. He made a great homely speech,
saying, "This Gustavus, son of Eric, is a man. He has threshed with me,
and I know him. We can trust him, and sense has he, more than all of us
put together. He must be our leader."

All swore fealty to Gustavus; and he bade them make swords and spears
and arrows on their own anvils, while he went on again to rouse the
other provinces. King Christian had been called home by a rumor of
rebellion there, but his lieutenants thought to crush this little
uprising of the Dalecarlians as easily as they had a few others, and one
of them marched promptly there with a large force. The brave peasants,
led by Liss Lars and another, attacked him as he was crossing a river
and defeated him with great slaughter. Gustavus heard rumors of the
battle, and that his little army was destroyed. In wild haste he
galloped back to Dalecarlia to find them celebrating their victory.

Now did the men he had roused in every quarter come pouring in; and he
drilled them, and trained them, and encouraged them, became head and
hand and heart for them all, till soon he had such an army that he might
fairly hope to match any force the Danes could bring against him. Then
he sent out a proclamation declaring Christian deposed for his cruel and
bloody tyranny, and calling all true Swedes to join him in making war
upon the oppressor.

Thus did this young man at twenty-five become the leader of a great
rebellion, which he himself had created and controlled. He led his men
against one fortress after another. There were long sieges and terrible
battles; but Gustavus proved himself as great a general as he was a man;
and two years later, in 1525, Stockholm, the last town remaining to the
Danes in Sweden, surrendered to his army. Christian himself had been
unable to leave Denmark, but he was in constant communication with his
lieutenants, and wild was his rage at the continued success of his young
opponent. Gustavus's mother and sister, with many other Swedish ladies,
had fallen into the king's hands at the time of those wholesale murders;
and he tried to frighten the hero with threats of what he would do to
them; but poor Gustavus had learned only too surely that most of them
were already dead from his cruel treatment. Finally this brute was
deposed by his own subjects, and a new king chosen. This king made some
faint attempts to recover Sweden, but he had small chance against such a
man as Vasa.

The hero and his army entered Stockholm in triumph; and such of the old
nobles as were left, gathered in a council and offered him the crown
which he had wrested from Denmark. He refused it, saying he had labored
for his country, not himself, and bade the nobles choose from among
themselves some older man. But the whole country cried out that they
would submit to no man but him; he had freed them, he should rule them.
So there was, what seldom has been in history, a free choice of a king
by a united people; and Gustavus, son of Eric, became Gustavus I., King
of Sweden. Five years before he had been carried off a helpless, almost
friendless prisoner, by a mighty king. Now they had, by sheer force of
character, changed places; the king was in a dungeon, Gustavus on a
throne.

Though the remainder of our hero's life was less adventurous, it was no
less noble. He made, as all had foreseen, a great king, showing himself
as wise and high-minded as he had already proven brave and patient. He
found Sweden a petty province, he left it a mighty kingdom; he found it
a wilderness, poor, thinly peopled, and semi-barbarous, he left it
prosperous, populous, and civilized. He himself was the head and centre
of all this, performing an amount of work which seems almost impossible
for one man. His letters, some of which remain, are clear, minute in
detail, and exact. He knew just how he wanted things done, and he had
them done his way. His own life might be summed up in his advice to his
two sons, given when, only a few months before his death, he resigned a
crown grown too heavy for his failing strength. "Think carefully,
execute promptly, _never give up_, never delay. Resolves not carried out
are like clouds without rain in times of drought."



MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS

By SAMUEL L. KNAPP

(1542-1587)

[Illustration: Mary, Queen of Scots.]


Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was the third child of James V. and his
wife, Mary of Guise. That lady had borne him previously, two sons, both
of whom died in infancy. Mary was born on December 7, 1542, in the
palace of Linlithgow. She was only seven days old when she lost her
father, who, at the time of her birth, lay sick at the palace of
Falkland.

The young queen was crowned by Cardinal Beaton, at Stirling, on
September 9, 1543. Soon after her birth, the Parliament nominated
commissioners, to whom they intrusted the charge of the queen's person,
leaving all her other interests to the care of her mother. The first two
years of her life, Mary spent at Linlithgow, where it is said she had
the small-pox, but the disease must have been of a particularly gentle
kind, having left behind no visible traces. During the greater part of
the years 1545, 1546, and 1547, she resided at Stirling Castle, in the
keeping of Lords Erskine and Livingstone. She was afterward removed to
Inchmahome, a sequestered island in the lake of Monteith; after
remaining there upward of two years, it was thought expedient by those
who had at the time the disposal of her future destiny, that she should
be removed to France. She was accordingly, in the fifth year of her age,
taken to Dunbarton, where she was delivered to the French admiral, whose
vessels were waiting to receive her; and attended by Lords Erskine and
Livingstone, her three natural brothers, and four young ladies as
companions, she left Scotland.

The thirteen happiest years of Mary's life were spent in France. She was
received at Brest, by order of Henry II., with all the honors due to her
rank and royal destiny. She travelled by easy stages to the palace at
St. Germain en Laye; and to mark the respect that was paid to her, the
prison gates of every town she came to were thrown open, and the
prisoners set free. Shortly after her arrival she was sent, along with
the king's own daughters, to one of the first convents in France, where
young ladies of distinction were instructed in the elementary branches
of education.

Henry, to confirm the French authority in Scotland, was eager to marry
Francis, his son, to Mary. Francis, the young dauphin, who was much
about Mary's own age, was far inferior to her both in personal
appearance and mental endowments. They had been playmates from infancy;
they had prosecuted all their studies together; he loved her with the
tenderest affection; it was not in Mary's nature to be indifferent to
those who evinced affection for her; and if her fondness for Francis was
mingled with pity, it has long been asserted that "pity is akin to
love."

On April 24, 1558, the nuptials took place in the church of Notre Dame,
with great splendor. Every eye was fixed on the youthful Mary; and,
inspired by those feelings which beauty seldom fails to excite, every
heart offered up prayers for her future welfare and happiness. She was
now at that age when feminine loveliness is perhaps most attractive. It
is not to be supposed, indeed, that her charms, in her sixteenth year,
had ripened into that full-blown maturity which they afterward attained;
but they were on this account only the more fascinating. Some have
conjectured that Mary's beauty has been extolled far above its real
merits; and it cannot be denied that many vague and erroneous notions
exist regarding it. But that her countenance possessed, in a pre-eminent
degree, the something which constitutes beauty, is sufficiently attested
by the unanimous declaration of all contemporary writers. Her person was
finely proportioned, and her carriage exceedingly graceful and
dignified.

Shortly after the espousals, Mary and her husband retired to one of
their princely summer residences, where she discharged the duties of a
wife without ostentation. But the intriguing and restless ambition of
her uncles could not allow her to remain long quiet. About this time
Mary Tudor, who had succeeded Edward VI. on the English throne, died;
and although the Parliament had declared that the succession rested in
her sister Elizabeth, it was thought proper to claim for Mary Stuart a
prior right. But it was destined that there was to be another and more
unexpected death at the French court. Henry II. was killed at a
tournament by Count Montgomery. Francis and Mary succeeded to the
throne. Mary was now at the very height of European grandeur, for she
was queen of two powerful countries, and heir presumptive of a third.
She stood unluckily on too high a pinnacle to be able to retain her
position long. Francis died after a short reign of seventeen months, and
the heir to the throne Charles IX., being a minor, Catharine de Medicis
became once more virtually queen of France; and from her Mary could
expect no favors.

In August, 1561, Mary left France with tears, and was received in
Scotland with every mark of respect. She came, alone and unprotected, to
assume the government of a country which had long been distinguished for
its rebellious turbulence. Contrasted, too, with her former situation,
that which she was now about to fill appeared particularly formidable.
By whatever counsel she acted, the blame of all unpopular measures would
be sure to rest with her. If she favored the Protestants, the Catholics
were sure to renounce her, and if she assisted the Catholics, the
Protestants would be again found assembling at Perth, listening, with
arms in their hands, to the sermons of John Knox, pulling down the
remaining monasteries, and subscribing additional covenants. Is it
surprising, then, that she found it difficult to steer her course
between the rocks of Scylla and the whirlpools of Charybdis? If
misfortunes ultimately overtook her, the wonder unquestionably ought to
be, not that they ever arrived, but that they should have been guarded
against so long.

To further their political views, Mary's hand was sought for by princes
of the several European courts. The princes of the house of Austria,
apprehensive of the ambition of France, wished a union between the
Scottish queen and the Archduke Charles. Philip II., envying the
Austrians so important a prize, used all his influence to procure her
hand for his son Don Carlos, heir to the extensive domains of the
Spanish monarchy. Catharine de Medicis, jealous of them both, offered
the hand of the Duke of Anjou, brother to her former husband, and
Elizabeth, the artful queen of England, recommended Lord Robert Dudley,
afterward Earl of Leicester.

Mary shunned all their intrigues, and followed the bent of her own
inclination in marrying Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, eldest son of the
Earl of Lennox. Darnley, at this time in the bloom of youth, was
distinguished for the beauty and grace of his person, and accomplished
in every elegant art; and he also professed the Catholic religion.
Darnley's qualifications, however, were superficial, and abandoning
himself to pleasure and the vices of youth, he became gradually careless
and indifferent toward the queen, whose disappointments and
mortifications were in proportion to the fervor of her former
sentiments. Her French secretary was one David Rizzio, who was possessed
of musical talents, and to whom she became much attached. Darnley became
jealous of Rizzio, and he, with a number of conspirators, took
possession of the palace on March 9, 1566, while the queen was at supper
with the Countess of Argyle and Rizzio. The latter clung to the queen
for protection, but he was torn from her and dragged to the next
apartment, where the fury of his enemies put an end to his existence, by
piercing his body with fifty-six wounds. The conspirators put Mary under
guard, but she escaped, and by the aid of Bothwell and others, she was
soon enabled to put her enemies at defiance. This event served to
alienate Mary's affections from Darnley.

On June 19, 1566, the queen gave birth to a son; an event more fortunate
to the nation than to his unhappy mother, whose evil destiny received
aggravation from a circumstance which appeared so flattering to her
hopes.

Darnley, neglected by the queen, and despised by the people, remained in
solitude at Stirling, but alarmed by the rumor of a design to seize his
person, he thought fit to retire to his father at Glasgow. On his way
thither he was seized with a dangerous illness. Mary visited him, and
it is said prevailed on him to be removed to the capital, where she
would attend on him. Kirk of Field, a house belonging to the provost of
a collegiate church, was prepared for his reception. The situation, on a
rising ground and in an open field, was recommended for the salubrity of
its air.

At two o'clock on the morning of February 10, 1567, the city was alarmed
by a sudden explosion. The house in which Darnley resided was blown up
with gunpowder. The dead body of Henry and a servant, who slept in his
room, were found lying in an adjacent garden, without marks of violence,
and untouched by fire. Thus perished Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, in his
twenty-first year, a youth whom the indulgence of nature and fortune had
combined to betray to his ruin.

This execrable deed gave rise to various suspicions and conjectures,
which, while they glanced at the queen from her new sentiments with
regard to her husband, were, with a general consent, directed toward
Bothwell. A proclamation was issued from the throne, offering a
considerable reward for the murderer. Neither the power and greatness of
Bothwell, nor his favor with the queen, secured him from the indignant
sentiment of the nation. He had a mock trial, in which he was acquitted.

The queen, on a journey from Edinburgh to Stirling, to visit her son,
was seized by a party of Bothwell's and conducted a prisoner to his
castle at Dunbar. Here he prevailed on her to marry him, and on her
subsequent appearance in public she was received with a sullen and
disrespectful silence by the people.

The transactions which had passed during the last three months in
Scotland were beheld by Europe with horror and detestation. The murder
of the king, the impunity with which his assassins were suffered to
escape, and the marriage of the queen with the man accused of being
their chief, were a series of incidents, which, for their atrocity and
rapid succession, were scarcely to be paralleled in the pages of
history. A general infamy fell upon the Scotch nation, which was
regarded, from these circumstances, as a people void of decency,
humanity, and honor.

[Illustration: Mary Stuart and Rizzio.]

The discontented nobles confederated together and flew to arms. Bothwell
and Mary were unable to stem the opposition; she surrendered to her
enemies, and was conducted a captive to the castle of Lochleven. Mary
had for some weeks suffered the terrors of a prison; of her deliverance
there seemed to be but little prospect; no one had appeared as her
defender or advocate. Thus solitary, deserted, and distressed, her
persecutors reckoned on her fears and on her sex. Lord Lindsay, the
fiercest zealot of the party, was employed to communicate their plan to
the queen, and to obtain from her a subscription to the papers with
which he was charged. In the execution of his commission, he spared
neither harshness nor brutality; certain death was offered to the
unhappy victim, as the alternative of her refusal. Thus urged, she
yielded to the pressure of circumstances, and put her signature to the
papers presented to her by Lindsay. By one of these papers she resigned
the crown, renounced all share in the government, and consented to
the coronation of the young king. By another, she appointed Murray to
the regency, and vested him with the powers and privileges of the
office. Pierced with grief, and bathed in indignant tears, she signed
the deed of her own humiliation, and furnished to her adversaries the
instrument of her abasement.

The people were not generally satisfied with the conduct of Murray, the
regent, and the scattered party of the queen began gradually to reunite.
Such was the disposition of the nation when Mary, through the medium of
George Douglas, a youth of eighteen, contrived to escape from prison.
She flew on horseback, at full speed, to Hamilton, where, before a train
of great and splendid nobles, and an army 6,000 strong, she declared
that the deeds signed by her during her imprisonment, and the
resignation of her crown, were extorted from her by fear. An engagement
between her forces and those of Murray took place at Hamilton; her army
was defeated. She stood on a hill and saw all that passed. In confusion
and horror she began her flight, and so terrible was the trepidation of
her spirits, that she stopped not till she reached the abbey of
Dunrenan, in Galloway, fully sixty Scottish miles from the field of
battle. In the space of eleven days she had beheld herself a prisoner,
at the mercy of her greatest enemies; at the head of a powerful army,
with a numerous train of nobles devoted to her service; and a fugitive,
at the hazard of her life, driven, with a few attendants, to lurk in a
corner of her kingdom. Still anxious and agitated in her retreat, she
was impelled by her fears to an irretrievable step, fatal to all her
future hopes. In vain her attendants, with the lords Herries and Heming,
implored her on their knees not to confide in Elizabeth, her resolution
was not to be shaken, and to England she fatally resolved to fly. No
longer an object of jealousy, but compassion, Mary trusted in the
generosity of a sister queen, that she would not take advantage of her
calamitous situation. She got into a fisherman's boat, and with about
twenty attendants, landed at Workington, in Cumberland, whence, with
marks of respect, she was conducted to Carlisle.

She addressed, on her arrival in England, a letter to the queen, in
which she painted in glowing colors the injuries she had sustained, and
implored the sympathy and assistance which her present situation so
pressingly required. Elizabeth and her council deliberated upon the
course which, in this extraordinary event, it would be proper to pursue;
and at last determined, in spite of justice and humanity, to avail
herself of the advantages given her by the confidence of her rival. Mary
demanded a personal interview with Elizabeth, but this honor she was
told must be denied to her. She had no intention of acknowledging
superiority in the queen of England, who, she expected, would, as a
friend, herself receive and examine her defences. But Elizabeth chose to
consider herself as umpire between the Scottish queen and her subjects;
and she prepared to appoint commissioners to hear the pleadings of both
parties, and wrote to the Regent of Scotland to empower proper persons
to appear in his name, and produce what could be alleged in vindication
of his proceedings.

Mary, who had hitherto relied on the professions of Elizabeth, was by
this proposal at once undeceived, and she was, in despite of her
remonstrances and complaints, conducted to Bolton, a castle of Lord
Scroop, on the borders of Yorkshire. Commissioners met on both sides,
and after protracted deliberations for four months, they left things
just as they found them.

The last eighteen years of Mary's life were spent in imprisonment, and
are comparatively a blank in her personal history. She was transported,
at intervals, from castle to castle, and was intrusted sometimes to the
charge of one nobleman, and sometimes to another; but for her the active
scenes of life were past; the splendor and dignity of a throne were to
be enjoyed no longer; the sceptre of her native country was never more
to grace her hands; her will ceased to influence a nation; her voice did
not travel beyond the walls that witnessed her confinement. She came
into England at the age of twenty-five, in the prime of womanhood, the
full vigor of health, and the rapidly ripening strength of her
intellectual powers. She was there destined to feel, in all its
bitterness, that "hope deferred maketh the heart sick." Year after year
passed slowly on, and year after year her spirits became more exhausted,
her health feebler, and her doubts and fears confirmed, till they at
length settled in despair. Premature old age overtook her before she was
past the meridian of life; and for some time before her death, her hair
was white "with other snows than those of age." Yet, during the whole of
this long period, amid sufferings which would have broken many a
masculine spirit, and which, even in our own times, have been seen to
conquer those who had conquered empires, Mary retained the innate grace
and dignity of her character, never forgetting that she had been born a
queen, or making her calamities an excuse for the commission of any
petty meanness, which she would have scorned in the days of her
prosperity. Full of incident as her previous life had been, brilliant in
many of its achievements, it may be doubted whether the forbearance,
fortitude, and magnanimity displayed in her latter years, do not redound
more highly to her praise than all that preceded. Elizabeth wished for
some plausible pretext to take away the life of the unhappy Mary, whom,
though so defenceless, she regarded as a dangerous rival. The Duke of
Norfolk made offers of marriage to Mary, to which she consented, in case
she should be liberated. His scheme also was to favor the Catholic
cause, and on its being discovered he was thrown into prison, where,
after six months' confinement, he was liberated, on condition of his
holding no further intercourse with the queen. He was, however, arrested
the second time, and executed.

A conspiracy soon after took place, through the blind affection of the
English Catholics for Mary, and their implacable hatred of Elizabeth;
that, while it proved fatal to the life of one queen, has left on the
memory of the other an indelible stain. It was a conspiracy of two
zealous Catholics, to take the life of Elizabeth. The plot was revealed
in confidence to Anthony Babington, a young gentleman of Derbyshire,
possessing a large fortune and many amiable qualities, whom the
Archbishop of Glasgow had recommended to the notice of Mary. The
conspirators, through treachery, were arrested, and it is said two
letters from Mary were found with Babington. This was a pretext to
represent these fanatics as the instruments of the captive queen.
Determined that no circumstance of solemnity suited to the dignity of
the person arraigned might be wanting, Elizabeth appointed, by a
commission under the great seal, forty persons, the most illustrious in
the kingdom for their rank and birth, together with five judges, for the
decision of the cause.

On October 11, 1586, the commissioners arrived at Fotheringay, where
Mary was confined. She solemnly protested her innocence of the crime
laid to her charge, and having never countenanced any attempt against
the life of Elizabeth, she refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of
the commissioners. "I came," said she, "into the kingdom an independent
sovereign, to implore the queen's assistance, not to subject myself to
her authority. Nor is my spirit so broken by past misfortunes, or
intimidated by present dangers, as to stoop to anything unbecoming the
majesty of a crowned head, or that will disgrace the ancestors from whom
I am descended, and the son to whom I shall leave my throne."

Mary made her own defence; and her conduct before her judges displayed
the magnanimity of a heroine, tempered by the gentleness and modesty of
a woman. The judges were predetermined to find her guilty: the trial was
a mere pretence to give a sanction to their proceedings; they were
unanimous in declaring Mary "to be accessory to the conspiracy of
Babington, and to have imagined divers matters, tending to the hurt,
death, and destruction of Elizabeth, contrary to the express words of
the statute made for the security of the life of the queen."

On Tuesday, February 7, 1587, the Earls of Shrewsbury and Kent arrived
at Fotheringay, and read in Mary's presence the warrant for her
execution, which was appointed for the ensuing day. "That soul," said
Mary, calmly crossing herself, "is unworthy the joys of heaven, which
repines because the body must endure the stroke of the axe. I submit
willingly to the lot which heaven has decreed for me; though I did not
expect the Queen of England would set the first example of violating the
sacred person of a sovereign prince." Then laying her hand on a Bible,
which happened to be near her, she solemnly protested her innocence.

At the scaffold she prayed for the prosperity of her son, and for a long
and peaceable reign to Elizabeth. She hoped for mercy, she declared,
only through the death of Christ, at the foot of whose image she
willingly shed her blood. With intrepid calmness she laid her neck on
the block; her hands were held by one executioner, while the other, with
two blows, dissevered her head from her body. "So perish all the enemies
of Elizabeth!" exclaimed the dean, as he held up the streaming head.
"Amen," answered the Earl of Kent alone; every other eye was drowned in
tears; every other voice was stifled in commiseration. Thus, after a
life of forty-four years and two months, nineteen years of which had
been passed in captivity, perished the lovely and unfortunate Mary,
Queen of Scots.



CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH[12]

         [Footnote 12: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By MARION HARLAND

(1579-1631)

[Illustration: Captain John Smith.]


Of the antecedents of John Smith, Esquire, Captain and Knight, little is
recorded beyond the facts that he was of gentle blood and honorable
lineage, and that he was born in Lancashire, England, in 1579.

He was still under age when he enlisted as a private soldier and fought
with "our army" in Flanders. Sigismund Bathor, Duke of Transylvania, was
warring with the Turks, and young Smith, athirst for adventure, next
took service under him. Before the Transylvanian town of Regall, he
killed three Turkish officers in single combat, for which doughty deed
he was knighted. The certificate of Sigismund's patent empowering the
Englishman to quarter three Turks' heads upon the family coat-of-arms is
in the Herald's Office in London.

The tables were turned by his subsequent capture by the Turks. He was
sent to Tartary as a slave, not a prisoner of war, and compelled to
perform the most ignoble tasks, until, escaping by killing his brutal
master, he made his way by his wits to his native country in 1604. He
was now twenty-five years of age, and emphatically a soldier of fortune.
The tale of his prowess and adventures had preceded him, and he was
eagerly welcomed in London by kindred spirits who were preparing to
emigrate to America to form the colony of Virginia under the grant and
direct patronage of James I. By the time the enterprise was ripe for
execution, Smith had made himself so useful in counsel and preparation
that the king named him as one of the councillors of the prospective
colony.

The boundary lines of the royal grant were two hundred miles north, and
the same distance south, of the mouth of the James River, and east and
west "from sea to sea."

On December 19, 1606, the band of adventurers, 100 in number, embarked
at Gravesend in three small vessels. Christopher Newport was in command,
but Smith, and his close allies, Bartholomew Gosnold and George Percy, a
younger brother of the Duke of Northumberland, were the ruling spirits
of the voyagers. Carpenters and laborers were oddly jumbled upon the
list of emigrants with jewellers, perfumers, and gold refiners, and
"gentlemen" held prominence in numbers and influence. The officers
outnumbered the privates. The little fleet was hardly out of the offing
when the struggle for power began. The voyage was not half accomplished
when John Smith was charged with complicity in a discovered mutiny. He
had intended, it was alleged, to murder his superiors, seize the fleet,
and make himself king of Virginia. The "General History of Virginia"
tells how serious an aspect the affair wore:

"Such factions here we had, as commonly attend such voyages, that a
paire of gallowes was made, but Captain Smith, for whom they were
intended, _could not be persuaded to use them_."

He was still under suspicion and arrest when the fleet anchored (May 13,
1607) in the broad river, Powhatan, to which the English explorers gave
the name of their king. Their first tents were pitched and first cabins
built upon a low peninsula flanked by extensive marshes. The settlement
received the name of Jamestown, in further demonstration of loyalty.

When the king's sealed orders were opened, the name of John Smith
appeared second upon the roll of seven councillors appointed to govern
the infant colony. Next to him Gosnold was fittest for the responsible
position assigned to them. His death within three months after the
landing, left Smith the object of the envious distrust of Wingfield, who
had been elected president, and virtually alone in the honest desire to
found a permanent settlement in Virginia for ends he thus sets forth:

"Erecting towns, peopling countries, informing the ignorant, reforming
things unjust, teaching virtue and gain to our native Mother Country."

There is a prophetic ring in this remarkable utterance of one whom his
contemporaries persisted in regarding as a reckless adventurer,
ambitious and unscrupulous. His frank denunciation of the feeble
measures of Wingfield and the selfish villainy of Ratcliffe, another
colleague, had earned the ill-will of the president and the relentless
hatred of Ratcliffe. Smith, being under arrest, was not allowed to take
his place among the councillors. He bided the day of justice with
patience learned from adversity. When the supreme opportunity came he
grasped it. An attack from hostile Indians proved Wingfield's unfitness
for the military command, and the alarmed colonists turned instinctively
to the bravest of their number. Wingfield anticipated the uprising by
reiterating his intention of sending Smith to England for trial, for the
double crime of mutiny and treason.

"The restive soldier suddenly flamed out. He would be tried in Virginia
as was his right--there was the charter! and the trial took place. The
result was a ruinous commentary on the characters of Wingfield and the
council. The testimony of their own witnesses convicted them of
subornation of perjury to destroy Smith. He was acquitted by the jury of
all the charges against him, and Kendall, who had conducted the
prosecution, was condemned to pay him £200 damages. This sum was
presented by Smith to the colony for the general use, and then the foes
partook of the commission, and the soldier was admitted to his seat in
the council." (Cooke's "History of Virginia.")

By autumn the settlement was fearfully reduced in numbers and spirits.
Fever, engendered by marshland malaria and famine, threatened utter
extinction.

"From May to September, those who escaped lived upon sturgeon and
sea-crabs; 50 in this time were buried," writes one of the sufferers.
"The rest, seeing the president's projects to escape these miseries in
our pinnace by flight (who all this time had neither felt want or
sickness), so moved our dead spirits as we deposed him and established
Ratcliffe in his place."

It was an exchange of inefficiency for deliberate wickedness, and in the
excess of continued misery the more reasonable of the victims arose as a
man and put Smith at the head of affairs.

The "terrible summer" left hardly ten men who could wield axe or hoe.
Smith himself was ill with malarial fever, yet nursed the sick, prayed
with the dying, and kept up the hearts of all by brave words and braver
action. He bought corn and meat of the Indians when they would sell, and
when they refused, secured supplies by intimidation. Yet we find him, as
soon as the immediate peril was over, again the subordinate of envious
leaders, and volunteering to satisfy malcontents in America and in
England, by heading a party in mid-December to attempt the discovery of
the great "South Sea," for so long the _ignis fatuus_ of Western
adventurers.

The explorers sailed up the James, diverging here and there into the
tortuous creeks of the Chickahominy. When stopped by shallows, Smith
procured a canoe and Indian guides and pushed on with but two other
white men (Robinson and Emry) into the unknown wilderness, teeming with
spies jealous of the foreign intruders. Attempting to land at
"Powhatan," one of "the emperor's" residences, he and his guide sank
into the morass and were fired upon from the shore.

"The salvages ... followed him with 300 bowmen, led by the king of
Pamunkee, who, searching the turnings of the river, found Robinson and
Emry by the fire-side. These they shot full of arrowes and slew."

Smith bound the Indian guide to his arm and used him as a shield, thus
saving his own life. He was, however, captured, lashed to a tree, and
would have been killed, but for his address in presenting the King
Opecancanough with "a round ivory double compass Dyall"--his own pocket
compass--directing the attention of the "salvages" to the movement of
the needle, and describing the uses of the instrument.

"A month those Babarians kept him prisoner; many strange triumphes and
conjurations they made of him, yet he so demeaned himself among them as
he not only diverted them from surprising the Fort, but procured his own
libertie, and got himself and his company such estimation among them
that these Salvages admired him as a demi-god."

From the pen of a contemporary we have the account of what led to his
"libertie." He had killed two of the attacking party, and was condemned
by Powhatan to die for the offence.

[Illustration: Captain Smith saved by Pocahontas.]

"Having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they could, a long
consultation was held; but the conclusion was, two great stones were
brought before Powhatan, then, as many as could lay hands on him,
dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with
their clubs to beate out his brains, Pocahontas, the king's dearest
daughter, when no entreaty could prevaile, got his head in her armes,
and laid her owne upon his to save him from death; whereat the emperor
was contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her bells, beads,
and copper."

From other pages we get the stage-setting for this, the most dramatic
incident in colonial history.

The emperor had heard the evidence with a "sour look," sitting in state
upon a rude dais, covered with mats, his body wrapped in a cloak of
raccoon skins. His dusky harem was grouped about him, watchful and
interested. When the trial was over he bade one wife to bring water to
wash the captive's hands, another a bunch of feathers to dry them upon.
This was preliminary to the feast.

"So fat they fed Mee," says "A True Relation of Virginia," published by
Smith in 1608, "that I much doubted they intended to have sacrificed mee
to the Quioughquosiche, which is a superiour power they worship."

The appointment to the position of armorer in the royal household, and
trinket-maker to the princess, was one of honor. Smith enjoyed it for a
month only, but to his residence at Powhatan and intimacy with
Pocahontas, he was indebted for the familiarity with Indian language and
customs which was afterward of incalculable benefit to the Virginians.
He describes Pocahontas in respectful admiration:

"For features, countenance, and expression she much exceeded the rest."

Her gala attire was a doeskin mantle lined with down from the breasts of
wood-pigeons; bangles of coral bound her brown ankles and wrists, and in
her hair was a white heron's feather in token of her royal blood. At the
time of her rescue of Smith she was about thirteen years old.

In January, 1608, the emperor offered Smith a forest principality if he
would remain with the tribe, but he petitioned to be allowed to return
to Jamestown. The request was reluctantly granted, and an escort sent
with him to the "Fort." This returned, bearing gifts for Powhatan and
his wives, with marvellous stories of the cannon-shot fired into the
sleety forest at Smith's command. We cannot but wonder what toy or
ornament went to the petted child whom he had served in glad gratitude
while a member of her father's household.

He had no time for sentimental musings. Upon the very day of his
unlooked for return (January 8, 1608), Ratcliffe repeated Wingfield's
attempt to escape to England in the only vessel left at Jamestown. The
anchor was actually raised when Smith hastily collected a force and
hurried to the landing. "With the hazzard of his life, with sakre,
falcon, and musket shot, Smith forced" (them) "now the third time to
stay or sinke."

In their sullen rage the foiled conspirators plotted and nearly executed
a fiendish revenge. Once more we copy from the "General History,"
written by Smith and his friends.

"Some no better than they should be, had plotted with the president"
(Ratcliffe) "the next day to have put him" (Smith) "to death by the
Leviticall law for the lives of Robinson and Emry, pretending the fault
was his that had led them to their ends; but he quickly took such order
with such lawyers that he layd them by the heeles till he sent some of
them prisoners to England."

The colony was almost destitute of food, and the memories of the famine
of last year terrified the imaginations of those who had lived through
it. "Gentlemen" having again predominated in reinforcements sent from
England, the crops planted and gathered in Smith's absence had been
meagre, while rats brought over in one of the vessels had wrought havoc
with stored grain. Like an angel of mercy was the apparition of
Pocahontas, at the head of a "wild train" of Indians laden with corn and
game, approaching the fort. "Ever once in four or five days during the
time of two or three years," the young princess, thus attended, visited
the fort and succored the needy settlers. Smith declares that "next
under God she preserved the colony from death, famine, and utter
confusion." He might have subjoined that, but for himself, not even
Pocahontas's bounty could have saved the settlement from the
consequences of misconduct and misrule.

His was the only voice lifted to condemn the mad folly of loading a
homeward-bound vessel with the glittering mud of a neighboring creek.
That he was "not enamored of their dirty skill to freight such a drunken
ship with so much gilded dirt"--was one of the mildest of his phrases,
as, "breathing out these and many other passions," he harangued those
who had "no thought, no discourse, no hope, and no work but to dig gold,
wash gold, refine gold, and load gold."

Before the English assayers confirmed his judgment as to the value of
this cargo, the intrepid adventurer had sailed, with fourteen others, up
the Chesapeake into new and wonderful regions. Never losing heart, even
when he believed himself to be dying from the sting of a poisonous fish,
he discovered and entered the Potomac, the Rappahannock, and tributary
creeks, fighting his way when not allowed to proceed peaceably. In July
(1608) he led another party to the spot now occupied by the city of
Baltimore, and made friends with a tribe called Susquehannocks, believed
to be sun-worshippers. Returning from these voyages of three thousand
miles in all, he drew in masterly style a chart of the countries
explored, and sent it to England.

Jamestown was still in a state of what he calls "combustion," under the
tyranny of Ratcliffe. Emboldened by Smith's return, the colonists
deposed the hated governor, and formally elected Smith Governor of
Virginia. The winter closed in upon an "affrighted" population.
Storehouses were nearly empty, agriculture having been neglected in the
gold fever. As Smith could not be "persuaded to use" the gallows, so he
now announced that "no persuasion could persuade _him_ to starve." In
company with George Percy and fifty others, he visited his old ally
Powhatan, and tried to buy food. A change had come to the emperor's
heart. He addressed his quondam armorer as a "rash youth;" protested
that he was afraid of him, and would not treat with the English unless
they came to him unarmed. Warned by Pocahontas, who stole through the
woods after dark to apprise Smith that treachery was intended, the
party lay on their arms all night, and the force sent to surprise them
retreated. Next day, Powhatan loaded the boats with corn, and Smith
sailed up the York upon a similar errand to Opecancanough, Powhatan's
brother. While in audience with him, the Englishmen were surrounded by a
band of seven hundred armed savages. Seizing the wily chieftain by the
scalp-lock, Smith held a pistol to his breast, and demanded a cargo of
corn and safe-conduct for his party to Jamestown. The fifty men, without
loss of a single life, took back enough food to victual the town.

Early in the spring of 1609, the president thus made known his policy to
his constituents:

"Countrymen! You see now that power resteth wholly in myself. You must
obey this now for a law--_he that will not work shall not eat_. And
though you presume that authority here is but a shadow and that I dare
not touch the lives of any, but my own must answer for it, yet he that
offendeth, let him assuredly expect his due punishment.

"I protest by that God that made me, since necessity hath no power to
force you to gather for yourselves, you shall not only gather for
yourselves, but for those that are sick. _They_ shall not starve."

Fields were tilled, the fort was repaired, wise Powhatan treated the
pale-faces kindly for Smith's sake, and the emigrants felt for the first
time firm ground beneath their feet. They had twenty-four pieces of
ordnance, and three hundred stand of small-arms; three ships, seven
boats, a store of more than two months' provisions, six hundred hogs,
with goats, fowls, and sheep, and an established trading-station with
the natives.

Like an aërolite from the summer sky came news from England that a fleet
was to be sent out with a new colony, a new charter, and new officers;
Smith's old enemy, Christopher Newport, was in command of the
expedition. Smith had been complained of at home as "dealing harshly
with the natives and not returning the ships full-freighted." His day
was over. The king so willed it.

Smith's last official act was the establishment of a colony at Powhatan,
renamed "Nonsuch," opposite where the city of Richmond was laid out over
a century later. On his way back to Jamestown, he was cruelly wounded by
the explosion of a bag of gunpowder. There was no good surgeon in the
colony. To return forthwith to England was but anticipating by a few
weeks what must be when the fleet arrived.

He returned to London at the age of thirty. "He had broke the ice and
beat the path, but had not there" (in Virginia) "one foot of ground, nor
the very house he builded, nor the ground he digged with his own hands."

In 1614 he returned to America, but now to the northern region assigned
to the Plymouth Company. He gave name to Boston; explored and made a
survey of the New England coast. On a second voyage he had a fight with
a French squadron, was captured, and taken to Rochelle. While there he
wrote a "Description of New England," for which service James I.
appointed him "Admiral of New England." He died in London, in 1631, at
the age of fifty-two, never having revisited Virginia. Upon his tomb, in
the Church of St. Sepulchre's, London, may be still traced the outlines
of the Three Turks' Heads and the inscription, beginning:

  "_Here lies one conquered that hath conquered kings._"

Any sketch of his life, however brief, would be incomplete that
contained no reference to the letter written by him to Queen Anne (the
consort of James I.), in 1616, recommending the Lady Rebecca Rolfe to
the royal favor.

He would "be guilty of the deadly poison of ingratitude," he wrote, if
he failed to narrate what he and the colony at Jamestown owed to
Pocahontas. He besought the queen's kindly consideration for the
stranger just landed upon her shores, as due to Pocahontas's "great
spirit, her desert, birth, want, and simplicity." His one call upon the
wife of John Rolfe, Gentleman, was marked by profound respect on his
part to one whom he accosted as "Lady Rebecca;" by profound emotion on
hers.

John Smith's biography and epitaph are best summed up by one of his
brothers-in-arms:

     "What shall I saye, but thus we lost him that in all his
     proceedings made justice his first guide and experience his
     second, ever hating basenesse, sloth, pride, and indignitie more
     than any dangers; that never allowed more for himself than for
     his soldiers with him; that upon no danger would send them where
     he would not lead them himselfe; that would never see us want
     what he either had or could by any means get us; that would
     rather want than borrow, or starve than not pay; that loved
     action more than wordes, and hated falsehood and covetousnesse
     worse than death; whose adventures were our lives and whose losse
     our deaths."

[Signature: Marion Harland.]



WILLIAM HARVEY

(1578-1657)


William Harvey was born on April 1, 1578, at Folkestone, on the southern
coast of Kent. He was the eldest of nine children; of the rest little
more is known, than that several of the brothers were among the most
eminent merchants in the city of London during the reigns of the two
first Stuarts. His father, Thomas Harvey, followed no profession. He
married Joanna Falke, at the age of twenty, and lived upon his own
estate at Folkestone. This property devolved by inheritance upon his
eldest son; and the greater part of it was eventually bequeathed by him
to the college at which he was educated.

At ten years of age he commenced his studies at the grammar school in
Canterbury; and upon May 31, 1593, soon after the completion of his
fifteenth year, was admitted as a pensioner at Caius College, Cambridge.

[Illustration: William Harvey.]

At that time a familiar acquaintance with logic and the learned
languages was indispensable as a first step in the prosecution of all
the branches of science, especially of medicine; and the skill with
which Harvey avails himself of the scholastic form of reasoning in his
great work on the Circulation, with the elegant Latin style of all his
writings, particularly of his latest work on the Generation of Animals,
affords a sufficient proof of his diligence in the prosecution of these
preliminary studies during the next four years which he spent at
Cambridge. The two next were occupied in visiting the principal cities
and seminaries of the Continent. He then prepared to address himself to
those investigations to which the rest of his life was devoted; and the
scene of his introduction to them could not have been better chosen than
at the University of Padua, where he became a student in his
twenty-second year.

The ancient physicians gathered what they knew of anatomy from
inaccurate dissections of the lower animals, and the slender knowledge
thus acquired, however inadequate to unfold the complicated functions of
the human frame, was abundantly sufficient as a basis for conjecture, of
which they took full advantage. With them everything became easy to
explain, precisely because nothing was understood; and the nature and
treatment of disease, the great object of medicine, and its subsidiary
sciences, was hardily abandoned to the conduct of the imagination, and
sought for literally among the stars. Nevertheless, so firmly was their
authority established, that even down to the close of the sixteenth
century the naturalists of Europe still continued to derive all their
physiology, and the greater part of their anatomy and medicine, from the
works of Aristotle and Galen, read not in the original Greek, but
re-translated into Latin from the interpolated versions of the Arabian
physicians. The opinions entertained by these dictators in the republic
of letters, and consequently by their submissive followers, with regard
to the structure and functions of the organs concerned in the
circulation, were particularly fanciful and confused; so much so that it
would be no easy task to give an intelligible account of them that would
not be tedious from its length. It will be enough to say, that a
scarcely more oppressive mass of mischievous error was cleared away from
the science of astronomy by the discovery of Newton, than that from
which physiology was disencumbered by the discovery of Harvey.

But though the work was completed by an Englishman, it is to Italy that,
in anatomy, as in most of the sciences, we owe the first attempts to
cast off the thralldom of the ancients. Mundinus had published a work
in the year 1315, which contained a few original observations of his
own; and his essay was so well received that it remained the text-book
of the Italian schools of anatomy for upward of two centuries. It was
enriched from time to time by various annotators, among the chief of
whom were Achillini, and Berengarius, the first person who published
anatomical plates. But the great reformer of anatomy was Vesalius, who,
born at Brussels in 1514, had attained such early celebrity during his
studies at Paris and Louvain, that he was invited by the Republic of
Venice, in his twenty-second year, to the chair of anatomy at Padua,
which he filled for seven years with the highest reputation. He also
taught at Bologna, and subsequently, by the invitation of Cosmo de'
Medici, at Pisa. The first edition of his work, "De Corporis Humani
Fabrica" was printed at Basle, in the year 1543; it is perhaps one of
the most successful efforts of human industry and research, and from the
date of its publication begins an entirely new era in the science of
which it treats. The despotic sway hitherto maintained in the schools of
medicine by the writings of Aristotle and Galen was now shaken to its
foundation, and a new race of anatomists eagerly pressed forward in the
path of discovery. Among these no one was more conspicuous than
Fallopius, the disciple, successor, and in fame the rival, of Vesalius,
at Padua. After him the anatomical professorship was filled by Fabricius
ab Aquapendente, the last of the distinguished anatomists who flourished
at Padua in the sixteenth century.

Harvey became his pupil in 1599, and from this time he appears to have
applied himself seriously to the study of anatomy. The first germ of the
discovery which has shed immortal honor on his name and country was
conceived in the lecture-room of Fabricius.

He remained at Padua for two years; and having received the Degree of
Doctor of Arts and Medicine, with unusual marks of distinction, returned
to England early in the year 1602. Two years afterward he commenced
practice in London and married the daughter of Dr. Launcelot Browne, by
whom he had no children. He became a Fellow of the College of
Physicians, when about thirty years of age, having in the meantime
renewed his degree of Doctor in Medicine, at Cambridge; and was soon
after elected Physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which office he
retained till a late period of his life.

On August 4, 1615, he was appointed Reader of Anatomy and Surgery to the
College of Physicians. From some scattered hints in his writings it
appears that his doctrine of the circulation was first advanced in his
lectures at the college about four years afterward; and a note-book in
his own hand-writing is still preserved at the British Museum, in which
the principal arguments by which it is substantiated are briefly set
down, as if for reference in the lecture-room. Yet with the
characteristic caution and modesty of true genius, he continued for nine
years longer to reason and experimentalize upon what is now considered
one of the simplest, as it is undoubtedly the most important known law
of animal nature; and it was not till the year 1628, the fifty-first of
his life, that he consented to publish his discovery to the world.

In that year the "Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis" was
published at Frankfort. This masterly treatise begins with a short
outline and refutation of the opinions of former anatomists on the
movement of the animal fluids and the function of the heart; the author
discriminating with care, and anxiously acknowledging the glimpses of
the truth to be met with in their writings; as if he had not only kept
in mind the justice due to previous discoveries, and the prudence of
softening the novelty and veiling the extent of his own, but had
foreseen the preposterous imputation of plagiarism, which, with other
inconsistent charges, was afterward brought forward against him. This
short sketch is followed by a plain exposition of the anatomy of the
circulation, and a detail of the results of numerous experiments; and
the new theory is finally maintained in a strain of close and powerful
reasoning, and followed into some of its most important consequences.
The whole argument is conducted in simple and unpretending language,
with great perspicuity, and scrupulous attention to logical form.

The doctrine announced by Harvey may be briefly stated thus: The blood
circulates through the body, thereby sustaining life. The heart is
simply the pump which drives the blood through the arteries, from whence
it returns impure, and is then forced through the lungs and repurified.

The pulmonary circulation had been surmised by Galen, and maintained by
his successors; but no proof even of this insulated portion of the
truth, more than amounted to strong probability, had been given till the
time of Harvey, and no plausible claim to the discovery, still less to
the demonstration, of the general circulation has ever been set up in
opposition to his. Indeed, its truth was quite inconsistent with the
ideas everywhere entertained in the schools on the functions of the
heart and other viscera, and was destructive of many favorite theories.
The new doctrine, therefore, as may well be supposed, was received by
most of the anatomists of the period with distrust, and by all with
surprise. Some of them undertook to refute it, but their objections
turned principally on the silence of Galen, or consisted of the most
frivolous cavils; the controversy, too, assumed the form of personal
abuse even more speedily than is usually the case when authority is at
issue with reason. To such opposition Harvey for some time did not think
it necessary to reply; but some of his friends in England, and of the
adherents to his doctrine on the Continent, warmly took up his defence.
At length he was induced to take a personal share in the dispute in
answer to Riolanus, a Parisian anatomist of some celebrity, whose
objections were distinguished by some show of philosophy, and unusual
abstinence from abuse. The answer was conciliatory and complete, but
ineffectual to produce conviction; and in reply to Harvey's appeal to
direct experiment, his opponent urged nothing but conjecture and
assertion. Harvey once more rejoined at a considerable length; taking
occasion to give a spirited rebuke to the unworthy reception he had met
with, in which it seems that Riolanus had now permitted himself to join;
adducing several new and conclusive experiments in support of his
theory; and entering at large upon its value in simplifying physiology
and the study of diseases, with other interesting collateral topics.
Riolanus, however, still remained unconvinced; and his second rejoinder
was treated by Harvey with contemptuous silence. He had already
exhausted the subject in the two excellent controversial pieces just
mentioned, the last of which is said to have been written at Oxford
about 1645; and he never resumed the discussion in print. Time had now
come to the assistance of argument, and his discovery began to be
generally admitted. To this, indeed, his opponents contributed, by a
still more singular discovery of their own, namely, that the facts had
been observed, and the important inference drawn, long before. This was
the mere allegation of envy, chafed at the achievements of another,
which, from their apparent facility, might have been its own. It is
indeed strange that the simple mechanism thus explained should have been
unobserved or misunderstood so long; and nothing can account for it but
the imperceptible lightness as well as the strength of the chains which
authority imposes on the mind.

In the year 1623 Harvey became physician extraordinary to James I., and
seven years later was appointed physician to Charles. He followed the
fortunes of that monarch, who treated him with great distinction during
the first years of the civil war, and he was present at the battle of
Edgehill, in 1642. Having been incorporated doctor of physic by the
University of Oxford, he was promoted by Charles to the wardenship of
Merton College, in 1645; but he did not retain this office very long,
his predecessor, Dr. Brent, being reinstated by the Parliament after the
surrender of Oxford in the following year.

Harvey then returned to London, and resided with his brother Eliat at
Cockaine house, in the Poultry. About the time of Charles's execution he
gave up his practice, which had never been considerable, probably in
consequence of his devotion to the scientific, rather than the
practical, parts of his profession. He himself, however, attributed his
want of success to the enmity excited by his discovery. After a second
visit to the Continent, he secluded himself in the country, sometimes at
his own house in Lambeth, and sometimes with his brother Eliat at Combe,
in Surrey. Here he was visited by his friend, Dr. Ent, in 1651, by whom
he was persuaded to allow the publication of his work on the "Generation
of Animals." It was the fruit of many years of experiment and
meditation; and, though the vehicle of no remarkable discovery, is
replete with interest and research, and contains passages of brilliant
and even poetical eloquence. The object of his work is to trace the germ
through all its changes to the period of maturity; and the illustrations
are principally drawn from the phenomena exhibited by eggs in the
process of incubation, which he watched with great care, and has
described with minuteness and fidelity. The microscope had not at that
time the perfection it has since attained; and consequently Harvey's
account of the first appearance of the chick is somewhat inaccurate, and
has been superseded by the observations of Malpighi, Hunter, and others.
The experiments upon which he chiefly relied in this department of
natural history had been repeated in the presence of Charles I., who
appears to have taken great interest in the studies of his physician.

[Illustration: Harvey demonstrating the Circulation of the Blood.]

In the year 1653, the seventy-fifth of his life, Harvey presented the
College of Physicians with the title-deed of a building erected in their
garden, and elegantly fitted up, at his expense, with a library and
museum, and commodious apartments for their social meetings. Upon this
occasion he resigned the professorship of anatomy, which he had held for
nearly forty years, and was succeeded by Dr. Glisson.

In 1654 he was elected to the presidency of the college, which he
declined on the plea of age; and the former president, Sir Francis
Prujean, was re-elected at his request. Two years afterward he made a
donation to the college of a part of his patrimonial estate, to the
yearly value of £56, as a provision for the maintenance of the library,
and the annual festival and oration in commemoration of benefactors.

At length his constitution, which had long been harassed by the gout,
yielded to the increasing infirmities of age, and he died in his
eightieth year, on June 3, 1657. He was buried at Hempstead, in Essex,
in a vault belonging to his brother Eliat, who was his principal heir,
and his remains were followed to the grave by a numerous procession of
the body of which he had been so illustrious and munificent a member.

In person he was below the middle size, but well proportioned. He had a
dark complexion, black hair, and small, lively eyes. In his youth his
temper is said to have been very hasty. If so, he was cured of this
defect as he grew older; for nothing can be more courteous and temperate
than his controversial writings; and the genuine kindness and modesty
which were conspicuous in all his dealings with others, with his
instructive conversation, gained him many attached and excellent
friends. He was fond of meditation and retirement; and there is much in
his works to characterize him as a man of warm and unaffected piety.



PRINCE CHARLES STUART[13]

         [Footnote 13: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By ANDREW LANG, LL.D.

(1720-1788)


Charles Edward Stuart, called the "Young Pretender" by his enemies, the
"Young Chevalier" by neutrals, "Prince of Wales" and "Prince Regent" by
his partisans, "Prince Edouard" by the French, "Ned" by his intimates,
as we read in letters of Oliphant of Gask, and "Prince Charlie" by later
generations, was born at Rome, December 31, 1720. His father was James
VIII., of Scotland, and III. of England, according to the Legitimist
theory; his foes called him "The Pretender," partly on the strength of
the old fable about the warming-pan, so useful to the Whigs. No sane
person now doubts the genuineness of James' descent from James II., but
the nickname of Pretender still sticks, though Boswell tells us that
George III. particularly disliked an appellation which "may be
parliamentary, but is not gentlemanly." James III., or the Chevalier de
St. George, was taken up by Louis XIV. on the death of James II., in
France. He is said to have displayed courage in several battles in
Flanders, but his attempt to assert his rights in 1715 was a melancholy
failure. James showed melancholy and want of confidence; he soon left
Scotland for the Continent, and the best that can be said for his
conduct is that he endeavored to compensate the peasants whose houses
were destroyed in the military operations of "the Fifteen." Unable to
reside in France, he retired to Rome, a pensioner of the Pope, and
entertained with royal honors. In 1719 he married Clementina Sobieski, a
granddaughter of the famous John Sobieski, who delivered Europe from the
Turks. Their eldest son, Prince Charles, appears to have inherited the
spirit and daring of his Polish ancestors, which animated him throughout
his youth, and were extinguished less by Culloden than by the treatment
which he received from the French court, by his imprisonment in
Vincennes in 1748, and by the unrelenting animosity of the English
Government, which made him a homeless exile living mysteriously in
hiding on the Continent. Heart-broken by these misfortunes and by other
disappointments, Charles developed an unreasoning and sullen obstinacy,
which alienated his adherents, while the habit of heavy drinking,
learned in his Highland distresses, ruined his head and heart, and
converted the most gallant, gay, and promising of princes into a brutal
dipsomaniac.

[Illustration: Prince Charles Stuart.]

The education of Charles was casual and interrupted. Now he was in the
hands of Protestants, now of Catholic governors and tutors, as the
advice of English adherents, or the wishes of his devout mother, chanced
to prevail. There were frequent quarrels between James and his wife,
turning partly on the question of education, more on the jealousy which
the queen conceived of the Countess of Inverness. The Pope sided with
the queen in these melancholy broils, and James's private life (which
was not faultless) was much more subject to criticism and interference
than that of his at least equally lax rival on the English throne. A
second son, Henry Benedict, Duke of York, was born in 1725, and, at one
time, was regarded as of more martial disposition than Prince Charles.
As the elder, Charles was first under fire, and at the siege of Gaeta,
in 1734, while a mere boy, he displayed coolness, daring, and contempt
of danger. Young Henry, aged nine, "was so much discontented at being
refused the partnership of that glory and that danger, that he would not
put on his sword till his father threatened to take away his garter
too," says Murray of Broughton, in a letter dated 1742. In later life
the Duke of York showed no military aptitude. A kind of progress which
Charles made through the cities of Italy, aroused his desire to be a
prince in more than name. The English Government quarrelled with the
Republic of Venice about the royal honors paid to the prince, and his
ambition was awakened. His education, we have said, was very imperfect.
Murray of Broughton, indeed, credits him with Latin, Greek, history, and
philosophy. But his spelling in both French and English was unusually
bad, even in an age of free spelling; he wrote _époles_ for _epaules_,
"Gems" for "James," "sord" for "sword." He did not neglect physical
exercise; was wont to make long marches without stockings, to harden his
feet (as he told a follower during his Highland distresses). He was a
good shot, fond of hunting, and, about 1742, was probably the first man
who ever played golf in Italy. Murray describes him as "tall above the
common stature, his limbs cast in the most exact mould, his complexion
of an uncommon delicacy, all his features perfectly regular and well
turned, and his eyes the finest I ever saw." Whether they were blue or
hazel is undecided; they are hazel in at least one contemporary
portrait. As a boy, engravings show him pretty, merry, and buoyant; an
air of melancholy may be remarked as early as 1744. With bright
nut-brown hair, golden in the sun, and worn long beneath his peruke, he
certainly justified the endearing name of "Bonny Prince Charlie." The
distinction of his air could be concealed by no disguise, as his
followers loved fondly to declare. He certainly had the royal memory for
faces. At the opera, in 1773, he noticed an English officer opposite,
whom he sent for. The gentleman visited the royal box, accompanied by a
Scotch servant. "I have seen you before," said Charles to this man. "You
once brought me a message at Falkirk, in 1746."

Such was Prince Charles when, in 1742, Murray of Broughton became
acquainted with the royal exile in Rome, and was appointed secretary for
Scotland. With Lochiel and others, Murray formed a Jacobite association
in his native country. Negotiations were begun with the French court,
which hung off and on, as did the English Jacobites. They would rise, if
France supplied men, money, and arms. France would do this if
sufficiently assured of support in England. The king had no enthusiasm
for the enterprise. He was weary of promises and of leaning on that
broken reed, Louis XV. Murray intrigued in Scotland, Lord Elcho in
England, Kelly at the French court. Lord Semple confused all by false
hopes; Charles was much in the hands of Irishmen--Sheridan, Sullivan,
O'Brien, and O'Neil; already a "forward," or Prince's party was growing,
as opposed to the waiting policy and party of the disheartened and
unambitious James. To what extent English Jacobites were pledged is
uncertain. There was much discontent with the Hanoverian dynasty in
England, but the dread of popery was strong among the middle classes.
The butchers were advised that Catholics ate no meat on Sundays, the
official clergy preached Protestant sermons, the Jacobite gentry feared
for their lives and estates in case of failure, and the sagacity of the
Government has never revealed the extent to which the Duke of Beaufort
and others were committed to King James. The universities, the sporting
squires, and the smugglers drank to "The king over the water," but there
enthusiasm began and ended.

More was expected, and till assured of more, France held aloof, while
making promises enough. Even the Highland chiefs said that without a
French army nothing could be done. In 1744 Charles left Rome, under
pretext of a hunting party, concealed his withdrawal with great skill,
and reached Paris. He was obliged, however, to be incognito and was not
received by the king. An invading force was crowded on board ship. The
chance seemed excellent, England's forces being mainly abroad; but the
old friends of England, the winds, drove the battered fleet back into
harbor, and Charles in vain tried to persuade the Earl Marischal to
accompany him to Scotland in a small fishing vessel.

One result followed the reception of Charles by France, niggardly as
that reception was--war with England broke out, and the French army of
invasion was moved from Dunkirk to Flanders. The prince, not permitted
to serve in the French army, returned to Paris, where he had been
falsely assured by Semple and Æneas Macdonald that England was ready to
rise for him. Murray, who visited him in Paris, tried to dissuade him
from a wild venture; in Scotland he found the chiefs of his own opinion,
but the letter carrying the news never reached the prince. His Irish
friends urged him on; "the expedition was entirely an Irish project." He
borrowed money from his bankers, the Waters, he pawned his share of the
Sobieski jewels, and, with a privateer man-of-war and a brig, La
Doutelle, he left Belleisle on July 13, 1745. Neither the French court
nor his father knew that, attended only by seven men, "The Seven Men of
Moidart," he had set out to seek for a crown. The day before he embarked
he wrote to James; he said that no man would buy a horse, nor trust a
prince, that showed no spirit. "I never intend to come back," he added.
So, dressed as a student of the Scots College, he started. He lost his
convoy, the Elizabeth, on the way, after a drawn battle with the Lion
(Captain Brett). Resisting all advice to turn back, as Æneas Macdonald,
who accompanied him, narrates, he held on in La Doutelle, and reached
Erisca, an islet between Barra and South Uist, on August 2, 1745. An
eagle hovered over his ship, and Tullibardine hailed the royal bird as a
happy omen. But he found himself unwelcome. Boisdale bade him go home;
"I _am_ at home," said the prince. He steered for Moidart, the most
beautiful but the wildest shore of Scotland, a region of steep and
serrated mountains, of long salt-water straits, winding beneath the
bases of the hills, and of great fresh-water lochs. Loch Nahuagh was his
port; here he received Clan Ranald, whose desolate keep, Castle Tirrim,
stands yet in ruins, since "the Fifteen." Glenaladale (whose descendants
yet hold their barren acres), Dalilea, and Kinlochmoidart (now, like
Clan Ranald, landless men) met him with discouraging words. But, seeing
a flash in the eyes of a young Macdonald, of Kinlochmoidart, Charles
said, "You will not forsake me?" "I will follow you to death, were no
other sword drawn in your cause."

The chiefs caught fire, Charles landed, with the seven men of
Moidart--Æneas Macdonald, the Judas of the cause; the Duke of Athol
(Tullibardine), who had been out in the fifteen; Sheridan, the prince's
tutor; Sir John Macdonald; Kelley, a parson who had been in Atterbury's
affair; Strickland, an Englishman; and Buchanan. Young Lochiel was
disinclined to join, but yielded to the fascination of the prince. With
his accession the rising was a certainty. But Duncan Forbes of Culloden,
the lord president, had influence enough to hold back the Macleods of
Skye, to paralyze the shifty Lovat, and to secure the Sutherland house
for the Hanoverian cause. Charles left Boisdale for Kinlochmoidart, "the
head of Loch Moidart," where an avenue of trees, the prince's walk, is
still shown, though the old house was burned after Culloden. Keppoch cut
off a small party of Scots Royal; this was first blood for the Jacobite
cause. The wounded were hospitably treated by Lochiel; the English
captain was released on parole. Charles now crossed the steep hills
between Kinlochmoidart and the long narrow lake of Loch Sheil, there he
took boat, and rowed past the lands of Glenaladale and Dalilea to
Glenfinnan, where Tullibardine raised the standard, inscribed _Tandem
Triumphans_. A statue of the prince, gazing southward, now marks the
spot. The clans came in, and as Charles marched southeast, each glen
sent down its warriors to join the stream. The clansmen, as a rule, had
probably little knowledge of or interest in the cause. They followed
their chiefs. The surviving Gaelic poetry speaks much of the chieftains;
of _Tearlach, righ nan Gael_, but little is said. It was the middle of
August before the rulers of England received the news of the landing.
They at once set a reward of £30,000 on Charles's head, a proceeding
"unusual among Christian princes," said Charles, who was compelled by
his forces, and their threats of desertion, to follow the evil example.
Sir John Cope was sent with an English army to stop the prince. It
appeared likely that the armies would meet about Dalwhinnie, now the
highest and bleakest part of the Highland Railway. The path then led
over Corryarrack; Charles and his men raced for the summit, but Cope was
not to be seen. He had marched east and north, to Inverness, and all the
south of Scotland lay open to the prince. He passed by Killiecrankie and
Blair Athol to Perth; Cluny came in, with the Duke of Perth, and Lord
George Murray, Charles's most skilled general, who had been out at
Glensheil, in 1719, and had learned the lesson of war in the Sardinian
army. How easily he won Edinburgh, how he held court at Holyrood, how he
routed Cope (who returned by sea) at Preston Pans or Gladsmuir, is
familiar to all. His clemency was conspicuous; he wrote to James that he
would give up Holyrood to the wounded, rather than see them homeless.
Home, a Whig volunteer, and the author of a Whiggish history,
acknowledges the nobility of his conduct, and his "foolish lenity" (he
would not permit the execution of several persons who tried to
assassinate him) is blamed by the fanatics who, in 1749, issued a wild
Cameronian manifesto, "The Active Testimonies of Presbyterians." The
contrast with the savage brutalities of Cumberland is very notable. In
the battle the chiefs refused to let Charles lead the charge, but he was
at the head of the second line, "a pistol shot behind" the first.
Preston Pans was fought on September 21, 1745. That Charles dallied
before Edinburgh Castle till October 21st was no fault of his. Some of
his men had gone home with booty, others were to be waited for, many of
the chiefs were in favor of holding Scotland under James as a separate
kingdom, and it was only by constant personal appeals that the prince
persuaded them to push south. Lord George's strategy deceived the
English, who knew not where to look for the Highlanders. They met at
Carlisle, took it, passed through Preston and Manchester, gave
Cumberland the slip, and their advanced posts, six miles south of Derby,
were within a hundred and twenty miles of London. The army of Finchley
was unlikely to make a stand, the city was partly Jacobite, the mob were
ready for anything, when Lord George and the chiefs insisted on retreat.
Historians doubt which policy was the wiser; it is certain that success,
if to be attained at all, could only be won by audacity. The chiefs,
however, declared for a return and a junction with French forces then
expected. Charles wept and prayed to no avail. His army, as disappointed
as himself, found their faces set to the north, and the prince, who had
ever walked among the first ranks, leaving his carriage to old Lord
Pitsligo, now rode dejected and heart-broken. The retreat was rapid and
able. At Clifton, Murray turned on the pursuing dragoons, headed a
claymore charge, and drove them back. A hapless garrison of Lancashire
volunteers was left to the tender mercies of Cumberland in Carlisle, and
Charles went by way of Whiggish Dumfries (the house where he lodged is
now an inn) to Glasgow. To all intents and purposes the end had come.
Charles had lost faith in the advisers who dragged him back from the
south, he listened to Murray of Broughton and to his Irishry; he
suspected, unjustly but not unnaturally, the good faith of Lord George.
He dallied at Stirling, besieging the castle without proper artillery,
and Hawley was sent to attack him. On January 17, 1746, the armies met
at Falkirk. A storm of wind and rain blew at the backs of the
Highlanders, they charged, scattered the enemy, drove them in flight,
and cut up the Glasgow volunteers. But, in the dark and the mist they
scarcely knew their own advantage. The pipers had thrown their pipes to
their boys, had gone in with the claymore, and could not sound the
calls. Hawley wrote to Cumberland "My heart is broke ... I got off but
three cannon of the ten." Hawley retreated to Edinburgh, the Duke of
Cumberland came to take the command; the Highlanders began to desert
with their booty, dissensions prevailed, and Charles went on besieging
Stirling. Again Lord George Murray urged a retreat, Charles dashed his
head in impotent rage against the wall of his room, but he had to
follow. With perfect truth he said:

"I cannot see anything but ruin and destruction to us all in case we
should think of a retreat;" his forces in flight would lose heart, his
enemies would gain confidence. All this was true, but all this was
unavailing. Months were spent in unimportant movements. Cumberland,
meanwhile, instructed his men in the method of meeting a Highland
charge, and deceiving the parry of the Highland shields. It was known
that France would lend no substantial aid, and a French subsidy of
30,000 _Louis d'or_ came too late, after the battle of Culloden, and was
buried at the head of Loch Arkaig. One last chance Charles had: Lord
George proposed, and Charles eagerly seconded, a night surprise at
Nairn. But the delays on the march, and the arrival of dawn, made Murray
command a retreat, and Charles's faith in him was irretrievably gone for
the time, though he later expressed in writing a more worthy opinion.
With 10,000 well-fed men against 5,000 who were starving, Cumberland had
every chance of victory at Culloden. The Macdonalds, placed on the left
wing, would not charge. Keppoch's men were discontented because they
were not allowed to have a Catholic chaplain. Crying out, "The children
of my clan have forsaken me," Keppoch charged alone, and died the death
of renown. Beaten and blinded by a storm of snow in their faces, the
Highland right clove the ranks of Monro and Burrell, only to fall, in
layers three or four deep, before the fire of Sempill's regiment in the
second line. The whole English force advanced; Charles rode to his
second line, and offered to charge with them. His officers told him that
it was in vain; Highlanders once beaten would not rally. (MS. "Lyon in
Mourning," and MS. of Stuart Threipland at Abbotsford.) Charles was
hurried off the field by his Irish tutor, and fled to Lord Lovat's, at
Gortuleg. A story of his lack of courage, told by Sir Walter Scott on
the authority of Sir James Stewart Denham's recollections of Lord
Elcho's MS., is erroneous. Lord Elcho's MS. does not contain the
statement. What he objects to is Charles's refusal to meet the fragments
of his army at Ruthven, in Badenoch, whence they hoped to wage a
guerilla warfare. Lord George Murray himself admits that the project was
impossible. Charles, however, should have gone to Ruthven, but he
distrusted Lord George; and his hope of a speedy voyage to France, where
he expected to receive aid in men and money, was frustrated.

It is needless to repeat the tale of Cumberland's almost incredible
butcheries, cruelties, and robberies, or to tell of the executions
accompanied by the torture of disembowelling the living man. The story
of Charles's wanderings and distresses is narrated best in the MS. "Lyon
in Mourning," partly printed by Robert Chambers, in "Jacobite Memoirs."
No words can overpraise the loyalty of the starving Highlanders; neither
English tortures, nor the promise of £30,000, ever moved one man or
woman from their constant faith. Only one hungry boy whom Charles had
fed, attempted to betray him, but was not believed. As for the prince,
he is briefly described by a companion as "the most prudent man not to
be a coward, the most daring not to be foolhardy, whom he had ever
known." He showed a constant gayety, singing and telling tales to
hearten his followers. His resource was endless; he was by far the best
cook and the least fastidious eater of his company. He could cook a dish
of cow's brains, or swallow raw oatmeal and salt-water. Surrounded by
English _cordons_, through which he slipped at night up the bed of a
burn, when the sentinels had reached their furthest point apart, Charles
led a little expedition which cut off the cattle intended for the
provender of his enemies. (MS. "Lyon in Mourning.") He would not even
let a companion carry his great-coat. He knew every extremity of hunger,
thirst, and cold; and perhaps his most miserable experience was to lurk
for many hours, devoured by midges, under a wet rock. Unshorn, unwashed,
in a filthy shirt, his last, he was yet the courteous prince in his
dealings with all women whom he met, notably with Flora Macdonald, the
stainless and courageous heroine of loyalty and womanly kindness. At
last, late in September, 1746, Charles, with Lochiel and many others,
escaped in a French barque from Loch Nahuagh, where he had first landed.
It has been said of him by his enemies, especially by Dr. King, a
renegade, that he was avaricious and ungrateful. Letters and receipts in
the muniment room of a Highland chief show him directing large sums,
probably out of the Loch Arkaig treasure, to be paid to Lochiel, to
"Keppoch's lady," and to many poor clansmen. The receipts, written in
hiding, and dried with snuff or sand, attest that the money came to the
persons for whom it was intended.

Charles' expedition could only be justified by success. That it failed
was due to no want of courage, or audacity, or resolve on his part, but
to the very nature of a Highland army, to the jealousies of Irish and
Scotch, to the half-heartedness of his English partisans, and to the
English horror of his father's religion. By his own creed he held very
loosely.

[Illustration: The First Meeting of Prince Charles with Flora MacDonald.]

In France Charles was a popular hero, and adored by ladies. His
appearance at court was magnificent, and for him the Princesse de
Tallemant made every sacrifice. But the Government was deaf to his
appeals, a journey to Spain was fruitless; worst of all, his brother
Henry, to whom he had been tenderly devoted, accepted a cardinal's hat,
on July 3, 1747. This was fatal. The English would never forgive a son
of their so-called king who became a Romish priest; and the shadow of
the hat fell on Charles. From letters of James to the prince, it is
plain that, for some reason, the Duke of York could not look forward to
marriage and to continuing the Stuart family. The young man, therefore,
having also a vocation withal, accepted ecclesiastical rank, and a
cluster of rich benefices. A breach between Charles and James followed,
which was never healed, despite the touching letters of the king to his
"dearest Carluccio." Charles betook himself to adventurous and secret
projects. In the Highlands he had learned to seek the consolation of the
poor, and to forget hunger, cold, misery, and sorrow in drink. He drank
"our best bowlsman," says an islander, under the table. The habit soon
dominated him, and--with his disgraceful arrest and imprisonment, when
he refused to acknowledge the peace of Aix la Chapelle and to withdraw
from France--soured his character and ruined his life. Released from
Vincennes, he hurried to the then Papal city of Avignon, where he
introduced boxing-matches. England threatened to bombard Civita Vecchia,
and Charles had to depart. Whither he went no man knows. There is a
Jacobite tract of 1750, purporting to be written by his equerry, Henry
Goring. According to this, Charles, Goring, and a mysterious Comte de la
Luze (Marshal Keith?), went to Lyons, Dijon, Strasbourg. Here Charles
rescued a beautiful girl from a fire, and honorably declined to take
advantage of her manifest passion for her preserver. The party was
attacked by assassins, Charles shot two of them, La Luze and Goring
accounted for others. They took ship from some northern coast, were
tempest-driven to an unfriendly port, visited, apparently, Frederick the
Great, spent some time in Lithuania, and there are hints of a love
affair, though Charles had already proclaimed that he would never
marry to beget royal beggars. He certainly visited Sweden; there was
talk of him as a candidate for the Polish crown. For many years
(1749-1755) neither James nor the English Government knew where Charles
really was. Grimm says that for three years he lay hidden in the house
of a lady in Paris, a friend of the Princesse de Tallemant. A sportsman
and a lover of the open air is not likely to have loitered so long with
Armida in a secret chamber. There is tattle about him in D'Argenson's
"Memoirs;" a disguised shabby prince appears now and then, none knows
whence, and vanishes. In the papers of Charles Stuart, Comte d'Albanie,
one finds a trace of a visit paid by the prince to Ireland. There is
evidence, in the State Papers, that he was not far from Paris, in June,
1749. We have it under his own hand, in the Stuart Papers at Windsor,
that he visited London on September 5, 1750, returning to Paris on
September 13th. Here, as we know from the document left by Archibald
Cameron, Lochiel's brother, the last man executed for the rising, or
rather for a later plot, Charles renounced the Catholic faith. Charles
himself gives 1750 as the date of this conversion. It came five years
too late, and he recanted his recantation. He was in England again later
(1752), and held his last council in Merriworth Castle in Kent. There is
a legend of his ghost haunting a house in Godalming, which probably
comes from a tradition of his residence there. Since 1750 or
thereabouts, a Miss Clementina Walkinshaw, of Barrowfield, had been his
mistress. He is said to have met her near Glasgow, and flirted with her;
when or where she fled to him on the continent is obscure. Mr. Ewald
supposes her to have been with him in Paris before the affair of
Vincennes (1748). The writer, however, has seen a letter from Paris to a
sister of Miss Walkinshaw describing the arrest at the Opera House,
without the most distant allusion to Clementina, about whom her sister
would be concerned. Clementina, judging by a miniature, was a lady with
very large black eyes; a portrait in oil gives a less favorable view of
her charms. In 1754 Charles was again in England, and in Nottingham. He
actually walked in Hyde Park, where someone, recognizing him, tried to
kneel to him. He therefore returned at once to France. He is reported to
have come back in 1755 or 1756, braving the reward of £30,000 for his
head. The Jacobites now requested him to dismiss Clementina Walkinshaw,
whose eldest sister was a lady housekeeper in the Hanoverian family. A
scrap in Charles's hand at Windsor proves that he regarded some lady as
a possible traitor, but he declined to be dictated to, in his household
matters, by his adherents. This gave the English Jacobites an excuse for
turning their coats, of which they availed themselves. Sir Walter Scott
makes the romance of "Redgauntlet" hang on the incident. About this time
jottings of Charles prove that he fancied himself a Republican. He hated
Louis XV., and declined on one occasion to act as a bug-bear
(_épouvantail_), at the request of France. He had already struck a medal
in honor of the British Navy and contempt of the French. He is now lost
sight of till 1760, when Miss Walkinshaw, with his daughter, left his
protection for that of a convent. This lady, in some letters, now
unluckily lost, endeavored to persuade her family that she was married
to the prince. A later myth averred that her daughter (the Duchess of
Albany) had been secretly married, and a General Stuart, claiming, on
this evidence, to be a legitimate descendant of the prince, died about
1852. As Charles, late in life, legitimatized his daughter by Clementina
Walkinshaw (a thing needless had he been married to her mother), and
made affirmation that he never had any other child, all these legends
are manifestly absurd. (The affirmation is among documents in possession
of Lord Braye, and is published by the Historical MSS. Commission.)

From this point there is little historical or personal interest in the
life of Charles. His father, James III., died in 1766, and was buried as
a king. Charles hurried from Bouillon to Rome; his brother, the
cardinal, tried to secure his recognition by the Papal Court, but the
Pope dared not, and no other government chose to defy the English
Ministry. Charles's life was spent, now in seclusion, now in society; he
still was fond of shooting, of music, and the drama; he still retained
his grace of demeanor when he happened to be sober. Late in 1771 he went
in disguise to Paris, where he accepted a pension from France, and a
beautiful bride, Louise, Princess of Stolberg, descended from the Earl
of Ailesbury into whose arms Charles II. fell under the stroke of his
fatal illness. The ill-matched pair were married on Good Friday, April
17, 1772. At first Charles behaved with more sobriety and good humor
than usual. A child of the marriage was expected, at least by the Scotch
Jacobites, in 1773. There is a legend that a child was actually born,
was intrusted to Captain John Carter Allen, was brought up by him as his
own, and this infant, grown to manhood, became the father of two
gentlemen calling themselves John Sobieski Stolberg Stuart and Charles
Edward Stuart, Counts of Albany. They lived till late in the present
century, were picturesque figures in society, and writers of some spirit
and vigor. For long they were much cherished by some noble Highland
families. Charles, the younger, has left descendants. It is needless to
discuss here the authenticity of these claims.

Charles's relations with his wife were on the pattern of his relations
with his mistress. He was jealous, and brutal beyond description; she
was courted by Alfieri, the poet, and, after fleeing from her husband to
a convent, she united her fortunes with Alfieri's. On his death she
chose a young French painter, Fabre, as his successor, and to him she
left her rich collection of relics, spoils of the poet and the king. A
beautiful, witty, and engaging woman, she was long a centre of society
in Italy. She died in 1824. In 1784 Charles sent for his daughter by
Miss Walkinshaw. Both had long been maintained by the cardinal. He made
her Duchess of Albany, medals were designed, if never struck,
representing her as _spes ultima et exigua_, "the last frail hope," of
the Stuarts. For the last time, in conversation with a Mr. Greathead,
the old spirit blazed out. His face brightened, he began the tale of his
campaign, but, when attempting to narrate the butcheries of Cumberland,
the cruel executions in London, he fell on the floor in convulsions. He
used to solace himself by playing on the pipes, and at the sound of the
martial music which he had heard on three stricken fields, he was able
to live in the past. On January 31, 1788, the anniversary of the death
of Charles I., Charles Edward passed away from earth. His daughter did
not long survive him; she was killed by a fall from her horse. Henry now
took the title of Henry IX. "by grace of God, not by the will of men."
He died in 1806; the French had stripped him of all his property, even
the famous Sobieski rubies were gone, and he was in receipt of a pension
from the English Government. In 1819 George IV. erected a monument by
Canova, in St Peters at Rome, to "James III., son of James II., King of
Great Britain, to Charles Edward, and Henry, his sons, the last of the
Royal Stuart line. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." Sir Walter
Scott visited this alone of Roman sights, in 1832, just before he came
home to die.

Had Charles fallen at Culloden, history could find no blot on his name,
no stain on the white rose. Surviving, as he did, a broken-hearted
exile, with no home, no chance of a career, "eating his own heart,
shunning the paths of men," as Homer says of Bellerophon, he fell a
victim to the habit which has ever the same wretched results, which
turns a hero to a coward, a gentleman to a brute. Yet, in his one year
of brilliance, he won immortal love. Scott had seen strong men, the
prince's ancient comrades, weep at the mention of his name. No man, in
any age, ever inspired such a large, such a gallant, such a tender and
melancholy body of song. Even now as one hears the notes of

  "Will ye no come back again,
   Better lo'ed ye canna be,"

sung by the lads of a Scotch village, one feels that Charles Stuart did
not wholly fail; the song outlives the dynasty, and relics of Prince
Charlie are fondly cherished, while no man cares a halfpenny for his
Hanoverian rivals.

The best life of Prince Charles is that by Mr. Ewald (London, 1875). Mr.
Ewald alone has used the State Papers at the Record Office. Lord
Stanhope's and Mr. Chambers's "Histories of the Forty-five" are also
excellent; as are "Jacobite Memoirs," selected from Bishop Forbes's MS.
"Lyon in Mourning." These works, with the contemporary tracts, and some
MSS., with Lord Stanhope's "Decline of the Last Stuarts," and the Stuart
Papers at Windsor, as given in Browne's "History of the Highland Clans,"
have been consulted in compiling this study of Prince Charles.

[Signature: Andrew Lang.]



CAPTAIN JAMES COOK[14]

         [Footnote 14: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By OLIVER OPTIC

(1728-1779)

[Illustration: Captain James Cook.]


As an example of the self-made man without fortune or the prestige of a
distinguished family to assist him, perhaps there is none better and
more instructive than the career of Captain Cook, the great English
navigator and discoverer. At his birth, in 1728, his father was a
farm-laborer, and his mother belonged to the same grade of society. They
lived in the north of England, and were people of excellent character.
On account of his honesty, industry, and skill in farming, his father
was promoted to the place of head servant on a farm some distance from
where he had been working; but it does not appear that he ever made any
further advancement. James learned to read and write, and was instructed
in some of the simpler rules of arithmetic, which was the extent of his
school learning, a very slender outfit for one of the distinction to
which he attained in a lifetime of fifty years.

At the age of thirteen James was bound as an apprentice to a dry-goods
dealer in a small way in a considerable fishing town. The business did
not suit the youth at all, for he had before cherished the idea of going
to sea, and his surroundings in a seaport doubtless increased his
yearnings in that direction. A disagreement between the apprentice and
his employer enabled him to procure his discharge, and he engaged his
services to the Messrs. Walker, a couple of Quakers, who owned two
vessels employed in the coal trade. He passed the greater portion of his
term, and a considerable period after its expiration, as a common sailor
on board of the ship Free Love, where he obtained a thorough knowledge
of seamanship. From this humble sphere he was promoted to be mate of one
of the Walker ships. His life in this capacity was uneventful, though he
was all the time learning navigation and storing his mind with the
information which was to enable him to distinguish himself in later
years.

In 1755, when Cook was twenty-seven years old, war broke out between
England and France, and there was a great demand for seamen for the navy
of England. At that time the system of impressment was in vogue, and
when Britain wanted sailors she took them, wherever and whenever she
could find them. Press-gangs were sent out, under one or more officers,
by ships of war in port needing more men. They visited the
drinking-places and taverns of the town and captured all the seamen
they could find, usually more or less intoxicated, and compelled them to
go on board of the man-of-war. They were forced to do duty. Sometimes
the unlucky tars were taken from the vessels to which they belonged,
whether in port or at sea. This impressment was not always confined to
British seamen, and this system was one of the causes which led to the
war of 1812 between England and the United States. Though the law
sanctioning this abuse was never repealed, press-gangs became obsolete
half a century ago.

Cook's ship was in the Thames at this time, and he was liable to
impressment, for mates were not exempt, though captains were. Like all
British seamen, he had a dread of being forced into the naval service,
oftener because they were forced than for any other reason. He concealed
himself, and used all the precautions he could to avoid such a calamity,
as he then regarded it. But he faithfully reconsidered the subject, and
concluded to enter the navy by voluntary enlistment, thus escaping
impressment, which would be an outrage upon his manhood. He began his
service on board the Eagle, a sixty-gun ship, which was soon after
commanded by Captain Palliser. Cook was not only an able and skilful
seaman, but he diligently and faithfully performed every duty, so that
he soon attracted the attention of his officers.

His friends at home had endeavored to do something for him, and his
commander received a letter from a member of Parliament commending the
seaman to his favor. The captain acknowledged the merit of Cook in his
reply, but stated that he had been in the navy for so brief a period
that he could not be made a commissioned officer, but in due time, if he
proved worthy, a master's warrant might be obtained for him. Four years
after he entered the service a strong interest secured this promotion
for him. In this capacity he was assigned to the frigate Mercury, which
was ordered to North America, where she became one of the fleet that
operated in connection with the army of General Wolfe in the siege of
Quebec.

The navigation of this portion of the St. Lawrence River was difficult
and dangerous then to the English; they were comparative strangers
there, and the French had removed the channel buoys. It was necessary to
make a survey, and Captain Palliser recommended Master Cook for the
service. The locality was exposed to the enemy, and for several nights
he conducted the work till he had about completed it, when his
operations were discovered by the French. A force of Indians was sent to
capture the surveyor, and they surrounded him in the darkness in their
canoes, and Cook made his escape only by leaping ashore, to which his
barge had been directed, near the English hospital, while the Indians
were boarding the boat over the stern. But he had performed the duty
intrusted to him, and from his measurements constructed a perfect chart
of the channel.

He was a very skilful draughtsman, though he had educated himself in the
art, as well as an expert surveyor, and he was employed by the admiral
in making surveys of other portions of the river. His charts of the
locality were published, with soundings and sailing directions; and they
were so correct that no others were needed for at least a hundred
years. He piloted the boats of the squadron in the attack upon
Montmorency, and superintended the landing of the troops for the assault
on the Plains of Abraham, where both Wolfe and Montcalm were mortally
wounded.

For four years Cook had been an acting master, but in 1759 he was fully
confirmed in his rank and appointed to the flag-ship of Lord Colvill,
passing the following winter at Halifax. This was a season of leisure
from active professional occupation, and the master employed it in
studying geometry, astronomy, and mathematics generally, fitting himself
for the highest positions in the navy. For the next ten years he was
largely engaged in surveying in Newfoundland, and was present at its
capture from the French. Returning to England he was married, but was
soon sent back to the field of his recent labors, as marine surveyor of
the coasts, by the influence of his constant friend, now Sir Hugh
Palliser. He was busily employed in this capacity, rendering valuable
service to his country, and especially to the king's ministers in
arranging the terms of peace with France. During his absence he observed
an eclipse of the sun, which was so well done that his results were
published in the "Philosophical Transactions," adding greatly to his
reputation as an astronomer.

At this period the spirit of discovery was reanimated in England, and an
expedition was fitted out, at the instance of the Royal Society,
primarily to observe a transit of Venus across the disk of the sun,
which could only be done in some parts of the Pacific Ocean. Sir Hugh
Palliser was again his friend, and Cook, raised to the rank of
lieutenant, was appointed to the command. He selected a ship of three
hundred and seventy tons, called the Endeavor, for the purpose, and
accompanied by several eminent scientists, he sailed in 1778. In
addition to its astronomical task, the expedition was to make
discoveries and explorations in the Pacific.

It would be impossible to follow Lieutenant Cook in the details of his
three notable voyages of discovery in anything less than a volume, so
full are they of interesting incidents. He proceeded first to Madeira,
and then across the Atlantic to Rio Janeiro, where he made a
considerable stay to obtain supplies, and improve the condition of his
crew. Passing through the Strait of Le Maire, he went around Cape Horn,
and in April of 1769 the Endeavor arrived at Otaheite, now called
Tahiti, in the Society Islands, where the transit was to be observed.
The observations required a considerable stay in Matavia Bay, and as
soon as he had made his preparations on shore for the work, the
commander established regulations for intercourse between his people and
the natives who crowded in multitudes around their strange visitors.

No man in his day and generation ever had more extensive dealings with
the uncivilized tribes of the earth than Captain Cook, and none ever
treated them with more enlightened humanity, or with more even-handed
justice. His treatment of the aborigines of the vast number of islands
and other regions he visited, is in remarkable contrast with that of the
early explorers of the Western Continent. By the latter the natives were
remorselessly slain, enslaved, and even tortured. They were regarded as
pagans, with no natural rights, whose territories, families, and persons
were the legitimate spoils of the conquerors. On the contrary, Cook,
with the means in his possession to overawe, subdue, and subjugate them,
always extended to them the utmost consideration in his power. He could
be severe when necessity required, but his forbearance was almost
unlimited.

The first of a series of rules he established and enforced was: "To
endeavor, by every fair means, to cultivate a friendship with the
natives, and to treat them with all imaginable humanity." He was largely
dependent upon the resources of the islands he visited for the
sustenance of his people; but nothing, except in dire necessity, was
ever taken from the natives by force. Persons were appointed to trade
with them, and no others were allowed to barter or exchange goods with
them, and a proper equivalent was always to be given. His own men were
put under the strictest discipline in order to control their relations
with the natives who constantly surrounded them. Generally the most
friendly spirit prevailed on both sides. The inhabitants of all the
islands seemed to have a natural inclination to steal, and most of the
trouble with them grew out of this tendency. Cook judiciously repressed
theft from the beginning, and almost invariably compelled the
restoration of the property.

On the other hand, his own men were sometimes tempted to desert; but he
hunted them down, secured one or more chiefs as hostages, or by some
common-sense method recovered the absentees. At some of the islands Cook
was extremely popular with the inhabitants, and was regarded as a
superior being, even a demigod, in many of them. When he was compelled
to resort to extreme severity, he did not begin with cannon, loaded with
grape, but trusted first to the loud report, terrific to the savages,
fired over their heads, or had the muskets loaded with small shot which
would hurt, but did not kill. No slaughter that could possibly be
avoided was permitted. If he erred at all it was on the side of
humanity, and if he had been less forbearing he might have added more
years to his length of days.

The astronomical work at Otaheite was successfully accomplished, and in
July Captain Cook departed, taking with him Tupia, a native of some
distinction, who proved to be valuable to him as an interpreter, and for
his general knowledge. During this voyage he visited many of the islands
of the Pacific, including New Zealand, where he encountered no little
hostility, so that it was often difficult and sometimes impossible to
establish friendly relations with the natives. But he obtained what he
needed, and proceeded on his voyage. He gave names to islands, bays,
straits, and harbors, some of which seem strange at the present day, but
most of them were suggested by the circumstances of the visit. Of many
of the islands he took possession in the name of his sovereign, leaving
memorials of his landing.

Sailing to the westward, he examined the east coast of New Holland, as
it was then called, Australia, at the present time, charted the coast,
as he had done throughout the voyage, and took possession of the country
in the name of England. The existence of a Southern Continent had long
been a mooted question, and in this and subsequent voyages Captain Cook
searched unsuccessfully for it. He passed through Torres Strait, and
thus proved that New Guinea was not a part of Australia, as some
claimed. Continuing his voyage, he went around the Cape of Good Hope,
and reached England in the middle of 1771. The results of his cruise of
nearly four years were exceedingly important to his country. His
reputation was largely increased, and he was promoted to the rank of
commander in the navy.

So well approved was the conduct of Captain Cook on his first voyage
around the world, that he was appointed to the command of another
similar expedition, consisting of two ships, the Resolution and the
Adventure, and after about a year on shore, he sailed again in 1772. He
went around the Cape of Good Hope, and cruised in the Southern Pacific,
discovering and taking possession of New Caledonia, visiting islands
where he had landed before, and exploring and charting the New Hebrides.
His instructions particularly required him to circumnavigate the earth
in the highest practicable southern latitude in search of the unknown
continent still supposed to be there. He used the southern summer for
this purpose; but he found no land he was willing to call a continent.
Though large bodies of land have since been discovered in that region,
the question is still an open one.

Adapting his operations to the varying climate of the north and the
south, Captain Cook continued his explorations, encountering many
hardships and perils in unknown seas, from hostile savages, and in the
icy realms of the extreme south.

He returned to England in 1775 after an absence of three years. The
commander had always taken excellent care of the health of his men, for
in voyages of the description he had undertaken the mortality was always
considerable, and sometimes terrible. One of the most noticeable
features of his second expedition was that it returned with a record of
only one death in both ships; and the details of the means he used to
secure a good sanitary condition among his crews are very interesting.

On his return Cook was immediately raised to the rank of post-captain,
and was also appointed a captain in Greenwich Hospital, which secured to
him an honorable retirement, and reward for his important labors. He was
elected a member of the Royal Society, which also bestowed upon him a
gold medal in recognition of his contributions to the science of the
period. The passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific by the north coast
of America was exciting a great deal of attention at this time, and
Captain Cook was sent upon an expedition to continue his explorations in
the Pacific, and then to investigate the mystery of a northwest passage.
He sailed in the Resolution in 1776, and was followed by Captain Clerke
in the Discovery. He proceeded, after his arrival at the Cape of Good
Hope, to Tasmania, visited New Zealand again, and passed the following
year in explorations in the Pacific.

[Illustration: Death of Captain Cook.]

In the first month of 1778 he discovered the Sandwich Islands, to which
he gave this name in honor of his patron, the Earl of Sandwich, then
the first Lord of the Admiralty. Obtaining the supplies he needed, the
commander proceeded to explore the northwest coast of America, which he
followed inside of Behring Strait, till the ice and cold compelled him
to seek a more southern latitude, which he found in the genial airs of
the Sandwich Islands.

During his former visit he had found the natives to be friendly and
generally well disposed, though more addicted to thieving than the
people of any other islands the explorer had visited. For some
unexplained reason they were in a different frame of mind on his second
visit. A boat belonging to the expedition had been stolen by the
savages, and Captain Cook proceeded, in his usual vigorous manner, to
recover it. He sent a boat on shore for this purpose, and then landed
himself with another party, intending to capture a certain chief, to be
exchanged for the boat. An immense crowd gathered around him, and were
hypocritically friendly at first; but it was soon observed that they
were arming themselves. The commander asked Kariopoo, the chief he had
selected, to go with him, and he made no objection. The captain had
ordered the marines to be drawn up on the shore, and leading his
prisoner by the hand he approached the boat, the natives opening a
passage for him.

The chief's family and friends interposed to save him, declaring that he
would be killed if he went on board of the ship. The captain
expostulated with them and the tumult increased. The lieutenant of
marines wanted to fire, but Cook refused the pet mission. The tumult
soon became a battle, and then he ordered his men to fire. As he was
trying to save his party he was struck with a club, which partially
stunned him, and then he was stabbed in the back of the neck by an iron
dagger. He fell into shallow water, and the savages threw themselves
upon him. A struggle ensued, and he was hauled on the beach by his foes,
where they stabbed him in turn in their barbarous rage. His body lay on
the beach, and it might have been recovered, but it was not. Only a
portion of his remains were obtained, and they were buried at sea.

Thus perished Captain James Cook, and all England mourned him.

[Signature: William S. Adams.]



JOHN HOWARD[15]

         [Footnote 15: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By HARRIET G. WALKER

(1726-1790)

[Illustration: John Howard.]


John Howard was born in Hackney, Middlesex County, England, September 2,
1726. The only existing record of this fact is the inscription upon his
monument in St. Paul's Cathedral, London. His parentage came through a
somewhat obscure family, his father being sometimes mentioned as an
upholsterer and sometimes as a merchant of moderate means. Of his mother
we know only her name--Chomley--and that she died when her second child,
and only son, was an infant. The father was a strict, sturdy, honest,
severe Puritan, the marks of whose character ever remained on the
character of the son.

The motherless boy seems to have passed unnoticed through the weary days
of a sickly childhood, and the usual martyrdom of the "dullest boy in
the school," under first one tutor and then another, to his sixteenth
year, when he left school and books, as he afterward testifies, "not
thoroughly knowing any one thing." How much does any boy or girl
thoroughly know of any one thing at sixteen? Surely not enough to
warrant his removal from school.

But not so reasoned the father of John Howard, for we find him at this
age apprenticing his only son to Alderman Newham, a wholesale grocer on
Watling Street, London.

That this was not a change made from pecuniary necessity is evidenced by
the liberal provision made for the boy. We are told that his father paid
£700 for his fee of apprenticeship, and provided him a separate suite of
apartments, a servant, and a pair of saddle-horses! The inference is
that young John's progress in school was not such as to warrant his
continuance at his books.

His letters and manuscripts still in existence reveal a lamentable
deficiency in orthography and the handling of the king's English.

Some of Howard's biographers attempt to attribute his methodical
businesslike habits in later life to the experience gained while in the
service of this wholesale grocer. But when we consider that his stay was
far less than one year, we may fairly be allowed to conclude that more
was due to an inherited temperament for slow methodical action.

Before reaching his seventeenth year, the death of his father released
him from the grocery business, for which he had evidently no affection,
and left him in possession of £7,000 in ready cash, beside land, plate,
house, etc.

This fortune was left under the management of guardians, it being his
father's wish that he should not control it until his twenty-fourth
year. But his course of life goes to show that he had wonderfully easy
trustees, as he immediately bought himself off the grocery business, and
made a long tour of the Continent for the benefit of his health.
Returning to England, he dropped into the little village of Stoke
Newington, a mere hamlet, where he had some possessions.

That a young man of wealth and free from all ties of family or business,
should have voluntarily chosen such a home, and been contented to remain
there, in a state of idle inactivity, for the space of seven or eight
years, can be accounted for only by remembering his feeble health.

When twenty-five, his health entirely failed, and he was prostrated by a
severe fit of illness, through which he was nursed by his landlady, Mrs.
Loidore. Upon his recovery he made her his wife, in testimony of his
gratitude, though history records that she had neither beauty, money,
nor health, having been an invalid for twenty-two years, and was
twenty-seven years his senior.

Two or three years after this seemingly ill-suited marriage, which,
strange to say, seems to have been a not unhappy one, Mrs. Howard died.
Immediately Mr. Howard, then twenty-eight or nine years of age, again
left England for a second extended tour. This being the year of the
great earthquake of Lisbon, he naturally turned his steps thitherward.

Setting sail from England for Spain, he was captured on the high seas by
a French privateer, and for two months suffered the hardships and
indignities of prison life in those times. Upon his release he used all
his influence to secure the exchange of the remainder of his vessel's
company, and was successful. This prison experience he never forgot.

Three years later (1758) he married Henrietta Leeds, a lady of fine
character, and one to whom he was sincerely attached. Indeed, so fearful
was he that their married life might not be entirely without jars, that
he made a bargain with her, in advance of their marriage, that on all
disputed points the adjustment should be according to his judgment. One
is at a loss which member of a couple the most to admire, the man who
could make such a proposition, or the woman who would bind herself with
such bonds! But, like his first marriage, his strange contract with his
second wife seems to have led only to happy results.

They settled in Cardington, upon the Howard estate, and for the next
seven years led the uneventful life of landed gentry of the times. The
husband and wife were united in their efforts to improve the morals and
general condition of their tenantry. Rightly believing that the
beginning of all reform was to improve the physical condition, Howard
spared no expense in rearing new cottages upon new and improved plans,
held his tenants removable at will, and through their improved
conditions ruled over them with an almost despotic sway, tempered and
made bearable in that all his restrictions and requirements were on the
line of their temporal and spiritual advancement.

How strange is the making of history! Had the gentle, loving,
well-governed, dependent Mrs. Howard lived on, this would no doubt have
been the continuation, the aim, and the end of John Howard's life--to
constantly advance and improve the interests and condition of his
tenantry, and to wisely govern and administer his estate. But it was not
so to be. The happy home must be broken up, and the man whom God needed
must, through the sting of his own sorrow, be sent out again upon his
wanderings to do the work reserved for him in the broad field not of his
own choosing. The birth of the only child, a son, preceded the death of
its mother by but a few days, and Howard was again alone. To the end of
his life he remained a sincere and constant mourner for the wife to whom
he owed the happiest, if not the most useful, seven years of his life.
It is said by some of his biographers that he always kept the
anniversary of her death as a solemn day of fasting and prayer.

Come we now to the point in his career where, all unknown to himself,
Howard took up the work which was to startle the whole civilized world,
and place his name in the roll of those whose memories die not.

But first let us remember the son whose life began where his mother's
ended, and ended where it was well his mother had not lived to see it.

It would seem that the loss of his beloved wife and the sad recollection
of his own motherless unloved boyhood, would have made of John Howard a
tender and pitiful, as well as devoted father. Such was not the case, if
we may judge from the vehemence with which some of his biographers deny
the charges of undue severity to the infant, and forgetfulness and
neglect of the growing-up boy, and the silence of others on the same
subject.

The real truth probably was, so far as we can judge, that the man had
nothing in his stiff nature and puritanical education, certainly nothing
in his own early life, to make him respond to the uninteresting
helplessness of infancy.

So we find him doing his duty by the crying infant of a few months, in a
manner which would be amusing if it were not pathetic. He takes him from
the nurse, lays him across his knees, and sits unmoved and unmovable
until the tempest exhausts itself, and the child is silent from
exhaustion, when he hands him solemnly back to the nurse, and feels
that, by so much at least, has he cast out of the young child the spice
of Old Adam, which is the birthright of us all! A few such experiences,
we are told, and the child would at once cease its struggles and be
silent. One would surely think it would!

But the silent, lonely man, bereft of the loving companionship of the
gentle wife, who would so differently have soothed and silenced the
crying infant, could not long bear the solitude of his broken home, and
so began the years of wanderings, which lasted as long as his life, and
through which he seems so largely to have lost sight of his young son at
his most impressionable age, save to provide for his material wants,
and to some extent, also, his education. When with him in later years he
appears to have enjoyed his society, or at least the evidences which he
gave of implicit, unreasoning obedience, illustrated by his remark, "I
believe if I told the boy to put his hand in the fire he would obey me."

At four the boy was put into a boarding-school, and the home was broken
up. The later glimpses which we get of his career are vague,
unsatisfactory, or decidedly bad, until the end came, and "Jack" was
incarcerated in a mad-house when but twenty-two, where his unfortunate
life went out after twelve years' confinement in a darkness that
darkened also the last years of his good, if injudicious, father, with a
sorrow beside which all common bereavements should seem like blessings.

In 1769, then, we see the Cardington home broken up, the boy placed in a
boarding-school, and John Howard setting forth upon what to him was but
an aimless journey, in search of consolation, amid new scenes, for the
shattered fortunes of his home. He travelled over large portions of
Italy, and returned again to England, where in 1773 he was elected High
Sheriff of Bedford. No sooner had he entered upon the duties of his
office, than he was struck with the gross injustice of the practices,
especially as affecting those prisoners held for debt. Many heads of
families were held for months and years, not for the original debt for
which they were incarcerated, which in many cases had been forgiven or
paid, but for an accumulation of fees due to jailer and divers other
officers of the prison, who drew their salaries from this source. Much
astounded by such a state of things in a Christian land, but supposing
it to be a peculiarity of his own county, he made a journey into some of
the surrounding districts, to learn from them, if possible, some better
method. It but augmented his indignation and distress to find their
condition and methods worse even than at home, since in some he actually
found the fees wrung from these unhappy prisoners to amount to so much
that the office of jailer was sold to the highest bidder, the sum paid
for the position often amounting to as much as £40 per annum.

On this tour Howard, now thoroughly awake on the subject, could not but
observe the miseries of the prisoners from other sources, besides
extortions. This might have been borne, but for the terrible crowding of
herds of men and women, without regard to age, sex, character, or crime,
into foul underground dungeons, damp, dark, unventilated, often
unwarmed, with insufficient and unfit food and clothing, without beds,
and many in chains. Such were the sights which met his gaze at every
turn, and moved his soul with shame for his country, and a slow but
deadly anger that, once kindled, died only with his life. Thoroughly and
systematically he continued his investigation of the jails and prisons
of England, until he had been over them all, which consumed nearly a
year's time (travel was a different matter a hundred years ago, from
now), and then made his report public, for which labor he was called
before the bar of the House of Commons and received the thanks of that
august body.

More satisfactory still, he had the pleasure of seeing two bills passed,
one making the office of jailer a salaried position, thereby abolishing
the whole iniquitous system of special fees from prisoners, the other
having reference to improvements in ventilation and other sanitary
matters.

The text of these bills he had printed in large bold type at his own
expense, and sent them to every jail and prison in England. A few months
later, being desirous of seeing whether or not the requirements of the
new laws were being put into execution, he made personal inspection,
riding by chaise or on horseback from city to city and from town to
town.

Toward the last of this year, 1774, Howard made his first and last
venture into the arena of political life. Being a man of strong, stern
political convictions, and feeling it his duty to stand by his
principles, he listened to the advice of friends, and made a stand for
the House of Commons. Fortunately for the world he was defeated by _four
votes_.

On such small hinges swing the doors of life. Had he been elected he
would doubtless have sunk out of sight and been forgotten, and his great
work would have been given to some other agent.

Though greatly disappointed at his failure, Howard's mind at once
returned to the question of prison reform, and his next journey led him
over Ireland and Scotland. The former he found worse and the latter
better than England.

Being desirous of publishing a book upon his investigations and their
results, he at the close of this year left England to examine the
prisons of France, Flanders, and Holland. It surprises us much to learn
that he found the prisons of Holland almost models, while France is
declared far in advance of England, although these were the days of the
Bastille! He also journeyed into Switzerland and again made a survey of
the jails of England and Wales. Feeling at last that he had sufficient
material he returned to England and began upon his book. For eight
months he labored incessantly upon this work, correcting proofs,
collating and arranging statistics, etc., although for the literary part
he was obliged to call in the assistance of some of his learned friends,
who, better than he understood the use of the king's English.

This book made a most profound sensation throughout the civilized world.
That it might reach a more extended circulation, it was sold at less
than the cost of production, and large numbers were given away among the
officials. All this expense was borne by Howard out of his own private
purse, as were at all times his immense and constant outlay in travel.
Not only his whole private income, but the fortune of £15,000 received
from his only sister at her death, was expended in the same manner.

Subsequently Howard published a second volume, in 1780, as an appendix
to the first, and in 1784 a third and last, which was a compilation of
the first two, with much added material acquired during his continuous
travels over every part of Europe.

[Illustration: Howard relieving a Prisoner.]

During the earlier and idler parts of his life, Howard had been pleased
to dabble somewhat in medicine, after the manner of the gentlemen of his
time. This stood him in good part upon his travels, and made him
familiar with the various forms of disease that especially afflicted
prisons and the people at large. For jail fever and typhus he rightly
judged that the sanitary and food conditions were sufficient cause and
attacked them from this basis. But having in a measure finished his jail
and prison work, to his mind, he became possessed with the idea that he
might search out and find a remedy for the dreadful _plague_ that was
filling all Europe with dismay. The methodical habit of the man's mind
is evidenced by noting that he followed exactly the same method in this
as in his former undertaking, namely, personal investigation and
experience. He left home in July, 1789, and it is surprising that for
six months he literally lived in the poisonous atmosphere of the
pest-houses, pest-ships, and lazarettos of Europe, and escaped
contagion. In January, 1790, however, in a little Russian village near
the Crimea, he was called upon to prescribe for a young lady, ill with
some low malignant fever, from which visit he contracted the same
disease. Being then sixty-four years of age, naturally frail, worn down
by sixteen years of hard, exhaustive toil, depleted by a diet that found
no place for meats or stimulants, he had nothing upon which to rally,
and rapidly sank into the long slumber which at last gave him what he
had so many years denied himself--_rest_.

His remains were buried there in Russia in the village of Dophinovka.
After his death a monument was erected to his memory, being the first
placed in St. Paul's Cathedral, London. This was appropriately inscribed
to his memory, although it was his latest expressed wish that he should
be left to sleep in an unmarked, unknown grave.

A just estimate of the character of John Howard can only be arrived at
by a careful consideration of the times in which he lived and the
peculiar circumstances of his life. The natural inherited sternness of
his character never felt the modifying influences of a mother's love or
the companionship of brothers or sisters. His ill health added to his
restless desire for travel and change, but unfitted him for close or
continued application to any special line of thought or interest, while
his early independence in the management of his fortune placed in his
way strong temptations to extravagance and idleness.

It is therefore more than an ordinary indication of an inborn principle
of humanity when we find him, upon his first settlement upon his
father's estates, devoting time, thought, and money to the amelioration
of the condition of his neglected and suffering tenantry. Model
landlords were not in fashion in those times, and a man who so
administered his affairs must have done so in the face of much
criticism, ridicule, and contempt among his peers.

But none of these things seem to have moved him from the even tenor of
his way. Yet there was no sentimentalism in his dealings with his
tenants, as we find him holding them to a strict accounting for the use
made of their improved conditions.

So of his prison work. It seemed to be all and altogether for the
masses, and not for individuals. No record is left of personal
almsgiving, save when resorted to as a ruse to obtain entrance to the
French prisons. That his interest was not in individuals is further
shown by the calm and deliberate manner in which he prosecuted his
investigations, taking years for the accumulation of materials and
months to their careful watching through the press. It was the principle
of justice ingrained in the man's deepest nature that forced him to
_know_ all that could be known or said upon both sides before speaking.
It was this thoroughness, this absolute fairness, that made of his work
and of his inartistically constructed books the tremendous and lasting
success which they were.

Deeply religious, he naturally reflected the spirit of the religious
teachings of the times, which savored more of the terrors of the law
than of mercy and forgiveness to evil-doers; that found more worship in
denying self the indulgences of soft living than in the partaking of the
harmless pleasures and sweets of life, giving a good God thanks for His
good gifts. Through all the life and writings of Howard one constantly
hears the minor chord of infinite sadness wrought into his life by his
motherless infancy, his unloved boyhood, his years of invalidism, his
ceaseless mourning for his wife Henrietta, the bitterness of death in
the cup held to his lips by his unfortunate son, and over and above all,
the constant atmosphere of crime, cruelty, sin, and suffering in which
he spent the last sixteen years of his life. Life to him came to mean
sin, suffering, and sorrow in the world about him, and for himself work,
work, incessant work, in the effort to do what one man could to lift or
lighten the burden under which the whole earth groaned. Death came to
him where he would have most wished it might, and took him directly from
labor to reward. And throughout the coming ages the world will be the
better because in the last half of the eighteenth century there lived,
labored, and died in the midst of his labors one _John Howard, the
Philanthropist_.

[Signature: Harriet G. Walker.]



ETHAN ALLEN[16]

         [Footnote 16: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

By GERTRUDE VAN RENSSELAER WICKHAM

(1738-1789)


Was Ethan Allen a hero or a humbug? a patriot or a pretender? Ask
Vermont and she cries "Nulli secundus!" Ask New York and the reply is
"Ad referendum."

The differentiation antedates the American Revolution and the part Ethan
Allen played in that historic drama. It is an inheritance of loving
loyalty and gratitude that quivers in the answer of one State, the
traditional antagonisms of prejudice that speak in the other.

But for Ethan Allen, Vermont would have had no separate existence. But
for Ethan Allen, New York's northeastern boundary would have been the
Connecticut River. Therefore, on one shore of Lake Champlain the
disputed shield is unalloyed gold, reflecting all that is strong and
brave, all that is courageous and magnanimous, all that is patriotic and
generous, while from the other shore its appearance is as brass engraven
by vanity and vulgarity, by self-sufficiency and infidelity.

[Illustration: Ethan Allen.]

Controversy over property rights engenders such diversities of opinion,
and when, as in this case, one side gains all and the other loses much,
the exultation of triumph or the bitterness of defeat will color the ink
of all literature on the subject for a century to come.

Not until after the year 1761 did the dense wilderness of either
Northern New York, or what was then considered Western New Hampshire,
prove attractive to the Yankee or Dutch settler in search of a pioneer
home. The cruel conflicts that for over seventy years had made these
border lands the scene of bloody race enmities were ended by the
conquest of Canada. These primeval forests, that had echoed only to the
tread of skulking savages, or the revengeful tramp of opposing forces,
became peaceful spots for the erection of hearth-stones around which
women and children might gather in safety. Many of the Connecticut
soldiery who had taken active part in the late French and Indian wars,
now recalled the beautiful country through which they had marched to
meet or pursue the foe, the grandeur of its evergreen mountain peaks,
the limpid sheets of water nestling between, its sparkling fish-laden
streams, and the apparent fertility of its soil.

These recollections were stimulated by the conditions which confronted
them on their return to peaceful and agricultural pursuits. The
subdivision of farms among the many robust sons of the average New
England household had reached its limit, and the young man who would
found a home and family of his own, thenceforth must seek for cheaper
and broader acres than were to be found already under cultivation. New
Hampshire's liberal offer of grants in her western border upon easy
terms, decided the future of many a New England lad, and for several
years the tide of emigration rolled steadily northward.

From Burlington, on Lake Champlain, for one hundred miles south to
Bennington, the sound of the axe was heard by day and by night. The
enthusiasms of a new country lent strength to the arm and courage to the
heart. In every direction homes sprang up, surrounded by young orchards,
and beyond and around these, cultivated fields.

Suddenly the settlers were set to wondering and worrying at the sight of
strange surveyors taking new measurements through the farms wrenched
from the wilds with so much of hard labor and wearisome toil. And then
the blow fell. New York was claiming all this tract of land as part of
her province, and declaring New Hampshire grants to be null and void. A
second payment for their farms was demanded, based upon their present
value as improved property.

In some cases new owners put in an appearance and attempted to take
possession, having purchased, in good faith, of land speculators in New
York City, to whom Governor Colden, of New York, had issued immense
grants covering a large part of the disputed territory. These
speculators were mostly lawyers, who were favorites or friends of the
governor. Against these shrewd men of wealth and education, with their
powerful backing, the puny defence of the original settlers seemed
wellnigh hopeless. But it was to be a contest between might and right,
and that invisible influence which seems ever to weaken the one and
strengthen the other was surely, though silently at work.

Upon this scene of trouble and uncertainty appears Ethan Allen, a
farmer, born about thirty years before in Coventry, Conn., large of
frame, of great personal strength, and with mental characteristics in
harmony with his powerful physique: a tender-hearted giant whose
standard of honor and honesty soon measured the injustice of New York's
position in the land controversy, and at once sided with the besieged
farmers, with whom he had many generalities of sympathy.

With fiery energy of will and purpose, he immediately assumed the
leadership of the defence, guiding its combined strength into the legal
side of the question, thus meeting the power of alleged law with like
weapons. Selecting the best legal talent of Connecticut as assistants,
and armed with New Hampshire's charter and seal, he appeared in the
Albany courts to contest New York's claim that the Connecticut River was
the boundary between that province and New Hampshire.

But the trial was a farce, stripped of all dignity and justice by the
fact that the judge upon the bench, the prosecuting attorneys, and other
officials were personally interested, each holding New York grants for
many thousand acres in the disputed territory. All evidence for the
defence, even the New Hampshire charter, was ruled out of court, and
Ethan Allen's peaceful efforts for defence were defeated.

He returned home, burning with indignation and resolving to protect his
property and that of his neighbors, if need were, by the force of his
own strong right arm. For six years, under his leadership, all attempts
by New York settlers to take possession were frustrated by the alertness
of the "Green Mountain Boys," as the defence now termed themselves, who
drove them off quietly or with violence, according to the exigencies of
the occasion.

As a measure of punishment for these acts, Ethan Allen was outlawed by
the Governor of New York, and a price offered for his capture. Soon
after he rode alone into Albany one day, and alighting at a tavern in
the heart of the city, called for refreshment. His former visit had
marked his strong personality in the remembrance of many, and he was at
once recognized by prominent officials, who stared at him with
curiosity, but made no effort to arrest him. Returning their gaze, he
lifted his glass to his lips, pledging in a loud, firm voice "The Green
Mountain Boys," and then rode away unmolested.

This act was defined by his friends as the rashness of bravery; by his
enemies as the madness of impudence.

But the cloud overhanging the shores of Lake Champlain was but a shadow
compared with the darkness of the storm brooding over the whole region
south and east of it, and the battle of Lexington ended this local
strife.

Thenceforth, Ethan Allen was to bid defiance, not to a State, but to a
nation. To him and his Green Mountain Boys came urgent appeals from
leading patriots of the American Revolution for help and support in the
coming struggle, and the answer was more than kindly assent and promise:
it was prompt and vigorous action--the first aggressive blow at the
power of Great Britain, for the musket-shots that harassed the
retreating red-coats from Concord were those of spirited defence rather
than of deliberate attack.

As the fortress of Ticonderoga had been the key of the position in the
late French and Indian wars, the gain or loss of which meant either
overwhelming victory or disaster, so now it was deemed of equal
importance in the coming conflict, which inevitably would bring the
British foe upon them from the North, along the same familiar war-path.
The capture of this fort was a serious undertaking, for it was well
garrisoned by a company of British soldiers, and thoroughly equipped for
vigorous defense. Only the keenest strategy and the most complete
surprise would avail in the accomplishment of the task.

But the experience and ability of Ethan Allen--who had been unanimously
chosen as leader--was adequate to the occasion, and his plans were made
with the greatest secrecy and skill. One of his men was detailed to gain
admission to the fort on some pretext, and then by skilfully acting the
part of a greenhorn full of foolish questions, to learn many important
facts and necessary details. In addition, a lad was found thoroughly
familiar with the interior of the garrison, who would serve as guide,
and on the night of May 9, 1775, 270 American patriots appeared on the
shore opposite Fort Ticonderoga, which was on the west or New York side
of Lake Champlain.

A day or two previous a small force of men had been despatched secretly
to points above and below this spot in quest of boats, which failing
them, in this emergency only 83 of the 270 men could be accommodated in
the limited number at hand. Spring lingers long in this latitude, and
the night, clear and cold, was giving way to dawn when the brave leader
and his little vanguard of heroes resolved to attack without further
re-enforcement. According to military precedent, he first harangued his
followers.

"Friends and fellow-soldiers, you have for a number of years been a
scourge and a terror to arbitrary power. Your valor has been famed
abroad and acknowledged, as appears by the advice and orders to me from
the General Assembly of Connecticut to surprise and take the garrison
now before us. I now propose to advance before you and in person conduct
you through the wicket gate; for we must this morning either quit our
pretensions to valor, or possess ourselves of this fortress in a few
minutes. And inasmuch as it is a desperate attempt, which none but the
bravest men dare undertake, I do not urge it on any contrary to his
will. You that will undertake voluntarily, poise your firelock!"

Needless to state, the firelocks were all "poised"--whatever that may
be--and, led by Allen, a rush was made, the sentry overpowered, and
soon the gallant "83" were standing back to back on the parade-ground
within the fort, their muskets levelled at the two barracks which,
filled with sleeping soldiers, faced each other.

The commandant was then aroused by loud rapping on his door and the
voice of Allen bidding him come out and surrender the fort. The
astonished officer, half dressed, made his appearance, demanding by what
authority he was asked to do such a thing.

A part of Ethan Allen's famous reply: "In the name of Jehovah and the
Continental Congress!" was more prophetic than authentic, as the latter
earthly tribunal at that time had no existence.

The hundred cannon and quantities of ammunition found in the fort were
sent east, where they proved of great service in the siege of Boston.

Crown Point, the garrison of St. Johns, many boats, vessels, and a
British armed schooner soon after fell into the hands of the Green
Mountain Boys, thus giving them the full sweep of Lake Champlain, and
holding in check any attempts at invasion from that direction.

Ethan Allen's military instincts and foresight transcended any
experience and all knowledge he possessed on the subject. He at once saw
the importance of pushing the advantage now gained, by an immediate
advance upon Canada before reinforcements could arrive to strengthen the
strongholds of Montreal and Quebec; a measure which, if adopted, would
have changed the whole history of the northern campaign that eventually
proved so disastrous.

With the splendid magnanimity of a noble soul and the abnegation of a
true patriot, he addressed the Continental Congress of New York on the
subject, first apologizing for his seeming neglect to consult with that
body before his attack on Ticonderoga, which was within its province,
and explaining the necessity for secrecy, which prompted him. Note the
spirit of prophecy breathed in the following words:

"I wish to God America would at this critical juncture exert herself
agreeable to the indignity offered her by a tyrannical ministry. She
might rise on eagle's wings and mount up to glory, freedom, and immortal
honor if she did but know and exert her strength. Fame is now hovering
over her head. A vast continent must now sink to slavery, poverty, and
bondage, or rise to unconquerable freedom, immense wealth, inexpressible
felicity, and immortal fame."

He then offers the services of his own men for the purpose, and to raise
a regiment of rangers in Northern New York, a proposal which he trusts
will not be deemed impertinent.

[Illustration: Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga.]

But for some unexplained reason no action was taken on his suggestions
until months later, when the conditions had materially changed, making
such a campaign exceedingly more difficult. Generals Schuyler and
Montgomery were then in command, and to Ethan Allen was given a task
requiring shrewdness, tact, and great personal influence--to enlist the
co-operation or the neutrality of the Canadians in the struggle between
the American colonists and the mother country. For weeks he travelled in
Canada, "preaching politics" so successfully that he was able to
report a company of 300 Canadian recruits for the American service, and
that 2,000 more could be enlisted when needed.

In returning from this expedition he was persuaded by a brother officer
into a step that but for an accident would have been more brilliant than
Allen's former exploit and added fresh laurels to his name as a military
hero. It was no less than the surprise and capture of Fort Montreal,
then garrisoned by 500 men, 40 only of whom were regulars, the remainder
volunteers and Indians.

It seemed a feasible undertaking. The plan was similar to the seizure of
Ticonderoga--the quiet landing of boats under the walls of the fort
before daybreak and the quick rush of attack. The forces were divided,
Allen taking 110 men and landing below the city. The remainder and
larger portion were to cross the river above and then signal the others.
Colonel Allen promptly performed his part of the programme, but no
signal greeted his ears, and daylight found him in full view of the fort
and unable to retreat. He and his men for two hours bravely resisted the
enemy, who sallied out to attack them, but without avail, and they were
taken prisoners.

The story of Ethan Allen's long captivity, lasting two years and eight
months, as told by himself, is one of the most interesting narratives
connected with the Revolutionary war. Loaded with chains, consigned to
the filthy hold of a vessel, with no seat nor bed save a seaman's chest,
half starved, tortured by daily indignities, his high courage and brave
spirit never faltered. Once, when insulted, he sprang at his
tormentor--the captain of the ship--and with his shackled hands knocked
him down; and again he bit off the nail that fastened his handcuffs, and
by these feats of strength and anger awed his guards into some show of
respect.

The method by which he saved himself from a felon's death in England was
worthy the dignity of a veteran diplomat. A letter to the Continental
Congress, which he knew would never reach its destination, but fall into
the hands of its bitterest enemy, Lord North, contained an account of
his ill treatment and possible fate, and closed with the request that if
retaliation upon the Tory and other prisoners in its power should be
found necessary, it might be exercised not according to his own value or
rank, but in proportion to the importance of the cause for which he
suffered.

The English ministry concluded evidently to treat him henceforth as a
prisoner of war entitled to an honorable exchange, rather than a rebel
deserving an ignoble death, and he was returned to America, where he was
confined, with varieties of usage, in Halifax, and afterward in New
York.

While in the latter place, and suffering from hunger and long ill
health, he was approached by a British officer, authorized to offer him
the command of a royalist regiment, and the gift of thousands of acres
of land at the close of the war, in any part of the American colonies he
might select, providing he would forsake the patriot cause and take oath
of allegiance to the crown. Colonel Allen rejected this overture with
great scorn, assuring the officer that he had as little land to promise
him as had the devil when making a similar one.

"Thereupon," said Allen, "he closed the conversation and turned from me
with an air of dislike, saying I was a bigot."

An exchange of prisoners at length freed him from a situation so full of
personal hardship and mental anguish, and he hastened home to his
family, from whom he so long and cruelly had been separated.

His only son had died in the meantime, and his wife and daughters, not
expecting his arrival, were not at Bennington in time to receive him.
But his neighbors and friends flocked in from miles around to give him
greeting, and although it was the Sabbath, a day strictly observed in
those parts, the enthusiasm of the joyful occasion could neither be
postponed nor suppressed, and its expression found vent in the firing of
cannon and happy huzzas.

The "Hampshire Grants" in his absence had become the full-fledged "State
of Vermont," knocking for admission at the doors of the Continental
Congress.

Ethan Allen at once was appointed General of the Vermont State Militia,
and although he did not again join the American army, his natural gifts
of diplomacy were of inestimable service to the country, and the number
of men he could summon at a moment's notice to his command, served to
hold in check any attempted raids of the enemy through Canada. He lived
eight years after the declaration of peace, dying at the age of
fifty-one, in Burlington, where he was engaged in farming.

A little incident never before in print was recently related to the
writer of this sketch by a lady to whom it was told in childhood by an
old man who, as a lad, lived on Ethan Allen's farm. It was in
illustration of the simplicity of the celebrated hero's private life.

The farm hands all sat at the table with the family, much to the
amusement or astonishment of his frequent guests, who sometimes were
wealthy and distinguished and quite unaccustomed to such practical
exhibitions of democracy. One of these had the poor taste to expostulate
with the general, and remarked, "I should think your men would prefer to
eat by themselves."

General Allen feigned to misunderstand the meaning of this, and after a
moment's reflection replied, "Thank you very much for calling my
attention to it. I see that what has been hearty enough for my family
may not have been for my hard-working help. I will take more notice
hereafter to see that they are better served."

"It was little use," says my informant, "to try to dictate to Ethan
Allen."

[Signature: Gertrude Van Rensselaer Wickham.]





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