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Title: Ten Girls from History
Author: Sweetser, Kate Dickinson, -1939
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.

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TEN GIRLS FROM HISTORY

by

KATE DICKINSON SWEETSER

Author of "Ten Boys from History," "Ten
Girls from Dickens," "Boys and Girls
from Thackeray," "Boys and Girls
from George Eliot."


[Illustration: JOAN OF ARC]



[Illustration]

New York
Duffield & Company
1912

Copyright, 1912, by
Duffield & Co.



CONTENTS


                                                              PAGE

  JEANNE D'ARC: THE MAID OF FRANCE                               11

  VICTORIA: A GIRL QUEEN OF ENGLAND                              41

  SALLY WISTER: A GIRL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION                69

  COFACHIQUI: AN INDIAN PRINCESS OF HISTORIC LEGEND              89

  JENNY LIND: THE SWEDISH NIGHTINGALE                           109

  ELIZA LUCAS: A GIRL PLANTER OF THE 15TH CENTURY               123

  LADY JANE GREY: THE NINE DAYS QUEEN                           147

  "GENTLE ANNIE": A DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT                    181

  MADELEINE DE VERCHÈRES: THE HEROINE OF CASTLE DANGEROUS       193

  ADRIENNE DE LAFAYETTE: A YOUNG PATRIOT'S WIFE                 267



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                           PAGE

      JEANNE D'ARC                 _Frontispiece_

      COFACHIQUI                             90

      LADY JANE GREY                        148

      MADELEINE DE VERCHÈRES                194



PREFACE


As in the Ten Boys from History, so in this companion volume, the plan
has been to call attention to the lives of girls who achieved some
noteworthy success during youth, and in whose character courage was the
dominant trait.

Many authorities have been consulted in the re-telling of these stories,
and in their presentation more attention has been paid to accuracy of
historic fact than to the weaving of interesting romances, in the hope
that this volume may be used as an introduction to the more detailed
historical documents from which its sketches are taken.

                                                  K. D. S.



TEN GIRLS FROM HISTORY



JEANNE D'ARC:

The Maid of France


THE peaceful little French village of Domrémy lies in the valley of the
river Meuse, at the south of the duchy of Bar, and there five hundred
years ago was born the wonderful "Maid of France," as she was called;
she who at an age when other girls were entirely occupied with simple
diversions or matters of household importance was dreaming great dreams,
planning that vast military campaign which was to enroll her among the
idols of the French nation as well as among heroes of history.

On the parish register of an old chapel in the village of her birth can
still be seen the record of the baptism of Jeanette or Jeanne d'Arc, on
the sixth of January, 1412, and although her father, Jacques d'Arc, was
a man of considerable wealth and importance in the small community of
Domrémy, yet even so neither he nor any of the nine god-parents of the
child--a number befitting her father's social position--could forecast
that the child, then being christened, was so to serve her country, her
king, and her God, that through her heroic deeds alone the name of
Jacques d'Arc and of little Domrémy were to attain a world-wide fame.

At the time of Jeanne's birth the Hundred Years' War between England and
France was nearing its end. Victorious England was in possession of
practically all of France north of the river Loire, while France,
defeated and broken in spirit, had completely lost confidence in her own
power of conquest and Charles, the Dauphin, rightful heir to the throne
of France, had been obliged to flee for his life to the provinces south
of the Loire. This was the result of opposition to his claim on the part
of his mother, Isabeau, who had always hated the Dauphin, and who, in
her Treaty of Troyes, set aside her son's rights to the throne, and
married his sister Catherine to the King of England, thus securing to
their children that succession to the throne which was the lawful right
of the Dauphin.

France was indeed in the throes of a great crisis, and every remote
duchy or tiny village heard rumours of the vast struggle going on in
their well loved land, but still the party who were loyal to the Dauphin
looked confidently for the day when he should be crowned at Rheims,
where French kings for a thousand years had taken oath, although still
the opposing party was growing in power and possessions.

Quiet little Domrémy lying folded in the embrace of its peaceful valley
was thrilled by the tales of chance pilgrims passing through the
village, who, stopping for a drink of water or a bite of food, would
recount to eager listeners the current saying that, "France, lost by a
woman,--and that woman, Isabeau, mother of the Dauphin,--should be saved
by a maid who would come with arms and armour from an ancient wood."

Now, towering high above little Domrémy stretches a great forest called
the Ancient Wood, and to the village folk there was in all France no
other Ancient Wood than this, and so when they heard the travellers'
tales they whispered to one another in hushed voices and with
awe-stricken faces that the Wonderful Maid of Prophecy was to come from
their own midst, but who was she, where was she, and to whom would she
reveal herself?

Many of these queries came to the ears of children busy near their
elders, while they spun and talked, and as Jeanne d'Arc, now grown into
a bright intelligent young girl, listened to the prophecy and the
questions, all else became of no importance except the plight of France
and the restoring of the Dauphin to his rightful inheritance. But to her
elders or companions she gave no evidence of this absorption, seeming
entirely occupied with her out of door tasks such as tending her
father's sheep, helping to harvest grain, or to plough the fields, or at
other times with her mother indoors, weaving and spinning,--for there
was plenty of work in both house and field to keep all the children
busy.

In leisure hours Jeanne played and danced and sang as merrily as the
other children, who gathered often around the big oak tree in the
Ancient Wood, called the "Fairies' Tree," which was the subject of many
a song and legend. But although she was as merry and light-hearted as
her other friends, yet she was more truly pious, for she loved to go to
mass and to hear the church bells echo through the quiet valley, and
often when her comrades were frolicking around the "Fairies' Tree" she
would steal off to place an offering on the altar of Our Lady of
Domrémy. And too, her piety took a practical form as well, and when in
later years every act of hers was treasured up and repeated, those who
had known her in her early girlhood had many tales to tell of her sweet
help in times of sickness. It is said she was so gentle that birds ate
from her hand, and so brave that not the smallest animal was lost when
she guarded the flock.

"Her mother taught her all her store of learning; the Creed and Ave and
Pater Noster, spinning and sewing and household craft, while wood and
meadow, forest flowers and rushes by the river, bells summoning the soul
to think of God and the beloved saints from their altars, all had a
message for that responsive heart."

She herself has said, "I learned well to believe, and have been brought
up well and duly to do what a good child ought to do."

And too, her spirit responded throbbingly to the beauty and the mystery
and the wonder of that life which is unseen, as well as to all tales of
heroic deeds, and as she brooded on the sorrows of the Dauphin and of
her beloved France, her nature became more and more quick to receive
impressions which had no place in her routine of life, even though at
that time with great practical bravery she was helping the villagers
resist the invasions of bands of marauders. Then came a day when her
life was for ever set apart from her companions. With them she had been
running races in the meadow on this side of the Ancient Wood.
Fleet-footed and victorious, she flung herself down to rest a moment
when a boy's voice whispered in her ear, "Go home. Your mother wants
you."

True to her habit of obedience, Jeanne rose at once, and leaving the
merry company walked back through the valley to her home. But it was no
command from her mother which had come to her, and no boy's voice that
had spoken. In these simple words she tells the story: She says, "I was
thirteen at that time. It was mid-day in the Summer, when I heard the
Voice first. It was a Voice from God for my help and guidance and that
first time I heard it I was much afraid. I heard it to the right toward
the Church. It seemed to come from lips I should reverence."

Then with solemn awe she told of the great Vision which suddenly shone
before her while an unearthly light flamed all around her, and in its
dazzling radiance she saw St. Michael, Captain of the Hosts of Heaven
and many lesser angels. So overwhelming was the Vision and the radiance,
that she stood transfixed, lifting adoring eyes. Having been taught that
the true office of St. Michael was to bring holy counsel and revelations
to men, she listened submissively to his words. She was to be good and
obedient, to go often to Church, and to be guided in all her future acts
by the advice of St. Margaret and St. Catherine who had been chosen to
be her counsellors. Then before the Vision faded, came a message so
tremendous in its command, of such vast responsibility that it is small
wonder if the little peasant maid lifted imploring hands, crying out for
deliverance from this duty, until at last, white and spent, she sank on
her knees with clasped hands, praying that this might not come to be
true--that it might not be she who had been chosen by God to go to the
help of the Dauphin--to lead the armies of France to victory.

And yet even as she prayed she knew that it _was_ true,--that God had
chosen her for a great work, that it was she, the peasant of Domrémy,
who alone could restore her country and her king to their former
greatness--and that she would carry out the divine command.

For nearly four long years after Jeanne first saw her Vision, she
remained at home, and was as lovable, helpful and more truly pious than
ever. Often St. Margaret and St. Catherine appeared to her, and ever
they commanded her to fulfil her great destiny as the Maid who was to
save France, and ever her conviction that she was to carry out their
commands grew within her, as she heard the voice more and more clearly,
crying, "You must go, Jeanne the Maid; daughter of God, you must go!"

At that time the enemy was closing in on all the French strongholds;
even the inhabitants of little Domrémy, began to tremble at the repeated
invasions of marauding soldiers, and the time had come to declare war
against a foe which threatened to so completely wipe out France's
heritage of honour.

Jeanne had heard the Voice. She was now aflame with desire to obey its
summons to duty, and to achieve this she knew that three things must be
accomplished. First of all she must go to Robert de Baudricourt, a
Captain of the King at Vaucouleurs, and ask him for an escort to take
her to the Dauphin, then she must lead the Dauphin to his crowning at
Rheims. A strange idea to be conceived by a young peasant girl, still in
her early teens, and it is not to be wondered that in the fulfilment of
such a destiny, Jeanne's sincerity of purpose was both sneered at and
discredited by unbelievers in her heavenly vision.

By the help of a cousin, Durand Laxart, she was able to obtain audience
with Robert Baudricourt; in the presence of one of his knights, Bertrand
de Poulengy, who was completely won by this girl, so tall and beautiful
and stately in her youthful beauty, as, pale with emotion, she went
swiftly up to Baudricourt, saying:

"I have come to you in behalf of my Lord, in order that you shall bid
the Dauphin stand firm and not risk battle with his enemies, for my Lord
himself shall give him succour before Mid-Lent," and she added, "The
Kingdom does not belong to the Dauphin, but to my Lord who wishes him to
be made King. In spite of his enemies he must reign, and _I_ shall lead
him to his consecration."

Strange words these, to fall from the lips of a young girl. For a moment
Baudricourt sat staring at her, wide-eyed, then he asked:

"Who is your Lord?"

"He is the King of Heaven."

This was too much for the rough, practical minded Captain. The walls of
the castle rang with his shouts of laughter, and turning to Durand
Laxart, who by this time was crimson with shame for his kinswoman,
Baudricourt with a gesture of dismissal said, "The girl is foolish. Box
her ears and take her home to her father," and there was nothing left
for Jeanne to do but to go back to Domrémy until occasion should favour
her destiny.

In July the valley was again menaced by the Burgundians, and the people
of Domrémy fled for a refuge to a neighbouring city, while in their own
little town there was a veritable reign of terror, and news came that
the English were also besieging the strong old town of Orléans, which
had always been called the "key to the Loire." If this city should fall,
only by a miracle could France be saved, and Jeanne's Voices became more
and more insistent. She must go at once. She must raise the siege of
Orléans, but how?

Again through the aid of Durand Laxart she obtained a second interview
with the rough Captain of Vaucouleurs.

Her assertion was as preposterous as before, but this time Baudricourt
did not laugh, there was something haunting, powerful, in the girl's
mystical manner, and in her dignity of bearing, which puzzled the gruff
Captain, and made him listen, but as he offered her no help, the
interview was fruitless, and she was obliged to return again to the
Laxarts' home, near Vaucouleurs, where while she waited she gave what
help she could in the household, but also went often to church, and
often partook of the Sacrament, praying for help in her mission. Whoever
knew her loved her, and her popularity was so widespread that the people
of Vaucouleurs, with a growing belief in her ability to accomplish what
no one else could for their beloved country, decided to themselves fit
her out for her expedition to the Dauphin, and two knights, De Metz and
Poulengy, who had become deeply attached to Jeanne, vowed to go wherever
she might lead them.

It was not safe for her to travel in a woman's clothes, so she was
provided by the people's gifts, with a close-fitting vest, trunk and
hose of black, a short dark grey cloak and a black cap, and her hair was
cut after the fashion of men's wearing. Sixteen francs bought a horse
for her, and the only bit of her old life she carried with her was a
gold ring which her mother and father had given her.

Before starting, Baudricourt's permission had to be obtained, and again
Jeanne went to him; this time crying out:

"In God's name, you are too slow for me, for this day the gentle Dauphin
has had near Orléans a great loss, and he will suffer greater if you do
not send me soon!"

As before, Baudricourt listened to her, and enjoyed watching the play of
emotions on her changeful face, but he said nothing either to encourage
or to hinder her, and Jeanne knew that without further consent from him
she must now go on her journey.

At once she wrote a letter of farewell to her parents asking their
forgiveness for doing what she knew would be against their wishes, and
telling of the reality of her divine mission as it was revealed to her.
She received no answer to this, but there was no attempt made to hinder
her, and all preparations having been made, on the evening of the
twenty-third of February, before a great crowd of spectators who had
gathered to see her leave Vaucouleurs, the slender, calm figure in the
page's suit stood ready to leave behind all a young girl should have of
loving protection, for the sake of what she conceived to be a sacred
mission.

With her men around her, she mounted her horse, and as she halted for a
moment before starting,--seeing her dignity and graceful bearing, her
men were filled with pride in her,--even Baudricourt himself came down
from the castle, and made the men take an oath to guard her with their
own lives, then gave her a sword and a letter to the Dauphin.

While they stood there ready to start, a man asked Jeanne:

"How can you hope to make such a journey, and escape the enemy?"

Quick and clear Jeanne's answer rang out, "If the enemy are on my road,
I have God with me, who knows how to prepare the way to the Lord
Dauphin. I was born to do this."

Then with a swift signal, the solemn little cavalcade rode out into the
night, while eyes were strained to see the last of the brave Maid, who
conceived it her consecrated duty to go to the aid of the Dauphin, and
her well loved land.

On their way towards Chinon where the weak little Dauphin was holding
his court, rode Jeanne and her six men, and a dangerous way it was,
lying through a country over-run with marauding English and Burgundian
warriors, and Jeanne's men were uneasy at escorting so young and fair a
maid under such dangerous conditions, but Jeanne herself was unconcerned
and fearless as they rode on into the valley of the Loire, noting on
every side the devastation done by war and pillage. For greater safety
they rode mostly by night, often travelling thirty miles in twenty-four
hours,--a pretty severe test of the endurance of a girl of seventeen,
unaccustomed to riding or of leading men-at-arms, but her courage and
enthusiasm never flagged. With their horses' feet wrapped in cloths to
deaden the clatter of hoofs, they went on their way as swiftly as was
possible, and day by day the men's devotion to this Maid who was their
leader grew deeper, as they saw the purity of her character and the
nobility of her purpose.

When they drew near Chinon, Jeanne's men spoke to one another doubtfully
of what kind of a reception they would have. Reaching Auxerre they
rested for a while, then travelled on to Gien, and as they journeyed, a
report went ahead of them, that a young peasant girl called "The Maid"
was on her way, so she said, to raise the siege of Orléans and to lead
the Dauphin to his crowning at Rheims. Even to Orléans the report
spread, and the inhabitants of that besieged city, now despairing of
deliverance, felt a thrill of hope on hearing the report.

Meanwhile Jeanne and her escort of six valiant men had halted near
Chinon, while Jeanne wrote and despatched a letter to the Dauphin, in
which she said that they had ridden one hundred and fifty leagues to
bring him good news, and begged permission to enter his province. Then
the next morning they rode into "the little town of great renown," as
Chinon was called, and Jeanne remained at the Inn until the Dauphin
should decide to receive her.

Now Yolande, the King's mother-in-law, was much interested in what she
had heard of Jeanne, the Maid, and she so influenced the Dauphin, that
De Metz and Poulengy were allowed to have audience with him, and told
what a fine and noble character Jeanne was, and what a beautiful spirit
animated her slender frame, and begged him to see and trust her, saying
that she was surely sent to save France. Their plea made a great
impression on the Dauphin, as was evident two hours later when he sent a
number of clergymen to cross-question her on her so-called divine
mission, and through all the tiresome examination Jeanne bore herself
with proud dignity and answered so clearly and so well that they could
only entertain a profound respect for the girl whom they had expected to
scorn. The result of this examination was that by order of the King,
Jeanne was moved from the Inn to a wing of the Castle, and there the
girl-soldier was treated with every respect by the courtiers, who were
all charmed by her frank simplicity and sweetness of manner. But the
King had not yet consented to give her an audience, and two weary weeks
dragged away in the most tedious of all things,--awaiting the Dauphin's
pleasure,--and Jeanne chafed at the delay.

At last one happy day she was led into the great vaulted audience
chamber of the Castle, where torches flared, and the deep murmur of
voices together with the sea of eager upturned faces, might have made a
less self-contained person than the Maid confused and timid. But not so
with Jeanne, for her thoughts were solely on that mission which she had
travelled so far to accomplish. Her page's suit was in sharp contrast to
the brilliant court costumes worn by the ladies of the Court, but of
that she was unconscious, and advanced calmly through the long line of
torch bearers to within a few feet of the throne,--gave a bewildered
glance at the figure seated before her, in the velvet robes of
royalty--then turned away, and with a cry of joy threw herself at the
feet of a very quietly dressed young man who stood among the ranks of
courtiers, exclaiming, "God of his grace give you long life, O dear and
gentle Dauphin."

Quickly the courtier answered, "You mistake, my child. I am not the
King. There he is," pointing to the throne.

There was a stir and murmur in the crowd, but the Maid did not rise. She
simply looked into his face again, saying:

"No, gracious liege, _you_ are he, and no other," adding with a simple
earnestness, "I am Jeanne, the Maid, sent to you from God to give
succour to the kingdom, and to you. The King of Heaven sends you word by
me that you shall be anointed and crowned in the town of Rheims, and you
shall be lieutenant of the King of Heaven, who is the King of France."

Charles the Dauphin, who in the disguise of a courtier, had attempted to
outwit the peasant girl by placing another on his throne, stood dumb
with wonder at this revelation of her clear vision, and with a touch of
awe, he raised her, and drew her away from the crowd that he might
confer with her alone, while all tendency to jest at the expense of the
Maid and her mission died away, and the crowd were silent with wonder at
the bearing of this peasant girl who said she had come to save France.

No one ever knew what passed between Jeanne and the Dauphin during that
interview, but it is said that he demanded a further proof of her
inspired mission, and in reply she told him the substance of a prayer he
had offered one morning--a prayer known to God alone--and so impressed
by this proof of a more than mortal vision was he, that he at once led
her again down the long audience hall, through the lines of torch
bearers and courtiers, then bending low, kissed her hand, and with
gracious words sent her away under a strong escort of his own guard of
honour, having given his promise to further the cause to which Jeanne
had dedicated her life. And just here let us glance for a moment at the
character of Charles the Dauphin, for whom the girl of Domrémy was
sacrificing so much.

At best he was the poor imitation of a King. Being the son of a mad
father and a weak mother he inherited such tendencies as made him
utterly unfit to cope with the perils of the time, or to give to the
Maid who had come to his relief such assistance as he should have given.

"Never did a King lose his kingdom so gaily," said one of his soldiers,
and although he was momentarily roused by the Maid's noble courage and
purpose, yet he still found it far easier to loiter through days of ease
in his château, than with prompt resolution to turn to the task in hand.

Had Charles the Dauphin been the man that Jeanne d'Arc would have had
him be, the history of the Maid of France would have been a different
one. But even his thrill at being aided to claim his throne, was not
strong enough to fire him with the proper spirit, and he continued to
waste long days in idle ease, while Jeanne was fretting her heart out
waiting for him to decide to let her start to raise the siege of
Orléans. But delay she must, and she whiled away the tedious days by
practising with crossbow and sword in the meadows near Chinon, and
although she refused to wear a woman's dress until she had accomplished
her mission, yet she was both graceful and beautiful in her knight's
costume, which she now wore in place of the simple page's suit in which
she had ridden to Chinon, and many admiring eyes watched her as she rode
up and down in the green meadows, alert and graceful in every movement.
And although he was wasting precious moments in deciding whether to
allow her to raise the siege of Orléans or not, the Dauphin spoke often
and intimately with her, as with a friend to whom he was deeply
attached, and Jeanne was treated with all possible deference both by
those of high and low degree. The young Duc d'Alençon, a noble and loyal
courtier, was so deeply won by her sweetness and charm that his wife
invited her to spend a few days at their home, the Abbey of St. Florent
les-Saumur, while waiting for the decision of the Dauphin. That little
visit was a bright spot in the long dark story of the Maid's fulfilment
of her mission, for there, with those whose every word and act spoke of
kindred ideals and lofty aims, the Maid unbent to the level of care-free
normal girlhood, and ever after that there was a close comradeship
between the Duc and Jeanne.

At last the Dauphin came to a decision. To Poitiers, Jeanne must go, and
there be examined by the French Parliament, and by the most learned men
in the kingdom, to prove that she was capable of achieving that which
she wished to attempt. When Jeanne heard this she cried out impatiently,
"To Poitiers? In God's name I know I shall have my hands full, but the
saints will aid me. Let us be off!" which showed that the Maid, for all
her saintliness had also a very normal human degree of impatience to do
as she had planned, and who can blame her?

To Poitiers she went, and there as everywhere the people loved her for
her goodness, her enthusiasm for the rescue of France, and for her
unassuming piety. For long weary weeks, she was cross-examined by the
cleverest men who could be found for the task, but ever her keen wit was
able to bring her safely through the quagmires and pitfalls they laid
for her to fall into; then at last it was announced that "in
consideration of the great necessity and peril of Orléans, the King
would make use of her help, and she should go in honourable fashion to
the aid of Orléans."

So back again to Chinon went Jeanne, overflowing with eagerness and
hope, looking, it is said, like a handsome, enthusiastic boy in her
page's suit, full of the joy of living, happy in the thought of hard
work ahead, then on at last she went, with her escort of both soldiers
and cavalry officers, to the accomplishing of her second duty. By the
King's orders she was dressed this time in a suit of fine steel armour
which was well suited to the lithe grace of her slim young figure, and
over her armour she wore a "hûque" as the slashed coats worn by knights
were called. She had her pick of a horse from the royal stables, and
even he was decked with a steel headpiece and a high peaked saddle.
Jeanne, de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy, her faithful followers, were
also fitted with special armour, which was very costly and handsome.

The sword Jeanne carried was one which had been found under the altar of
the church of St. Catherine of Fierbois, around which many legends of
miracles clustered, but to Jeanne it was at best only a weapon, and she
said she should never make use of it. Her great white standard was the
thing she loved, and even when she was in the thick of the battle, she
always carried it, with its painted figure of God throned on clouds
holding the world in his hands, while kneeling angels on either side
presented lilies, and above were the words, "Jhesus, Maria." On the
other side of the banner was a shield with the arms of France, supported
by two angels. She had also a smaller banner with a white dove on azure
ground, holding in his beak a scroll with the words, "In the name of the
King of Heaven."

With her great white banner floating high in the carrying wind, her
sword scabbard of cloth-of-gold, glittering in the sunlight, and the
armour of her men-at-arms gleaming in its new splendour, the Maid set
out for Orléans, preceded by a company of priests singing the _Veni
Creator_ as they marched.

Jeanne's plan of entry into Orléans was a very simple one. She desired
to march right in under the great forts defending the besieged city, to
flout the enemy, and cheer the desperate citizens by her daring. But the
captains of her army, although they had sworn to obey her every command,
were seasoned veterans in the art of war, and had no intention of
carrying out any plan of campaign laid out by a girl of seventeen, so
they wilfully disregarded her plan, and by so doing delayed their entry
into the city for weary hours, and in the end were obliged to enter in
the very way planned by their young Commander. When at last, at night,
attended by troops of torch bearers, Jeanne went into Orléans sitting
proudly erect on her great white horse, and the people of the city saw
first the Maid who had come to their relief, they could but wonder at
sight of her girlish figure, in its shining armour, and the radiant
young face carried inspiration and comfort to their wearied hearts. So
eager were they to touch her or her horse that in crowding near, a torch
touched her banner, and set it on fire, but wheeling around lightly, she
crushed out the flame, as though she had long been an expert in such
deeds. Then she and her company went to the Cathedral of St. Croix to
return thanks for having entered the city, and afterwards were lodged
for the night at the house of the Duc's treasurer, where Jeanne shared
the room of her host's nine-year-old daughter and slept as sweetly and
soundly as the child herself.

Then followed fifteen days of hard fighting, for the enemy manfully
resisted the onslaught of Jeanne's army, but at last, the English,
vanquished, were obliged to retreat, telling marvellous tales of the
Maid who was less than an angel, more than a soldier, and only a girl
who had done this thing.

The attack on the city had begun at six in the morning and lasted for
thirteen hours, and was indeed a marvellous assault on both sides. A
hundred times the English mounted the walls, and a hundred times were
thrown back into the moat, and the Maid with her floating banner, was
everywhere at once, encouraging her men with the ringing cry, "Fear not.
The place is yours!" Then she received a wound in her shoulder above the
breast, and at the first flash of severe pain, like any other girl, she
shivered with fear, and hot tears came, while they carried her off the
field and dressed the wound. After that she was obliged to entrust her
standard to a faithful man, but she still inspired and comforted her
army from the position to which she had been carried, and as the sounds
of battle deepened, above the tumult rang out her clear voice of ringing
command,--then came victory and the retreat of the enemy. Orléans was
delivered from the hands of the English. France still held "the key to
the Loire," and the Maid of France had gained one of the fifteen battles
of the world.

The bells of Orléans rang out victoriously, while all the citizens in
all the churches chanted _Te Deums_ and sang praises of the wonderful
Maid who had saved France.

In all the records of history no other girl ever reached such a height
of glory as did Jeanne that day, and yet instead of revelling in the
praise showered on her, and in her popularity, when the battle was over,
she went to bed and to sleep like a tired child, and when the people saw
how exhausted she was, they stood guard over the house where she slept,
and would allow no traffic to disturb her rest. And from that day to
this, the eighth of May has ever been "Jeanne d'Arc's Day" in Orléans.

Jeanne had now fulfilled her second task. She had raised the siege of
Orléans. Now for the third. Forward to the Dauphin's crowning at
Rheims,--forward to the anointing of the rightful Sovereign of
France!--that was her one thought and cry. But the Dauphin himself was
in no such hurry to save his kingdom, now that the distress of the
moment had been allayed. However, he met the Maid at Tours soon
afterwards, and not only sang her praises for what she had done, but
also acting on an impulse, his eyes lit with sudden fire, suddenly rose,
and raising his sword aloft, brought it down slowly on Jeanne's
shoulder, saying, that in so doing he joined her, her family, her kin
and her descendants to the nobility of France, adding "Rise, Jeanne
d'Arc, now and henceforth surnamed DU LIS, in grateful acknowledgment of
the good blow you have struck for the lilies of France, and they and the
royal crown and your own victorious sword shall be grouped in your
escutcheon, and be and remain the symbol of your high nobility for
ever."

Great indeed was this honour, with all that it meant to the family of
Jeanne, and she received it with fitting appreciation, but it was not
what she craved; yet still the King loitered and lingered in his
château, giving heed to the arguments of his counsellors,--who for
reasons of their own, desired to thwart the plans of the Maid--rather
than to her whose Voices told her that the Dauphin should set out at
once for Rheims, while the French army was still hot with the enthusiasm
of victory. At last seeing it was useless to wait any longer, Jeanne and
her men were obliged to press on without any definite news of when or
where they would be joined by the Dauphin, and three days later, after
raising the siege of Orléans, her army took Jargeau, a town twelve miles
from Orléans, and then marched back to Orléans to be received as
conquering heroes.

D'Alençon was given six casks of wine, the Maid four, and the town
council ordered a robe and hûque for Jeanne of green and crimson, the
Orléans colours. Her hûque was of green satin, and embroidered with the
Orléans emblem,--the nettle,--and doubtless this offering was acceptable
to the girl who with all her qualities of generalship never lost her
feminine liking for pretty clothes.

By the taking of Jargeau the southern sweep of the Loire for fifty miles
was wiped clear of English fortresses, but the enemy still held
Beaugency and Meung, a few miles downstream, and to their capture Jeanne
and her forces now set out. Then with a still greater prize in view,
they marched on towards Pâtay, a town between Meung and Rouvray, where
they found the forces of the English massed, in consequence of which
Jeanne called together her men for a council of war.

"What is to be done now?" asked d'Alençon, with deep concern.

"Have all of you good spurs?" she cried.

"How is that? Shall we run away?"

"Nay, in the name of God--after them! It is the English who will not
defend themselves and shall be beaten. You must have good spurs to
follow them. Our victory is certain," she exclaimed and added with that
quick vision which was always the inspiration of her forces, "The gentle
King shall have to-day the greatest victory he has ever had!"

And true indeed was her prediction, for the battle of Pâtay was a great
victory, and set the seal of assurance on the work commenced at Orléans.
The English rout was complete. Their leaders fled and four thousand men
were either killed or captured, and as in every battle, Jeanne's
flaming courage and enthusiasm spurred her men on to victory, even
though because of a wound in her foot she was not able to lead her
forces, with her great white banner floating before them as usual. But
she was none the less the inspiration of the day, and was also able to
show a woman's tender pity and care for those of the enemy who were
wounded and in their need of loving ministration turned to the gentle
girl as to an angel sent from heaven.

News of the French victories flew like wildfire over all the country.
Three fortified towns taken, a great army of the enemy disorganised and
put to flight, the whole country almost to the gates of Paris cleared of
the enemy in a single brilliant week's campaign, and all through the
commands, the inspiration, the invincible courage, the Vision of a
slender slip of a girl! It seemed incredible except to those who had
been with her through so many crucial tests, who had proved the fibre of
her mental, physical and spiritual force, and reverenced her as one
truly inspired by God's own voice.

After the capture of Pâtay back again to Orléans went the victorious
army, and there were no bounds now to the enthusiasm expressed for the
Maid who had done such marvellous things. It was supposed that the
Dauphin would surely meet the victors at Orléans, but he was enjoying
himself elsewhere, and Jeanne, cruelly impatient, set off to meet him at
St. Bênoit, on the Loire, where again she begged him to help in the
great work on hand, and again was met with cold inaction, but
notwithstanding this, the Maid with her dauntless purpose left the
Court, still repeating, "By my staff, I _will_ lead the gentle King
Charles and his company safely, and he shall be consecrated at Rheims!"
showing that all the human weakness, which she could not have failed to
see in the Dauphin, did not deter her in the accomplishing of a purpose
which she felt she owed to France.

Across the Loire went the Maid and her men, and then as if impelled by
some impulse, on the twenty-ninth of June, the Dauphin suddenly followed
her on to Champagne. To Trôyes went the army now, headed by no less
formidable personage than the King-to-be and the Maid, and to one homage
was paid because of his royal lineage, and to the other honour because
of her marvellous achievements and gracious personality. Never once did
Jeanne's martial spirit fail, or her belief in her vision weaken: even
the Dauphin was a better and stronger man while under the spell of her
wonder-working personality, and ever his reverence for her grew, seeing
her exquisite personal purity, although surrounded by men and under
circumstances which made purity difficult; and her great piety, her more
than human achievement and her flaming spirit, gave him food for as much
serious thought as he ever devoted to anything.

"Work, and God will work," was Jeanne's motto, and faithfully did she
live it out, working for the King as he never would have done either for
himself or for anyone else, and on the morning of Saturday, July
sixteenth, the Maid and the Dauphin together rode into the city of
Jeanne's vision.

At nine o'clock in the morning, on Sunday, July seventeenth, the great
cathedral of Rheims was filled to its doors for the crowning of the
King. The deep-toned organ and a great choir filled the Cathedral with
music as the Abbot entered, carrying a vial of sacred oil for the
anointing; then came the Archbishop and his canons, followed by five
great lords, stately figures indeed, each carrying his banner, and each
riding a richly caparisoned horse. Down the length of the aisle made for
them, to the choir they rode, then as the Archbishop dismissed them,
each made a deep bow till the plumes of his hat touched his horse's
neck, and then each wheeling his steed around, they passed out as they
had come.

There was a deep hush through all the vast Cathedral, one could have
heard a dropped pin in all that surging mass of people, then came the
peals of four silver trumpets. Jeanne, the Maid of France, and Charles
the Dauphin, stood framed in the pointed archway of the great west door.
Slowly they advanced up the long aisle, the organ pealing its welcome,
the people shouting their applause, and behind the two figures came a
stately array of royal personages and church dignitaries, and then,
standing before the altar, the solemn Coronation ceremony began, while
beside the King, during the long prayers and anthems and sermons, stood
Jeanne, with her beloved standard in her hand. The King took the oath,
was anointed with the sacred oil, then came the bearer of the crown, and
kneeling, offered it. For one moment the King hesitated,--was it because
of a thought of his unworthiness, or because of the great
responsibilities wearing it would impose? At all events, hesitate he
did, then he caught Jeanne's eyes, beaming with all the pride and joy of
her inspired nature, and Charles took up the crown and placed it on his
head, while choir and organ and people made the vast building resound
and echo with music and with shouts. Jeanne alone stood as though
transfixed, then sinking on her knees she said:

"Now, oh, gentle King, now, is accomplished the will of God, who decreed
that I should raise the siege of Orléans, and bring you to the city of
Rheims for your consecration, thereby showing that you are the true
King, and that to you the realm of France should belong."

And at sight of her, so young and human in her beauty, so inspired in
that which she had done, many wept for very enthusiasm, and all hearts
honoured her.

With gracious words the King lifted her up, and there before that vast
assemblage of nobles he made her the equal of a count in rank, appointed
a household and officers for her according to her dignity, and begged
her to name some wish which he could fulfil.

Jeanne was on her knees again in a moment at his words, "You have saved
the throne, ask what you will."

With sweet simplicity she pleaded, "Oh, gentle King, I ask only that the
taxes of Domrémy, now so impoverished by war, be remitted."

On hearing her request, the King seemed momentarily bewildered by so
great unselfishness, then he exclaimed:

"She has won a kingdom, and crowned a King, and all she asks and all she
will take, is this poor grace, and even this is for others. And it is
well. Her act being proportioned to the dignity of one who carries in
her head and heart riches which outvalue any King could give and though
he gave his all. She shall have her way. Now therefore it is decreed
that from this day, Domrémy, natal village of Jeanne d'Arc, Deliverer of
France, called the Maid of Orléans, is freed from all taxation for
ever."

At this the silver horns blew a long blast, and from that day, for three
hundred and sixty years was the little village of Jeanne's birth without
taxation, because of her deeds of valour.

On went the ceremony to an imposing finish, when the procession with
Jeanne and the King at its head marched out of the Cathedral with all
possible pomp and solemnity, and the great day on which Jeanne had
fulfilled the third and greatest of those achievements to which her
voices had called her, was over. She had led the King to his
crowning,--and as the people of Rheims gazed on her in her silver mail,
glittering as if in a more than earthly light, carrying the white
standard embellished with the emblems of her belief, it seemed as though
the Maid in her purity, and her consecration to France was set apart
from all other human beings, not less for what she was, than for what
she had done--and never was warrior or woman more fitly reverenced.

Jeanne, the peasant maid of Domrémy, led by her vision, had marshalled
her forces like a seasoned veteran, and with them had raised the siege
of Orléans,--had led the King to his crowning, and yet instead of
longing for more conquests, still further glory, in a later conversation
with a faithful friend, she only exclaimed:

"Ah, if it might but please God to let me put off this steel raiment,
and go back to my father and my mother, and tend my sheep again with my
sisters and brothers who would be so glad to see me!"

Only that, poor child, but it could not be. Never again was she to go
back to her simple life, but it is said that old Jacques d'Arc and
Durand Laxart came to Rheims to gladden the Maid's heart with a sight of
their familiar faces, and to see for themselves this child of Jacques's
who had won so great renown.

And at that time also, two of her brothers are known to have been in the
army, of which she must needs be still the head, as the King gave a
shameful example of never commanding it in person. Seeing that she must
still be Commander-in-chief; immediately after the Coronation, Jeanne
called a council of war, and made a stirring appeal for an immediate
march on Paris. This was resisted with most strenuous and wily arguments
for delay, to all of which the Maid cried impatiently, "We have but to
march--on the instant--and the English strongholds, as you call them,
along the way are ours. Paris is ours. France is ours. Give the word,
Oh, my King, command your servant!"

Even in the face of her ringing appeal there was more arguing and more
resisting, but finally, thrilled by Jeanne's final plea the King rose
and drawing his sword, took it by the blade and strode up to Jeanne,
delivering the hilt into her hand, saying:

"There, the King surrenders. Carry it to Paris!" And to Paris Jeanne
might go, but the tide of success had turned, and although on the
fourteenth day of August the French army marched into Compiègne and
hauled down the English flag, and on the twenty-sixth camped under the
very walls of Paris, yet now the King hung back and was afraid to give
his consent to storming the city. Seven long days were wasted, giving
the enemy time to make ready to defend their strongholds, and to plan
their campaign. Then the French army was allowed to attack, and Jeanne
and her men worked and fought like heroes, and Jeanne was everywhere at
once, in the lead, as usual with her standard floating high, even while
smoke enveloped the army in dense clouds, and missiles fell like rain.
She was hurt, but refused to retire, and the battle-light flamed in her
eyes as her warrior-spirit thrilled to the deeds of the moment.

"I will take Paris now or never!" she cried, and at last she had to be
carried away by force, still insisting that the city would be theirs in
the morning, which would have been so, but for the treachery of him for
whom Jeanne had given her young strength in such consecrated service.
The Maid was defeated by her own King, who because of political reasons
declared the campaign ended, and made a truce with the English in which
he agreed to leave Paris unmolested and go back again to the Loire.

History offers no more pathetic and yet inspiring sight than Jeanne,
broken by the terrible news, still sure that victory would be hers if
but allowed to follow her voices--yet checkmated by the royal pawn whose
pleasure it was to disband the noble army of heroes who had fought so
nobly for the cause of France.

When Jeanne saw the strength of the Dauphin's purpose, she hung up her
armour and begged the King to now dismiss her from the army, and allow
her to go home, but this he refused to do. The truce he had made did not
embrace all France, and he would have need of her inspiring presence and
her valuable counsel--in truth it seemed that he and his chief
counsellors were afraid of allowing her out of their sight, for fear of
what she might achieve without their knowledge.

For some eight months longer, in accord with his desire, Jeanne, still
sure of her divine mission to work for France, loyally drifted from
place to place with the King and his counsellors, heart-sick and
homesick, occupying her many leisure hours with planning vast imaginary
sieges and campaigns.

At last, on the twenty-fourth of May, 1430, with a handful of men, she
was allowed to throw herself into Compiègne, which was being besieged by
the Burgundians, and there after bravely fighting and rallying her men
for a third attack, the English came up behind and fell upon their rear,
and the fleeing men streamed into the boulevard, while last of all came
the Maid, doing deeds of valour beyond the nature of woman, so it is
said, and for the last time, as never again should Jeanne bear arms. Her
men had fled. She was separated from her people; and surrounded, but
still defiant, was seized by her cape, dragged from her horse, and borne
away a prisoner, while after her followed the victors, roaring their mad
joy over the capture of such a prize.

Like wildfire the awful tidings spread. The Maid of Orléans taken by the
English? Jeanne a prisoner? Could such things be?

Alas, yes. The Maid who had delivered France was in the hands of the
enemy, because, at the climax of her victory, when all France was in her
grip, the chance had been lost by the folly of that King whom she had
led to his crowning.

After six months of captivity she was sold, yes sold, for ten thousand
crowns, that royal Maid--sold to John of Luxembourg, the only bidder for
her noble self. Truth which is sometimes stranger than fiction, offers
no parallel to this. Not a single effort was put forth by the King, or
his counsellors, or by any loyal Frenchman to rescue or to ransom
Jeanne. No trouble was taken to redeem the girl who, foe and friend
alike agreed, had saved the day for France, and who was the greatest
soldier of them all, when she was allowed to have her way.

Ten thousand crowns was the price of Jeanne's brave spirit, and her
purchaser doubtless meant to hold on to her until he could make money on
his prisoner, but, oh the shame, the infamy of it, Charles, the King of
France,--led to his crowning day by a Maid's own hand,--offered not one
sou for her ransoming!

To linger on this part of Jeanne's life is torture to others, as it was
to her. In December she was carried to Rouen, the headquarters of the
English army, heavily fettered; was flung into a gloomy prison, from
which she attempted escape, but vainly, and finally was tried as a
sorceress and a heretic, and never a sound of help or deliverance from
the King or the nation.

Her trial was long, and she was exposed to every form of brutality,
thinly veiled under the guise of justice. Day after day her simple heart
was tortured by the questions of learned men, whose aim was to make her
condemn herself, but this they could never do, for every probing
resulted in the same calm statements. Finally one was sent to draw from
her under the seal of the confessional, her sacred confidences, which
were then rudely desecrated. She was found guilty of sacrilege,
profanation, disobedience to the church, pride and idolatry, and her
heavenly visions were said to be illusions of the devil. She was then
tortured by a series of ignominies, insults, threats, and promises
until, bewildered and half crazed by confinement, in agony of mind and
body, she blindly assented to everything they asked her, was sentenced
to perpetual imprisonment, and forced to put on a woman's dress which
she had repeatedly declared she would never do so long as she was thrown
entirely in the company of men. But she was forced to obey the bidding
of her persecutors, and then followed such degradation and insults as
are almost beyond belief, and then, oh the shame of it, she was
condemned to die by burning, on the tenth of May, 1431! Though worn with
suffering and sorrow, she faced this crowning injustice with the
dauntless courage which had ever been hers on the field of battle, and
died with the Cross held high before her eyes and the name of Jesus on
her lips.

The peasant girl of Domrémy, the warrior of Orléans, the King's saviour
at Rheims, the martyr whose death left a great ineffaceable stain on the
honour both of France and of England, twenty-five years later was
cleared of all the charges under which she was put to death, and in our
own time has been canonised by a tardy act of the church of Rome, and
to-day Jeanne d'Arc, Maid of France, nay, Maid of the World stands out
on the pages of history as one inspired by God, and God alone. To her
remains, as Kossuth has said, "the unique distinction of having been the
only person of either sex who ever held supreme command of the military
forces of a nation at the age of seventeen."



VICTORIA:

A Girl Queen of England


IN the early years of the nineteenth century, frequenters of that part
of London near the beautiful Kensington Palace and the still more
beautiful gardens bearing its name, used to enjoy almost daily glimpses
of a round-faced, red-cheeked child whose blue eyes were so bright with
health and happiness that it was a pleasure to watch her.

Sometimes the little girl was seen accompanied by a party of older
persons, and riding a donkey with a gay harness of blue ribbons, and it
was noticeable that she always had a merry greeting for those who spoke
to her in passing. At other times she would be walking, with her hand
holding tight the hand of a little playmate, or on other days she was
wheeled in a small carriage over the gravel walks of the shady Gardens,
followed by an older girl who would sometimes stop the carriage and let
a stranger kiss the blue-eyed occupant of the carriage. On pleasant days
this same little girl could frequently be seen in a simple white dress
and big shade hat, watering the plants in the beds of Kensington Palace,
and the blue-eyed child was no other than the Princess Victoria
Alexandrina, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the child who was
one day to become Queen of England.

In fancying one's self a Queen-to-be, there is never any place given to
the prosaic duties of ordinary life, but Princess Victoria's child-life
at Kensington was a very simple one such as any little girl with a
sensible mother might have had.

At eight o'clock daily the Duchess had breakfast, and the Princess had
hers at the same time, at a small table near her mother, then came an
hour's drive or walk, and from ten to twelve lessons with the Duchess
herself, after which Victoria amused herself in the suite of rooms which
extended around the two sides of the palace, where she kept most of her
toys. Then after a plain dinner came lessons again until four o'clock,
after which came another walk or donkey ride in the Gardens, a simple
supper, a romp with her nurse, whose name being Brock, Victoria called
her "dear Boppy." In fact, so secluded a life did the young Princess
lead that, except for those glimpses of her in the Gardens, she was
almost unknown to all but intimate family friends; and King George the
Fourth, called by Victoria her "Uncle King," sometimes expressed his
displeasure that the child was not allowed to be present more often at
his court. But the Duchess had her own ideas about that matter, and as
they were not at all flattering to the court manners and customs of the
day, she wisely continued to keep her little girl out of such an
atmosphere, though in fear lest the King should carry out his threat of
taking the child away from her, to bring her up in gloomy Windsor
Castle, unless she was allowed to go there more often,--which threat his
kingly power would allow him to carry out, if he so chose. But
fortunately he never did as he threatened, and Victoria remained at
Kensington with her mother, where with her half-sister and brother, the
Princess Féodore and Prince Charles of Leiningen, the four formed a
family group so loyal and so loving that nothing ever loosened the bond
between them.

Although Victoria knew herself to be a Royal Highness, she was yet
ignorant that some day she would be ruler of Great Britain, and she
continued to do simple things as unconsciously as other girls might with
a far different future. She was very enthusiastic over anything which
took her fancy, and one day at a milliner's saw a hat which was exactly
what she wanted. With eager enthusiasm she waited until it was trimmed,
and then exclaimed, "Oh, I will take it with me!" and was soon seen
hurrying towards Kensington with the precious hat in her hand. And this
was a real flesh and blood Princess, heir to the throne of England!

The monotony of life at Kensington was broken by frequent trips to
various parts of England, and visits to friends and relations, but the
Duchess felt her responsibility to the English people in bringing up the
future Queen, so keenly that she never took the risk of a trip to the
continent with Victoria, because of the long journey and the change of
climate. But the Princess thoroughly enjoyed what visits she did make,
and evidently was an attractive guest, even as a child, for when she and
her mother visited King George, her grandmother wrote to the Duchess:
"The little monkey must have pleased and amused his Majesty. She is such
a pretty, clever child!"

At another time when visiting at Wentworth House, Yorkshire, Victoria
amused herself by running around the big garden with its tangle of
shrubberies. One wet morning when the ground was very slippery, she
ventured to run down a treacherous bit of ground from the terrace, and
the gardener, who did not know who she was then, called out, "Be
careful, Miss, it's slape!" a Yorkshire word for slippery. But the
Princess had no intention of being stopped, so she merely turned her
head as she ran, and asked, "What's slape?" As she spoke, her feet flew
from under her and she came down with a thud. The gardener as he helped
her to her feet said, "_That's slape_, Miss!"

At another time she rebelled against the hours of practise insisted on
by her music teacher, who stood her ground firmly, saying that there was
no royal road to art, that only by conscientious and continued practise
could she become a musician, whereupon with a gleam of mischief in her
blue eyes, Victoria jumped up, closed the piano, locked it, put the key
in her pocket and remarked to the surprised teacher, "Now you see there
_is_ a royal way of becoming mistress of the piano!" This incident shows
that she was by no means the young prig painted by so many historians,
but a girl full of fire and spirit, merry, unaffected and with a keen
delight in all sorts of girlish amusements and pranks.

At that time the education of young ladies was more superficial than
that of poorer girls, but the future Queen was given a solid foundation
of the heavier branches of learning, such as Latin, which she hated,
history, law, politics and the British Constitution, and, too, she had
many lighter studies, modern languages, painting and music, becoming a
charming singer under the famous teacher-master, Lablache. She also
danced well, rode well and excelled at archery. One day when she had
been reading about Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi and how she
proudly presented her sons to the much-bejewelled Roman matron, saying,
"These are my jewels," the quick-witted Princess added, "She should have
said, 'My Cornelians!'"

As a young girl Victoria was very pretty, then she went through a period
of homeliness, at which time a children's ball was given at Windsor
Castle by King George in honour of a little visitor, Donna Maria II da
Gloria, the child-Queen of Portugal, who was extremely pretty and very
handsomely dressed, with a ribbon and glittering Order over her
shoulder, making little Victoria, in her simple dress and with her less
brilliant appearance, look quite plain and unattractive--and not only
was Donna Maria seated at the King's right hand, but he seemed greatly
amused by her conversation. Then the dancing began, and Donna Maria did
not show up so finely, for she was an awkward dancer and fell, hurting
herself so severely that she refused to dance again, and left the
ballroom, while Victoria, who was as light as thistle-down on her feet,
is said to have remarked gaily as she danced on: "Well, if I'm not so
handsome and grand and smartly dressed as that Maria, I'm less awkward.
I was able to keep my head and not lose my feet!"

With each year Victoria grew more attractive looking, and one night she
stood before her glass scanning herself critically, while her eyes shone
and her heart beat fast with excitement, for she was going to her first
Drawing-room, and was thrilled at the idea.

Having arrived at Windsor Castle with her mother and a number of ladies
and gentlemen in State carriages, escorted by a party of Life Guards,
Victoria stood at the left of her aunt, the queen, in a maze of delight,
watching the gay Court pageant, quite unconscious that she herself was a
centre of attraction, with her fair skin, her big blue eyes, and her air
of healthy, happy girlhood. Her dress was of simple white tulle, but
there was no more conspicuous figure in all that royal assemblage, than
the young Princess.

Like King George, when William IV succeeded to the throne, he was
jealous of any honours paid to the young Princess or her mother, and
even objected to their little journeys, calling them, with a sneer,
"Royal Progresses," and forbade the salutes given to the vessel which
carried them back and forth from the Isle of Wight, to which petty
jealousies the Duchess paid no heed, but continued to bring up her
daughter as she thought fit; persevering in the "Progresses" which so
annoyed the King, and all of his objections failed to make the Princess
less than an object of intense interest and devotion to those people who
would one day be her subjects.

Although she was still unconscious of the part she was to play in the
history of the nation, the day was coming when she could no longer be
kept ignorant of it. A bill was before Parliament called the Regency
Bill, which named the Duchess of Kent as regent if the King should die
before Victoria came of age, and she heard much conversation about the
bill. The Duchess felt that the time had now come to tell her of the
position which was to be hers in the future of England, and finally
after a long talk with Baroness Lehzen, Victoria's old governess, the
way of telling her was decided upon.

On the following day, when the Princess was busily reading a book of
history, the Baroness slipped a genealogical table on the page which
Victoria was reading. She glanced at the slip of paper with an
exclamation of surprise, then read it carefully and looking up, said
with a startled expression, "Why, I never saw that before!"

"It was not thought necessary that you should," replied the governess,
and then there was a long silence. Then, after examining the paper
again, the Princess glanced up and said with quaint solemnity, "I see I
am nearer the throne than I supposed," adding, "Now many a child would
boast, not knowing the difficulty. There is much splendour, but there is
also much responsibility." Then placing her little hand in that of the
Baroness, she said:

"_Oh, I will be good!_ I understand now why you urged me so much to
learn even Latin. You told me it was the foundation of English grammar,
and all the elegant expressions, and I learned it as you wished it, but
I understand all better now."

Then pressing the Baroness's hand again and looking solemnly into her
eyes, she repeated, "I will be good!" and the Baroness felt a moisture
rise in her eyes at the thought of what life might bring to challenge
that vow.

The Princess was grave for a time after that day, then she grew
accustomed to the new thought of her coming queendom, and was once more
her gay, happy self, and there were three functions soon afterwards at
which she appeared in all the joy of conscious power and happy girlhood.

On her thirteenth birthday the King and Queen gave a great ball in her
honour, when she out-danced all the other girls, not because of her
superior rank, but because of her grace and charm of manner. After the
ball came a drawing-room when again the Princess had a glorious time,
and another glimpse of her is at the Ascot races, when an American poet
was thrilled to see her, with the Queen, leaning over the railing of the
King's stand, both listening to a ballad-singer with as keen interest as
though they had been simple country folk instead of royalty, and he
remarked that the Princess was far better looking than most of her
photographs pictured her.

Nearer and nearer to the throne came the young girl, and yet even when
she was nearly seventeen she was still in the habit of living as quietly
as she had in childhood, and it is told how at a formal reception given
in her honour, followed by a dinner and a grand ball which she opened
with Lord Exeter, after that first dance she left the ballroom to
retire, as the Duchess thought she had had quite enough excitement for
one day. That statement will seem incredible to a girl of to-day, but it
is an historical fact.

On the twenty-fourth of May, 1837, Princess Victoria came of age
according to the laws of England, and the joyous events of the day began
very early in the morning, for when dawn was just breaking in the east,
she was roused by the sound of music under her window. Jumping up, now
quite awake, she peered through the blinds and saw a band playing
merrily, and realised why they were there. Rushing into her mother's
room she shook her out of a sound sleep, and pulled her into her room,
where together they sat behind the closed blinds and applauded the
serenaders. It did not take Victoria long to dress that morning. She was
full of excitement, for by breakfast time messages of congratulations
and presents had begun to pour in, and with shining eyes she exclaimed,
"To think of all England celebrating a holiday just for me!" when she
heard that Parliament was not in session, nor boys in school, all in her
honour. And at night there was a great illumination of the city and a
grand State Ball at the Palace of St. James--quite enough tribute to
turn the head of any girl of eighteen,--but Victoria, even then in the
midst of her enjoyment, seemed to feel the responsibility more than the
flattery, and that night gave an appealing look of shy objection when on
entering the ballroom she was obliged by court etiquette to enter before
her mother, thus emphasising for the first time her superior rank.

Not long after this, one night through the vast audience rooms of gloomy
Windsor Castle went the solemn word, "The King is dead!" and in the same
breath, even the most loyal ministers of Church and State, who had known
only too well the weaknesses of the sovereign who would reign no more,
whispered softly, "Long live the Queen!"

Then there was a flurry of preparation. The Archbishop of Canterbury and
the Lord Chamberlain made ready to leave the place of mourning as fast
as horses could carry them.

Arriving at Kensington Palace in the early dawn, they found the palace
inmates sleeping quietly. It took an endless time, so it seemed, to
arouse even the porter at the gate, but at last he appeared, rubbing
sleepy eyes and grumbling at having been disturbed. At the entrance to
the court-yard came another delay, but finally they were admitted to the
Palace, were shown to a room, and waited until their patience was
exhausted, and they rang a bell so insistently that finally another
drowsy servant answered. They then requested that the Princess Victoria
should be roused at once and told that they desired an immediate
audience on most important business. The sleepy servant disappeared and
still there were more delays, more waiting. Then the Princess' special
maid appeared, saying with irritating calm that her royal mistress was
in such a sweet sleep that she could not venture to disturb her. The
Archbishop's command was not one to be set aside, "We are come on
business of State TO THE QUEEN," he said, "Even her sleep must give
way." To the QUEEN! Ah, then it had come! With flying feet the maid
rushed into the room where the Princess had gone to sleep so peacefully
a few hours since, and roused her with the cry, "They have come to make
you Queen. Oh, be quick!"

Half asleep--entirely dazed for the moment, then clear-eyed, Victoria
sprang up, with only one thought, "I must not delay them any longer,"
and rushed into the presence of the waiting dignitaries with only a
bed-gown thrown over her night-dress, her feet in slippers and her long
brown hair flying over her shoulders!

As in a dream she heard the words, "Your Majesty," and received the
first kiss of homage on her trembling hand, then with sweet pleading
grace she spoke her first words as Queen of England, looking into the
kind eyes of the Archbishop, "I beg your Grace to pray for me," she
said, with utter simplicity and sincere desire, and raising his hand in
benediction, the Archbishop's voice asked a blessing on the fair young
sovereign of so great a land.

The hours following that first knowledge of her new dignity were
overwhelmingly full of strange experiences for Victoria, but among them
all she found time to go to her desk and write a letter to Queen
Adelaide, expressing sympathy for her in her sorrow, and begging her to
remain as long as she felt inclined at Windsor. Giving the letter to her
mother, the Duchess noted that the name on it was to "Her Majesty, the
Queen." With a smile she said, "My dear, you forget who is the Queen of
England now. The King's widow is only Queen Dowager."

To which Victoria replied quickly, "I know that, but _I_ will not be the
first person to remind her of it!"

How many girls would have been as thoughtful as that, I wonder?

In a few hours she was obliged to meet many high officials, and even had
to read her first speech from a throne which was hastily erected for the
occasion. Then while the great bell of St. Paul's was tolling for the
dead King, the young monarch, dressed very simply in mourning, which
brought out in bold relief her clear fresh complexion, took an oath "for
the security of the Church of Scotland," and received the oath of
allegiance first from her royal uncles, the Dukes of Cumberland and
Sussex, whom she kissed as affectionately and impulsively as if she
were still the little Princess. Following them came a great number of
notable men to kneel before her and kiss her hand, among them the Duke
of Wellington and the Premier, Lord Melbourne. To each she showed the
same degree of winning courtesy, and only for a brief moment seemed
disconcerted by the new and dazzling ceremony in her honour as Queen of
the realm.

Evidently since the day when she had first learned that she was some day
to be a Queen, she had been studying how to proceed when the momentous
hour should come, for now she thought to do all those things which would
have scarcely been expected of an older and experienced statesman. She
even sent for Lord Albemarle, it is said, and after reminding him that
according to law and precedent she must be proclaimed the next morning
from a certain window of St. James Palace, asked him to provide a
fitting conveyance and escort for her. Then, bowing graciously to right
and left, including all the Princes, Archbishops and Cabinet Ministers
present, in her gracious salutation, she left the room alone, as she had
entered it.

What sort of a night's rest the young Queen had that night can well be
imagined. Surely her maiden dreams must have been disturbed by many
thoughts which forced her to put aside those personal fancies which
yesterday she had been justified in harbouring!

The next day she went in state to St. James Palace, escorted by a number
of great lords and ladies, and a squadron of the Life Guards and
"Blues," and was formally proclaimed Queen of Great Britain from the
window of the Presence Chamber. She wore a black silk dress and a little
black chip bonnet, and we are told that as she stood there in her simple
costume, with her smooth brown hair as plain as her dress, the tears
ran down her cheeks when she was proclaimed to the people as their
sovereign. Then when the band played the National Anthem in her honour,
she bowed and smiled at the swaying mass of people below looking with
eager interest and affection at their "Little Queen," then retired until
noon, when she held a meeting of her chief counsellors, at which she
presided with as much grace and ease as if she had been doing that sort
of thing all her life, to the intense surprise and admiration of the
great men who composed it. At one o'clock, the Council being over, she
went back to Kensington and remained there quietly until after the
funeral of the late King; and Council and populace were loud in their
praise of this young girl, who, having been brought up in the utmost
seclusion, yet now came out into the lime-light of public attention, and
behaved with the dignity and discretion of an aged monarch.

King William having been properly and pompously buried, the young Queen
took up her new position as ruler of the realm, and her royal household
was a very exceptional and magnificent one, because of the rank and
character of those "ladies in waiting" as they were called, who composed
it.

The young Queen and her household remained at Kensington until
midsummer, when they moved to Buckingham Palace, and soon after this
Victoria was obliged to go through a great parade and ceremony to
dissolve Parliament. We are told that "the weather was fine and the
whole route from Buckingham Palace to Parliament House was lined with
shouting, cheering people, as the magnificent procession and the
brilliant young Queen passed slowly along." A London journal of the day
gives this account of the ceremony: "At ten minutes to three precisely,
Her Majesty, preceded by the heralds and attended by the great officers
of state, entered the House--all the peers and peeresses, who had risen
at the flourish of the trumpets, remaining standing. Her Majesty was
attired in a splendid white satin robe, with the ribbon of the Order
crossing her shoulder, and a magnificent tiara of diamonds on her head.
She also wore a necklace and a stomacher of large and costly
brilliants."

Having ascended the throne, the royal mantle of crimson velvet was
placed on Her Majesty's shoulders by the lords-in-waiting, and she
carried herself with the air of having been born to such ceremonies, yet
it was evident that she was much affected by the ordeal, and for a
moment was so absorbed in her own conspicuous position as to forget to
notice that the peers and peeresses with her were still standing. In a
low voice, Lord Melbourne, who was standing beside her, reminded her of
this, and with a gracious smile and inclination of her head, she said
quietly, "My Lords, be seated," whereupon they and their wives and
daughters sat. The incident had brought the Queen back to herself, and
she was now so self-possessed that when the time came to read her
speech, although she did it with quiet modesty, her voice was so clear
that it rang through all the corners of the great room, and everyone
could hear her words. A great statesman from America, Charles Sumner,
who was present, was so astonished and delighted with Victoria's manner,
that he wrote to a friend, "Her voice is sweet and finely modulated, and
she pronounced every word with distinctly a fine regard for its meaning.
I think I never heard anything better read in my life, and I could but
respond to Lord Fitz-William's remark when the ceremony was over, 'How
beautifully she performs!'" As days went on, this and other golden
opinions were universally echoed about the eighteen-year-old Queen, who
was not only strong of character, but possessed of personal charm, being
then, we are told, short in height, but well formed, with hair the
darkest shade of flaxen, with expressive blue eyes, and a complexion as
fair and delicate as a rose leaf, while her expression was one of
peculiar sweetness.

In her honour there was a grand new throne erected at Buckingham Palace,
a gorgeous affair of crimson velvet, gold lace, gold fringe and ropes
and tassels. Merrily the young Queen tried it, and with a gay laugh
exclaimed, "It is quite perfect! I never sat on a more comfortable
throne in my life!"

One of the things which Victoria most enjoyed was dealing with cases
where stern military discipline should have been used, as in the case of
a court martial which was presented to her by the Duke of Wellington to
be signed. With eyes full of tears she asked, "Have you nothing to say
in behalf of this man?"

"Nothing. He has deserted three times," replied the Duke.

"Oh, your Grace, think again!" exclaimed Victoria.

"Well, your Majesty," replied the Iron Man, "he certainly is a bad
soldier, but there was somebody who spoke as to his good character. He
may be a good fellow in civil life."

"Oh, thank you," exclaimed the Queen, and dashed off the word "Pardoned"
to the lawful parchment and wrote under it her signature.

So many cases of this clemency of hers came to the notice of Parliament,
that finally they arranged matters so that this fatal signing business
could be done by royal commission, "To relieve her Majesty of painful
duty," they said, but really because they could not trust her soft
heart to deal with cases where military discipline should not be
interfered with.

In Victoria's childhood, when her father, the Duke of Kent, died, he
left very heavy debts, which the Duchess had endeavoured in every way to
pay. This Victoria knew, and almost immediately after she became Queen,
in all the whirl and splendour of her new life she sent for her Prime
Minister and told him that she wished to settle the remaining debts
standing in her father's name, saying, "I _must_ do it. I consider it a
sacred duty," and of course it was done. The Queen also sent some
valuable pieces of plate to the largest creditors in token of her
gratitude, and the young girl's earnestness and directness in thus
carrying out her mother's chief desire, brought tears, it is said, to
the eyes of Lord Melbourne, and made his feelings for the young Queen
ever afterwards that of deepest chivalry. In fact all England was
possessed of the wildest kind of enthusiasm for their new ruler, and one
can imagine that in her youth and dignity of office she seemed to young
men and maidens to be a heroine of fairy-tale made flesh and blood,
while it was said that if necessity had arisen five hundred thousand
brave Irishmen would arise to defend the life, the honour and the person
of the beloved young lady on the throne of England.

In August Victoria took possession of Windsor Castle, which soon became
anything but a gloomy place, with the gay company that filled its every
room, and to whom the young royal housekeeper showed its beauties and
comforts with as great satisfaction as if it had been a simple little
house of her own on a plain English street.

When at Windsor, Brighton was an easy journey, and there the young Queen
had a triumphal progress, her carriage passing under numberless arches,
and between ranks and ranks of school children who strewed flowers
before her and sang songs in her honour. Some months later, in London,
she dined in state with the Lord Mayor, and as her carriage passed
through the streets of the city on its way to Guildhall, a vast crowd
lining the pavements riveted their gaze on the very youthful-looking
Queen. She wore a wrap of swan's down which made a soft frame for the
fair sweet face on which was the rose bloom of girlhood, while in her
eyes beamed health and happiness.

That was a gorgeous ceremony which she attended at Guildhall. At Temple
Bar she was met by the Lord Mayor himself who handed her the keys of the
city, and also a sword, which she at once returned to his keeping. Then
a little farther on, the Blue-Coat Boys of Christ's College gave an
address of congratulation, saying how glad they were to have a woman
rule over them, and then they sang the National Anthem, with rousing
spirit, and the royal party proceeded to Guildhall, where in the
gorgeous drawing-room the address of the city officials was read. Then
Victoria performed a memorable act: she knighted Sheriff Montefiore, the
first man of his race to receive such an honour from a British
sovereign, and thereby not only reflected honour on the noble man she
knighted, but on her own daring and just spirit. This ceremony over,
they passed into the great hall, which had been wonderfully decorated
and furnished for the occasion, and is said to have looked like
fairyland with its glittering lights hanging from the roof, reflecting
brilliancy over the gorgeous court dresses and superb jewels which made
up the dazzling scene. When Victoria entered, a great chorus rang out in
a song of praise to their Queen. Then she was led to a table on a
platform at the end of the room, where she was served with a dinner as
costly as could be procured to tempt her fancy, receiving the homage of
city officials as she dined. The feast over, a person called the Common
Crier strode into the middle of the hall and solemnly proclaimed, "The
Right Honourable the Lord Mayor gives the health of our Most Gracious
Sovereign, Queen Victoria!" Of course this was drunk amid a chorus of
shouts which made the great hall ring to the roof. Victoria rose and
bowed her thanks, and then the Common Crier announced, "Her Majesty's
Toast, 'The Lord Mayor and prosperity to the city of London!'" This
toast, it is said, the Queen responded to by drinking it in sherry one
hundred and twenty years old, kept for some wonderful occasion such as
this.

That year, Victoria's first as a Queen, she celebrated Christmas at
Windsor Castle, and it would have been a very unnatural thing indeed if
the girl had not exulted with joy over the wonderful presents which
poured in on her from every side, and yet she kept through this, as in
all the honours paid to her, her simple-hearted manner and was entirely
unspoiled by what might easily have turned the head of an older and
wiser monarch.

And now comes the greatest of all the great events in which the young
Queen is the central figure--her Coronation. It is true that she had
already been Queen for a whole year, but such was royal etiquette that
the time had just arrived for the wonderful ceremonies which would mark
her official taking of the Crown.

June the twenty-eighth was the day, and the year 1838, and Victoria was
nineteen years old. They came beforehand, the old courtiers, and
explained to her the coming pageant, and how after kneeling to her they
were all required to rise and kiss her on the left cheek. Gravely she
listened and thought this over, thought not only of the salutes of the
grave Archbishops, but of the kisses of those other younger peers, of
whom there were six hundred, and then she issued a proclamation excusing
them from this duty, so all but the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, who
could kiss her rosy cheek by special privilege of kinship, would have to
be content with pressing a salute on her hand!

As for the Coronation, it was one of the most wonderful in history, for
all England wished to look with proud eyes on the crowning of this young
girl who even in one year had proved herself to be capable of
understanding the intricate doings of statescraft, and days before the
ceremonies were to begin, people poured in from all parts of the United
Kingdom to see the glittering spectacle and to prove their loyalty to
her who was their sovereign.

The great procession started from Buckingham Palace about ten o'clock in
the morning, and the first state carriages held the Duchess of Kent and
her attendants, then came the grand state coach, imposing in its
gorgeous array of gilding and glass, drawn by eight cream-coloured
horses from the royal stables, with white flowing manes and tails. In
the coach of state sat Her Majesty, and there was tremendous applause
all along the line as soon as the bright girlish face beaming its
welcome to her people, was seen. On reaching Westminster Abbey, the
gorgeous scene might have startled or confused her, if she had not
rehearsed beforehand as thoroughly as though it were a play in which she
were to take part.

On each side of the nave were galleries erected for the spectators,
which had been covered with crimson cloth fringed with gold, and under
them were lines of very martial looking footguards. The stone floor was
covered with crimson and purple cloth, while immediately under the
central tower of the Abbey, inside the choir, five steps from the
floor, was a platform covered with cloth of gold on which stood the
golden "Chair of Homage." In the chancel, near the altar, stood the
quaint old chair in which all the sovereigns since Edward the Confessor
had been crowned. The tiers of galleries upholstered in crimson cloth
and old tapestries, were occupied by Members of Parliament and foreign
Ambassadors, while in the organ loft sat a large choir dressed in white,
and players on instruments dressed in scarlet, while high above them
were a score of trumpeters; all of which produced a brilliant effect
that was heightened by the music pealing through the vast Abbey over the
heads of the throng.

Long before the arrival of the royal party the Abbey was crowded to its
doors with foreign Ambassadors and Princes in their gorgeous costumes,
and most gorgeous of all were the Lord Mayor and Prince Esterhazy, who
was costumed like a glittering shower of jewels from head to toe, while
hundreds of pretty women were there in every kind of elaborate evening
dress, although it was only eleven o'clock in the morning. It took both
time and thought to place all the royal personages so that none would be
offended, and every peer and peeress would be seated so as to have a
good view of that part of the minster in which the Coronation was to
take place.

The grand procession passed slowly up the long aisle, with its
dignitaries of Church and State, and all its pomp and glitter of jewels
and gorgeous costumes. Then came the Queen. She wore a royal robe of
crimson velvet, trimmed with ermine and gold lace, and on her head was a
circlet of gold. Her tremendously long train was borne by eight young
court ladies, and never did she look quite so girlish and slight and
young as she did in that great procession of older dignitaries. As she
entered the Abbey the choir began the National Anthem, which could
scarcely be heard because of the mighty cheers which burst from the
general assembly, echoing through the dome and arched recesses of the
vast building. Slowly the Queen moved toward the altar, sweetly the
choir boys chanted _Vivat Victoria Regina!_ while moving quietly to a
chair placed between the "chair of homage" and the altar, Victoria knelt
in prayer for a moment, then rose, and the Primate announced in a loud
voice, "I here present unto you Queen Victoria, the undoubted Queen of
this realm, wherefore all of you are come this day to do your homage.
Are you willing to do the same?"

Then the people all shouted, "God save Queen Victoria!" which
"recognition," as it was called, was repeated many times and answered
each time by the beating of drums and the sounding of trumpets.
Throughout all this the Queen stood, turning towards the side from which
the recognition came, and then followed a great number of curious old
rites and ceremonies which always go with a Coronation, even though many
of them have entirely lost their meaning through the lapse of time.
There were prayers and the Litany and a sermon, and then the
administration of the oath of office, and after a long questioning by
the Archbishop, Her Majesty was led to the altar, where, kneeling with
her hand on the Gospels in the Great Bible, she said in clear, solemn
tones which could be heard all through the Abbey:

"The things which I have herebefore promised I will perform and keep. So
help me God."

She then kissed the book and continued to kneel while the choir sang a
hymn, then while she sat in St. Edward's chair, a rich cloth of gold was
held over her head and the Archbishop anointed her with oil in the form
of a cross, after which came still more forms and ceremonies, the
presentation of swords and spurs, the investing her with the Imperial
robe, the sceptre and the ring, the consecration and blessing of the new
crown, which had been made especially for her, and at last the crowning.
The moment this was over all the peers and peeresses, who had held their
coronets in their hands during the ceremonies, placed them on their
heads, and shouted, "God save the Queen!" The trumpets and drums sounded
again, while outside in the sunlight, guns fired by signal boomed their
salute to the new sovereign, who was led to the chair of homage to
receive the salutation of Church and State. First in line came the
dignitaries of the Church, who knelt and kissed her hand, then the Dukes
of Cambridge and Sussex, who, taking off their coronets and touching
them to the crown (a pretty ceremony that!), solemnly pledged their
loyalty, and kissed their niece on the left cheek. Then, according to
her decree, the other dukes and peers, even the Duke of Wellington, who
knelt before her, had only the honour of kissing the small white hand.

Last of all came an old and feeble peer who found such difficulty in
mounting the steps that he stumbled at the top and fell to the bottom,
rolling all the way back to the floor, where he lay, hopelessly
entangled in his robes. Impulsively the Queen rose from her throne as if
it were but a chair and stretched out her hands to help him, but the old
peer had risen by that time, and was trying his best to raise his
coronet to touch the crown, but failed because of the trembling of his
hand, and the Queen with ready tact held out her hand for him to kiss
without the form of touching her crown. It was a pretty incident,
proving the entire unconsciousness of self which the young Queen showed
all through the imposing ceremonies. And they were not yet over. There
was yet the Sacrament to be administered to the Queen, who knelt,
uncrowned, to receive it; then came a recrowning, a re-enthronement,
more music and then the welcome release of the benediction. Passing into
King Edward's chapel, the queen changed the imperial for the royal robe
of purple velvet and went out of the Abbey wearing the crown and
carrying her sceptre in her right hand, and drove home through a surging
mass of shouting, cheering subjects and sight-seers, who noticed that
she looked exhausted, and that she frequently put her hand to her head,
as if wearing a crown were not at all a comfortable thing.

The gates of the palace were reached at last, the long, vast, tiresome
ceremonial was at an end. The home door swung open to receive her, and
out dashed her pet spaniel, barking a joyous welcome as he always did
when she had been away a long time. A girlish smile broke over
Victoria's face, for so many hours moulded into a maturer expression of
sovereignty, and crying, "There, Dash!" she unceremoniously ran in,
flung off her crown and royal robe and sceptre and ran upstairs to give
the dog his daily bath!

At that time Carlyle said of her: "Poor little Queen! She is at an age
when a girl can scarcely be trusted to choose a bonnet for herself, yet
a task is thrust upon her from which an archangel might shrink."

True indeed, but her Majesty, Queen Victoria, even at the moment of
doffing her crown to give her dog a bath, could with equal grace and
capability have answered a summons to discuss grave national issues, and
would have shown both good judgment and wisdom in the discussion. A
wonderful little woman she was, young for her task, but old for her age,
and as we see her standing in the famous portrait painted in her
coronation robes we see all that is fairest and noblest in both girl and
Queen. She stands there as though mounting the steps to her throne, her
head slightly turned, looking back over her shoulder, and we feel the
buoyancy of her youth and the dignity of her purity, a far more royal
robe than the one of velvet and ermine which is over her shoulders, and
we know that she is already worthy of the homage so universally paid
her, this girl Queen of England awaiting what the future may bring.



SALLY WISTER:

A Girl of the American Revolution


WINSOME SALLY WISTER! What a pretty picture she makes against the sombre
background of the Revolutionary times in which she lived,--with her
piquant face and merry eyes half hidden under her demure Quaker bonnet,
and her snowy kerchief crossed so smoothly over her tempestuous young
heart!

To one of the finest old families in Philadelphia Sally belonged. Her
father, Daniel Wister, was the only son of John Wister, a prosperous
wine merchant, and Sally was born at her grandfather's city home, which
stands on what is now Market Street, Philadelphia, spending her summers
at his country house in Germantown, which charming old homestead is
still shown as a landmark of the place.

In winter Sally was a pupil in the girls' school kept by a famous
Quaker, Anthony Benezet, where there were gathered the daughters of many
"first" families of the vicinity, and it was there that the intimacy
began between Sally and her life-long friend Deborah Norris, who too was
a Quaker girl. The group of girls with whom Sally and "Debby" Norris
were intimate were all between fourteen and sixteen years old, and
formed a "Social Circle" which was very exclusive indeed, but to which a
few boys were occasionally admitted. The boys, however, seem to have
made themselves disliked, perhaps by teasing, after the manner of boys
of to-day, for in the summer of 1776 while the girls were all at their
summer homes, one of them wrote to Sally, in the quaint old-fashioned
way, making use of many capital letters, "I shall be glad when we get
together again; us Girls, I mean, for as to the Boys, I fancy we must
Give them up. Willingly I shall, nor have I the most distant desire of
being with them again. I think we pass our time more agreeably without
than with them." A clear declaration of independence, that--but it was
modified later as letters to Sally show, and one feels glad that such a
firm stand in an unworthy cause was open to amendment!

At noon on a hot sunny day in 1776, Monday the eighth of July, Sally and
Debby Norris were sitting in the cool shade of the big maples in the
garden of Debby's home, which adjoined the State House. For a while they
sewed and chatted and teased one another as girls will, then Sally held
up a silencing finger, "Shhh!" she whispered. "That is surely a drum and
fife."

Debby, who was listening too, nodded, "I remember now I heard Mr.
Hancock tell Mother that the Declaration of Independence was to be
proclaimed in public from the State House at noon to-day. Come, perhaps
we can hear some of it."

Sally was already half way across the lawn; Debby followed and they
climbed from a wheel-barrow up to the top of a wall looking down at the
State House yard, and had a fine view of the whole scene. Only a
small-sized crowd of citizens was there, for the most conservative
Philadelphians purposely did not go to hear it read, while those members
of Congress whom the girls could see, looked anxious and ill at ease.
Silently Sally and Debby listened while John Nixon read the mighty
phrases of the Declaration and, only half understanding what they
heard, they joined in the burst of applause following the last words,
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the
protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our
lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour."

Then as the crowd began to disperse, the girls climbed down and went
back to the cool garden, ignorant of the fact that in later years they
would have no more valued memory than that of the hot noon-day of July
7, 1776, when they saw and heard the Declaration of Independence read.

That was only one of the exciting events of those stirring days in which
Sally was living, for Philadelphia was then a war centre, and little
else was talked about except the movements of the armies and the battles
being fought. After the battle of Brandywine, when General Washington
made a brave fight to save Philadelphia, but was defeated by the British
general, Lord Howe, Sally Wister's father, feeling sure that the British
would now occupy Philadelphia, thought the time had come to send his
family out of the city. He at once despatched them to the Foulke farm,
on the Wissahickon creek, among the hills of Gwynedd, some fifteen miles
away from the storm centre of the city. The owner of the farm, Hannah
Foulke, was a relation by marriage of the Wisters, and evidently gave up
half of her home to them, retaining the other half for her own use, and
there the two families lived harmoniously during the following nine
months.

But to Mistress Sally the change of residence and the separation from
all her friends was not a happy one, and to while away some of its
lonely hours she began a series of letters in the form of a diary, for
Debby Norris's benefit, and that journal tells us much about the
happenings of that memorable epoch in American history, from a young
girl's point of view. Soon after the arrival of the Wisters at the farm
the peaceful quiet of the place was broken up, for the sights and sounds
of war began to be heard even in that remote location, as both armies
were marching towards Philadelphia. In the first letter to Debby Sally
informs us that on the 24th of September, two Virginia officers stopped
at the house, and informed them that the British army had crossed the
Schuylkill, and later another person called and said that General
Washington and Army were near Potsgrove, and Sally writes to Debby:

"Well, thee may be sure we were sufficiently scared; however, the road
was very still till evening. About seven o'clock we heard a great noise.
To the door we all went. A large number of waggons with about three
hundred of the Philadelphia Militia. They begged for drink and several
pushed into the house. One of those that entered was a little tipsy and
had a mind to be saucy. I then thought it time for me to retreat, so
figure me (mightily scared,) running in at one door and out another, all
in a shake with fear, but after a while seeing the officers appeared
gentlemanly and the soldiers civil, I call'd reason to my aid. My fears
were in some measure dispell'd, tho' my teeth rattled and my hand shook
like an aspen leaf. They did not offer to take their quarters with us,
so with many blessings and as many adieus they marched off. I have
given thee the most material occurrences of yesterday faithfully."

The next day she and "chicken hearted" Liddy, as Sally called her
sister, were very much scared by a false report that the dreaded
Hessians, who comprised a large part of the British army, were
approaching, had "actually turned into our lane," writes Sally, and she
adds "Well, the fright went off," but hearing that the forces were
momentarily drawing nearer, she remarks, "I expect soon to be in the
midst of one army or t'other." Then while looking for some great
happening, she had another fright, for a party of Virginia light horse
rode up to the door, and mistaking the red and blue of their uniforms
for the British colours, she fled to the shelter of the house, with, as
she says, "wings tack'd to my feet."

An interval of several weeks then passed, in which nothing of any great
moment happened, as she explains in the brief notes in her diary. Then
comes a stirring day to chronicle for Debby's benefit. In the morning
she hears "the greatest drumming, fifing and rattling of waggons that
ever was heard" and goes a short distance to see the American army as it
marches to take a position nearer the city. On that same day comes
General Smallwood, commander of the Maryland troops, with his officers,
and a large guard of soldiers to the farm, and asks to be allowed to
make it his headquarters. Permission having been given by Hannah Foulke,
one of the officers wrote over the door:

          "Smallwood's Quarters"

to secure the house from straggling soldiers, and then the regiment rode
away, leaving a flutter of excitement in the hearts of the girls, at the
thought of having such a novel experience as a house full of soldiers.
With delightful candour Sally tells us that she and her sister and
cousins at once "put on their best dresses" and "put their lips in order
for conquest," and then awaited the evening with what patience they
could summon. At last the general and his staff and soldiers arrived,
when at once the yard and house were in confusion, and glittered with
military equipments. A Dr. Gould who was at that time staying with the
Wisters, being a friend of General Smallwood's, presented him and his
officers ceremoniously to the family of which they were to be a part,
and there is no doubt that from soldier to General all looked with
covert or open admiration on pretty, saucy Sally, who despite her fear
of the military, showed great courage, not to say pleasure, in their
near presence!

At once she looked them over, man by man, with a critical eye, and
passed judgment on them in her diary, relating, that to her surprise,
they seem "very peaceable sort of men," and adds, "they eat like other
folks, talk like them, and behave themselves with elegance, so I will
not be afraid of them, no I won't," and winds up her letter with,
"Adieu. I am going to my chamber to dream, I suppose of bayonets and
swords, sashes, guns and epaulets."

On the following day, she writes to Debby, "I dare say thee is impatient
to know my sentiments of the officers, so while Somnus embraces them and
the house is still, take their characters according to their rank," and
then gives a vivid pen picture of each one of the officers, her
trenchant description showing her to be no respecter of persons. Major
William Truman Stoddard, a nephew of the General, and not much older
than Sally herself, she at first describes as appearing "cross and
reserved," but her opinion of the young officer materially changes. On
the second day of their acquaintance she writes, "Well, here comes the
glory, the Major, so bashful, so famous; I at first thought him cross
and proud, but I was mistaken. He cannot be extolled for graces of
person, but for those of the mind he may be justly celebrated." On the
third day, "the Major is very reserv'd, nothing but 'Good morning' or
'your servant,' madam," and she adds that she has heard that he is worth
a fortune of thirty thousand pounds, but is so bashful that he can
hardly look at the ladies, after which information she roguishly
remarks in an aside, "Excuse me, good sir, I really thought you were not
clever; if 'tis bashfulness only, we will drive that away!"

At the end of several days, Sally seems to be much interested in the
Major, but to have made little headway in getting acquainted with him,
and the only entry concerning him is "The Gen'l still here. The Major
still bashful."

Then on a Sunday evening when she was playing with her little brother,
the Major drew up a chair and began to play with the child too, and
Sally says, "One word brought us together and we chatted the greatest
part of the evening." This seems to have broken the ice between them
completely and two days later while Liddy and Sally were reading she
tells us that, "The Major was holding a candle for the Gen'l who was
reading a newspaper. He looked at us, turned away his eyes, looked
again, put the candlestick down, up he jumped, out of the door he went."
But presently he returned and seated himself on the table begging them
for a song, which Liddy said Sally could give, and they laughed and
talked for an hour and Sally found him "very clever, amiable and
polite." In the same letter Sally exclaimed, "Oh, Debby, I have a
thousand things to tell thee. I shall give thee so droll an account of
my adventures that thee will smile. 'No occasion of that, Sally,'
methinks I hear thee say, 'for thee tells me every trifle.' But child,
thee is mistaken, for I have not told thee half the civil things that
are said of us SWEET creatures at General Smallwood's Quarters!" Sly
little Mistress Sally!

On the next day, "A polite 'Good morning' from the Major. More sociable
than ever. No wonder, a stoic could not resist such affable damsels as
we are!"--Conceited little monkey--Again, "the Major and I had a little
chat to ourselves this evening. No harm, I assure thee. He and I are
friends."

That letter also recounts the coming of Colonel Guest, who at once fell
a victim to the charms of Liddy, in telling which to Debby, Sally
remarks, "When will Sally's admirers appear? Ah! that indeed. Why, Sally
has not charms sufficient to pierce the heart of a soldier. But still I
won't despair. Who knows what mischief I may yet do?"--Ah, yes, little
coquette, who knows?

Two days later, she writes, "Liddy, Betsey, Stoddard and myself, seated
by the fire chatted away an hour in lively conversation. I can't pretend
to write all he said, but he shone in every subject we talked of," and
again, "As often as I go to the door, so often have I seen the Major. We
chat passingly, as 'A fine day, Miss Sally,' Yes, very fine, Major.

"Another very charming conversation with the young Marylander, He has by
his unexceptionable deportment engaged my esteem."--Lucky Major!

All too soon for the girls at the farm came a command from head-quarters
that the Army was to march on to Whitemarsh, and the soldiers' two weeks
of playtime was over. On the day before the leave-taking, Liddy, Betsey
and Sally, the latter dressed in a white muslin gown, a big bonnet, and
long gloves, started down the garden path to take a walk. On the porch
stood two officers watching the retreating figures. One was the Major of
Sally's fancy, the other a Major Leatherberry, of whom she tersely says,
"He is a sensible fellow who will not swing for want of a tongue!"

In describing the incident, Sally says, "As we left the house, I
naturally looked back (of course you did, little coquette) when behold,
the two majors came fast after us, and begged leave to attend us. No
fear of a refusal!" she adds, and together the four young people rambled
through the woodland, flaming with autumn tints, by the bank of the
overflowing Wissahickon, and Sally says that they shortened the way with
lively conversation, and that nothing happened that was not entirely
consistent with the strictest rules of politeness and decorum, but tells
of pouting when Major Stoddard tried to console her for tearing her
muslin petticoat, and of flouting Major Leatherberry, when noticing the
locket against her white throat, he gallantly quoted:

          "On her white neck a sparkling cross she wore,
           That Jews might kiss or infidels adore,"

but remarks that as a whole the little excursion was full of delights
for each one of the party, and it was the last good time they had
together for several weeks, as the farewell came on the next day. Sally
and the Major seem to have felt the parting keenly, and Sally
acknowledges to Debby, "I am sorry, for when you have been with
agreeable people, 'tis impossible not to feel regret when they bid you
adieu, perhaps forever. When they leave us we shall be immurred in
solitude," adding tersely, "The Major looks dull."--Poor Major!

Later she adds, "It seems strange not to see our house as it used to be.
We are very still. No rattling of waggons, glittering of musquets. The
beating of the distant drum is all we hear."

The journal records no other item of special interest for several weeks,
except the arrival of two Virginia officers, which somewhat cheers
Sally, although she describes them in none too glowing terms. She says,
"Warring, an insignificant piece enough. Lee sings prettily and talks a
great deal--how good turkey hash and fry'd hominy is!--A pretty
discourse to entertain ladies! Nothing lowers a man more in my
estimation than talking of eating. Lee and Warring are proficient in
this science. Enough of them!"

On the 5th of December, Sally has forgotten all trifling details in a
new excitement. She writes, "Oh gracious, Debby, I am all alive with
fear. The English have come out to attack (we imagine) our army. They
are on Chestnut Hill, our army three miles this side. What will become
of us, only six miles distant?

"We are in hourly expectation of an engagement. I fear we shall be in
the midst of it. Heaven defend us from so dreadful a sight. The battle
of Germantown, and the horrors of that day are recent in my mind. It
will be sufficiently dreadful if we are only in hearing of the firing,
to think how many of our fellow creatures are plung'd into the boundless
ocean of eternity, few of them prepared to meet their fate. But they are
summoned before an all merciful Judge from whom they have a great deal
to hope." (Dear little Sally, you are not so frivolous, after all!)

Two days later Major Stoddard appeared unexpectedly, to Sally's
unconcealed joy. He was looking thin and sick, and was taken care of by
Mrs. Foulke, but said if he heard firing, he should go with the troops,
sick or well, which Sally calls "heroic," and at once, fearing he may
flee hastily, says, "I dressed myself, silk and cotton gown. It is made
without an apron. I feel quite awkwardish and prefer the girlish
dresses."

The Major improved so rapidly that on the following day he drank tea
with the Wisters, and Sally and he had a little private chat, when he
promised if there should be a battle to come back with a full account
of it. Later in the afternoon firing was distinctly heard, and it was
supposed that the opposing armies had begun an engagement. This was
Howe's famous demonstration against Washington's position at Whitemarsh,
and a general battle was expected by everyone, but nothing occurred
except several severe skirmishes. However, at the sound of platoon
firing, the Major ordered his horse saddled, and if the firing had not
decreased, could not have been dissuaded from going, though still far
from strong, and Sally shows great pride in his bravery, as she calls
it.

The next day's entry tells Debby, "Rejoice with us, my dear. The British
have returned to the city--charming news this!" They reached
Philadelphia on that evening, plundering farms on their way, as they
marched in. Sally devoutly adds, "May we ever be thankful to the
Almighty Disposer of events for his care and protection of us while
surrounded with dangers.

"Major went to the army. Nothing for him to do so he returned."

On the following day she writes, "Our Army moved, as we thought to go
into Winter quarters, but we hear there is a party of the enemy gone
over the Schuylkill, so our Army went to look at them.

"I observed to Stoddard: 'So you are going, to leave us to the English.'

"'Yes, ha, ha, ha! Leave _you_ to the English!'" was his answer, and the
glance that accompanied it spoke volumes.

At noon he was gone again, leaving Sally pining for new fields to
conquer. She did not have to wait long as there were already at the farm
two officers, whom she now deigns to notice, and describes as "A Captain
Lipscomb and a Mr. Tilly;" the latter she calls, "a wild noisy mortal
who appears bashful with girls," and she adds, "We dissipated the
Major's bashfulness, but I doubt we have not so good a subject now. He
keeps me in perpetual humour but the creature has not addressed one
civil thing to me since he came." An incentive to exert all her charms
and force a victory, Mistress Sally!

It was now nearly the Christmas season, and Stoddard was again at the
farm, for a brief visit, when an amusing incident took place. Sally was
sitting in her aunt's parlour with the other girls, darning an apron
when Major Stoddard joined them, and began to compliment her on her
skill, with the needle.

"Well, Miss Sally, what would you do if the British were to come here?"
he asked.

"Do!" exclaimed Sally, "be frightened just to death!"

He laughed and said he would escape their rage by getting behind the
figure of a British grenadier which was upstairs. "Of all things I would
like to frighten Tilly with it," he said. "Pray, ladies, let's fix it in
his chamber to-night."

"If thee will take all of the blame we will assist thee," said wary
Sally.

"That I will," he replied, and then they made their plan to stand the
life-size figure of the grenadier which was of a most martial
appearance, at the door which opened into the road (the house had four
rooms on a floor with a wide entry running through), with another figure
which would add to the deceit. One of the servants was to stand behind
them, others to serve as occasion offered.

"After half an hour's converse," Sally says, "in which we raised our
expectations to the highest pitch, we parted." On that evening this is
what happened, according to Sally's chronicle. She says:--"In the
beginning of the event I went to Liddy and begged her to secure the
swords and pistols which were in their parlour. The Marylander, hearing
our voices joined us. I told him of our proposal. He approved of it and
Liddy went in and brought her apron full of swords and pistols.

"When this was done Stoddard joined the officers. We girls went and
stood at the first landing of the stairs. The gentlemen were very merry
and chatting on public affairs when a negro opened the door, candle in
his hand, and said, 'There's somebody at the door that wishes to see
you.'

"'Who, all of us?' said Tilly.

"'Yes, sir,' answered the boy.

"They all rose, the Major, as he afterwards said, almost dying with
laughter, and walked into the entry. Tilly first, in full expectation of
news.

"The first object that struck his view was a British soldier. In a
moment his ears were saluted with, 'Is there any rebel officer here?' in
a thundering voice.

"Not waiting for a second word, Tilly darted like lightning out at the
front door, through the yard, bolted o'er the fence. Swamps, fences,
thorn-hedges and ploughed fields no way impeded his retreat. He was soon
out of hearing.

"The woods echoed with, 'Which way did he go? Stop him! Surround the
house!' Lipscomb had his hand on the latch, intending to attempt his
escape. Stoddard, acquainted him with the deceit.

"'Major Stoddard,' said I, 'Go call Tilly back. He will lose
himself,--indeed he will.' Every word interrupted with a Ha! Ha!

"At last he rose and went to the door and what a loud voice could avail
in bringing him back, he tried.

"Figure to thyself this Tilly, of a snowy evening, no hat, shoes down at
the heel, hair unty'd, flying across meadows, creeks and mud holes.
Flying from what? Why, a bit of painted wood.

"After a while our bursts of laughter being less frequent yet by no
means subsided; in full assembly of girls and officers, Tilly entered.

"The greatest part of my responsibility turned to pity. Inexpressible
confusion had taken entire possession of his countenance, his fine hair
hanging dishevelled down his shoulders, all splashed with mud, yet his
fright, confusion and race had not divested him of his beauty. He smiles
as he trips up the steps, briskly walked five or six steps, then stopped
and took a general survey of us all.

"'Where have you been, Mr. Tilly?' asked one officer. (We girls were
silent.)

"'I really imagined,' said Stoddard, 'that you were gone for your
pistols. I follow'd you to prevent danger,' an excessive laugh at each
question, which it was impossible to restrain.

"'Pray, where are your pistols, Tilly?'

"He broke his silence by the following expression, 'You may all go to
the devil!'" In recording this, Sally somewhat shocked says, "I never
heard him utter an indecent expression before."

"At last his good nature gained a complete ascendance over his anger,
and he joined heartily in the laugh. Stoddard caught hold of his coat.
'Come, look at what you ran from,' he exclaimed, and dragged him to the
door.

"Tilly gave it a look, said it was very natural, and by the singularity
of his expression gave fresh cause for diversion. We all retired,--for
to rest our faces,--if I may say so.

"Well, certainly these military folk will laugh all night. Such
screaming I never did hear. Adieu to-night."

Such incidents as that did good service in giving a touch of humour to
the soldiers' duller duties when in camp, and the vivid picture of Tilly
and the grenadier comes down to us through the years as a refreshing
incident of Revolutionary days.

On the next day Sally writes, "I am afraid they will yet carry the joke
too far. Tilly certainly possesses an uncommon share of good nature or
he could not tolerate these frequent teasings." Then she adds what is
most important of all,--

"Ah, Deborah, the Major is going to leave us entirely, just going. I
will see him first."

And on the next day, "He has gone. I saw him pass the bridge. The woods
hindered us from following him farther. I seem to fancy he will return
in the evening."

But he never did, and it is left to our imagining how much of her heart
the gallant young officer took away with him. Whether much or little,
there was no evidence of her loss of spirits, and other admirers came
and went, in quick succession and apparently entirely engaged her
attention.

On the 20th of December, she writes, "General Washington's army have
gone into winter quarters at Valley Forge.

"We shall not see so many of the military now. We shall be very intimate
with solitude. I am afraid stupidity will be a frequent guest," and
again, "A dull round of the same thing. I shall hang up my pen till
something happens worth relating."

There being such a lack of diversion at the farm, Sally gladly went to
spend a week with her friend Polly Fishbourn at Whitemarsh, where she
had an opportunity to climb the barren hills and from their tops saw an
extended view of the surrounding country. She says, "The traces of the
Army which encamped on these hills are very visible,--ragged huts,
imitations of chimneys, and many other ruinous objects which plainly
showed that they had been there."

Again back at the farm she had long weeks without any other real
adventures,--a real one where Sally was concerned, being always one with
an officer in the foreground, but when June came again there arrived at
the farm the Virginian captain, Dandridge, who seems to have effectually
displaced Major Stoddard in the fickle little lady's graces, and she
described him in glowing terms to Debby, giving very diverting accounts
of the spicy conversations they had together, for Captain Dandridge was
famous at repartee, and Sally never at a loss for words to answer back.
In fact there is no more charming bit of writing in the journal than the
account of her intimacy with the Captain whom she speaks of as the
"handsomest man in existence."

In one of Sally's conversations with Dandridge, an interesting light is
thrown on the attitude of the Wisters in the struggle for independence.
As Quakers, they professed to be in a neutral position, taking a firm
stand against war, and preferring not to be drawn into discussions on
political questions, which is shown by Sally's account of an evening
when some officers having taken tea in the Wister parlour, she says,
"the conversation turned on politicks, a subject to avoid. I gave Betsey
a hint," she adds; "I rose, she followed, and we went out of the room."
But although theoretically opposed to war, the Wisters, like a majority
of the Quakers, were at heart friends of liberty. There is no doubt that
Sally's sympathy was with the American cause, she was quick to deny
Dandridge's accusation that she was a Tory.

All too soon, Captain Dandridge, like the other officers, rode away from
the farm after a gallant leave-taking, but Sally's thoughts were soon
otherwise engrossed. She wrote, "We have had strange reports about the
British being about to leave Philadelphia. I can't believe it."

And on the following day, "We have heard an astonishing piece of
news--that the English have entirely left the city. It is almost
impossible! Stay--I shall hear further," and then on the next, "A light
horseman has just confirmed the above intelligence! This is _charmante_!
They decamped yesterday. He (the horseman) was in Philadelphia. It is
true! They have gone! Past a doubt. I can't help forbear exclaiming to
the girls, 'Now are you sure the news is true? Now are you _sure_ they
have gone?'

"'Yes, yes, yes!' they all cry, 'and may they never, never return!'

"Dr. Gould came here to-night. Our army are about six miles off, on their
march to the Jerseys."

On the next day she adds, "The army began their march at six this
morning. Our brave, our heroic General Washington was escorted by fifty
of the Life Guards with drawn swords. Each day he acquires an addition
to his goodness."

A fine tribute, indeed, to the moving spirit of American Independence,
and with it let us close Sally Wister's journal, sure that with the
retreat of the British from Philadelphia, she will soon be able to
return to the friends from whom she has had such a long separation, and
so will have no further need to record happenings at the farm as she has
been doing so faithfully, but can presently relate them not to Debby
alone, but to the whole "Social Circle," and we may be sure from what
we know of Mistress Sally that her stories will lose no spice in the
telling.

If there are those who are reluctant to part with pretty Sally, let them
turn to the little journal and read it in its spicy entirety for
themselves, and it were well also after reading this chronicle of a girl
of the Revolution, to turn to the pages of history and paint in more
accurate detail the background of our vivid picture of Sally, for only a
short distance from the farm, across the hills of Gwynedd, the greatest
actors in the Revolutionary drama were playing their parts--Washington,
Lafayette, Wayne, Steuben, Greene, and many others--playing the hero's
part at the battle of Germantown, at the battle of Burgoyne, in the
skirmishes before Washington's encampment at Whitemarsh, suffering
silently in a winter at Valley Forge.

Turn to the pages of history for the sombre background and glance once
again at the piquant face and merry eyes of Sally Wister, half hidden
under her demure Quaker bonnet, with her snowy kerchief crossed so
smoothly over her tempestuous young heart, as she looked when soldiers
and officers fell under the charm of her bewitching personality!



COFACHIQUI:

An Indian Princess of Historic Legend


IT was a day in late April. In the flourishing Indian town of Yupaha, a
town lying on the east bank of the Savannah River, in what is now the
State of South Carolina, an unusual commotion was evident. An Indian on
the river bank had noticed with his far-seeing eyes a strange sight on
the opposite side of the river. The sunshine was flashing on glinting
brass and steel implements upheld by a host of strange foreigners who
were massed near the river, some on foot and others mounted on such
animals as the Indian had never before seen. What was to be the next
move of these strangers? Were they planning to cross the river and
invade the Red Man's stronghold? Quickly the Indian called around him
the principal men of the village, sent a message also to the young and
beautiful princess who had recently been made Queen of the province of
Cofachiqui and of many neighbouring provinces. This princess was so just
and loyal and honest in dealing with her people that they loved her as
though she had been a wise man instead of a young girl. Now she was
quickly told of the strange spectacle across the water and came herself
to view it. Then her councillors gathered around her to receive her
commands, and several Indians hurrying to the river, hastily embarked in
their canoes, the rhythmic sound of their paddles echoing on the still
air.

Meanwhile on the bank toward which they steered their canoes, there was
an air of expectancy as the canoes came nearer, were grounded, as six
stalwart Indian chiefs filed up the bank from the river, and stood
before the foreigners, who were no other than Hernandez de Soto, the
Spanish general, and his band of adventurers. The chiefs made three
profound bows, one toward the East, to the Sun, one toward the West, to
the moon, and one to De Soto himself. Then their spokesman asked:

"Do you wish peace or war?"

"Peace," answered De Soto promptly. "We ask only permission to pass
through your province, transportation across the river, food while we
are in your territory and the treatment of friends, not foes."

Gravely the Indian listened, gravely he answered. Peace, he said, could
be assured, but for the other requests there must be time given to make
answer. Cofachiqui, queen of the province bearing her name, must be
consulted. Of food there was a scant supply because of a pestilence
which had recently ravaged their land causing many natives to go into
the forests, and preventing them from planting their fields as usual,
but if the strangers would await Cofachiqui's response to their demands
with what patience they could command, that patience would surely be
rewarded.

The Indian ceased speaking and bowed. Gravely his companions also bowed.
The interview was over. With silent sinuous strides the chiefs retraced
their steps to the river, and entered their canoes which soon shot
through the water, homeward bound, watched by the eager eyes of the
waiting Spaniards.

[Illustration: COFACHIQUI, THE INDIAN PRINCESS]

Now although De Soto had shown surprise at the news that the ruler of
the neighbouring province was a young princess, the surprise was not
genuine. Some months earlier in the season, while encamped in what is
now the State of Florida, an Indian had been captured and brought into
the Spanish camp. This youth had told thrilling tales to the Spaniards
of the fascinating young Queen Cofachiqui and he related to a breathless
audience how all the neighbouring chiefs paid tribute to her as to a
great ruler, and sent her presents of magnificent clothing and
provisions and gold. At the mention of gold which was the ruling passion
of De Soto and his followers, they plied the young Indian with further
questions, and he, hoping for release as the price of his information,
told in detail of the wonderful yellow metal which was found in such
quantities in the province of Cofachiqui and neighbouring territories
and how it was melted and refined, and as the Spaniards listened, they
exchanged glances of joy that at last after all their weary wanderings,
they were to find the long-looked-for treasure. At once they broke camp,
robbing and plundering the Indians, without whose kindness and
hospitality during the long Winter months they would have fared badly,
but of that they were careless, and in every possible way drained the
stores of the savages who had befriended them, in fitting themselves out
for their expedition northward.

Then for long weeks they pressed onward through the trackless forest
with no chart or compass, except such general directions as they
received from the young Indian, to guide them, and as they travelled
they left behind them a trail of theft and barbarous cruelty and murder
in return for the kindness of the simple-minded natives whom they
encountered in their march.

At last in late April they found themselves in the territory governed by
Cofachiqui, the fair young girl who was ruler of many provinces and
possessor of much gold, and their hopes of conquest were high. So, in
accord with a hastily-laid plan, they massed themselves on the east
bank of the river, with the sunlight glinting through the great forest
trees behind them, shining on their weapons and armour, and thus they
received the visit of the Indians from the town of Yupaha, capital of
Cofachiqui.

The interview was over--the Spaniards watched the chiefs as they
disembarked on the opposite shore, saw a great crowd of natives gather
around them, engaging in eager conversation, saw canoes being again made
ready for use, one more showily ornamented than the others being filled
with cushions and mats, over which a canopy was hastily raised. The eyes
of the Spaniards were strained to lose no detail of the Indians'
preparations as four strong young braves came in sight, carrying a
palanquin down to the river edge, from which a young woman alighted, and
gracefully stepped into the gaudily decked canoe.

"The Princess! It can be no other!" exclaimed an excited and susceptible
dragoon, and all eyes were at once centred on the slight, lithe figure
seated now in the canoe. She was followed by eight Indian women, who
also seated themselves in the boat with their Queen and took up the
paddles, making the little craft cut swiftly through the water by the
power of their deft strokes, while the men followed in another canoe.

The shore was reached. Gracefully, quietly the princess stepped from her
barge, and ascended the bank, her women following in an impressive
procession, until they stood before the army of expectant Spaniards. De
Soto, after one glance into the lustrous dark eyes of the girlish
princess, rose and placed the throne chair by his own side, and with a
swift and gracious acknowledgment of his courtesy, the princess took it,
and began to speak rapidly in a low melodious voice.

"My chiefs tell me you ask for provisions and shelter while passing
through my provinces," she said.

De Soto asked his interpreter what her words meant and inclined his head
in affirmation, while his soldiers watched the mobile face of the
princess, fascinated by her beauty, as she spoke again.

"We give you and your men a hearty welcome and will protect your
interests as if they were our own while you remain with us," she said.
"But for provisions, my chiefs told you of the pestilence which has so
ravaged our land that the fields have not been planted as usual, but I
have two storehouses filled with grain which I have collected for the
relief of those whom the pestilence has spared, one of those shall be at
your service, sir. As to your accommodation," this with a graceful wave
of her hand as though including De Soto in all that she possessed, "half
of my own house is at your disposal, and your men may make themselves at
home in as many of the buildings in the village as are necessary, for
barracks."

Watching De Soto's face, and fancying she saw disapproval there, the
princess hastily added, "But if that is not satisfactory to you, oh,
sir, I and my people can retire to a neighbouring village, leaving you
in possession of my own."

Her winning hospitality was not to be resisted. A grave and courtly
smile flitted over De Soto's face and he hastily reassured her that this
would not be necessary, then asked if she could provide them with a
means of transportation across the river. To this Cofachiqui replied,
"That has already been attended to, and to-morrow morning rafts and
canoes will be in readiness for your use."

While she was speaking, De Soto had fallen under the spell of her
musical voice and personal charm and when she finished he rose, and
bending over her hand, kissed it in true cavalier fashion, assuring her
of his loyalty and good faith, as well as those of his sovereign, and
although the vow was as insincere as it was effective, it gave great joy
to simple-minded, big-hearted Cofachiqui, who believed that these
foreigners were as trustworthy as she was, and were hereafter to be her
friends and allies.

Slowly she unwound a long string of pearls as large as hazelnuts that
were wound three times around her graceful throat and fell in a long
strand to her waist, and handing them to De Soto's interpreter, she
asked him to present them to his commander whose eyes gleamed at sight
of the magnificent jewels, although he shook his head saying gallantly,
"But Madame, they will be doubly precious if given by your own hand."

The princess flashed an arch glance at the handsome Spanish general, but
showed her reluctance, replying that such an act would lay her open to
the charge of immodesty. This being repeated to De Soto by his
interpreter, he answered firmly and chivalrously,

"More indeed than the pearls themselves would I value the favour of
receiving them from her hand, and in acting so she would not go against
modesty, for we are treating of peace and friendship, of all things the
most important, most serious between strange people."

Having heard this apparent declaration of amity the princess allowed
herself to be persuaded, then rose, and with her own hands placed the
string of costly pearls around the neck of De Soto. He too stood, and
taking from his hand a valuable ring, set with a large ruby, which he
had doubtless pillaged from the Peruvians, he begged Cofachiqui to
accept it.

Won by his magnetism and courtly manner the heart of the princess beat
fast, and with evident pleasure she accepted the ring and placed it on
her finger. Then with a bewitching smile to De Soto, and another to his
men, she turned and retraced her steps to the river, and followed as
before by her attendants, she again entered the canoe which under the
impelling strokes of the sturdy Indian women, shot homeward, leaving the
ranks of the Spanish army quite demoralised by such a vision of youth
and beauty, as well as charmed by a strength of character which made
them call the princess then and ever afterwards _La Sanora_, or the lady
of Cofachiqui, and both then and ever after did she deserve the title,
for no truer-hearted, kindlier-mannered aristocrat ever made and kept
covenant of faith with a treacherous foe, than did she, this sweet
princess of a barbarian race.

So much in love with her already were the susceptible Spaniards that
they awaited the morrow with extreme impatience and could only while
away the hours with tales of her perfections told to the master of camp
and the remainder of the army, but just arrived from the interior.

At the appointed hour of the next day came the promised rafts and canoes
to transport them, and soon De Soto and his cavaliers found themselves
in the most beautiful spot, and among the most hospitable Indians they
had ever yet encountered. They were peaceable and affable in manner and
almost as white as the Spaniards themselves, and so intelligent that it
was possible to gain much valuable information from them concerning the
region and its products. As for the lovely princess herself, daily the
strangers became more astonished at her soundness of judgment, and
practical grasp of affairs, which would easily have challenged many a
white man's mental capacity.

With eager desire to make her guests as comfortable as possible, and
also with a touch of personal interest in the handsome cavaliers,
Cofachiqui ordered wigwams to be put up for the soldiers under the
shading mulberry trees, placed houses at the disposal of the officers
and made everything bend to the comfort of the Spaniards to such a
degree that the delighted army approached their general with a petition
to make a permanent settlement there. But De Soto was a man of one
controlling passion and was impervious to all pleas, reiterating these
words, "Our quest is for gold, not for comfort or for courtesy. We must
press on."

A man of few words but of inflexible purpose, the soldiers knew only too
well the uselessness of entreating him further and putting aside their
emotional appreciation of Cofachiqui's kindness, even while accepting
all that she gave them, set to work and secretly discovered the burial
place of her people, and robbed it not only of figures of babies and
birds made of iridescent shells, but also of three hundred and fifty
weight of pearls. Then, fired with the lust of possession, and having
found out that Cofachiqui's widowed mother, who lived in retirement
forty miles down the river, was the owner of many fine pearls, De Soto
at once began to plan to get her in his power. Of this he gave no hint
to the princess, but pretended, in his long daily conversations with
her, that he was her loyal friend, and his only aim was peace so long as
he and his men should be in her territory. At the same time he suggested
casually to Cofachiqui, who was still somewhat under the spell of his
magnetic personality, (although now not altogether unconscious of the
selfish deeds done to her people in his name) that perhaps her mother
would enjoy coming up to Yupaha to meet his people who were unlike any
she had ever known, also to see the wonderful animals they rode,--for
the fine horses of the Spanish cavalrymen were the greatest admiration
of the Indians. To his suggestion Cofachiqui gave a pleasant assent, and
at once De Soto's message was conveyed to the Queen's mother by a young
Indian who had been brought up as the elder woman's own son. But the
Queen's mother had lived longer, and had a broader knowledge of the
world and of the treachery of the white man than had her daughter, and
instead of accepting the invitation in the spirit in which it was
apparently given, she sent a sharp reproof to Cofachiqui for having
allowed strangers about whom she knew nothing to invade her capital.

The news was duly brought to De Soto, who set his firm lips more firmly
still, and then ordered one of his officers, Juan de Anasco, to take
with him thirty men and start at once for the dwelling-place of the
Queen's mother, and force her not only to see them, but also to return
with them to the camp. On hearing this, the princess argued with him as
to the uselessness of the expedition. "My mother," she said, "is of a
firm will and tenacious purpose. Had she been willing to see you, she
would have come at once. Do not urge her."

But De Soto spoke in a tone of firm command, telling her that she must
supply a guide for the expedition, and with no further sign of
reluctance Cofachiqui again commissioned the young Indian, of whom her
mother was so fond, to lead the strangers forth, hoping that the lad's
coming would make a stronger appeal to her mother than all the force
that could be used.

When the young fellow stood equipped for the journey, receiving his
instructions from Cofachiqui, he was so strikingly handsome, both in
face and stalwart figure, that even the Spaniards could not but note it.
On his back was strung a magnificent bow as tall as he, and a quiver
full of arrows, his mantle was of finest softest deerskin and on his
head was set a coronet of rare feathers.

That evening the party set out, and on the following day when the sun
was high, stopped to rest under a spreading clump of trees, and as the
Spaniards lounged in the refreshingly cool spot, the young guide sat
apart, not entering into the gaiety of his comrades, but with his head
bent in his hands, in apparently deep and melancholy reverie. Then
rousing with a start, he threw himself down beside the others and began
to show them the arrows with which his quiver was filled, and the
Spaniards examined them with eager interest and surprise, for they were
gems of carving and of polish, and each one was different from the
other. While the soldiers' attention was thus centred, the young Indian
gave a quick glance at them, then suddenly he drew out a dagger-edged
flint head, plunged it into his throat and fell at their feet. With
cries of horror they bent over him, but it was too late. The cut had
severed an artery and life was already gone from the noble form.

Only too well the young man had known when he started out on this second
expedition that the queen's mother whom he so dearly loved, would never
be willing to have any acquaintance with these strangers, for she
distrusted them. On the other hand he had received a command from his
much revered princess to conduct the Spaniards to her mother's home, and
if need be to bring her to Yupaha by force. He dared not disobey, but
his heart was heavy at the thought. He was unwilling to so treat one who
had always been kind to him and he had taken his own life rather than be
disloyal. Where in the annals of history can be found a greater proof of
devotion than this?

The tragedy brought great consternation to the Spaniards, for without
the youth it was impossible to go on to their destination unless some of
the other Indians in their party would volunteer to conduct them, but
they all swore they did not know where the queen's mother lived, and for
some hours the Spaniards still rested in the heart of the forest,
talking over their plans. Meanwhile Cofachiqui, alone with her people
for the first time since the coming of the strangers, had called
together her chiefs, and was with them discussing matters of importance
to all her subjects. One old chief spoke bitterly of the expressed
desire of the cavaliers for conquest, for gold, and warned his princess
that she was in danger of disaster if she harboured the intruders any
longer, but Cofachiqui answered with flashing eyes:

"You ask me to betray those who have given me loyalty and trust? You
call these strangers unworthy of confidence because they demand the
presence of my mother? How do we know what the white man's code of
honour about such matters is? To the very end I shall keep my covenant
of good faith with them and you as my people will do as I command!" Her
firmness was so evident, and so did she hold her people's hearts in her
keeping that the old chiefs never again mentioned that which was making
more than one in the community uneasy, but they were no less troubled
because Cofachiqui showed no concern about the matter.

Their conference over, the Spaniards had decided to press on without a
guide, and for two days wandered aimlessly through jungles and swamps in
excessive heat and discomfort, then, exhausted by disappointment and by
the weight of their heavy armour, they returned to the camp in no happy
frame of mind, carrying with them the sad news of the young guide's
death, upon the reason for which Cofachiqui pondered long and deeply.

Once decided on a course of action, De Soto was not a man to be balked,
and when several days later an Indian secretly came to him with an offer
to personally conduct him to the home of the queen's mother, the offer
was gladly accepted and a second expedition set out. But the lady in
question was a person of determination too, and hearing of the approach
of the party, doubtless from one of Cofachiqui's chiefs, she quietly
fled to some more sheltered spot, and after six days of wandering in
search of her, the party returned to camp in disgust and never again
attempted to visit her.

Even when apparently absorbed with other things, De Soto's whole mind
was centred on planning how to discover the gold which he had been told
could be found in such large quantities in the territory belonging to
the princess. Always a diplomat, he spoke carelessly of the pearls which
she had given him, asked whether she also owned any yellow and white
metals similar to the rings and other ornaments he showed her. As always
when she talked with him Cofachiqui's eyes sparkled, and her whole
nature seemed to go out to him in confidence and interest.

"Indeed, yes," she made answer through her interpreter, "on my land
there is an abundance of metals, both white and yellow."

De Soto's eyes gleamed at the statement. Then she summoned an Indian,
and directed him to go at once and bring to her specimens of both kinds
of metals. With ill-concealed impatience De Soto waited for the
messenger's return, and almost snatched the small lumps from his hands,
as the messenger brought them to the princess. With radiant joy she
handed them to De Soto, glad to give another proof of her friendship.
One look was enough, the yellow metal was only copper, the shining white
specimen was a worthless kind of quartz!

Glancing at De Soto with eyes full of pride in the products of her
realm, Cofachiqui's expression changed to one of surprise and fear, for
on the face before her she saw such rage and hatred that she knew
something dangerous had happened; and trembled lest revenge should be
visited on her guiltless people. In a gently soothing voice she hastily
said, pointing with a graceful wave of her hands to a spot in the
distance, "Yonder is the burial place of our village warriors. There you
will find our pearls. Take what you wish, and if you wish more, not far
from here there is a village which was the home of my forefathers. Its
temple is larger than this. You will find there so many pearls that even
if you loaded all your horses with them, and yourselves with as much as
you could carry you would not come to the end of them. Many years have
my people been collecting and storing pearls. Take all and if you still
want more, we can get even more for you from the fishing place of my
people."

What an offer! It could be no other than evidence of a heart's real
devotion, or of deep rooted fear, when an Indian princess offers to rob
the burial place,--the treasure house of her ancestors!

While Cofachiqui, with appealing eyes, made the offer as a substitute
for what De Soto had evidently been disappointed in finding, the
Spaniard's hopes revived, and with a quick reassuring gesture he took
and kissed the hand of the princess in his most courtly manner, which
courtesy she received with proud dignity, and gave no further evidence
that her heart had ever been touched by the fascinating general.

De Soto lost no time in accepting the offer made by Cofachiqui, and two
days later, with a large number of his officers, and escorted by some of
the household of the princess, who made no promise which she did not
carry out to the full, De Soto visited the temple of which she had
spoken. During the three mile trip, they passed through such wonderfully
fertile country, saw such luxuriant vegetation, picked so much luscious
fruit hanging in profusion from the fruit trees on the way, that the
cavaliers felt this to be truly the promised land and again begged their
commanding general to make a settlement here, but he only responded by
silence and by marching on. At last the temple was reached. Impressively
the Indians threw back the massive doors and on the threshold the
Spaniards stood, spell-bound by the beauty and the majesty of what they
saw, so the historian of the party tells us.

Twelve gigantic wooden statues confronted them, counterfeiting life with
such ferocity of expression and such audacity, of posture, as could not
but awe them. Six stood on one side and six on the other side of the
door, as if to guard it, and to forbid anyone to enter. Those next the
door were giants about twelve feet high, the others diminished in size
by regular gradation. Each pair held a different kind of weapon and
stood in attitude to use it.

Passing between the lines of monsters, the foreigners entered a great
room. Overhead were rows of lustrous shells such as covered the roof,
and strands of pearls interspersed with strings of bright feathers all
seemed to be floating in the air in a bewildering tapestry. Along the
upper sides of the four walls ran two rows of statues, figures of men
and women in natural size, each placed on a separate pedestal. The men
held various weapons, and each weapon was ornamented with a string of
pearls. The burial chests were placed on benches around the four sides
of the room, and in the centre, on the floor were also rows of caskets
placed one on top of the other. All the caskets were filled with pearls,
and the pearls were distributed according to size, the largest in the
large caskets, the smaller seed pearls in the smallest caskets. In all
there was such a quantity of pearls that the Spaniards confessed to the
truth of the statement of Cofachiqui, that if they loaded themselves
with as many as they could carry, and loaded their three hundred horses
with them, too, there would still be hundreds of bushels left. And, too,
there were in the room great heaps of handsome deerskins dyed in
different colours, and skins of other animals. Opening out of this great
room were eight small rooms filled with all sorts of weapons. In the
last room were mats of cane so finely woven that few of the Spanish
crossbowmen could have put a bolt through them.

The Spaniards were greatly elated with the discovery of such a store of
treasure, and it is said that De Soto dipped his joined hands, made into
a receptacle for the purpose, into the piles of pearls, and gave
handfuls to each cavalier, saying that they were to make rosaries of, to
say prayers on for their sins. For some strange reason, however, most of
the jewels were left undisturbed, perhaps in the same way that fortunes
are left in a bank, to be drawn on at will. Sure we are, from the true
account of the historian, that the Spaniards were fully aware of the
value of the pearls given to them by Cofachiqui, and sure it is also
that De Soto must have exulted with a passion of triumph at being the
lawful owner of such treasures. But his desire for gold, his greed for
gain, was insatiable. Having examined his newly acquired store house of
possessions he eagerly inquired of the Indians if they knew of any
still richer land farther west. This question gave Cofachiqui's chiefs
the chance they had been hoping for to rid themselves of him whom they
now knew as a treacherous guest, and they hastily assured De Soto that
farther on to the north was a more powerful chief ruling over a far
richer country, called Chiaha. The news delighted De Soto and he
determined to march on at once. In vain his men pleaded to remain where
they had found such treasure, had been shown such kindness--his reply
was that there were not enough provisions in the province to support
their army much longer, and that by continuing their march they might be
repaid by finding the longed-for gold. But he added, cannily, should
their quest be unsuccessful they could return, by which time the Indians
would have replanted their fields and there would be abundance of food.
As usual, he had his way, and the tidings were brought to the princess
that the foreigners were to take up their march for Chiaha, on the
fourth of May. Doubtless she was not sorry, for during the latter part
of their stay, their treachery and cruelty had been so evident, that
whatever feeling of comradeship with them she had before felt, must have
been rudely dissipated, and seeing evidence of her changed sentiments De
Soto was so uneasy lest like her mother she should flee from him, that
he appointed a guard who kept watch over her by day and by night, so she
could not by any possibility escape. To the cavalier who was appointed
to this task, no menial labour could have been more humiliating, and he
accepted it under protest, but the lady of Cofachiqui over whom he was
obliged to keep guard showed no signs of being disturbed at her
position, but with proud and haughty glances went calmly about her daily
tasks as though it was a common thing for her to have a keeper. Then
came the day of De Soto's leave-taking, and masking her joy at the
event, Cofachiqui stood proudly to receive his farewell, with as much
grace and dignity as on the day when she had received him and his men.
But suddenly her eyes flashed with anger, her throat parched with
humiliation, a frenzy of proud horror and rebellion filled her--she
heard the man who had before kissed her hand so chivalrously, who had so
fascinated her, give the stern command that she, _La Sanora_, Queen of
the realm, was to accompany the Spaniards on foot with her retinue of
women attendants!

"_And what is this for?_" she flung out the question with an imperious
challenge, but De Soto vouchsafed no answer, and the army took up its
march with the little band of Indian women safely guarded at the rear.
Cofachiqui soon found out why she had been carried on the expedition,
for De Soto obliged her to make use of her influence in controlling the
Indians along his line of march, so that his army not only was not
attacked, on account of the protecting presence of the gracious ruler
for whom her people had such a deep affection, but also at her command
they supplied De Soto with guides, as well as with men to carry baggage
and provisions, while travelling through her territory.

For a week, another and still a third, Cofachiqui was dragged in the
vanguard of the Spanish army, a prisoner, and with the passing of each
day in captivity to these traitorous white men on whom she had formerly
looked with such reverence, her heart grew faint with apprehension, deep
shadows came beneath her lustrous eyes, and there was never a sound of
her silvery laughter as of old.

But these were the only visible signs of the effect of her subjection.
To the Spaniards she was still courageous, calm and dignified, whatever
she may have felt.

Then came a wild night of storm in the forest, torrents of rain and
mighty wind that roared and thundered through the great trees, shaking
them as if they had been saplings. While the tempest was at its height
Cofachiqui, by a signal known only to her tribe, summoned one of her
faithful women to her side,--by signs told her what she had to
tell,--then the woman crept stealthily back to her forest bed, and there
was no sound in the encampment but the roar of the wind and rain.

The next day dawned cloudless, and at an early hour all the Spaniards
were busily at work, repairing the severe damage done by the storm. In
replacing a tent a woman's deft hand was needed, and Cofachiqui's name
echoed through the forest. No answer came, and an impatient cavalier
himself ran to summon her. At the door of her tent he stood as if turned
to marble. Cofachiqui was not there! Not a bead, an ornament, an article
of clothing, was to be found! No, nor the casket of wonderful pearls
entrusted to her care by De Soto. _La Sanora_, queen of many provinces,
lady of the land she had ruled over so wisely and so well, had fled, and
all her women with her!

Never again, despite De Soto's frenzied and persistent search, despite
the added efforts of the united Spanish army, did they discover any
trace of the brave, beautiful young girl who had received such
treacherous treatment in return for her gracious hospitality.

Clever Cofachiqui! Where she fled, or how she fled, or when she fled,
will always be a mystery, but her name has come down to us on the pages
of historic legend, not as fairy-tale but as fact, and she stands with
the lime-light of ages thrown on her clear-cut character as a girl
sweet, brave and loyal--the most precious relic bequeathed to the New
World by De Soto and his cavaliers.



JENNY LIND:

The Swedish Nightingale


IN the City of Stockholm there is one street leading up to the Church of
St. Jacob, on which in years gone by there was a constant succession of
pedestrians and vehicles. In fact in 1830, it was one of the most lively
streets in the city, and often a passer would stop to look up at a
window where every day a little girl sat, holding a big cat decorated
with a blue ribbon. To this pet the child sang constantly, sang bits of
operas or popular airs which she had heard, and the childish voice was
so clear and sweet and true even in very high notes, that it attracted
quite a crowd of listeners, and it became a regular habit with many
persons to pause for a moment and listen to the song poured out for the
benefit of pussy with the blue bow!

Among those who saw the pretty picture and heard the song was the maid
of a Mademoiselle Lundberg, a dancer at the Royal Opera House. She was
told such an ecstatic story of the child's beautiful voice, that she
became deeply interested, and having found out that the little singer's
name was Jenny Lind wrote a note asking the child's mother, Fru Lind, to
bring Jenny to her home that she might hear her sing.

Fru Lind acceded to the request and when she took Jenny to pay the
promised visit, and the child's voice had been tried, Mademoiselle
Lundberg clasped her hands in rapture, exclaiming:

"She is a genius. You must have her educated for the stage."

The words meant nothing to Jenny, but they struck terror to the heart of
the mother, to whose old-fashioned notions the stage was another name
for ruin. In vain the actress pleaded that it would be a sin to allow
such talent to be wasted,--still Fru Lind shook her head, and the
actress diplomatically argued no more, but by eager questions learned
the history of Jenny's family.

Being the wife of an amiable and good-natured man who was unable to
support his family, Fru Lind was obliged to keep a small school in
Stockholm to eke out expenses, and as she had not time to take care of
Jenny as well as teach, the child had for three years been boarded out
with a church organist's family not far from the city, but had finally
been brought back, to become a pupil in her mother's school, being cared
for mainly by her grandmother, to whom Jenny was devotedly attached. All
this Mademoiselle Lundberg learned from answers to her questions, and
seeing her keen interest, the mother continued her narrative, "It was my
mother who first noticed Jenny's voice," she said. "Some street
musicians had been playing in front of the house and the child must have
heard them and listened closely, for as soon as they were gone, she went
to the piano and played and sang the air she had heard. My mother in the
next room, hearing the music, thought Jenny's half sister was at the
piano, and called out, 'Amalia, is that you?' Jenny, evidently fearing
she had done something to be punished for, crept under the piano, where
my mother found her and pulling her out, exclaimed, 'Why, child, was
that _you_?'" Jenny said that it was, and as soon as Fru Lind came in,
the grandmother gleefully told her daughter the incident, adding, "Mark
my words, that child will bring you help," and the mother, struggling
so hard to make ends meet, devoutly hoped that the prediction might come
true.

Soon after that as her school did not pay, Fru Lind became a governess,
and the grandmother went to the Widows' Home, taking Jenny with her. The
child, who was too young to realise what such a step meant, was as happy
as could be there; as she said afterwards, "I sang with every step I
took, and with every jump my feet made," and when she was not jumping or
stepping, she sat in the window singing to her big pet pussy cat. All
this the mother told Mademoiselle Lundberg, who again begged that Jenny
at least be taught to sing correctly, to which Fru Lind agreed, and the
actress at once wrote a letter of introduction to Herr Croelius, the
court Secretary, and singing master at the Royal Theatre, and gave it to
Fru Lind. Off went mother and daughter to present it, but when they
reached the Opera House and were about to mount its steps, Fru Lind
shook her head, and turned back--she could not launch her child on any
such career.

But here Jenny became insistent, for from all the conversation she had
heard between her mother and the actress, she had gathered that mounting
those steps would mean something new and interesting, and at last she
had her way. They sought and found the studio of Croelius, and Jenny
sang for him a bit from one of Winter's operas, and the teacher, deeply
moved by the purity and strength of the child's voice, at once set a
date for her first lesson with him.

After only a few lessons, Croelius became so proud of his pupil that he
took her to sing for Count Pücke, manager of the Court Theatre, hoping
that this powerful man might be so impressed with the child's voice that
he would do something to push her forward quickly into public notice.
One can picture the interview between Count Pücke, businesslike and
abrupt, and little Jenny, then plainly dressed and awkward, far from
pretty, and too bashful even to lift her eyes to meet the keen glance of
the Count. Looking coldly from her to Croelius, the Count asked:

"How old is she?"

"Nine years old," answered Croelius.

"Nine!" echoed the Count. "Why, this is not a nursery. It is the king's
theatre."

Then with another glance at Jenny he asked coldly, "What should we do
with such an ugly creature? See what feet she has, and then her face!
She will never be presentable. Certainly we can't take such a
scarecrow."

Croelius, indignant at such brutality, put a protecting arm around the
girl and said proudly, "If you will not take her, I, poor as I am, will
myself have her educated for the stage," and turning, was about to leave
the room when the Count commanded him to remain and let him hear what
the child could do.

Trembling with fear of the result, Jenny sang the simplest song she
knew, and when she finished the Count was silent, for the lovely quality
of the voice he had just heard, had deeply moved him. Rising, he shook
hands with both teacher and pupil, and as quick in his generosity as in
his brusqueness, he at once announced that she was to be admitted into
the theatrical school connected with the Royal Theatre, and to be placed
under the special instruction of the operatic director, Herr Berg, and
his assistant, the Swedish composer, Lindblad.

Small wonder that Jenny left the building in a flutter of excitement, or
that Croelius was as beaming now as he had been depressed before, and he
lost no time in seeing that his little pupil was placed according to
the instructions of the great Count Pücke.

It was the custom of the Royal Theatre to board its pupils out, and as
Jenny's mother was no longer a governess and had returned to Stockholm,
the girl lived at home, together with several other pupils of the Royal
Theatre, and for two years worked so hard and accomplished such wonders
in the development of her voice that she became known as a musical
prodigy.

During the year she entered the Royal Theatre she acted in a play called
"The Polish Mine," and the next year in another, and the press spoke of
her acting as showing fire and feeling far beyond her years. She also
sang in concerts, in that way helping to pay for her board and clothes.

At the theatre she was taught all branches necessary to her profession,
and not only did she have an exquisite voice, but whatever rôle she
undertook was conceived with bold originality of style. Then when a
golden future of triumph seemed stretching out before her, came a
crushing disaster. All of a sudden her glorious voice was gone!

Whatever may have been the cause, the fact remained, and Jenny at twelve
showed her fineness of character by the way she faced the cruel
disappointment, and continued with her instrumental work, and with such
exercises as were fitted to the remnant of voice she still possessed.
Faithfully, persistently, she worked for four long years, only hoping
now for smaller rewards instead of the great operatic triumph which had
been her earlier ambition, trying to achieve results as conscientiously
as before.

Herr Berg was supervising a grand concert to be given at the Court
Theatre, and was in a dilemma. The fourth act of _Robert le Diable_ was
to be given, but all his singers refused to take the part of Alice,
because it included only one solo. The Herr Direktor was distracted, but
finally thought of his unlucky pupil, Jenny Lind, whose voice could be
trusted in such a minor part, and calling her to his room, he offered
her the part. Without demur she accepted it, and practised feverishly,
but on the night of the performance she was so nervous for fear her
voice would fail, that those near the stage could see her slender form
tremble with fright and excitement. Perhaps the tension and the passion
with which she was labouring wrought the miracle. At all events, she
sang the aria of her part with such wonderful beauty and richness of
tone that the audience were beside themselves with admiration. Jenny's
voice had come out fuller, finer than ever! The recently despised young
singer became instantly the heroine of the hour, while Herr Berg,
watching behind the scenes, was spell-bound with surprise and joy.

The next day he called her to his room and offered her the rôle of
Agatha in Weber's _Der Freischutz_.

Ever since Jenny first began to study and to hear operatic music, this
rôle had been in secret her highest ambition, and one can picture her
standing before the Direktor, her blue eyes flashing with excitement,
her mobile face expressing a dozen varying degrees of joy while her
slender girlish figure looked almost too slight for the task, as she
joyfully accepted the responsibility.

At once she began rehearsing, and one day when she put forth every
effort to express emotion in the way her dramatic teacher wished, the
effort was met with silence.

"Am I then so incapable," she thought. Then glancing at her teacher she
saw tears in the eyes of the older woman, who exclaimed:

"My child, I have nothing to teach you--do as nature tells you,"--and
Jenny knew that her supreme effort had not been wasted.

It is said that she studied the part of Agatha with all the intensity of
her enthusiastic nature and at the last rehearsal sang with such intense
feeling and fire that the orchestra, to a man, laid down their
instruments and applauded loudly. The next day, before the performance,
she was very nervous and worried, but the moment she appeared on the
stage every bit of apprehension vanished, and as Fredrika Bremer said,
"She was fresh, bright and serene as a morning in May, peculiarly
graceful and lovely in her whole appearance. She seemed to move, speak
and sing without effort or art. Her singing was distinguished especially
by its purity and the power of soul which seemed to swell in her tones."
Jenny herself said afterwards, "I got up that morning one creature. I
went to bed another creature. I had found my power."

During her entire after life she kept that anniversary, the seventh of
March, in grateful remembrance of her triumph, as a sort of second
birthday.

For the next year and a half she worked indefatigably, and her success
as an operatic singer seemed assured; she became the star of the
Stockholm opera, as well as the most popular singer in Sweden, and was
called the "Swedish Nightingale."

After singing without rest for months, she was able to take a short
holiday in the summer of 1839, and Fru Lind, who accompanied her, wrote
back to her husband, "Our Jenny recruits herself daily, now in the
hay-stacks, now on the sea, or in the swing, in perfect tranquillity,
while the town people are said to be longing for her concert, and
greatly wondering when it will come off. Once or twice she has been
singing the divine air of Isabella from _Robert le Diable_. Nearly
everybody was crying. One lady actually went into hysterics from sheer
rapture. Yes, she captivates all, all! It is a great happiness to be a
mother under such conditions!"

Poor Fru Lind was at last receiving her compensation for the hardships
of her life!

But Jenny's trials were not yet over. Her voice, though pure and clear,
was wanting in flexibility, and she could not easily hold a tone or sing
even a slight cadence. These defects she worked constantly to overcome,
but saw that she was not thrilling her audiences as before, and yet she
was conscious of possessing a God-given power of which she must make the
most. She felt sure that she needed teaching of a kind not to be gained
in Sweden. In Paris was Manuel Garcia, the greatest singing teacher in
the world, and to him she felt she must now go. But this could only be
achieved by her own effort, as the trip and the teaching would
necessitate spending a large sum of money.

At once, before her star had grown any less dim, the plucky girl
persuaded her father to go with her on a concert tour of cities in
Norway and Sweden. By this she earned the necessary amount, but the trip
was very exhausting, including as it did, so much travelling, in all
kinds of weather, and after singing twenty-three times in _Lucia_,
fourteen times in _Robert le Diable_, nine times in _Freischutz_, seven
times in _Norma_, not to mention other plays and concerts, also
appearing for the four hundred and forty-seventh time at the Royal
Theatre, where she had first played in the _Polish Mine_, as a child of
ten, she was pretty well tired out. Two weeks later, however, she went
to Paris and called on the great singing teacher, Signor Garcia. The
opera she sang was _Lucia_, and she broke down before she was half way
through the part, to her intense mortification. The great teacher,
approaching the trembling girl, put a hand on her shoulder, saying
brusquely, "It would be useless to teach you, Mademoiselle. You have no
voice left. You are worn out. I advise you not to sing a note for six
months. At the end of that time come to me and I will see what I can do
for you."

Poor Jenny! The words were a death knell to her, and she said afterwards
that what she suffered in that moment was beyond all the other agony of
her life.

But it was not like her to give way even under such a blow as this.
Leaving the great teacher she went to a quiet spot and spent the six
months of enforced rest studying French, and at the end of the time went
back to Garcia, who to her unspeakable relief said at once, "It is
better, far better! I have now something to work on. I will give you two
lessons a week!"

In rapture Jenny flew home that day, and in the following months
practised scales and exercises, four hours daily, gaining a great deal
from Garcia's method, but always conscious that her real power came from
another source, as she said years later, "The greater part of what I can
do in my art, I have myself acquired by incredible labour, in spite of
astonishing difficulties. By Garcia alone have I been taught some few
important things. God had so plainly written within me what I had to
study; my ideal was and is so high that I could find no mortal who could
in the least degree satisfy my demands. Therefore I sing after no one's
methods, only as far as I am able, after that of the birds, for their
Master was the only one who came up to my demands for truth, clearness,
and expression."

After a year under Garcia's tuition, Jenny went back to the Stockholm
Theatre, where she met Myerbeer, the composer, who at once declared her
voice was "one of the finest pearls in the world's chaplet of song," and
immediately arranged to hear her under conditions which would put her
voice to a severe test. He arranged a full orchestral rehearsal and
Jenny sang in the salon of the Grand Opera, the three great scenes from
_Robert le Diable_, _Norma_ and _Der Freischutz_ so successfully that
the young singer returned to her native city a new creature, at last
assured of her genius and of her ability to use it rightly, and thrilled
with joy at the knowledge of her power.

At her first appearance in _Robert le Diable_, the welcome was almost a
frenzy of enthusiasm as her clear rich voice rang out. At once she
received an offer from a Danish manager, but dreaded to accept it,
saying, "Everybody in my native land is so kind. I fear if I made my
appearance in Copenhagen, I should be hissed. I dare not venture it."

Her objection, however, was overruled. She went to Copenhagen and sang
Alice in _Robert le Diable_ so marvellously that the whole city was in a
state of rapture, and it is said the youthful, fresh voice forced itself
into every heart. At a later concert she sang Swedish songs and in her
manner of singing them there was something so peculiar, so bewitching
that the audience were swayed by intense emotion, the young singer was
at once so feminine and so great a genius. The Danish students for the
first time in their history, gave a serenade in her honour, torches
blazed around the villa where the serenade was sung, and Jenny responded
to it by singing some of her Swedish songs, for which she was famous,
then, overcome with emotion, she hurried to a dark room where no one
could see the tears with which her eyes were filled, and exclaimed
modestly, "Yes, yes, I will exert myself. I will endeavour. I will be
better qualified than I now am when I again come to Copenhagen!"

The wonderful courage and perseverance of Jenny's girlhood in the face
of almost insuperable obstacles was now rewarded. She was the great
artist of Sweden, never again to be taken from the pedestal on which she
was placed by an adoring public, both for her wonderful singing and for
her lovely character.

Once on a disengaged night, she gave a benefit performance for
unfortunate children, and when informed of the large sum raised by it,
exclaimed, "How beautiful that I can sing so!" She felt that both the
voice and the money which poured in now in a golden flood, were
God-given responsibilities which she assumed with all the earnestness of
her sweet, religious nature, and her first pleasure was to buy a little
home in the country for her mother and father.

As we leave her on the threshold of mature womanhood, serene in her
poise of body and spirit, with a noble purpose and a wonderful gift, we
can but feel that Jenny Lind, the girl, was responsible for the
marvellous achievements of the great artist of later years, who believed
as she said, that "to develop every talent, however small, and use it to
the fullest extent possible, is the duty of every human being. Indolence
makes thousands of mediocre lives."

The verses written of her by Topelius of Finland sum up the feeling of
those who knew her in her girlhood:

          "I saw thee once, so young and fair
          In thy sweet spring-tide, long ago,
          A myrtle wreath was in thy hair
          And at thy breast a rose did blow.

          "Poor was thy purse, yet gold thy gift,
          All music's golden boons were thine,
          And yet, through all the wealth of art
          It was thy soul which sang to mine.

          "Yea, sang as no one else has sung
          So subtly skilled, so simply good,
          So brilliant! yet as pure and true
          As birds that warble in the wood."



ELIZA LUCAS:

A Girl Planter of the 15th Century


IN our day any young woman who shows keen interest in civic,
agricultural, or social reforms is loudly applauded and spoken of as a
New Woman, a product of the twentieth century, but there is a small
volume of letters written by a girl of two centuries ago, which
disproves this, and it is worthy of perusal and applause because of what
she accomplished for what was then the province of South Carolina, while
she was still in her teens.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lucas, an officer in the English army stationed at
the West Indian island of Antigua, left the island in 1638 for South
Carolina, taking with him his delicate wife, in search of a climate
which would be of benefit to her, and with them went their two
daughters, Polly and Eliza, who up to that time had been in London with
a family friend, Mrs. Boddicott, being educated, only returning to the
island for their vacations. Their brothers, Tom and George, were also in
London at school, where they remained while Colonel and Mrs. Lucas with
the two girls went to the new locality. So delighted with it was the
Colonel that he at once bought land, laid out plantations and was hoping
to settle down and begin experiments in planting crops in the strange
soil and climate, when war broke out between England and Spain and the
Colonel received orders to hasten back to his West Indian post, leaving
his family alone in their new home. Mrs. Lucas was entirely too frail to
burden with plantation cares, so in his hurried leave-taking the Colonel
entrusted all his affairs to Eliza, in whose practical common sense and
business ability he seems to have placed implicit reliance, and the
trust was well merited.

Eliza was only sixteen years old then, but she seems to have assumed the
unusual amount of responsibility so unexpectedly thrust upon her with
calm assurance that she could carry it, and we find her general manager
of the home and the plantation when the series of letters begin which
gives such a vivid glimpse of life at that time, and also some idea of
the character of the girl on whose slender shoulders rested such a heavy
burden.

First, let us look for a moment at the background to our picture. The
Lucas plantation was on the Wappoo, a salt creek connecting the Ashley
river with another creek and separated from the ocean only by two long
sandy islands. Although that part of the country was very flat, it was
extremely pretty, and being on a salt creek, sheltered from the north
winds, the climate was very mild. Trees grew to a great size, land was
very fertile, all growth hardy and luxuriant, and it was no wonder that
even in his short stay Colonel Lucas had become deeply interested in
discovering what crops could be most profitably raised there for export.
At that time rice was the one agricultural product, the others being
lumber, skins and naval stores.

Eliza, inheriting her father's love of farming, and having heard many
conversations on the subject, determined secretly after her father had
gone, to try some experiments herself and became much interested in
trying to raise indigo and ginger, with what results her letters
disclose. Little farmer that she was, her love of agriculture and of
nature then and always amounted to almost a passion, as it is easy to
see. Separated as she was from all her old friends, letters were a vital
medium of expressing to them what her new life held of work and play,
and the fragments which we can reprint here give a clear idea, not only
of the times in which she lived, but of Mistress Eliza herself.

To her brother George she writes, telling of the new country and life in
this fashion:--

          I am now set down my Dear Brother to obey your
          commands, and give you a short discription of the
          part of the world which I now inhabit. So.
          Carolina then, is a large and Extensive Country
          near the Sea. Most of the settled parts of it is
          upon a flat--the soil near Charles Town Sandy, but
          farther distant clay and swamp land. It abounds
          with fine navigable rivers and great quantities of
          fine timber. The country at great distance, that
          is to say about a hundred or a hundred and fifty
          miles from Charles Town, very hilly. The soil in
          general very fertile, and there is very few
          European or American fruits or grain but what grow
          here. The country abounds with wild fowl, Venison
          and fish, Beaf, veal and mutton are here in much
          greater perfection than in the Islands, tho' not
          equal to that in England--but their pork exceeds
          the wild, and indeed all the poultry is exceeding
          good, and peaches, Nectrins and mellons of all
          sorts extremely good, fine and in profusion, and
          their Oranges exceed any I ever tasted in the West
          Indies or from Spain or Portugal.

          The people in general--hospitable and honest, and
          the better sort and to these a polite gentile
          behaviour. The poorer sort are the most indolent
          people in the world or they could never be
          wretched in so plentiful a country as this. The
          winters here are very fine and pleasant, but four
          months in the year is extremely disagreeable,
          excessive hot, much thunder and lightening and
          muskatoes and sand flies in abundance.

          C^s Town, the Metropolis is a neat, pretty
          place. The streets and houses regularly built, the
          ladies and gentlemen gay in their dress, upon the
          whole you will find as many agreeable people of
          both sexes for the size of the place as almost
          anywhere. St. Phillips church in C^s Town is a
          very elegant one, and much frequented and the
          generality of people of a religious turn of mind.

          I began in haste and have observed no method or I
          should have told you before I came to summer, that
          we have a charming spring in this country,
          especially for those who travel through the
          country, for the scent of the young mirtle and
          yellow Jessamin with Which the woods abound is
          delightful. . . .

                                Yours most affectionately,
                                                  E. LUCAS.

With its quaint wording and abbreviations and an occasional slip in
spelling, how fragrant the whole letter is of out door life, how
intelligent its every phrase is, and how well the little farmer knows
her subjects!

Again to Mrs. Boddicott she wrote:

          _Dear Madam_:--

          I flatter myself it will be a satisfaction to you
          to hear that I like this part of the world, as my
          lott has fallen here, which I really do. I prefer
          England to it 'tis true, but I think Carolina
          greatly preferable to the West Indies, and was my
          Papa here I should be very happy. We have a very
          good acquaintance from whom we have received much
          friendship and Civility. . . .

          My Papa and Mama's great indulgence to mee leaves
          it to mee to chuse our place of residence either
          in town or country, but I think it more prudent as
          well as most agreeable to my Mama and selfe to be
          in the Country during my father's absence. Wee are
          17 mile by land, and 6 by water from Charles Town
          where wee have about 6 agreeable families around
          us with whom wee live in great harmony. I have a
          little library well furnished (for My Papa has
          left mee most of his books) in w^{ch} I spend part
          of my time. My Musick and the Garden w^{ch} I am
          very fond of take up the rest that is not imployed
          in business, of w^{ch} my father has left mee a
          pretty good share, and indeed 'Twas unavoidable,
          as my Mama's bad state of health prevents her
          going thro' any fatigue.

          I have the business of 3 plantations to transact,
          w^{ch} requires much writing and more business and
          fatigue of other sorts than you can imagine, but
          lest you should imagine it too burthensome to a
          girl at my early time of life, give mee leave to
          assure you I think myself happy that I can be
          useful to so good a father. By rising very early I
          find I can go through with much business, but lest
          you should think I shall be quite moaped with this
          way of life, I am to inform you there is two
          worthy Ladies in C^{rs} Town, Mrs. Pinckney and
          Mrs. Cleland who are partial enough to mee to wish
          to have mee with them, and insist upon my making
          their houses my home when in Town, and press mee
          to relax a little much oftner than 'tis in my
          power to accept of their obliging intreaties, but
          I am sometimes with one or the other for three
          weeks or a monthe at a time, and then enjoy all
          the pleasures C^{rs} Town affords. But nothing
          gives mee more than subscribing myself

                                D^r Madam
                                        Y^r most affectionet
                                           and most obliged
                                           hum^{ble} Ser^{vt}
                                                  ELIZA LUCAS.

          Pray remember me in
          the best manner to my
          worthy friend M^r Boddicott.
          To my good friend Mrs. Boddicott.
                  May ye 2^{ond}.

What greater proof is needed that Eliza's plantation life was no easy
matter than "I have the business of three plantations to transact,
w^{ch} requires much writing and more business and fatigue of other
sorts than you can imagine." Then comes the other side of the picture.
"I am sometimes with one or the other (Mrs. Pinckney or Mrs. Leland) for
three weeks or a month at a time and then enjoy all the pleasures C^{rs}
Town affords." Truly a versatile young person, this Eliza of long ago!

That her planting was no holiday business is shown by a memorandum of
July 1739:

          "I wrote my father a very long letter on his
          plantation affairs . . . on the pains I had taken to
          bring the Indigo, Ginger, Cotton, Lucern, and
          Cassada to perfection, and had greater hopes from
          the Indigo--if I could have the seed earlier the
          next year from the West Indies,--than any of ye
          rest of y^e things I had tryd, . . . also concerning
          pitch and tarr and lime and other plantation
          affairs."

As has been said before, Eliza's ambition was to follow out her father's
plan, to discover some crop which could be raised successfully as a
staple export, and the determination and perseverance with which she set
out to accomplish the task, shows that she was made of no ordinary
stuff, even at sixteen, when the majority of girls were occupied with
far different activity and diversions. Indigo seems to have been the
crop most likely to succeed, and to that Eliza turned her attention with
the intensity of purpose which marked all her actions. It was no easy
achievement to cultivate indigo, as it required very careful preparation
of the soil, much attention during its growth, and a long and critical
process to prepare it for the market. After a series of experiments, she
reported to her father:

          I wrote you in a former letter we had a fine crop
          of Indigo seed upon the ground and since informed
          you the frost took it before it was dry. I picked
          out the best of it and had it planted but there is
          not more than a hundred bushes of it come up,
          w^{ch} proves the more unlucky, as you have sent a
          man to make it. I make no doubt Indigo will prove
          a very valueable commodity in time, if we could
          have the seed from the east Indies time enough to
          plant the latter end of March, that the seed might
          be dry enough to gather before our frost. I am
          sorry we lost this season we can do nothing
          towards it now but make the works ready for next
          year.

          The death of my Grandmamma was as you imagine very
          shocking and grevious to my Mama, but I hope the
          consideration of the miserys that attend so
          advanced an age will help time to wear it off. I
          am very much obliged to you for the present you
          were so good to send me of the fifty pound bill of
          Exchange w^{ch} I duely received. Mama tenders you
          her affections and polly joyns in duty with

          My dear Papa
                    Your ob^t and ever Devoted Daughter,
                                               _E. Lucas_.

In the following letters we find her showing a lively interest in all
that concerns her father, her brothers, her "cousens" and neighbours,
and also a normally healthy liking for amusement, linked with her
passionate love of nature and a milder interest in pretty clothes--and a
still milder form of interest in love affairs!

Hard indeed it is in this day of quick delivery to realize the
inconveniences of daily life in Eliza's time, and it evokes a smile to
hear that if she or one of the family had neuralgia, it was necessary to
write an account of the symptoms to Mrs. Boddicott in November, followed
by a letter of thanks to her for her promptness, because of which "the
meddicines will arrive by May, and tis allways worse in hott weather!"
Think of waiting six months for a dose of medicine!

Eliza has already mentioned two neighbours of whom she had become very
fond, and between her and Miss Pinckney's niece, a Miss Bartlett, who
lived with Mrs. Pinckney either in her home in Charles Town, or at their
country seat five miles out of town, a flourishing correspondence sprang
up, and the following are some of Eliza's letters to her friend:


                                        Jan^r 14th, 1741/2.

          _Dear Miss Bartlett:_:--

          'Tis with pleasure I commence a Correspondence
          w^{ch} you promise to continue tho' I fear I shall
          often want matter to soport an Epistolary
          Intercourse in this solotary retirement--;
          however, you shall see my inclination, for rather
          than not scribble, you shall know both my waking
          and sleeping dreams, as well as how the spring
          comes on, when the trees bud, and inanimate nature
          grows gay to chear the rational mind with delight;
          and devout gratitude to the great Author of all;
          when my little darling that sweet harmonist the
          mocking bird, begins to sing.

          Our best respects wait on Col^l. Pinckney and
          lady, and believe me to be dear Miss Bartlett

                                Your most obed^t Serv^t
                                                  E. LUCAS.

Again she writes in a tone of quaint sarcasm:

          _Dear Miss Bartlett_:--

          An old lady in our Neighbourhood is often
          querreling with me for rising so early as 5
          o'Clock in the morning, and is in great pain for
          me least it should spoil my marriage, for she says
          it will make me look old long before I am so; in
          this however I believe she is mistaken, for what
          ever contributes to health and pleasure of mind
          must also contribute to good looks; but admitting
          what she says, I reason with her thus. If I should
          look older by this practise, I really am so; for
          the longer time we are awake the longer time we
          live, sleep is so much the Emblem of death, that I
          think it may be rather called breathing than
          living, thus then I have the advantage of the
          sleepers in point of long life, so I beg you will
          not be frighted by such sort of apprehensions as
          those suggested above and for fear of y^r pretty
          face give up y^r late pious resolution of early
          rising.

          My Mama joins with me in comp^{ts}. to M^r and
          M^{rs} Pinckney. I send herewith Col^l Pinckney's
          books, and shall be much obliged to him for
          Virgil's books, notwithstanding this same old
          Gentlewoman, (who I think too has a great
          friendship for me) has a great spite at my books,
          and had like to have thrown a vol^m of my
          Plutarcks lives into the fire the other day, she
          is sadly afraid she says I shall read myself
          mad. . . .

Again in this strain, on the 6th of February, 1741, she writes, showing
that although she would have taken a girlish pleasure in amusement, her
sense of duty was too keen to allow her to leave the plantation very
often:

          TO THE HONOURABLE C. PINCKNEY, ESQ.

                                         Feb^r 6th, 1741.

          _Sir_:--I received yesterday the favour of your
          advice as a phisician and want no arguments to
          convince me I should be much better for both my
          good friends company, a much pleasanter
          Prescription yours is, I am sure, than Doc^t
          Mead's w^{ch} I have just received. To follow my
          inclination at this time, I must endeavor to
          forget I have a Sister to instruct, and a parcel
          of little Negroes whom I have undertaken to teach
          to read, and instead of writing an answer bring it
          My self, and indeed gratitude as well as
          inclination obliges me to wait on M^{rs} Pinckney
          as soon as I can, but it will not be in my power
          til a month or two hence. Mama payes her comp^{ts}
          to Mrs Pinckney, and hopes she will excuse her
          waiting on her at this time, but will not fail to
          do it very soon.

          I am a very Dunce, for I have not acquired y^e
          writing short hand yet with any degree of
          swiftness--but I am not always one for I give a
          very good proof of the brightness of my Genius
          when I can distinguish well enough to subscribe my
          self with great esteem.

                                     Sir
                      Your most obe^d humble Serv^t
                                          ELIZA LUCAS.

And again:

          Why my dear Miss Bartlett, will you so often
          repeat y^r desire to know how I trifle away my
          time in our retirement in my father's absence;
          could it afford you advantage or pleasure I would
          not have hesitated, but as you can expect neither
          from it I would have been excused; however, to
          show you my readiness in obeying y^r commands,
          here it is.

          In gen^l then I rise at five o'Clock in the
          morning, read till seven--then take a walk in the
          garden or fields, see that the Servants are at
          their respective business, then breakfast. The
          first hour after breakfast is spent in musick, the
          next is constantly employed in recolecting
          something I have learned, lest for want of
          practise it should be quite lost, such as french
          and shorthand. After that, I devote the rest of
          the time till I dress for dinner, to our little
          polly, and two black girls who I teach to read,
          and if I have my papa's approbation (my mama's I
          have got) I intend for school mistress's for the
          rest of the Negroe children. Another scheme you
          see, but to proceed, the first hour after dinner,
          as the first after breakfast, at musick, the rest
          of the afternoon in needle work till candle light,
          and from that time to bed time read or write.
          Mondays my musick Master is here. Tuesday my
          friend M^{rs} Chardon (about 3 miles distant) and
          I are constantly engaged to each other, she at our
          house one Tuesday I at hers the next, and this is
          one of y^e happiest days I spend at Wappoo.
          Thursday the whole day except what the necessary
          affairs of the family take up, is spent in
          writing, either on the business of the plantations
          or on letters to my friends. Every other Friday,
          if no company, we go a vizeting, so that I go
          abroad once a week and no oftener.

          Now you may form some judgment of what time I can
          have to work my lappets. I own I never go to them
          with a quite easy conscience as I know my father
          has an avertion to my employing my time in that
          boreing work, but they are begun, and must be
          finished, I hate to undertake anything and not go
          thro' with it, but by way of relaxation from the
          other, I have begun a piece of work of a quicker
          sort, w^{ch} requires neither eyes nor genius, at
          least not very good ones. Would you ever guess it
          to be a shrimp nett? for so it is.

          O! I had like to forgot the last thing I have done
          a great while. I have planted a large figg
          orchard, with design to dry them, and export them.
          I have reckoned my expense and the profits to
          arise from those figgs, but was I to tell you how
          great an Estate I am to make this way, and how
          'tis to be laid out, you would think me far gone
          in romance. Y^r good Uncle I know has long thought
          I have a fertile brain at scheming, I only confirm
          him in his opinion; but I own I love the vegitable
          world extreamly. I think it an innocent and useful
          amusement, and pray tell him if he laughs much at
          my projects, I never intend to have any hand in a
          silver mine, and he will understand as well as
          you, what I mean! Our best respects wait on him,
          and Mrs. Pinckney.

          If my eyes dont deceive me, you in y^r last talk
          of coming very soon by water, to see how my oaks
          grow, is it really so, or only one of your unripe
          schemes. While 'tis in y^r head put it speedily
          into execution.

Lappets were fashionable parts of the headdresses worn at that time even
by young girls, and one can read between her words that Eliza would have
enjoyed giving more time to the feminine diversion of embroidery or fine
sewing, much in vogue in that day, had her father approved of it. Then
with a quick change of mood she shows her real interest in planting a
"figg" orchard!--oh, many-sided Eliza!

There are numerous letters too long to include in this sketch, which
show the girl's religious, artistic and philosophical tendencies, and
through them all we feel the quiet poise of a mind at rest, of a spirit
in true harmony with the simplest pleasures of a simple life; and that
nature was always her first love, is shown by this letter:

          Wont you laugh at me if I tell you I am so busy in
          providing for Posterity I hardly allow myself time
          to Eat or sleep and can but just snatch a minute
          to write to you and a friend or two more.

          I am making a large plantation of oaks w^{ch} I
          look upon as my own property, whether my father
          gives me the land or not, and therefore I design
          many years hence when oaks are more valuable than
          they are now, w^{ch} you know they will be when we
          come to build fleets, I intend I say, 2 thirds of
          the produce of my oaks for charrity, (I'll let you
          know my scheme another time) and the other 3^d
          for those that shall have the trouble of puting my
          design in Execution; I suppose according to custom
          you will show this to y^r Uncle and Aunt. 'She
          is a good girl' says M^{rs} Pinckney, 'she is
          never Idle and always means well'--'tell the
          little Visionary,' says your Uncle, 'come to town
          and partake of some of the amusements suitable to
          her time of life,' pray tell him I think these so,
          and what he may now think whims and projects may
          turn out well by and by--out of many surely one
          may hitt.

          I promised to tell you when the mocking-bird began
          to sing, the little warbler has done wonders; the
          first time he opened his soft pipe this spring he
          inspired me with the spirrit of Rymeing and
          produced the 3 following lines while I was laceing
          my Stays.

          Sing on thou charming mimick of the feather kind
          And let the rational a lesson learn from these
          To mimick (not defects) but harmony.

          If you let any mortal besides yourself see this
          exquisite piece of poetry, you shall never have a
          line more than this specimen, and how great will
          be your loss you who have seen the above may judge
          as well as

                                Y^r most obed^t Serv^t
                                             ELIZA LUCAS.

Was there ever a more charming example of girlish enthusiasm combined
with executive ability, and artistic feeling than this?

That life at Wappoo was not entirely without its diversions is shown by
a casual mention of a "festal day" spent at Drayton Hall, a beautiful
home on the bank of the Ashley river. One familiar with those early
times in the southern provinces can fancy Mistress Eliza setting out for
her great day, perhaps going by water in a long canoe, formed by
hollowing out a great cypress tree thirty or forty feet long, which made
a boat, with room in it for twelve passengers, and was rowed by six or
eight negroes who sang in unison as they paddled their skiff down the
river. Eliza and her Mama were landed at the foot of the rolling lawn,
leading up to the mansion where the reception was being held. Or if they
travelled by the road, it was probably in the four-wheeled chaise which
Mrs. Lucas had imported from England the year before. And when they
joined the gay company gathered in the great house, doubtless the
ladies, old and young, wore costumes made of brocade, taffety or
lustering, the materials of the time, and worn over enormous hoops, with
cloaks made of colours to harmonise with the gowns beneath them--while
the men were indeed a great sight in their square cut coats, long
waistcoats, powdered hair, breeches and buckled shoes! A festal day
indeed, doubtless, with a most elaborate feast washed down with
draughts of fine old vintages, and followed by the scraping of fiddlers
making ready for the dance, enjoyed not only by guests, but also in the
servants' quarters where the negroes were as fleet-footed as mistress or
guest.

On her return to Wappoo Eliza feels the reaction, as we see in a letter
she wrote to Mrs. Pinckney. She says:

          "At my return hither everything appeared gloomy
          and lonesome, I began to consider what attraction
          there was in this place that used so agreeably to
          soothe my pensive humour, and made me indifferent
          to everything the gay world could boast; but I
          found the change not in the place but in myself,
          and it doubtless proceeded from that giddy gaiety,
          and want of reflection which I contracted when in
          town; and I was forced to consult Mr. Locke over
          and over, to see wherein personal Identity
          consisted, and if I was the very same Selfe."

Somewhat cheered by the reading of Locke she returns to her usual
routine of life and writes to Miss Bartlett:

          "I have got no further than the first vol^m of
          Virgil but was most agreeably disappointed to find
          myself instructed in agriculture as well as
          entertained by his charming penn, for I am
          persuaded 'tho he wrote for Italy it will in many
          Instances suit Carolina. I had never perused those
          books before, and imagined I should immediately
          enter upon battles, storms and tempests, that put
          mee in a maze, and make mee shudder while I read.
          But the calm and pleasing diction of pastoral and
          gardening agreeably presented themselves not
          unsuitably to this charming season of the year,
          with w^{ch} I am so much delighted that had I butt
          the fine soft Language of our Poet to paint it
          properly, I should give you but little respite
          'till you came into the country, and attended to
          the beauties of pure Nature unassisted by Art."

A little later comes this letter, giving a clear idea of the breadth of
the girl's scheme of social service as well as her thoughtfulness and
individuality:

          _Dear Miss Bartlett:_--

          After a pleasant passage of about an hour we
          arrived safe at home as I hope you and Mrs.
          Pinckney did at Belmont; but this place appeared
          much less agreeable than when I left it, having
          lost the company that then enlivened it, the Scene
          is indeed much changed, for instead of the Easy
          and agreeable conversation of our Friends, I am
          engaged with the rudiments of the law, to w^{ch} I
          am yet but a stranger.

          However I hope in a short time with the help of
          Dictionary's french and English, we shall be
          better friends; nor shall I grudge a little pains
          and application, if that will make me useful to
          any of my poor Neighbors, we have Some in this
          Neighbourhood, who have a little Land a few Slaves
          and Cattle to give their children, that never
          think of making a will 'till they come upon a sick
          bed, and find it too Expensive to send to town for
          a Lawyer.

          If you will not laugh too immoderately at mee I'll
          Trust you with a Secrett. I have made two wills
          already! I know I have done no harm, for I con'd
          my lesson very perfect, and know how to convey by
          will, Estates, Real and Personal, and never
          forgett in its proper place, him and his heirs
          forever, no that 'tis to be signed by three
          witnesses, in presence of one another; bu^t the
          most comfortable rememberance of all is that
          Doct^r Wood says, the Law makes great allowance
          for Last Wills and Testaments, presuming the
          Testator could not have Council learned in the
          Law. But after all what can I do if a poor
          Creature lies a-dying, and their family takes it
          into their head that I can serve them. I can't
          refuse; but when they are well, and able to employ
          a Lawyer, I always shall.

          A widow hereabouts with a pretty little fortune,
          teazed me intolerable to draw her a marriage
          settlement, but it was out of my depth and I
          absolutely refused it, so she got an abler hand to
          do it, indeed she could afford it, but I could not
          gett off from being one of the Trustees to her
          Settlement and an old gentleman the other.

          I shall begin to think myself an old woman before
          I am well a young one, having these weighty
          affairs upon my hands.

From this solemn epistle it is amusing to turn for a moment to Colonel
Lucas's matrimonial plan for his daughter. In those days girls were
married at a very early age, and it is small wonder that Colonel Lucas
spent much thought on the problem of finding a suitable lover for his
favourite daughter, before he broached the subject to her, for marriages
were generally arranged by a girl's parents in those days. And that
Eliza might have some choice in the matter Colonel Lucas picked out two
suitors and wrote to her about them. How she felt on the subject the
following letter shows: She says:

          _Honoured Sir:_--

          Your letter by way of Philadelphia w^{ch} I duly
          received, was an additional proof of that paternal
          tenderness w^{ch} I have always Experienced from
          the most Indulgent of Parents from my Cradle to
          the present time, and the subject of it is of the
          utmost importance to my peace and happiness.

          As you propose Mr. L. to me I am sorry I can't
          have Sentiments favourable enough to him to take
          time to think on the Subject, as your Indulgence
          to me will ever add weight to the duty that
          obliges me to consult what pleases you, for so
          much Generosity on your part claims all my
          Obediance. But as I know 'tis my Happiness you
          consult, I must beg the favour of you to pay my
          compliments to the old Gentleman for his
          Generosity and favourable Sentiments of me, and
          let him know my thoughts on the affair in such
          civil terms as you know much better than any I can
          dictate; and beg leave to say to you that the
          riches of Chili and Peru put together if he had
          them, could not purchase a sufficient Esteem for
          him to make him my husband.

          As to the other gentleman you mention, Mr. W., you
          know Sir I have so slight a knowledge of him I can
          form no judgment, and a Case of such consequence
          requires the nicest distinction of humours and
          Sentiments.

          But give me leave to assure you my dear Sir that a
          single life is my only Choice;--and if it were
          not, as I am yet but eighteen hope you will put
          aside the thoughts of my marrying yet these two or
          three years at least. . . .

          I truely am

            D^r Sir Your most dutiful & affect Daughter
                                                 E. LUCAS.

As no further reference to the rejected lovers is made, it seems that
the Colonel was too fond of his daughter to press a matter evidently so
against her wishes, and she was allowed to remain heart-whole until the
man of her choice came to satisfy her dreams.

Meanwhile she was as busy as usual. Polly was now at school in Charles
Town, which added to Eliza's home duties and she was also full of
anxiety because of an invasion of Spaniards in the vicinity, which
caused all the planters to fear that their negroes might be carried off,
as they had been before. There was also cause for anxiety over the
dangerous sickness of the elder brother, George, who was in the army,
stationed too at Antigua, while the younger boy, Tom, who was still in
London, was so frail that the physicians refused to allow him to take a
trip either to Antigua, or to his mother and sisters in Carolina, all of
which worries wore on the tender-hearted sister.

Meanwhile, Eliza's cares on the plantations grew constantly more
engrossing, as her crops of indigo grew larger and more difficult to
handle. So well satisfied was her father that this plant could be made a
staple export, that he sent to Eliza an "Indigo Maker," named Cromwell,
from the island of Monserrat, where indigo was a famous product. This
man understood the processes, and built brick vats in which the leaves
had to lie for a certain length of time. He apparently knew his
business, but watching him closely Eliza saw he was not getting the
right result, and told him so. This was due to the climate, he asserted,
and saying no more, the girl gave her undivided attention to
experimenting with different processes, and found out not only that he
was wrong, but where his mistake lay. Calling him to her, she dismissed
him, and in his place put his brother, who for a short time was more
successful.

In her public-spirited way, Eliza gave up one whole year's crop to
making seed, for she had great difficulty in getting it from the East
Indies in time for the crops to ripen before a frost. This home-grown
seed she presented to those planters who were interested in raising
indigo, and it was a generous gift, for the seed was by no means cheap.
By the gift many planters were induced to try the new seed and at that
time Eliza wrote to her father:

          "Out of a small patch of Indigo growing at Wappoo
          (which Mama made a present to Mr. P.) the brother
          of Nicholas Cromwell besides saving a quantity of
          Seed, made us 17 pounds of very good Indigo, so
          different from N C's, that we are convinced he was
          a mere bungler at it. Mr. Deveaux has made some
          likewise, and the people in gen^l very sanguine
          about it. Mr. P. sent to England by the last man
          of warr 6 pounds to try how t'is approved of
          there. If it is I hope we shall have a bounty from
          home, we have already a bounty of 5^s currancy
          from this province upon it. We please ourselves
          with the prospect of exporting in a few years a
          good quantity from hence, and supplying our Mother
          Country with a manifacture for w^{ch} she has so
          great a demand, and which she is now supplyd with
          from the French Collonys, and many thousand pounds
          per annum thereby lost to the nation, when she
          might as well be supplyd here, if the matter was
          applyd to in earnest."

After this there are several letters from Governor Lucas, showing how
earnestly he wished to have the raising of indigo a success, and he
suggested that the brick vats may have been the cause of the failure,
and advised trying wood, but the truth of the trouble lay in the fact
that the two overseers sent by the Governor had been traitors, who
purposely achieved poor results, so that the American product should not
compete with that exported from their native island of Monserrat. When
Eliza discovered this her father at once sent a negro from one of the
French islands to replace them, and from that time the results were
steadily satisfactory. Soon enough indigo was raised to make it worth
while to export to England, and the English at once offered a bounty of
sixpence a pound. It is said that as long as this was paid, the planters
doubled their capital every three or four years, and in order to
commemorate the source of their wealth they formed what was at first
merely a social club, called the "Winyah Indigo Club," but later
established the first free school in the province outside of Charles
Town, a school which, handsomely endowed and supported, continued a
useful existence down to 1865.

Indigo continued to be a chief staple of the country for more than
thirty years, history tells us, and after the Revolution it was again
cultivated, but the loss of the British bounty, the rivalry of the East
Indies with their cheaper labour and the easier cultivation of cotton,
all contributed to its abandonment about the end of the century.
However, just before the Revolution, the annual export amounted to the
enormous quantity of one million, one hundred and seven thousand, six
hundred and sixty pounds, and all this revenue to the province of
Carolina, and its added benefits to all classes of citizens, was the
direct result of the perseverance and intelligence of Eliza Lucas, the
girl planter of the eighteenth century. Let the girls of our day look to
their laurels if they wish to be enrolled in the same class with this
indomitable little maid of South Carolina!



LADY JANE GREY:

The Nine Days Queen


IN all England there was no more picturesquely beautiful estate than
that at Bradgate in Leicestershire, belonging to Henry, Marquis of
Dorset, the father of Lady Jane Grey. There Lady Jane was born in 1537,
in the great brick house on a hill, called Bradgate Manor, which
overlooked acres of rolling lawns, long stretches of woodland and
extensive gardens, making a vast playground, and one which might well
have contented a less resourceful person than Lady Jane.

As it was, she was utterly unlike her two sisters, Mary and Katherine,
being a precocious child, fonder of books than of play, and doubtless
was less rugged in after years than if she had romped through meadow and
marsh as they did, or waded in the clear brook that babbled its way
through the woodland depths of Bradgate forests. Instead, while the
other girls ran races, or played some boisterous game of childhood, we
have glimpses of demure little Jane, even then as pretty as a doll in
her quaint dress, fashioned on the model of that worn by her own mother,
either sitting quietly in the house, so absorbed in her book that friend
or foe might have approached unnoticed, or on the velvety lawn
surrounding the Manor House, intent on some dry treatise, far above the
understanding of an ordinary child, looking up now and then to glance
off at the wonderful view spread out below her--a view so extensive that
it overlooked seven counties of England.

There, at beautiful Bradgate, Lady Jane spent the first seven years of
her life, busy with the endless resources at her command, and studying
with her sisters under the instruction of the Reverend Mr. Harding, who
was the chaplain of Bradgate--after the custom of those days--and it was
he who laid the firm foundation of that devotion to the Protestant
religion which was so strongly marked in Lady Jane's after life.

Until Jane was seven years old she did not accompany her parents on
their many visits to relatives of noble blood, or when they went to
Court, for she was considered too small for that until she was eight
years old, when she was occasionally taken with her family to London or
elsewhere. Lady Frances Dorset, Jane's mother, was a niece of King Henry
the Eighth, and so the Dorsets belonged to the brilliantly extravagant
court circle of the famously extravagant Henry, and in her ninth year
Lady Jane began to visit frequently her royal great-uncle, who was said
to be as fond of children as he was of pastry, and doubtless enjoyed
having Jane, an exceptionally bright, pretty girl, to divert his
thoughts when the pains in his gouty limbs were unusually severe. And
Queen Katherine, too, was a deeply affectionate aunt, and as soon as it
was allowed, kept Jane constantly with her, directing the child's
studies herself, and giving her the freedom of the Queen's own private
apartments, where keen-eyed, quick-witted little Jane must have seen and
heard much by which a more stupid child would not have benefited, but
which Jane stored up for future reference,--especially the discussions
between the Queen and those learned theologians with whom she so often
talked, and many a scene of which Lady Jane was witness has been
recorded in history.

[Illustration: LADY JANE GREY]

The Queen frequently disputed with the King on religious matters, and
one day when he was especially out of humour, she remonstrated with him
about a proclamation forbidding the use of a translation of the Bible.
This made him very angry, and as soon as the Queen left the room,
Gardiner, one of the King's councillors who was no friend of the Queen,
fanned the King's anger into such a fury by his remarks against her, and
by complimenting the King on his wisdom, that susceptible King Henry
allowed himself to draw up an accusation against Queen Katherine, which
would lead to her being beheaded--as two of his queens had been before.
The document having been drawn up, all preparations for carrying out its
directions were made, when one of the King's councillors dropped it, and
an attendant of Queen Katherine fortunately picked it up, and took it at
once to the Queen. One glance showed the danger she was in, and she fell
into such convulsions of fright that her shrieks reached the private
room of the King, whose heart softened at the sound, and also at the
realisation that no one would ever care for him with the tenderness and
tact of Katherine. Calling his attendants, he was carried to Katherine,
who revived at once, and received him graciously, showing no fear of
him, which was a great point in her favour, and the next morning, having
thought out her plan of action, she visited the King's room, taking her
sister and Lady Jane Grey with her. The King received them pleasantly,
but soon brought up the religious discussion of the previous day. This
time, however, Katherine was ready for him, and with a sweet smile and
downcast eyes, as before her lord and master, she acknowledged that she
"being only a woman" was of course not so well versed in such matters as
His Majesty, that thereafter she would learn of him! This delighted the
King so much that when Katherine added the confession that she had many
times argued with him simply to pass away the weary hours of his pain
more quickly, he exclaimed, "And is it so, sweetheart? Then we are
perfect friends!" and kissing her, bade her depart, and for the moment
the Queen knew that her head was safe. But the next day when she and
Lady Jane Grey and several others were in the garden with the King, the
Lord-chancellor with forty of the King's guards came to arrest Her
Majesty, and not having been told that Henry's mood had changed was
naturally much astonished at Henry's exclamation, "Beast! fool!
knave--avaunt from my presence!"--in fact so discomforted was the
Lord-chancellor that tender-hearted Katherine begged that he be excused,
as she deemed "his fault was occasioned by a mistake," and so charming
was she as she pleaded, that her husband showed his admiration for her.

"Ah, poor soul," said Henry, "thou little knowest, Kate, how evil he
deserveth this grace at thy hands!" and then he lavished a profusion of
caresses on her, when she at last dared to draw a long breath, knowing
only too well from what she had been delivered.

This was only one of the experiences which Lady Jane, still a mere
child, saw and lived through with her beloved Queen Katherine.

On the 27th of January, 1547, Lady Jane's life completely changed. King
Henry the Eighth died, and his will made Jane heir to the throne after
his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and from having been before merely the
attractive great-niece of the King and eldest daughter of the Marquis of
Dorset, she suddenly became a prominent factor in the political
intrigues of the day, almost as important in the matter of succession as
either Mary or Elizabeth, for Mary, on account of her religion, could
easily be set aside by a faction with a powerful leader, and Elizabeth
also, because of the question as to whether she was the legitimate
daughter of the King.

This being so, almost before the King was buried, poor little Lady Jane
became a puppet in the hands of unscrupulous statesmen, whose only
thought was their own advancement, and so began the series of events
which was to end in that hideous tragedy of which one of the noblest
girls of history was the victim.

Soon after the death of King Henry, it occurred to Sir Thomas Seymour,
the Lord Admiral, that it would be a wise move to obtain the
guardianship of so valuable a personage as Lady Jane Grey, and he at
once sent a messenger to ask the Marquis of Dorset for the transfer of
the girl to his care, sending word that this would be a great chance for
Lady Jane, who being, so said Seymour, "the handsomest lady in England,"
could then doubtless be married to the young King Edward Sixth, through
the Admiral's influence. This suggestion naturally pleased the ambitious
parents of Lady Jane, and she was sent to Seymour Place--Thomas
Seymour's London residence, which was presided over by his mother, the
Dowager Lady Seymour, and we cannot doubt that Lady Jane enjoyed leaving
quiet Bradgate, where she had been since the death of her uncle, King
Henry, and where she was a victim of extraordinary severity from her
parents, even in that age when children were often so severely
disciplined.

Not alone did she go to Seymour Place, but with a governess, and a
number of waiting women, as befitted her rank, and was received with due
courtesy. But though it seemed such a diplomatic move to allow her this
chance to make a brilliant match, it was really most unfortunate, for
Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset, who was Protector of the realm
and brother of the admiral, had determined that if another plan then on
foot for the marriage of King Edward, should fail, then should Edward
marry Somerset's youngest daughter--and when he found that his brother
had conceived the same plan, with Lady Jane Grey for its central figure,
and actually had her in his own house in pursuance of that plan, he was
very angry and determined to spoil his brother's scheme if possible.

At this time, the Duke of Northumberland, a powerful and unpopular
nobleman who had won many victories by land and sea, had come to be
Somerset's greatest rival in the affection of King Edward. This same
powerful Duke of Northumberland knowing that young Edward had not long
to live, and that he was devoted to the Protestant faith, also that he
knew the Princess Mary's deep interest in the Catholic religion,
determined to so influence the young King that he would break his
father's will, and leave the crown to Lady Jane Grey. He also determined
that, during the time necessary to ripen his scheme, he would marry his
son, Guilford Dudley, to Lady Jane Grey, in which event he would be the
father to a Queen of England, and if she did as he wished, to a Prince
Consort as well, which would exactly suit his ambition. So in different
ways the tangled threads of cruel circumstance were fast winding around
an innocent young victim, who was ignorant of them all as yet.

Several months after the death of King Henry, Thomas Seymour, whose ward
Lady Jane Grey now was, won the Dowager Queen Katherine's
affections--having been her lover before she married King Henry--and
they were privately wedded, after which Lady Jane Grey went to live with
them at Hanworth, in Middlesex, and it was her great joy to be once more
with the friend whom she so dearly loved, and to resume lessons under
her care. Princess Elizabeth was living there too, and the contrast
between these two young women was indeed striking. Both were fond of
books and were staunch Protestants and both were very young, Elizabeth
being then sixteen, and Jane four years younger, but while Elizabeth was
bold and free in her behaviour, Jane was the exact reverse, being so
modestly reserved in manner and pure in thought that she won golden
praise from all who knew her well.

In a short time Katherine died, Lady Jane having been with her through
hours and days entirely too sad for such a young girl to have witnessed,
but as Katherine clung to Jane, the loving girl gave no heed to her own
grief or pain. The loss of his wife seemed a terrible blow to Thomas
Seymour who at once decided to break up his household, and to send Lady
Jane back to her father, but suddenly reconsidering, he wrote, begging
that after all he might keep her with him, saying, "My lady, my mother
shall and will, I doubt not, be as dear unto her as though she were her
own daughter, and for my own part, I shall continue her half-father, or
more. . . ."

But the Marquis was unwilling to agree to this proposition, and Lady
Jane who was now extremely pretty, went with her parents to Dorset
House, their London residence. Here Seymour visited the Marquis and
urged that Lady Jane be left in his care, repeating that he would try to
make a brilliant marriage for her with the King, but when he found that
her father would not consent, he made a practical offer of two thousand
pounds, five hundred of it to be paid at once, for which sum he was
again to become Jane's guardian. At that time, the Dorsets, never
wealthy, were deeply in debt, and this amount of money would do much to
mend their affairs, so the offer was accepted. But at the same time the
Marquis wrote to the Duke of Somerset and spoke of some negotiations he
was conducting for the marriage of Lady Jane with Somerset's eldest son,
showing that he felt it wise to have more than one string to his bow,
and in some way to marry Lady Jane to his own advantage. Dear little
Lady Jane, fate surely did its worst for you, and never a nobler soul
was born than you--poor little nine days Queen!

But to go on with our story. As a result of fierce quarrels between the
Admiral and his brother, the Lord Protector, Somerset caused the arrest
of the Admiral, who was imprisoned and died on the scaffold, a victim of
his brother's treachery. At that time, Lady Jane was still at Seymour
Place, but at the arrest of Seymour, returned to Bradgate, but her
parents' ambition for her had not been quenched and at once they began
to have her cultivated to occupy the high position which they were
determined she should some day fill. From that time her education was
entrusted to the celebrated Aylmer, who was not only famous for his
learning, but in close touch with the master minds of the century, and
through him Jane became acquainted with several of the most learned men
of the day. She was soon a fine scholar in science, Greek, Hebrew, and
Latin, as well as various modern languages, and praise of her keen young
mind and brilliant conversation was expressed by all who talked with
her.

Late in the autumn of 1549, six months after Lady Jane had returned to
Bradgate, the celebrated scholar, Roger Ascham, in passing through the
neighbourhood, being an acquaintance of the Dorsets, stopped to call at
the Manor House, but met all the family except Lady Jane, going to the
hunt. After a brief chat with them he inquired for Lady Jane, and being
told that she was at home, asked if he might pay his respects to her,
which request being readily granted, he went on to the house. Standing
outside the open casement of Lady Jane's own sitting-room for a moment,
he watched her as she sat in the window seat, so deeply engaged with her
book that he could look over her shoulder unnoticed and to his
astonishment saw that she was reading the _Phaedon_ of Plato in Greek!

He spoke, and Jane looked up. At once he asked her why she relinquished
such pastime as was then going on in the park for the sake of study?

With a smile Jane answered, "I think all their sport in the park is but
a shadow to the pleasure I find in Plato!"

Interested and delighted, Ascham pursued the subject. "And how attained
you," he asked, "to this true knowledge of pleasure? And what did
chiefly allure you to it, seeing that few women and not many men have
arrived at it?"

"I will tell you," replied Lady Jane. "And tell you a truth which
perchance you may marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that God ever
gave me is that He sent me, with sharp severe parents, so gentle a
schoolmaster (Aylmer). When I am in presence of either father or mother,
whether I speak, keep silent, sit, stand or go, or drink, be merry or
sad, be sewing, playing or dancing or doing anything else, I must do it
as it were in such measure weight and number, even as perfectly as God
made the earth, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened,
yea, presently sometimes with pinches, nips and bobs, and other things
(which T will not name for the honour I bear them), that I think myself
in Hell 'till the time comes when I must go with Mr. Alymer who teacheth
me so gently, so pleasantly, that I think nothing of all the time whilst
I am with him, and when I am called from him I fall to weeping because
whatever I do else but learning is full of great trouble, fear and
wholesome misliking unto me."

Poor lonely little fourteen-year-old Lady Jane, what a clear light this
throws on the treatment her parents gave the responsive, sensitive
child, and how it shows up the mental forcing process of that day! Down
through the ages comes to us this picture of a sweet young girl sitting
alone poring over a Greek classic--thankful for that resource which
saved her for the moment from reproaches and taunts, "nips, bobs and
pinches."

From that time Roger Ascham was one of Lady Jane's closest friends, and
doubtless the comradeship was a real stimulus to the brilliant girl, as
letters from her to him show.

On October the eleventh, in 1551, Lady Jane's father was raised to the
peerage, which gave to him and his wife the new titles of the Duke and
Duchess of Suffolk. The family now went to London, to occupy Sheen
Abbey, and Lady Jane was presented at Court, taking her first prominent
part in Court festivities, when she attended the entry into London of
the Scottish Queen Regent, Mary of Guise, who had come on a visit to
King Edward.

When King Edward and Mary met first at Westminster Palace, Mary rode in
her chariot from the city to Whitehall, and with her rode many noble
ladies, among them Lady Jane, to whom the brilliant pageant must have
been a great diversion, after the seclusion of Bradgate.

Lady Jane took part too in all the other festivities connected with this
state visit of the Scottish Queen, but when that was over went back to
quiet Bradgate and her studies again, and remained there until the
middle of November, when she went with her family to Tylsey, an estate
belonging to her father's young cousins and wards, the Willoughbys. From
there the Greys went to pay one of their many visits to Princess Mary
at her town house, and that they were in high favour then is shown by an
old account book of Princess Mary's in which is set down these items:

"Given to my cousin Frances a rosary of black and white mounted in gold.
To my cousin, Jane Grey, a necklace of gold, set with pearls and small
rubies."

In return Jane gave Mary a pair of gloves!

Although the other members of her family left London for Tylsey during
the following week, Lady Jane evidently remained with the Princess until
the 16th of December, when she too returned to Tylsey, where the whole
party had a merry Christmas. The house was thrown open to all such of
the country gentry as cared to accept its hospitality, and those who
accepted were royally entertained, as a company of players came from
London for the occasion, also a wonderful boy who is said to have sung
like a nightingale; also a tumbler, a juggler, and another band of
players who acted several pieces, with great applause. Open house was
kept until the 20th of January when the party broke up and went on to
make another visit, returning to Tylsey for another week, all of which
journeying about must have been too hard for delicate Lady Jane, as
travelling was not the easy matter that it is in our day, and in
February we hear that she had had a dangerous sickness but had fully
recovered.

Some months later we find her making another visit to Princess Mary at
Newhall, Mary's country seat. Giving presents being one of Mary's strong
points, she presented Lady Jane with a very handsome new gown, and with
delicious Puritan simplicity Jane asked Mary what she was to do with it.
"Marry," exclaimed the Princess, "wear it, to be sure!"

Another incident of that visit of Lady Jane's at Newhall shows how much
at variance the two cousins were on vital issues. Lady Wharton, a
devout Catholic, crossing the chapel with Lady Jane when service was not
being said, made her obeisance to the Host as they passed the altar.
Lady Jane, looking up, asked if "the Princess were present in the
chapel?" Lady Wharton answered that she was not.

"Then why do you curtsey?" demanded Jane.

"I curtsey to Him who made me," replied Lady Wharton.

"Nay," retorted Lady Jane, "but did not the baker make him?" which
remark shows a depth of thought and a cleverness of retort rarely found
in one so young, and the remark being repeated to the Princess Mary, to
whom it was a sacrilege, she was never again as fond of Lady Jane as
before--but it seems doubtful whether her affection for the staunch
little Puritan could ever have been more than skin-deep at any time.

Lady Jane was now sixteen years old and truly one of the most beautiful
young women in all England, with a type of beauty somewhat rare in that
age, as it was connected with the most exquisite loveliness of
character, and she was very popular throughout England.

At that time, the young King was rapidly nearing his end, and the Duke
of Northumberland, whose city home was directly opposite the residence
of the Duke of Suffolk, realising this, saw that the time had come to
carry out his daring scheme of snatching the crown away from the
Princess Mary, whose it would lawfully be on the death of Edward, and to
gain it for his own family by marrying his son, Lord Guilford Dudley, to
Lady Jane Grey. It was not customary in those days for parents to
consult a child in regard to a matrimonial project, and probably this
scheme was entirely arranged by the Dukes of Suffolk and
Northumberland. Nor does history give any evidence that Lady Jane loved
the tall handsome youth chosen for her, but she made no objection to the
marriage,--and so prospered one part of Northumberland's plan.

For the other part, Edward was in such a feeble state of mind and body
that he was completely dominated by Northumberland, who diplomatically
forced the dying man to do his bidding, but carefully concealed his
intentions in regard to the crown from Lady Jane, whose proud and
innocent nature he knew would revolt from such treachery to her cousin,
and so he did his work in secret. If only his popularity and talent had
equalled his ambition, he might have carried out his plans, for the
cause of the Reformation, for which Lady Jane stood, was dear to a large
part of the people, and she herself was beloved everywhere.

The marriage of Lady Jane and Guilford Dudley took place in the last
week in May at Durham House, London, and the young King was so much
pleased with the match that he ordered the master of the wardrobe to
give the bride much wedding finery as well as many jewels, and the
wedding was exceptionally magnificent in every detail. We are told that
Lady Jane's headdress on the morning of her marriage was of green velvet
set round with precious stones. She wore a gown of cloth of gold, and a
mantle of silver tissue, and her hair hung down her back, combed and
plaited in a curious fashion of her own devising. She was led to the
altar by two handsome pages with bride lace and rosemary tied to their
sleeves, and sixteen young girls dressed in pure white preceded her to
the altar, while a profusion of flowers were scattered along the bridal
route; the church bells rang, and the poor received beef, bread and ale
enough for a three days' feast.

Especially beaming and resplendent at the ceremony were Northumberland
and his family, but almost as soon as it was over the bride's life seems
to have begun to be unhappy, for she says, "The Duchess of
Northumberland disregarded the promise she had made at our betrothal,
that I might live at home with my mother, but, my husband being present
observed to the Duke of Northumberland, that 'I ought not to leave her
house, for when it pleased God to call King Edward to his mercy, I ought
to hold myself in readiness, as I might be required to go to the Tower,
since his Majesty had made me heir to his dominions.'" Poor little Jane
adds, "These words told me offhanded and without preparation agitated my
soul within me." On further thought she decided that the statement was
hasty, and not important enough to keep her from her mother. The
Duchess, however, became so enraged that the young bride dared not
disobey her, but remained with her four or five days, then obtained
leave to go to Chelsea House, a country seat of the Dudleys', which Jane
reached just before falling into an acute sickness from which she barely
escaped with her life, and where she was evidently without her husband.

Northumberland, meanwhile, was indifferent as to where his new
daughter-in-law resided,--she was his son's wife, which was all he
wanted for the present. He saw that the young King was at the point of
death, and his immediate efforts must be turned in another direction. So
artfully did he lay before the sick monarch all the reasons for setting
aside the claims of Mary and Elizabeth, that Edward was induced to
sketch with his feeble hand a will, setting aside the rights of Mary and
Elizabeth and leaving the succession to Lady Jane Grey.

Of course there were some who refused to sign this will at all, and
others--among them Archbishop Cranmer--who for a long time refused, but
finally yielded on the urgent petition of the King, who was now as eager
as even Northumberland could wish.

Then on the 6th of July, 1553, King Edward died, and the tragedy of Lady
Jane's life began in earnest. No sooner was his death a fact than
Northumberland, concealing this, sent a crafty letter to the Princess
Mary saying that her brother was at the point of death, and wished to
see her. He did so knowing that Mary would hasten to London, and was
prepared to seize her on the road to the city, and take her a prisoner
to the Tower, while Lady Jane should be proclaimed Queen. As he had
supposed, Mary hurried towards the city, but being met on the way and
warned of the plot against her, instantly left the London road and
galloped towards her own Manor House of Kenninghall, which she reached
after a hard two days' trip, and found that the report of the King's
death was true, whereupon she at once sent to the Council a confirmation
of her own right to the throne, and so Northumberland's first move in
his game of chance was blocked.

Lady Jane meanwhile remained at Chelsea until Northumberland's daughter
arrived to escort her to Sion House, where she was to appear before the
Council in order to hear what the King had ordained for her. One can
imagine the flutter of heart with which Jane made ready for the journey,
and her still greater excitement when on her arrival the noblemen
present began to make her complimentary speeches, bending the knee
before her, "their example," says Lady Jane in her own account of the
scene, "being followed by several noble ladies, all of which ceremony
made me blush. My distress was still further increased when my mother
and mother-in-law entered and paid me the same homage."

Poor little Queen-to-be, this was her first intimation of the plan for
her future greatness, and on discovering it, and hearing that for her
sake the rights of her cousins were to be set aside, Lady Jane firmly
refused to accept the crown. Northumberland, who had expected this
refusal, then insisted that the crown was rightfully hers and her father
begged her to take it. To these appeals the young husband added his, and
Jane says: "On hearing all this I remained stunned and out of myself. I
call on those present to bear witness, who saw me fall to the ground,
weeping piteously, and dolefully lamenting not only my own insufficiency,
but the death of the King. I swooned indeed . . . but when brought to
myself, I raised myself on my knees and prayed to God that if to succeed
to the throne was my duty and my right, that He would aid me to govern
the Realm to His Glory. The following day, as everyone knows, I was
conducted to the Tower."

According to the state ceremonials governing such matters, the custom
had always been for a new sovereign to spend the first few days of a
reign at the Tower, and Lady Jane proceeded at once to Westminster by
water, and from there by the state barge to the Tower, and this
description of the scene has been preserved in a letter written on the
10th of July by an Italian nobleman. He says:

"I saw Donna Jana Groia walking in a grand procession to the Tower. She
is now called Queen, but is not popular, for the hearts of the people
are with Mary. This Jane is very short and thin, but prettily shaped and
graceful. She has small features and a well-made nose, the mouth
flexible and the lips red. The eyebrows are arched and darker than her
hair which is nearly red. Her eyes are sparkling and a sort of light
hazel often noticed with red hair. I stood so long near Her Grace that
I noticed her colour was good, but freckled. When she smiled, she showed
her teeth, which are large and sharp. In all a gracious and animated
person. She wore a dress of green velvet stamped with gold and with
large sleeves. Her headdress was a coif with many jewels. She walked
under a canopy, her mother carrying her train and her husband walking by
her, dressed all in white and gold, a very tall strong boy with light
hair, who paid her much attention. The new Queen was mounted on very
high heels to make her look much taller. Many ladies followed, with
noblemen, but this lady is very much of a heretic and has never heard
mass, and some very great people did not come into the procession for
that reason."

At the Tower Queen Jane was properly received by its Lieutenant and
Deputy Lieutenant, and walked in procession from the landing-place to
the Great Hall, a crowd of spectators lining the way and kneeling as the
new Queen passed, and so began the great drama of which Jane was the
central figure.

As soon as the new Queen entered the royal apartments at the Tower, the
heralds trumpeted, and a few minutes later four of them read her
proclamation, which was an unfortunate, dull, long-winded document,
dealing with the claims of Elizabeth and Mary in such a brutal way as
might well have offended them and the Catholic party as well, and
although Lady Jane was innocent of the document, nevertheless it bore
her signature, and so for that as for the many other deeds done in her
name, the fair young victim was obliged to pay the bitter penalty.

While the young Queen was occupied with her first state duties in the
Tower, Mary and her following were busy inciting the people to remain
loyal to the rightful heir. In several counties the great mass of
citizens detested the Duke of Northumberland and knew that Lady Jane
would be a tool in his hands, so when Mary announced that as Queen she
would make no change in the religion or laws of the land, they at once
pledged themselves to support her cause.

On the twelfth of July, Jane's second day in the Tower, there were
delivered to her unwilling Majesty, besides the Crown jewels, a curious
collection of miscellaneous articles of jewellery, the contents of
various boxes and baskets found at the Jewel House in the Tower, which
had belonged to Henry's six queens. By this time Jane's loneliness and
anxiety over a situation which she knew to be dangerous, had brought on
an attack of sickness, and she must have been wretched in mind and body,
yet being still little more than a child, she must have had some small
degree of pleasure in examining her new treasures, which included among
the many articles:

"A fish of gold, being a toothpick.

"One dewberry of gold. A like pendant having one great and three little
pearls. A tablet of gold with one white sapphire and one blue one. A
pair of beads of white porcelain with eight gauds of gold and a tassel
of Venice gold. Buttons of gold with crimson work. A pair of bracelets
of flagon pattern. Thirty turquoises of little worth. Thirteen small
diamonds set in collets of gold, etc. etc.," through a long list.

There is also an inventory of the personal belongings of Lady Jane at
this time, which gives a good idea of the contents of her wardrobe. The
following are only a few of its details:

"Item, a hat of purple velvet embroidered with many pearls.

"Item, a muffler of purple velvet embroidered with pearls of damask gold
garnished with small stones of sundry sorts and tied with white satin.

"Item, a muffler of sable skin with a head of gold, with four clasps set
with five pearls, four turquoises, six rubies, two diamonds and five
pearls, the four feet of the sable being of gold set with turquoises and
the head having a tongue made of a ruby.

"Item, Eighteen buttons of rubies.

"Item, Three pairs of gold garters having buckles and pendants of gold.

"Item, Three shirts, one of velvet, the other of black silk embroidered
with gold, the third of gold stitched with silver and red silk," etc.,
etc., etc.

From even these bits of the inventory it is evident that the Lady Jane
was not lacking in goods and chattels, but they gave her little comfort,
poor child, with her swift approaching destiny!

On that same night of the twelfth of July, there were taken to the Tower
a large number of fire-arms and a quantity of ammunition as well as an
army of soldiers who were ready to march against Mary's followers. And
the preparations were made just in time, for on the very next day came
news that the rival Queen was at Kenninghall and that her loyal subjects
were hurrying from all parts of the kingdom to support her cause. In
fact the inmates of the Tower at once discovered that throughout the
kingdom the people were against Queen Jane and for Queen Mary, and a sad
discovery it was!

At once the Council was called together, and a proposal was made that
the Duke of Suffolk should take command of troops to quell the
insurrection, but Jane was insistent that she could not be left in the
Tower without her father for protection, and as his health was not
good, it was finally decided that the Duke of Northumberland himself
should go out to resist the rival forces. But before the Duke went, he
gave Her Majesty into the charge of the Council, and swore with a big
oath that when he returned "Mary should no longer be in England, for he
would take care to drive her into France."

Then with a passionate embrace of his son, Guilford, Northumberland went
to finish his preparations for the resisting of Mary's claim, and on
Friday, the fourteenth, he and his followers rode proudly forth with a
train of guns, and six hundred men, some of them the greatest in the
land. As they passed through the city, they could not but notice the
sullenness and lack of enthusiasm in the great crowds everywhere
gathered to watch them pass, and grew more and more fearful of the
probable defeat of the Duke's project.

Meanwhile Queen Jane, in the Tower, passed the weary hours as best she
could, and executed several minor duties of her royal office, but grew
hourly more depressed with a nameless dread, and at evening came the
news of a great rising in favour of Queen Mary. Still worse tidings came
on Saturday, the sixth day of Jane's disastrous reign. Queen Mary had
already been proclaimed at Framlington and Norwich, and Northumberland
had sent to London for fresh troops, and was speeding as fast as horse
could gallop towards Cambridge, which he reached at midnight, but in
vain! Jane's cause collapsed so completely and so rapidly everywhere
that even such precautions as had been taken for the defence of her
party ended by serving her rivals, and the miserable Duke returned to
the Tower and its comparative safety, a prisoner, in a pathetic plight
brought about by his own wretched ambition.

On the seventh day of Queen Jane's reign, throughout the length and
breadth of England there were again risings for Queen Mary. In all the
streets there were cheering and rioting, and bonfires were lighted,
around which crowds of rough men and women circled, shouting, "Queen
Mary! Queen Mary!" while in the churches the rival queens and rival
creeds were the one subject of discourse.

On the eighth day of Jane's reign there was a violent scene in the early
morning between her mother and mother-in-law concerning the kingship of
Guilford, as Jane's husband. Poor Jane cried herself sick over the
distasteful affair, and tried to calm and reason with the two
disputants, looking more dead than alive as she did so. By this time as
a result of suspense and discouraging news all the occupants of the
Tower were at sixes and sevens, and the general feeling was that a worse
situation was still to come. Again bad news, the peasants,
notwithstanding the threats of their lords, had refused to take up arms
against Mary, and were drawing very near London; also all over the
country the nobility were arming, and marching in the defence of the
rightful queen's person and title, while poor Queen Jane's name was now
only spoken to be scoffed at.

On Tuesday, the eighteenth, it was evident to all that the tragi-comedy
was drawing to a close. Of all Queen Jane's Council only two men,
Archbishop Cranmer and her own father, remained true to her--all the
others having decided to save their own heads by betraying the cause of
that girl to whom nine days before they had pledged undying loyalty. On
Wednesday, the nineteenth, the short reign ended. "Jane the Queen"
became "_Jana non Regina_," and although that morning there was a slight
flicker of interest shown in her cause, yet the conspirators against
her, that evening proclaimed Mary queen in Cheapside, at the very hour
at which only nine days before Jane's accession had been proclaimed!

The people now realised that they had nothing to fear from Jane or her
Council, whose power was broken, and at once gave public vent to their
enthusiasm for Mary, indulging in one of those attacks of frenzied
excitement which sometimes seizes a nation,--and everywhere there were
merry-makings and rejoicings for her Catholic Majesty--except within the
Tower, where the stillness of death reigned.

Northumberland's plan had failed, and of those councillors who had
pledged their support to Jane's cause, but one remained loyal besides
her own father!

Archbishop Cranmer was the last of Jane's Council then living in the
Tower to leave it, and the leave-taking was a sad one on both sides, for
it left Lady Jane alone to meet the sad events then coming thick and
fast, with what courage she could summon.

Presently a messenger came to Suffolk, from Baynard's Castle, to tell
him that the nobles gathered together there required him to deliver up
the Tower and go to the Castle to sign Mary's proclamation, and without
a moment's hesitation the wretched man gave up the unequal struggle, and
did as he was commanded. Then he returned to the Tower to tell Jane that
her queenship was a thing of the past, although there was little need to
report so evident a fact.

With nervous excitement he rushed into the Council chamber, where he
found Jane alone, seated in forlorn dejection under the canopy of State.

"Come down from that, my child," he said. "That is no place for you,"
and then more gently than he had ever spoken to her before, he told her
all. For a moment there was silence while daughter and father stood
clasped in each other's arms in the deserted hall, through the open
windows of which could be heard, borne on the summer air, shouts of
"Long live Queen Mary!" There was a long silence, then Jane looked up
into her father's eyes and there was a gleam of hope in her own as she
asked, wistfully, "Can I go home?"

Poor little victim of the plots of over-ambitious men, never was a more
sublimely pathetic sentence uttered, and oh, the world of longing in
that simple, never-to-be-gratified request!

No sooner had Queen Mary's proclamation been heralded, than everything
was changed for Lady Jane, who was even deserted by her mother and the
Duchess of Northumberland. A few hours before, the Tower guards and
officials had treated her with extreme deference, but now showed a
marked degree of scorn for her whose sovereignty had come to an end. The
tears of her women, their whispered talk, the ominous silence of the
palace, broken only by the distant shouts of the revellers, all combined
to add to the poor girl's misery, and it would not be strange if on that
evening of July 19th, when she was removed from the State apartments, to
another Tower, and declared a prisoner, she had felt that the calmness
even of despair was preferable to the atmosphere of uncertainty of the
last few days of her struggle for a crown.

In her new quarters she was allowed several attendants of good birth, as
well as two serving maids and a lad, and though a prisoner, she was not
in solitude nor in discomfort of any kind, being allowed to walk daily
in the Queen's gardens, and "on the hill without the Tower
precincts"--her meals were those of a most luxurious captivity, and it
must be clearly understood that she was never formally arrested. She was
simply detained at the Tower, to prevent a repetition of the project to
place her on the throne. During the nine days' reign, Guilford, her
husband, seems to have sulked because she had refused to make him King,
or else Northumberland had advised him to keep out of the way, that he
might not be included in any blame for the usurpation of the crown.
However that may have been, we hear nothing of him until after Mary's
proclamation, when he too was imprisoned, but not in that part of the
Tower with Lady Jane.

Even in her secluded apartment, Jane must have heard some gossip of the
great outer world in which she no longer played a part, and doubtless
knew that Princess Elizabeth had joined her sister Mary, and was to ride
into London with her, showing that whatever difference of opinion she
had on other matters, she wished the nation to know that she upheld
Mary's succession to the throne. And too, Jane must have heard of the
flaunting decorations of the city to celebrate the royal entrance, and
of the wild enthusiasm everywhere shown for Queen Mary.

But harder still to bear must have been the visit of the Constable of
the Tower, who on the first of August visited the prisoners, and read
the solemn indictment against them in the Queen's name, charging Lady
Jane and Guilford Dudley, her husband, of treason for having seized the
Tower, for having sought to depose their rightful sovereign, Queen Mary,
and for having proclaimed Jane Dudley, Queen of England. For those
charges was Lady Jane to be brought to trial, and yet, not for one of
them could she be held responsible.

This was on the first of August, and two days later at twilight the
booming of cannon, the flare of lights, the tramp of ambassadors and
sentinels coming and going, told the State prisoners in the Tower of the
arrival of Queen Mary and the Princess Elizabeth, and leaden-hearted
Lady Jane from her windows doubtless watched the gay scene, noting how
many of those now paying homage to their new Queen had only nine days
before sworn loyalty to her.

The Queen and Elizabeth had come for the Protestant State funeral
service of King Edward, which took place on the 8th of August, and there
was also a service according to the ritual of the Church of Rome
celebrated at Mary's command, in the Royal Chapel of the Tower, where
Mary had now taken up her residence. One of her first acts as Queen was
to free a number of prisoners in the Tower, but she never lifted a
finger to the liberation of Lady Jane, her kinswoman.

On the eighteenth of August, the Duke of Northumberland was tried for
treason, and throughout his trial acted in the basest manner possible;
then seeing that whatever he might say would not save him, he confessed
his crime and begged the pardon of the judges, showing one spark of
manhood when he asserted that whatever might be his own deserts, Lady
Jane not only had not wished the crown, but was forced to accept it. For
himself he only asked the death usually accorded noblemen, and some
degree of favour for his children. On hearing that Northumberland had
been condemned, the people showed great joy, as they felt it was a just
desert for his treason, and their sentiment was clearly shown by the
crowds lining the street when he was taken from the court to his prison
in the Tower. On the next day he received news of his intended execution
which was carried out on the 22nd of August.

Meanwhile Lady Jane and her husband were still prisoners, and Jane's
conduct will forever place her name among the heroes and martyrs of the
Reformation, so calm and courageous was she during every circumstance
of her confinement, never uttering a word of complaint, but seeming
wholly concerned for the sufferings of her father and husband, and
though she must have indeed had bitter thoughts, yet she never voiced
them, but was always calm and sweet.

Through the whole month of August there were memorable struggles between
the Catholics and Protestants, each struggling for supremacy, and at
last all doubt was at an end. Queen Mary was determined to distinguish
herself as a persecutor of the Protestants.

During the last week of August she was busily preparing for her
coronation, which was to be celebrated on the first day of October, and
was marked with the usual pomp and splendour of such pageants, and still
sweet Lady Jane was in prison, separated from her husband and from her
friends. A few days after Mary's queendom was officially confirmed her
first Parliament was opened, and one of its first acts was to pass a
bill of attainder upon Lady Jane Grey and her husband,--and so destiny
swept the innocent usurper with its swift current.

The trial on a charge of high treason took place at the Guildhall on
November 13th. In all the year England has no sadder month than
November, by reason of its dull skies and heavy fogs, and in a mood not
unlike the sombre day, Lady Jane and Lord Guilford were led out from the
place where they had been for so long imprisoned. They were surrounded
by a guard of four hundred soldiers, and there was great noise and
confusion along their line of march, but Lady Jane was calmness
personified, both then and through the whole trial.

She pleaded guilty of the charge against her, poor innocent little
Queen, and presently her sentence was pronounced. She was to be burned
alive on Tower Hill, or beheaded, at the Queen's pleasure.

Notwithstanding their desire to have Mary for queen, in place of Jane,
the people on hearing this terrible sentence, burst forth in groans, and
many sobbed and bewailed her fate to such a degree that Jane turned, and
said calmly to them:

"Oh, faithful companions of my sorrows, why do you thus afflict me with
your plaints. Are we not born into life to suffer adversity and even
disgrace if necessary? When has the time been that the innocent were not
exposed to violence and oppression?" and from the example of her brave
cheerfulness, they ceased their moaning.

At that time it was generally supposed that Queen Mary would pardon Lady
Jane and Lord Guilford, and there is no doubt that this was her
intention then, and she ordered gentle treatment of them both, which
must have made their hearts beat high with hope of some time being free.
From the day of the trial Queen Mary showed an intense desire to win
Jane over to the Catholic faith, and sent a devout Catholic priest to
visit her in the Tower, with this in view; but it was utterly useless to
attempt to turn the firm little Protestant from her belief, even though
the change might have saved her head.

While Lady Jane was resisting the attempts to change her creed, Queen
Mary was deciding to make sure of a Catholic succession to the throne,
and presently announced her engagement to Philip of Spain, the son of
the Emperor Charles, which engagement when made public produced marked
discontent through the whole country, for it was feared that with a
Spanish prince for the husband of their Queen, England would become
merely a vassal to Spain, and both Protestants and Catholics were
firmly opposed to the match.

Again a chance for Lady Jane's cause! In less than a week Queen Mary's
court were alarmed by the news that the Duke of Suffolk with his two
brothers, had again organised a rebellion in several counties for the
restoration of Lady Jane to the throne. There were also at that time two
other insurrections in the kingdom, aiming at one end--the prevention of
the Queen's marriage; but of the three the most dangerous was that of
the Duke of Suffolk, and he knew that even if it should succeed, Lady
Jane would never accept the throne unless forced. A more fool-hardy
course he could not have pursued, but passing through Leicestershire, he
proclaimed Lady Jane Queen in every town through which he passed, and
seemed to sincerely believe that the people who such a short time before
had stood for the arrest and the uncrowning of his daughter, would now
stand in solid support of her claim.

With all the conflicts and intrigues of all the three insurrections
there was the noise of battle throughout the country, but every one of
them ended in defeat, and only one came anywhere near to victory, that,
the one in favour of the crowning of Lady Jane Grey. And because of
this, Mary the Queen felt that Jane was too dangerous a menace to the
safety of the nation, and to her own sovereignty, to remain alive, and
so the moment had come when Jane, so young and so full of the joy of
living, must reap what others had sown.

On the eighth of February, the news was carried to the prisoner. She
received her doom with dry-eyed dignity, but pleaded for mercy for her
husband, who she said was innocent, and had only obeyed his father in
all things, but the plea was disregarded and when the news was taken to
Guilford, unlike Lady Jane he thought only of himself, and wept and
begged and prayed for forgiveness,--but in vain!

It was originally intended that Jane and Guilford should be executed
together on Tower Hill, but this was not carried out, probably because
Lady Jane, being of blood royal, could be executed inside the precincts
of the Tower, where two queens of Henry the Eighth had been beheaded,
while Guilford, being of plebeian origin, was obliged to perish outside
the Tower walls.

While awaiting the fatal day, Jane occupied herself in writing a letter
to her father, in which she held him responsible for her death, and then
probably spent Sunday the 10th of February, in prayer and meditation,
and on the following day she wrote a beautiful letter to her sister
Katherine, of whose terrible grief on her account she had been told. The
letter was written on the blank leaves of a Greek testament, which has
fortunately been preserved, and can be seen to-day in the British
Museum.

Lord Guilford Dudley begged for an interview with his wife before their
death, but this Lady Jane declined, saying that it would unnerve them
both for the supreme moment, although she sent a message to her husband,
and on the day of the execution, at the time when he was to pass her
window on his way to the scaffold, she stood and waved her hand to him,
as he passed, in the strength of his youth and manhood, to the horrible
grave dug for him by his own father's hand, facing death bravely at the
end.

Then a ghastly accident occurred. Either by accident or by design, Jane
caught a glimpse of her husband's body as it was being carried from the
scaffold to the Tower for burial, and for a time it seemed as if her
frail young frame could not resist the strain of that agony of sorrow
and fear which overcame her; but at last Lady Jane was on her way to
meet her doom.

The bells of the churches tolled as the dread procession wound its way
slowly to the foot of the scaffold, and the young prisoner was dressed
as on the day of her trial, in a black cloth dress edged with black
velvet, a Marie Stuart cap of black velvet on her head, with a veil of
black cloth hanging to her waist and a white wimple concealing her
throat, her sleeves edged with lawn, neatly plaited around her wrists.

Before ascending the steps leading to the scaffold the Lady Jane bade
farewell to her sobbing ladies, then mounting, advanced to the edge of
the platform and spoke in a clear sweet voice, of her innocence of
treason, and begging them to bear witness that she died a true Christian
woman. Then after a pause, and wiping her eyes, she added, "Now, good
people, Jane Dudley bids you all a long farewell. And may the Almighty
preserve you from ever meeting the terrible death which awaits her in a
few minutes."

At these words, seeing the towering figure of the executioner in his
scarlet robe, she threw herself into the arms of her old nurse, who was
by her side, and sobbed and shivered with terror. Then growing calmer
she knelt while a psalm was said and prayer offered, then she said
farewell to those who had been with her to the end, and gave her prayer
book as a memento to one who had asked this favour.

The supreme moment had come. Unloosening her gown without the aid of her
attendants, who were overcome with emotion, she cast aside the
handkerchief with which she was expected to bandage her eyes, and then
with a swift glance at the executioner, she said simply:

"I pray you despatch me quickly," then kneeling down she asked, "Will
you take it off before I lay me down?"

Without any apparent emotion Lady Jane then tied the handkerchief over
her eyes. She was now blindfolded and, trying to feel for the block,
asked, "What shall I do? Where is it?"

A person near her, on the scaffold, guided her to the block, and she
instantly laid her head upon it, rested in silence for a moment, then
exclaimed:

"Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit," and a moment later the agony
was over.

The noblest, most courageous girl who was ever the victim of relentless
ambition, was gone, sacrificed to a game of chance in which she was the
royal pawn! History offers no sadder, no more thrilling story than that
of Lady Jane, the girl of seventeen, who was a "Nine Days Queen!"



GENTLE ANNIE:

A Daughter of the Regiment


FORT SUMTER had been fired on!

The whole country was in a state of flaming excitement. Up to that time
there had been a division of sentiment in the North, and many thought
that by patient effort the seceding States could be brought back into
the Union--that there would never be any serious fighting--but now all
that was changed.

In a measure the Northerners were unprepared for war, and the regular
army was then very small, but one month after the inauguration of
President Lincoln he issued a call for seventy-five thousand volunteers
for three months' service only, and the war between North and South
began in earnest.

In every part of the country there was one absorbing topic of
conversation, while men were being hastily gathered into companies,
officers were forming their regiments to march to the scene of conflict,
women were hurriedly joining hospital brigades, and the government was
rushing the purchase and manufacture of ammunition and weapons, and
collecting an adequate supply of horses and army-wagons, camp equipments
and provisions and uniforms for the soldiers.

In every State there was an individual flurry of preparation while men
and women made ready to leave homes and families, for the sake of their
country. When the first enlistment took place, Annie Etheredge, a young
woman whose childhood and early girlhood had been passed in Wisconsin,
was in Detroit visiting some friends, and the set of young women with
whom she associated became so filled with the enthusiasm of war that
nineteen of them offered themselves to go as nurses with the Second
Michigan volunteers under Colonel Richardson. This offer was accepted
and all bade brave farewells to their families and friends, and set out
with the regiment, to help and to heal wherever opportunity offered. But
theirs were hands and hearts not accustomed to such work, and at the end
of a few months, eighteen of them returned to their homes, having been
unable to bear the sights and service of the battlefield. But it was not
so with Annie Etheredge. Her brave spirit and heroic character never
gave way under the most severe strain, and as we follow her through
those sombre days, we give thanks for such a pure, strong example of
what a woman, however young, may be. To Tennessee went Annie with her
regiment, and was transferred to Michigan, where she had many friends
and was with that regiment in every battle in which they took part.

It took very little time to discover the value of her services and
General Berry, who for a long time commanded the brigade to which
Annie's regiment was attached, soon declared that the young woman was as
self-possessed under a hot fire of shot and shell as he was himself--and
that was a good deal for the gallant commander to acknowledge of one of
the opposite sex!

Annie was provided with a fine horse, a side-saddle, and saddle bags, as
well as two pistols which she carried in her holster, but never used,
and so fitted out she rode fearlessly to the front in the skirmish of
Blackburn's Ford and in the first battle of Bull Run. Her keen eye was
always quick to discover where there was need of assistance, and she
would gallop to a wounded soldier who was too severely hurt to go to the
rear, dismount, and regardless of the fire of shot and shell often
whizzing around her, would skilfully bind up his wounds, give him water
or a necessary stimulant, say a cheery word,--then gallop on to her next
patient. So tender and soothing a nurse was she that the soldiers called
her "Gentle Annie," and many an eye watched with eager affection as the
horse carrying her girlish figure came in sight following the troops.

In the second battle of Bull Run, on the 29th of August, 1861, Annie was
standing on a part of the battle-field where there was a rocky ledge,
under the protection of which some wounded soldiers had crawled. Seeing
this, Annie lingered behind the troops, helped several other injured men
to the same retreat, and was soon busy dressing their wounds. One of the
fellows was a fine looking boy whose lips were parched and his eyes
brilliant with fever. She gave him a refreshing drink, then bound up his
wounds, receiving in return a bright glance of gratitude and a faint
"God's blessing on you," just as the rebel battery literally tore him to
pieces under her very hands, while at the same moment she saw the enemy,
almost within touch, and she was obliged to make a hasty flight or she
too would have been killed.

On another part of that bloody battle-field of Bull Run, tireless in her
activity, although sick at heart from the ghastly sights and sounds of
the day, she was kneeling beside a soldier and tenderly binding up his
wounds, when she heard a gruff voice repeating her name, and looking up,
to her astonishment saw brave General Kearney, checking his horse by her
side, watching her with genuine admiration in his eyes. "That's right,"
he exclaimed. "I am glad to see you here, helping those poor fellows,
and when this is over, I will have you made a regimental sergeant,"
which meant that she would receive a sergeant's pay and rations, but as
the gallant General was killed two days later at Chantilly, Annie never
received the appointment. But she continued her care of the sick and
wounded in the same quiet manner which characterised all her actions.
When she was not busy on the field or in hospital or transport duty she
superintended the cooking at headquarters, and when the brigade moved,
she would mount her horse, and march with the ambulance and the
surgeons, ready to serve where she was most needed, or if on the
battle-field when night fell she wrapped herself in her soldier's
blanket and slept under the protecting sky with the hardihood of a true
soldier.

At Chancellorsville, on the 2nd of May, 1863, the men of the Third Corps
were in extreme danger because of a panic by which the Eleventh Corps
was broken up; and one company of the Third Michigan and also one of the
sharp-shooters were detailed as skirmishers. Annie was advised of her
danger in remaining with the regiment, but refused to go to the rear,
and instead took the lead, but met her Colonel and he peremptorily
commanded her to go back, saying the enemy was very near, and he was
every moment expecting an attack. Reluctant to obey, Annie turned and
rode along the front of a line of shallow trenches filled with Union
men. Then rising in her saddle she called out, "Boys, do your duty and
whip the rebels!"

The men's heads rose above the edge of the trench and they cheered her,
crying, "Hurrah for Annie! Bully for you!" which shout unfortunately
showed their position to the enemy, who at once fired a volley of shots
in the direction of the cheering. Annie rode to the end of the rear of
the line, then turned to look back, and as she did so, an officer
quickly pushed his horse between her and a large tree by which she was
standing, so that he might be sheltered behind her. She was staring at
him in astonishment at such an unchivalrous act, when a second volley
was fired; a ball whizzed past her, and the officer fell heavily against
her, then lifeless to the ground. At the same moment another ball grazed
Annie's hand (this was the only wound she received during the whole
war), cut through her dress, and slightly wounded her horse, who was so
frenzied by the pain that he set off on a run through the woods,
plunging in and out among the trees so rapidly that Annie was afraid of
being brushed from her saddle by the branches, or of having her brains
dashed out by being thrown against a tree trunk. Raising herself on her
saddle with a violent effort she crouched on her knees and clung to the
pommel and awaited what might come, but by a lucky chance, the
frightened animal dashed out of the woods and into the midst of the
Eleventh Corps, who stopped the runaway and gave a rousing cheer for
plucky Annie. Her regiment was by this time quite a distance away, and
Annie wanted to see and speak with General Berry, who was the commander
of her division, but was told by an aide that he was not there. "He _is_
here," replied Annie, "and I must see him." The aide turned his horse
and rode up to the General, who was near by, and told him that a woman
was coming up, who insisted on seeing him.

"It is Annie," said General Berry. "Let her come, let her come. I would
risk my life for Annie any time!" As Annie approached from one side a
prisoner was brought up on the other, and after some words with him, and
receiving his sword, the General sent him to the rear, and after
greeting Annie cordially he gave the prisoner into her charge,
directing him to walk by her horse. This was Annie's last interview with
the brave General, for he was killed early the next morning in the
desperate fight for possession of the plank road, in the woods not far
from the hospital, leading past the Chancellor House.

During the same battle Annie found an artillery man so badly wounded
that he could not move. The batteries had no surgeons of their own, and
despite his entreaties the infantry surgeons with their hands full in
caring for their own wounded men, had refused to assist him. Annie,
after binding up the poor man's wounds, insisted on having him cared
for, and a year later she received the following letter:


                      WASHINGTON, D. C., Jan. 14, 1864.

          _Annie_:--_Dearest Friend_:--I am not long for
          this world, and I wish to thank you for your
          kindness ere I go.

          You were the only one who was ever kind to me
          since I entered the Army. At Chancellorsville, I
          was shot through the body, the ball entering my
          side and coming out through the shoulder. I was
          also hit in the arm, and was carried to the
          hospital in the woods where I lay for hours and
          not a surgeon would touch me when you came along
          and gave me water and bound up my wounds. Please
          accept my heartfelt gratitude; and may God bless
          you and protect you from all dangers; may you be
          eminently successful in your present pursuit. I
          enclose a flower, a present from a sainted mother;
          it is the only gift I have to send you. Had I a
          picture, I would send you one. I know nothing of
          your history, but I hope you always have and
          always may be happy, and since I will be unable to
          see you in this world, I hope I may meet you in
          the better world where there is no war. May God
          bless you, both now and forever, is the wish of
          your grateful friend.

Such rewards for loving service must have been very grateful to one of
Annie's sensitive nature, and she continued to toil on in the spirit of
love and heroism through the battle of Gettysburg, and the engagements
of Grant's closing campaign, where her gentleness and courage were
favourite themes of the soldiers, who could scarcely bear to have her
out of their sight when they were sick or wounded.

At the battle of the Wilderness, when the fighting was fiercest and the
balls were raining like hailstones, the Fifth Michigan, to which Annie
was now attached, together with other troops, were surrounded and nearly
cut off by the rebels and as the line of battle swung round, the rebels
at once took the places vacated by the Union men. Annie was at that
moment speaking to a little drummer boy when a bullet pierced his heart,
and he fell against Annie, dead. For the first and only time during the
war she was overcome by a panic of terror and laying the dead boy on the
ground, she ran like a hunted deer towards what she took to be the Union
troops, to find to her horror she was mistaken. It was the rebel forces,
but, too late to retrace her steps she dashed ahead, cutting her swift
way through the enemy's line, and though shots whistled after her, she
escaped in safety.

With every month of service, Annie's patriotism grew stronger and her
desire to serve the cause for which the Union was fighting, keener.
During the battle of Spotsylvania she met a number of soldiers
retreating, and when imploring them to turn back had no effect, she
offered to lead them herself, and shamed into doing their duty, by a
woman's courage, they turned, and led by the dauntless girl, went back
into the thick of the fight, under heavy fire from the enemy. Never did
Annie bear the regimental colours or flourish sword or flag, as has been
asserted; she simply inspired men to deeds of valour or to the doing of
their simple duty by her own contagious example of unwavering
patriotism.

When the enemy was attacked by the Second Corps, as they were at Deep
Bottom, Annie became separated from her regiment, and with her usual
attendant--the surgeon's orderly, who carried the medicine chest, went
in search of the troops, but before she realised it, found herself
beyond the line of the Union pickets. An officer at once told her she
must turn back, that the enemy was near, and almost before the words
were spoken, the rebel skirmishers suddenly appeared, and as suddenly
the officer struck spurs into his horse and fled, Annie and the orderly
following as fast as they could, until they reached the Union lines. As
the rebels had hoped to surprise the Union troops they did not fire lest
they should give an alarm, which is probably the reason why Annie
escaped uninjured, and in this as in many other cases it seemed as if
the loving thoughts and prayers of those to whom she had been mother,
sister and friend in hours of blackest despair protected the brave girl
from harm.

So strong was the confidence of the soldiers in Annie's ability to shape
even circumstances to her will, that this confidence amounted almost to
a superstition, and whenever a battle was to be fought, were uneasy as
to results, also as to the care of the wounded unless she was at hand,
and there was never a more fitting tribute paid to man or woman, old or
young, than that paid to Annie by the brilliant General Birney. After
watching her closely and observing her invaluable service and dauntless
courage one day at twilight he gathered together his troops, and amid
shouts of appreciative applause presented her with the glittering
Kearney Cross, a token of noble self-sacrifice and heroic service
rendered to the Union army, and it is pleasant to picture the brave girl
as she received the reward of her faithful service, with that modest
diffidence which is so charming in a woman, but with shining eyes and
cheeks flushed with appreciation of the token that her work had not been
in vain.

Many verses have been written in honour of Annie, and this fragment of
one of them seems a fitting tribute to the pure, sweet, patriotic
Daughter of the Regiment.


To Miss Anna Etheredge.

(THE HEROINE OF THE WAR.)

          Hail dauntless maid! whose shadowy form,
          Borne like a sunbeam on the air,
          Swept by amid the battle storm,
          Cheering the helpless sufferers there,
          Amid the cannon's smoke and flame,
          The earthquake sound of shot and shell,
          Winning by deeds of love, a name
          Immortal as the brave who fell.

          Hail angel! whose diviner spell
          Charmed dying heroes with her prayer,
          Staunching their wounds amid the knell
          Of death, destruction and despair.
          Thy name by memory shall be wreathed
          Round many desolate hearts in prayer;
          By orphan lips it shall be breathed,
          And float in songs upon the air.



MADELEINE DE VERCHÈRES:

The Heroine of Castle Dangerous


IT was the twenty-second of October. Hills until recently tapestried,
and valleys which had been flaming with the glory of autumn were now
putting on the more sombre garb of early winter, though still the soft
haze of fall hung over fields and forests in the small Canadian colony,
on the bank of the St. Lawrence River, twenty miles below Montreal, a
settlement commanded by the French officer Seignieur de Verchères.

Peace and quiet reigned throughout the small community on that October
morning, while all its inhabitants except the very young or the infirm
were busy harvesting.

Because of its location in a direct route between the hunting ground of
the Iroquois Indians and Montreal, the fort protecting the settlement
was known as the "Castle Dangerous" of Canada. At night all the farmers
and other settlers of the community left their log cabins and gathered
in the fort for protection, then went out in the morning, with hoe in
one hand and gun in the other, to till the fields, leaving the women and
children safe inside the fort, which stood in an exposed position beyond
the homes of the settlers. Outside the fort stood a strong block house
connected with it by a covered passage, and both were surrounded by a
palisaded wall. Fort and blockhouse and wall were necessary protections
in those days when English, French and Indians were at war in the
Canadian provinces in the name of Church or King, or for personal
betterment, and when the Indians were resisting with powerful
determination the religion and customs which the white men were trying
to thrust upon them, and attempting to prevent the aliens from securing
the rich supplies of skins which were annually brought down the Ottawa
river by fur-traders from the frozen North.

It was indeed a time of warfare in Canada--that latter part of the
seventeenth century, when Frontenac was governor of the French
possessions, and two nations were striving so bitterly for supremacy. At
that time the river Ottawa, as Parkman, the historian, tells us, "was
the main artery of Canada, and to stop it was--to stop the flow of her
life blood."

The Iroquois, a powerful and cunning tribe of Indians who were a menace
to all foreigners, knew this, and their constant effort was to close it
so completely that the annual supply of beaver skins would be prevented
from passing, and the French colony thus be obliged to live on credit.
It was the habit of the Iroquois to spend the latter part of the winter,
hunting in the forests between the Ottawa and the upper St. Lawrence,
and when the ice broke up to move in large bands to the banks of the
Ottawa and lie in ambush to waylay the canoes of the fur-traders with
their cargoes of skins. On the other hand, it was the constant effort of
Frontenac and his men to keep the river open, an almost impossible task.
Many conflicts great and small took place, with various results, but in
spite of every effort on the part of the French, the Iroquois blockade
was maintained for more than two years.

[Illustration: MADELEINE DE VERCHÈRES]

The brunt of the war was felt in the country above Montreal, which was
easily accessible to the Indians, but it was a time of grave menace also
to all the colonists, and the children of the Seignieur de Verchères
had been taught from their earliest childhood to handle firearms easily
and skilfully, and had been told so many blood-curdling tales of the
treachery and cruelty of the Iroquois, and of the heroic deeds done by
their countrymen in defending forts and homes, that each young heart
thrilled with the hope that they too might some day perform a deed of
valour. And their chance was nearer than they dreamed on that October
morning when the little settlement lay serene in its quiet security,
giving no heed to invasion or to foe, when everyone in the settlement
was at work in the fields except two soldiers, the two young sons of the
Seignieur, an old man of eighty, and a number of women and children.

The Seignieur was at that time on duty at Quebec, his wife was also away
on a visit to Montreal, and their daughter, Madeleine, a girl of
fourteen, was in command of both fort and home--not very difficult
offices to fill, so thought her parents in leaving, as there had been no
attacks for some time, and we can picture Madeleine, tall and slender,
with a wealth of golden-brown hair falling over her low brow, her eyes
dancing with merriment as she received her list of household duties from
her mother, and her commands concerning the fort from her father, sure
that the hours and days of the golden autumn would bring her no graver
responsibilities than she had carried before.

Her morning duties in the home despatched, she sauntered down to the
river boat-landing, taking with her a hired man named Laviolette. She
was expecting some friends from Montreal and for a long time she stood
on the bank of the sparkling river, shading her eyes from the glare of
the sun, watching eagerly in hopes of seeing the boatload coming. It was
not in sight, and she chatted with Laviolette and watched the movements
of some near-by fishing craft for a moment. Suddenly she turned, stood
still, and held up a silencing finger to the garrulous Laviolette, who
was spinning a sea yarn of his boyhood. She had heard an ominous sound
in the direction of the field where the settlers were at work.

"Run, Laviolette, to the top of the hill and see what it is," she said,
without serious apprehension. The man, quick to do her bidding, ran to a
point of vantage, stood beside her again, and what was it he said?

"Shots! Run, Mademoiselle, _run_!" he cried, "here come the Iroquois!"

The warning was too late. As Madeleine turned she found herself within
gun range of forty or fifty of the dreaded Indians! Like a bit of
thistle-down blown by the wind, she ran toward the fort, her brown hair
flying in the breeze, commending herself as she ran, so she herself
afterwards told, to the Holy Virgin, the Iroquois in hot pursuit, but
not one of them fleet-footed enough to catch the fleeing maiden.
Disconcerted, they stood still, seeing that pursuit was fruitless, and,
standing, fired at her, the bullets whistling about her ears, while her
heart beat so fast with fright that it seemed she could not take another
step. But still she was fleeing, fleeing. She was at the gate at last,
she cried loudly, "To arms! To arms!" praying that someone within would
hear her and come to the rescue, but she prayed in vain. The two
soldiers who were in the fort were so terror stricken that they ran to
the blockhouse and hid, and only one answered Madeleine's call. To add
to her horror, outside the gate were two women huddled, moaning for
their husbands who had just been killed before their eyes. There was no
time for quiet thought, but in Madeleine's veins flowed the blood of
warriors. In a brave voice she called, "Go in, and cease your crying!"
and pushing the women inside the gate, closed it, as she did so, trying
to think how she was to save the other defenceless ones of whom in her
father's absence she was the guardian. With flying feet she inspected
the fort and wall, and to her dismay found that in several places the
defences were so insecure that the enemy could easily push through. The
weak spots must be barricaded at once. With peremptory orders Madeleine
set her few helpers to work, and herself fetched wood for her purpose,
helping place it with her quick strong hands. That done, she went into
the blockhouse where all the ammunition was kept, and there crouching in
a corner she found the two soldiers, one with a lighted match in his
hand.

"What are you going to do with that?" she asked.

Too frightened to lie, he answered, "Light the powder and blow us all
up."

Madeleine flashed a glance of contempt at him. "You are a miserable
coward!" she said. "Go out of this place. _I_ am commander of the fort,"
and there was that in her voice which made the men obey. Then throwing
off her bonnet, putting on a more masculine hat, and taking up a gun, in
the use of which she was unusually skilful, she gave a command to her
two brothers, who were awaiting her orders. "Let us fight to the death,"
she said. "We are fighting for our country and our religion. Remember
our father has taught you that gentlemen are born to shed their blood
for the service of God and the King."

The boys were only ten and twelve years old, but they had received the
same early training as Madeleine, and in their veins too ran the blood
of those who conquer. The stirring words roused their courage, and like
old seasoned warriors they took up arms, and with what ability they
possessed began at once to fire through the loopholes of the blockhouse
on the Iroquois, who, having no idea how many soldiers were inside
defending the garrison, were overcome with fear, and giving up their
attack on the fort, began to chase the people in a neighbouring field,
and killed all whom they could catch. Madeleine was now so thoroughly
filled with the spirit of war that she at once ordered a cannon to be
fired, partly to keep the enemy from a further assault, and also as a
signal to some of the soldiers who were at a distance, hunting. And all
this time within the fort there was the shrill sound of the women and
children wailing and screaming. Madeleine, on guard at a loophole, gave
a stern order, "Be quiet, or your screams will encourage the enemy!"
Then with far sighted eyes she saw a canoe gliding up to the
landing-place, the one that she had been looking for in that care-free
hour which now seemed years ago; the canoe in which was her friend who
was trying to reach the fort with his family. Knowing how near the
Indians were, Madeleine was terrified lest the visitors should be killed
before her eyes, and she begged the soldiers to go to their aid, but
they were not brave enough to do it. She must go herself. With a hasty
command to Laviolette to keep watch at the gate while she was gone, she
ran out alone down to the landing-place. She afterwards said, "I thought
that the savages would suppose it to be a ruse to draw them towards the
fort, in order to make a rush upon them. They did suppose so, and thus I
was able to save my friends, the Fontaine family. When they were landed
I made them all march up to the fort before me in full sight of the
enemy. We put so bold a face on that they thought they had more to fear
than we had." Thus the settlers and their plucky young escort gained the
shelter of the fort, and Madeleine, quite encouraged by this addition to
the number of her forces, at once ordered that whenever an Indian came
in sight, he should at once be fired on, which order was faithfully
obeyed, and in watching and firing, the hours of the long day wore away.

After sunset a fierce northeast wind came up, accompanied with a flurry
of snow and hail, and as the little band in the fort heard the howling
of the wind they looked at one another with pale and terrified faces,
fearing that the Iroquois, who were still lurking near, would be able,
under cover of the noise and darkness of the storm, to climb into the
fort, and all would be lost. Whitest of all was Madeleine, the young
commander, but she gathered her troop of six persons around her, and
said stoutly, "God has saved us to-day from the hands of our enemies,
but we must take care not to fall into their snares to-night. As for me,
I want you to see that I am not afraid. I will take care of the fort
with an old man of eighty and another who never fired a gun, and you,
Pierre Fontaine, with the two soldiers, will go to the blockhouse with
the women and children because that is the strongest place, and if I am
taken, don't surrender, even if I am cut to pieces and burned before
your eyes. The enemy cannot hurt you in the blockhouse if you make the
least show of fight."

Then placing her two brothers on two of the bastions or look-outs of the
fort, and the old man of eighty on the third, she herself took the
fourth watch, and all through the endless hours of that night while the
wind howled and the storm beat against the wall, the cries of "ALL'S
WELL!" were repeated from the blockhouse to the fort, and from the fort
to the blockhouse. One would have thought the place was filled with
soldiers, and the Indians were completely deceived, as they confessed
afterwards to a Frenchman to whom they then told their plan of capturing
the fort in the night, a plan which had failed because the place had
been so well guarded!--and two young boys, a very old man and a young
girl had accomplished this!

About one o'clock in the morning the soldier who had been put on watch
at the gate called out, "Mademoiselle, I hear something," and hurrying
to him Madeleine, by the aid of the snow light, was able to see a small
number of cattle huddled close to the fort. Telling this to her
companions they instantly cried, "Let them in," but Madeleine shook her
head, answering emphatically, "God forbid! You don't know all the tricks
of the savages. They are no doubt following the cattle, covered with
skins of beasts so as to get into the fort, if we are simple enough to
open the gate for them."

But later, after having taken every precaution for safety, besides
placing the boys ready with their guns cocked in case of surprise,
Madeleine allowed the gate to be opened and the cattle filed in safely
and alone.

At last the weary night of suspense was over, and as daylight dawned,
the situation began to look brighter. Everyone took fresh courage except
Madame Fontaine, who begged her husband to carry her to another and
safer fort. He replied, "I will never abandon this fort while
Mademoiselle Madeleine is here."

At this loyal answer Madeleine gave him a swift glance of appreciation,
and cried, "I will never abandon it. I would _die_ rather than give it
up to the enemy. It is of the greatest importance that they should not
get hold of any French fort, because they would think they could get
others and grow more bold and presumptuous than ever!"

Then with another quick nod of thanks and of understanding off went the
young commander again to her post on the look-out, and then back to the
blockhouse, where she said words of ringing encouragement to the weary
band huddled there together, and it was twenty-four hours later before
she went into her father's house either for refreshment or rest,
although sadly in need of both, but was always on guard to cheer her
discouraged flock.

When forty-eight hours had passed in this way, rest became imperative
even for Madeleine's strong, young frame, and she allowed herself to
doze at a table, folding her arms on it, so that with her gun lying
across her arms and her head on her gun she was ready at a word of alarm
to spring up, weapon in hand, and face the enemy. It was a terrible
situation, that of the little band within the fort, for they knew of no
way to send word to friends of their plight, and if the outer world had
no news of the situation, from whence could help come? This thought was
constantly in the minds of the exhausted band, waiting, watching and
hoping against hope for some one to come to their rescue. Had they but
known that even while they were waiting, some of the farmers who when at
work in the field had escaped the Indians, were now making their way to
Montreal, their anxiety would have been greatly lessened, but they did
not know, and the fort was constantly attacked by the enemy, who when
not besieging it were crouching near, waiting for a chance to make a
successful attack. Very early on the dawn of the seventh day of their
vigil, Madeleine's younger brother, who was on watch on the side of the
fort which faced the river, heard the sound of distant voices and the
splashing of oars in the water.

"Who goes there?" he called out bravely, but with a shivering fear that
it might be additional forces of the enemy. At the sound of his cry
Madeleine, dozing by the table, roused and ran to his side with a
question on her lips which did not need to be framed.

"A voice from the river," he whispered, but as he spoke came the louder
sound of near-by footsteps and voices, and fleet-footed Madeleine ran to
the bastion to see whether it was friend or foe arriving.

"Who are you?" the clear voice of the intrepid young commander rang out,
and instantly came the answer:

"We are Frenchmen. It is La Monnerie, who comes to bring you help, and
with him are forty men."

Relief was at hand! Turning, Madeleine gave a command to a soldier to
stand on guard, then, "Quick, open the gate," she said, and her command
was obeyed. The gate, closely guarded, was opened, and out went
Madeleine to meet those who had come to the rescue.

As Monsieur Monnerie caught sight of the slight girlish figure his eyes
were full of wonder. Then she stood before him, drew herself up to her
full height, and solemnly saluted, saying, "Monsieur, I surrender my
arms to you."

The gallant Frenchman retorted chivalrously, "Mademoiselle, they are in
good hands," and then the pride of the brave girl broke bounds, and with
shining eyes she exclaimed, "Better than you know. Come and see for
yourself!" and fairly pulled him into the fort, where he made a thorough
inspection, and his admiration increased momentarily as he saw what this
slip of a girl had been able to accomplish. Everything was in order, a
sentinel was on each bastion, the enemy had been held at bay--what man
could have done better work? Nay, who could have more nobly defended the
garrison?

With the light of intense admiration in his eyes La Monnerie paid
tribute to Madeleine's good judgment, bold tactics and ready wit which
had saved the situation, and for very embarrassment at his praise, a
deep flush crimsoned the girl's cheeks, as with a shy glance of
appreciation, she thanked him, adding quietly, "It is time to relieve
the guard, Monsieur. We have not been off our bastions for a week!"

Among all the incidents handed down concerning that troublous time in
the Canadian provinces, none is so worthy of lingering over as this
noble defence of Castle Dangerous, by the daughter of its commander, and
sweet and strong, the influence of Madeleine de Verchères comes down to
inspire and thrill the hearts of girls of all countries and ages by the
deed she did in the name of her country and her King.



ADRIENNE DE LAFAYETTE:

A Young Patriot's Wife


MADAME DE LAFAYETTE! How stately the title sounds, and how slender and
girlish the little bride looks in her wedding finery, her dark eyes
large with excitement, and a soft flush on her delicate cheeks as she
gazes admiringly into the eyes of her "Big boy with the red hair," as
the young Marquis de Lafayette was called by his intimate friends.

Having seen the young bride and groom, for Lafayette was only nineteen,
while pretty Adrienne, his wife, was just fourteen, let us turn back the
pages of history for a moment and see what led up to this remarkably
youthful marriage.

To begin with, in the days of the reign of Louis XVI and the beautiful
young queen, Marie Antoinette, there was no more palatial residence in
all Paris than that which in 1711 came into the possession of the Duc de
Noailles and was thereafter called the Hôtel de Noailles.

The finest artists of the day had re-decorated its stately rooms for the
Duc; its walls were hung with costly silk, its picture gallery was
famous even in a city rich in art treasures, even its stables were
fabulously large and far-famed. All that could minister to the joy of
life was to be found in the Hôtel de Noailles in those happy days before
the clouds hanging low over France broke in a storm of disaster. Later
in 1768, Madame D'Ayen,--wife of the Duc de Noailles, who was also the
Duc D'Ayen,--mistress of the beautiful home, was leading a happy life
there with her four daughters, to whose education and care she devoted
most of her time.

It was the early afternoon of a day in spring. At three o'clock Madame
D'Ayen had dined with her children in the huge dining-room hung with
dull tapestries and family portraits, then with cheery laughter the
girls had run ahead of Madame to her bedroom, which was very large and
hung with crimson satin damask embroidered in gold, on which the sun
cast a cheerful glow. Louise and Adrienne, the two older girls,--Louise
only a year the elder,--handed their mother her knitting, her books and
her snuff, and then seated themselves, while the younger children
disputed as to which one should have the coveted place nearest Madame.
Comfortably settled at last, the older girls busy with their sewing,
Madame told them the story from the Old Testament of Joseph and his coat
of many colours. When she finished Louise asked question after question,
which her mother patiently answered, but Adrienne drank in the story
told in her mother's vivacious way, in silence. Begged for just one more
story, Madame then told an amusing experience of her convent days, on
which both of the girls offered so many comments that at last Madame
rose, saying rather impatiently:

"You speak in a forward and disobedient manner, such as other girls of
your age would never show to their parent."

Louise looked her mortification, but Adrienne said quietly, "That may
be, Madame, because you allow us to argue and reason with you as other
mothers do not, but you will see that at fifteen we shall be more
obedient than other children," and the girl's prediction was true.

Every month of the year was a pleasure to the happy children at the
Hôtel de Noailles, but to both vivacious Louise and quiet Adrienne
summer was the crowning joy of their year, for then they were always
taken to visit their grandfather, the Maréchal de Noailles, who
cheerfully gave himself up to making the visit as gay for the children
as possible. He played games with them in the house, delightful games
such as they never played at home, and better yet, planned wonderful
picnics for them, when with other cousins, and a governess in charge of
the cavalcade, they rode on donkeys to the appointed spot. The
governess, it is said, was a tiny person, blonde, pinched, and touchy,
and very punctilious in the performance of her duties. Once mounted on
her donkey, however, she entirely lost her dignity and appeared so
wild-eyed, scared, and stiff that one could not look at her without
feeling an irresistible desire to smile, which made her angry, though
what angered her most was the peals of laughter when she tumbled off her
donkey, as she seldom failed to do on an excursion. She usually fell on
the grass and the pace of her donkey was not rapid, so she was never
hurt, and the frolicsome children filed by her, for if one of them tried
to help her up, as Adrienne always wanted to do, a scolding was the
reward.

In sharp contrast to the happy summer visits were those paid every
autumn to the home of Madame D'Ayen's father, who lived at Fresnes. He
was old and deaf and wished the children to be so repressed, that had
Madame D'Ayen not made the visits as short as she could there would
doubtless have been some disastrous outbreak in their ranks.

For the other months of the year, life at the Hôtel de Noailles was a
charmed existence for the children, especially for nature-loving
Adrienne, who spent most of her time in the beautiful garden surrounding
the house,--a garden celebrated throughout Paris for its marvellously
kept flower beds, separated by winding, box-bordered paths. A flight of
steps led from the house into this enchanting spot, and on either side
three rows of great trees shed their long shadow over the near-by walks,
while from the foot of the garden could be seen the wonderful panorama
of the Tuileries. The garden was indeed an enchanted land, and the
children played all sorts of games in its perfumed, wooded depths, only
pausing when their mother passed through the garden, when with cries of
joy they would cling to her skirts and tell her eager stories of their
doings. And so, in happy play, in hours of education by her mother's
side, in busy days of learning all the useful arts, seldom taught in
those days to children of such high social rank, Adrienne grew to be
fourteen years old. She was a reserved, well-informed, shy girl with
great beautiful brown eyes, which grew large and dark when she was
pleased with anything, and her finely chiselled features were those of a
born aristocrat, while her good disposition was clearly visible in her
expression, which was one of winning charm.

At that time in France it was customary for parents to receive proposals
of marriage for their daughters at a very early age, sometimes even
before the proposition had any meaning to the girl herself, and so it
happened that before Adrienne D'Ayen was twelve years old, the guardian
of the young Marquis de Lafayette had begged Madame D'Ayen to give her
daughter in marriage to his ward, who was but seventeen, and often was
one of the merry party of young people who frequented the Hôtel de
Noailles,--in fact Adrienne felt for him the real affection which she
might have given to a brother.

The family of the young Marquis was one of the oldest and most famous in
France, famous for "bravery in battle, wisdom in counsel, and those
principles of justice and right which they ever practised." Young
Lafayette had been left an orphan when he was eleven years old, also the
possessor of an enormous fortune, at that time, of course, in the care
of his guardian. He had been a delicate child, and not especially
bright, but always filled with a keen desire for liberty of thought and
action, and when he became old enough to choose between the only two
careers open to one of his rank, he chose to be a soldier rather than a
courtier, as life at the Court did not appeal to one of his temperament.
Notwithstanding this, being a good looking, wealthy young man, he was
always welcome at Court and made the object of marked attentions by the
young Queen and her companions. Such was the young Marquis, who for
reasons diplomatic and political his guardian wished to marry to a
daughter of Madame D'Ayen, but Madame objected, saying that she feared
his large fortune, in the hands of one so headstrong as the young
Lafayette, might not make for his own and her daughter's happiness.
However, her family and friends begged her not to make the mistake of
refusing an alliance with a family of such distinction as the
Lafayettes, and finally, although this was as yet unknown to the girl
whose future it was to so closely touch, Madame withdrew her objections,
and so was decided the fate of little Adrienne D'Ayen, whose name was to
be in consequence linked thereafter with great events in history.

Two years later, in the spring of 1777, the Hôtel de Noailles was in a
bustle of gay preparations. Louise D'Ayen, now fifteen years old, had
just become the bride of the Marquis de Montagu, and no sooner were the
festivities over, than Madame D'Ayen called Adrienne to her room, and
told her of the accepted proposal of M. de Lafayette for her hand. She
added, "In accepting this honour for you, my Adrienne, I have made the
stipulation that you and your husband are to remain here with me for the
present, as you are but children yet, that I may still influence your
education and religious experience. This proposal was made two years
ago, before the education of M. Lafayette was completed, but now that it
is accomplished, and you are fourteen years old, you are to become the
affianced bride of the young Marquis."

No well-brought-up French girl would have thought of resisting her
mother's decree, although her would-be husband was not to her liking,
but in this case the idea was altogether to Adrienne's own choice, and
her brown eyes grew dark with joy, and she clasped her hands,
exclaiming, "Oh, quel bonheur! Quel bonheur!" then escaped to her own
room to think about this wonderful fairy story happening which had come
to her.

Though she and the young Marquis had been constantly thrown together
before this, one can well imagine the degree of shyness which overcame
the young girl on their first meeting after the betrothal had been
announced. The world was in a dazzling array of spring beauty, so says
the historian,--the tender almonds were budding with softest green, the
daffodils and tulips were breaking into rare blooms, the world waking
from its winter sleep. All seemed to smile on the young lovers who
walked as in a dream-world through the flower-bordered paths and spoke
together of that future which they were to share.

But such a tête-à-tête did not occur again, for after that the little
bride-to-be was kept busy with her studies until the time came for a
flurry of preparation just before the marriage day, and it is
interesting to read the description of a wedding in those days of long
ago, in a country where the customs have ever been so different from
those of our own.

It is said that there were interviews with solemn lawyers who brought
huge parchments on which were recorded the estates and incomes of the
two young people, but of far greater interest to the bride was the
wonderful trousseau for which family treasures were brought to light,
rare laces were bleached, jewels were re-set and filmy gossamer muslins
were made up into bewitching finery for the pretty wearer; as well as
dresses for more formal occasions made with festoons of fairy-like
silver roses, panels of jewelled arabesques, cascades of lace lighter
and more frail than a spider's web, masses of shimmering satins and
velvets fashioned with heavy court trains, which when tried on the
slender girlish figure seemed as if she were but "dressing up" as girls
will often do for their own amusing. Then, too, there were priceless
jewels to be laid against the white neck, slipped on the slender
fingers, to marvel at their beauty and glitter, and to wonder if they
could really and truly be her own!

But even the sparkling gems, the elaborate trousseau, and all the
ceremony and flattery surrounding a girl who was making such a brilliant
marriage, failed to turn the head or spoil the simple taste of little
Adrienne. Even in her gayest moods--and like other girls, she had
them--Adrienne was never frivolous, and though possessed of plenty of
wit and spirit, was deeply religious and at heart unselfish and noble.

Monsieur and Madame de Lafayette! What magic there was in the new title.
How proudly the young couple, scarcely more than children yet, but now
husband and wife, bore themselves, as they returned from the church to
the Hôtel de Noailles, to take up their residence there, according to
the promise made to Madame D'Ayen before she would consent to the
marriage. They would have preferred a home of their own, but when
shortly after their marriage Lafayette's regiment was ordered to Metz,
and broken-hearted little Adrienne was left behind, she found it very
comforting to be where she could child-wise sob out her loneliness on
the shoulder of her sympathetic mother. Poor little Adrienne,--well it
was that you could not see into the future with its many harder
separations!

With the return of Lafayette the pretty bride began to lead a life much
gayer than any she had ever led before, for she and her young husband,
because they belonged to two such famous families, became now a part of
the gay little set ruled by the caprices of Queen Marie Antoinette. That
first winter after their marriage the young couple went constantly to
balls and late suppers, to the opera and the play,--were in fact in a
constant whirl of amusement, which had the charm of novelty to them
both, and Lafayette, who had always, even as a boy, been a favourite at
Court, was still popular and still called "The big boy with the red
hair." He was always awkward, and conspicuous for his height, as well as
his clumsiness, and danced as badly as Adrienne did well, which
mortified him greatly, having discovered which, Queen Marie Antoinette
would often in a spirit of mischief order him to appear on the floor,
and then tease him mercilessly about his awkwardness. He was different
too in many ways from the courtiers with whom he was thrown, and his
dominant passion even then, at nineteen, was the ambition of a true
patriot, only waiting to be turned into its fitting channel.

Both he and Adrienne enjoyed the gaiety and lack of responsibility of
those first months of their married life, but more than the frivolity,
Adrienne enjoyed sitting at home with her husband and friends while
they discussed great national affairs, and later she loved best to slip
upstairs and care for the little daughter who came to be her especial
joy,--and so, absorbed in a variety of interests, the first two years of
Madame Adrienne's married life slipped away, and at sixteen we find her
as pretty and as slender as ever, but with a deeper tenderness and
gravity in her brown eyes.

At the Court of Versailles an honoured guest from the American Colonies
was being entertained,--a homely, unpolished, reserved man, named
Benjamin Franklin. He was a man with a mission: America must be a free
country, and France must help her in the struggle, not only with men,
but with money. This was the burden of his plea and it thrilled all
Paris. The plain brusque American became the fad of the hour. Shops
displayed canes, scarfs, hats--even a stove "à la Franklin," and he bore
away with him not only an immense gift, but also a large loan, neither
of which impoverished France could afford to give.

Foremost among those whom he inflamed in the cause of liberty was young
Lafayette, and Adrienne noted with keen alarm his growing indifference
to all other topics except that one which was absorbing his interest,
and although she said nothing to him about her fear, she went at once to
each member of his family with the same plea, "Persuade him not to go!
Tell him his duty is here! I would die if I were left alone after we
have been so happy together!" But even as she pleaded, the passion to go
to America was taking a firmer hold daily on the young enthusiast. His
family forbade it, but in secret he made his plans--in secret carried
them out to the last moment, when going to London for a couple of days,
he sent back a letter to his father-in-law, telling of his intentions.
M. de Noailles read it, sent at once for his wife, and after a brief
and agitated conference Adrienne was called. Eagerly impatient to know
why she had been summoned, she stood before her parents, so young and
frail that the mother's heart rebelled at having to tell her the cruel
news. She could not do it. Without a word she handed her the letter and
turned away that Adrienne might not see her sorrowful expression. Then
turning back again she said hastily, "It is an utterly absurd, selfish
scheme, my dear. I will see that it is not carried out."

Then she stood amazed. What had come over Adrienne? She held herself
erect, her eyes were dry, and she said proudly: "If my husband feels
that way, it is right and best for him to go to America, and we must do
all we can to make the parting easy for him. It is he who is going to
leave those who are dearest to him, for the sake of a noble cause."

Brave girl! Not once after that did she allow her own feelings to check
the ardour of Lafayette's patriotism, not once did she stay her hand in
her careful preparation for his departure, although every article laid
aside for his use was moistened by her unseen tears, while he was busy
with the interesting and enormously expensive work of chartering and
fitting up a ship, which Adrienne named _The Victory_, in which he was
to make his trip across the ocean.

The preparations were completed and the day had come for his going.
Slight, beautiful; too proud to show her emotion, thinking more of him
than of herself, Adrienne, not yet eighteen years old, bade her husband
farewell--saw him embark for a strange land, for the sake of a cause as
dangerous as it was alluring to the young patriot, and went back to her
quiet routine of home duties and regular occupations without one
murmur.

To her family and her friends she showed little of what she felt,
although many a night she did not even lie down, but sat at her desk,
pouring out her heart to the dear one tossing on a perilous sea, in
letters which though daily sent, never reached the young adventurer, so
we must needs imagine her transports of loneliness--her passion of
affection, written to ease and comfort and in a measure to fit her to
take up the next day's duties calmly.

Lafayette's letters to her had a better fate than hers to him, and one
day when she least expected it, a precious packet lay in Adrienne's
hands. Wild with excitement at sight of the familiar writing, she held
it for a long time unopened, then fled to the solitude of her own room
to read its contents with no eye watching her joy.

The letter was full of tender interest in her health, and of repetitions
of undying affection which warmed the heart so starved for them. Written
on board _The Victory_, May 30, 1777, it said: "I ought to have landed
by this time, but the winds have been most provokingly contrary. When I
am once more on shore I shall learn many interesting things concerning
the new country I am seeking. Do not fancy that I shall incur any real
danger by the occupations I am undertaking. The service will be very
different from the one I must have performed if I had been, for example,
a colonel in the French army. My attendance will only be required in the
council. To prove that I do not wish to deceive you, I will acknowledge
that we are at this moment exposed to some danger from the risk of being
attacked by English vessels, and that my ship is not of sufficient force
for defence. But when I have once landed I shall be in perfect safety. I
will not write you a journal of my voyage. Days succeed each other, and
what is worse, resemble each other. Always sky, always water, and the
next day a repetition of the same thing. We have seen to-day several
kinds of birds which announce that we are not very far from shore."

Fifteen days later there was a second letter, and then they arrived with
some degree of regularity to cheer lonely little Adrienne, watching,
waiting, and living on their coming. It was a time fraught with vital
issues in the American Colonies. Though to Lafayette there was somewhat
of disillusion in finding the American troops not like the dashing,
brilliantly uniformed ones of his own country, but merely a great army
of undisciplined, half-ragged soldiers, united only in the flaming
desire to acquire liberty for their beloved land at all hazards, yet
soon the young foreigner lost sight of all but their patriotism, and his
letters show how he too had become heart and soul inflamed by the same
spirit. Only fragments of the letters can be given here, but one can
picture the young wife, with her baby in her arms, in the home of her
childhood, devouring with breathless interest the story of her
adventurer in a strange land. On June 15th Lafayette writes:

"I have arrived, my dearest love, in perfect health at the house of an
American officer. I am going this evening to Charlestown. . . . The
campaign is opened, but there is very little fighting. . . . The manners
in this part of the world are very simple, polite and worthy in every
respect of the country in which the noble name of liberty is constantly
repeated. . . . Adieu, my love. From Charlestown I shall repair by land
to Philadelphia to rejoin the army. Is it not true that you will always
love me?"

A few days later he writes from Charlestown:

"I landed, after having sailed for several days along a coast swarming
with hostile vessels. On my arrival here everyone told me that my ship
must undoubtedly be taken, because two English frigates had blockaded
the harbour. I even sent, both by land and sea, orders to the Captain to
put the men on shore and burn the vessel. Well, by an extraordinary
stroke of good luck a sudden gale of wind having blown away the frigates
for a short time the vessel arrived at noonday without having
encountered friend or foe. At Charlestown, I have met with General Howe,
a general officer now engaged in service. The Governor of the State is
expected this evening from the country. I can only feel gratitude for
the reception I have met with, although I have not thought it best yet
to enter into any details respecting my future prospects and
arrangements. I wish to see the Congress first. There are some French
and American vessels at present here which are to sail out of the
harbour in company to-morrow morning. . . . I shall distribute my letters
along the different ships in case any accident should happen to either
one of them. . . .

"I shall now speak to you, my love, about the country and its
inhabitants, who are as agreeable as my enthusiasm had led me to
imagine. Simplicity of manner, kindness of heart, love of country and of
liberty and a delightful state of equality are met with universally. . . .
Charlestown is one of the finest cities I have ever seen. The American
women are very pretty and have great simplicity of character, and the
extreme neatness of their appearance is truly delightful; cleanliness is
everywhere even more studiously attended to here than in England. What
gives me most pleasure is to see how completely the citizens are
brethren of one family. In America there are no poor and none even that
can be called peasants. Each citizen has some property and all citizens
have the same right as the richest individual."

After protestations of deep devotion and loneliness the letter ends
with:

"The night is far advanced, the heat intense, and I am devoured with
gnats, but the best of countries have their inconveniences. Adieu, my
love, adieu."

A very good picture that of customs and habits which would have been to
the lasting advantage of America to continue!

The letters of Lafayette grew more and more homesick and Adrienne's
feelings were like a harp with its strings attuned to respond to his
every emotion.

From Petersburg, Va., on July 17, 1777, he writes:

"I have received no news of you, and my impatience to hear from you
cannot be compared to any other earthly feeling. . . . You must have
learned the particulars of the commencement of my journey. You know that
I set out in a brilliant manner in a carriage, and I must now tell you
that we are all on horseback, having broken the carriage after my usual
praiseworthy custom, and I hope soon to write you that we have arrived
at Philadelphia on foot! . . ."

A few days later he says:

"I am each day more miserable, from having quitted you, my dearest
love. . . . I would give at this moment half of my existence for the
pleasure of embracing you again, and telling you with my own lips how I
love you. . . . Oh, if you knew how I sigh to see you, how I suffer at
being separated from you and all that my heart has been called on to
endure, you would think me somewhat worthy of your love."

Poor, lonely, young couple--each was suffering in a different way from
the separation, but Adrienne's misery was the hardest to bear, for not
only had she lost the little daughter who had been her greatest comfort
since the departure of her husband for America, but she now had a shock,
for in her husband's letter of the 12th of September, after the battle
of Brandywine, he wrote:

"Our Americans after having stood their ground for some time ended at
last by being routed; whilst endeavouring to rally them, the English
honoured me with a musket ball, which slightly wounded me in the leg,
but it is a trifle, and I have escaped with the obligation of lying on
my back for some time, which puts me much out of humour. I hope that you
will feel no anxiety, this event ought, on the contrary, rather to
reassure you, since I am incapacitated from appearing on the field for
some time. I have resolved to take good care of myself, be convinced of
this, my dearest love."

Notwithstanding the cheerful tenor of this letter, Adrienne was not able
to eat or sleep after its arrival, until in a second letter he again
assured her of the slightness of his injury, and added:

"I must now give you your lesson as the wife of an American
general-officer. They will say to you, 'They have been beaten.' You must
answer, 'That is true, but when two armies of equal numbers meet in the
field, old soldiers have naturally the advantage over new ones. They
have had besides, the pleasure of killing a great many of the enemy;
many more than they have lost.' They will afterward say, 'All that is
very well, but Philadelphia is taken, the Capital of America, the
rampart of Liberty!' You must politely answer, 'You are all great
fools.' Philadelphia is a poor forlorn town, exposed on every side,
whose harbour is already closed, although the residence of Congress lent
it some degree of celebrity. This is the famous city which, it may be
added, we will soon make them yield to us! If they continue to
persecute you with questions you may send them about their business in
terms which the Vicomte de Noailles will teach you, for I cannot lose
time in talking to my friends of politics."

Thrilling indeed were those days of 1777 after the battle of Brandywine,
for the Americans struggling so valiantly for the liberty they were so
determined to secure, and valiant was young Lafayette in upholding that
Cause which he had so bravely espoused. A letter from General Greene to
General Washington in which he speaks glowingly about the young
Frenchman would have filled Adrienne's heart to overflowing with pride,
could she but have read it, for it was full of descriptions of her
husband's bravery even before he had recovered from the wound received
at the battle of Brandywine, and General Greene adds:

"The Marquis Lafayette is determined to be in the way of danger." But
Lafayette's own account of his doings, both to General Washington, with
whom he was on the most intimate and affectionate terms, and to his
wife, were always most modest and self-depreciatory. But because of
Lafayette's illustrious connections, the loyalty he showed for the cause
of American liberty, and also because of the marked discretion and good
sense he had shown on several critical occasions, Washington recommended
to Congress that the young Frenchman receive command of a division in
the Continental army, which suggestion was carried out on the 27th of
November, 1777, and of course Lafayette's ardour for the Cause he was
supporting flamed higher than before, on receiving this honour.

Soon, in accordance with General Washington's plan, it was decided that
the American army was to encamp for the winter at Valley Forge, and of
the dreary march there, uncheered by any great triumph, and when most of
the soldiers were suffering from both cold and hunger, and the still
drearier arrival and terrible subsequent privations and hardships, the
pages of history have made us too well acquainted to need to dwell on
them here.

During that hard winter, there were those in command who were jealous of
the intimacy between Washington and the young Marquis who attempted to
break it up by offering Lafayette the command of an expedition into
Canada, which it was thought his military ambition would tempt him to
accept. It did, and in consequence he hastened to the headquarters of
General Gates at Yorktown to receive further orders, where he found the
General dining, surrounded by such evidences of luxury and high living
as were never seen at Valley Forge, and when he proposed the toast, "The
Commander-in-chief of the American Armies," to his surprise the toast
was received without a cheer, which was his first intimation that there
was any feeling in the American ranks hostile in the slightest degree to
General Washington.

Almost at once he set out to undertake the commission given him, and not
until it had proved a disastrous failure did he discover that it had
been given without the sanction or even the knowledge of Washington. He
wrote a letter of profound regret and humiliation to his
Commander-in-chief, laying the whole matter before him, saying that he
felt utterly distressed about the matter, to which Washington replied in
a fatherly and calm letter, assuring the young Marquis of his continued
esteem, and gladly then Lafayette hastened back to Valley Forge, to
again enjoy the companionship of his Commander-in-chief, to be inspired
by his fatherly counsel.

But of what Lafayette was exposed to, of privation or of struggle, at
that time Adrienne knew little, for he always wrote cheerfully to her,
dwelling at length on any bit of brightness of which he could speak.

After having returned to Valley Forge he writes:

"My presence is more necessary to the American cause than you can
possibly conceive. Many foreigners have endeavoured by every sort of
artifice to make me discontented with this revolution and with him who
is their chief. They have spread as loudly as they could the report that
I was quitting the Continent. The English have proclaimed also loudly
the same intention on my side. I cannot in justice appear to justify the
malice of these people. If I were to depart many Frenchmen who are
useful here would follow my example. General Washington would feel very
unhappy if I were to speak of quitting him. His confidence in me is
greater than I dare acknowledge, on account of my youth. In the place he
occupies he is likely to be surrounded by flatterers or by secret
enemies, he finds in me a sincere friend in whose bosom he may always
confide his secret thoughts and who will always speak the truth. . . ."
Again he says, "Several general officers have brought their wives to the
camp. I envy them--not their wives--the happiness they enjoy in being
able to see them. General Washington has also resolved to send for his
wife. As to the English, they have received a re-inforcement of three
hundred young ladies from New York!" Then with boyish simplicity he
adds, "Do you not think that at my return we shall be old enough to
establish ourselves in our own house, live there happily together and
receive our friends?" and the letter concludes, "Adieu, my love. I only
wish this project could be executed on this present day."

While Lafayette was living through all sorts of thrilling experiences
and receiving still higher promotion as a reward for his brilliant
military exploits, across the sea had come the disquieting rumour to
Madame D'Ayen of his death, and the mother-heart stood still with fear
that it should reach the brave wife, already saddened enough by the
suspense of her loneliness, and now the mother of another little
daughter who needed all the happy smiles that Adrienne could give. With
great haste and diplomacy Madame D'Ayen urged Adrienne to visit her
grandfather at Fresnes, and unsuspecting Adrienne welcomed the
suggestion of a change of scene, as her heart-hunger for the "big boy"
over the water was daily growing more insistent. She returned in better
health and spirits, but as the rumour had not yet been discredited,
Madame D'Ayen insisted on another visit to the country, and never did
Adrienne know of the report which would have almost killed her, until a
glad unexpected day, when, without any warning to expect him, Adrienne
found herself again in the arms of her husband. Lafayette had been
overcome with homesickness at a time when affairs looked bright enough
for the American army to risk his absence, and he had impulsively taken
the first steamer sailing for France and home. Then and only then did
Adrienne hear of the rumour which had caused her mother such
disquietude, and then for the first time Madame D'Ayen had the
opportunity for which she had longed, to learn the details of that
alliance between France and America, in which she was profoundly
interested and in the making of which Lafayette had played such a
prominent part. There was indeed much to talk about after the long
separation, and Lafayette felt that he could not have Adrienne and the
little daughter whom he had not seen before, out of his sight even for a
moment. Adrienne would have been quite happy, had not a dark disquietude
troubled even her nights, for Lafayette had come but to go again, and
if the first parting had been hard, this was doubly so, for she knew now
how devotedly she loved him, and that the changes made in him in his two
years of adventure and real privation, had only given her affection a
stronger desire for his presence and protection. But with characteristic
courage she made no plea that he should stay, but showed a keen bright
interest in all the news which came from America, and Lafayette remained
with her until after the birth of his son, who was christened George
Washington Lafayette. Soon after this event, Adrienne was obliged once
again to say farewell to her husband, and as before, she held herself in
proud courage, a courage which a woman twice her age might have been
proud to show, offering no word which might sadden his going, but
spurred him on with the dauntless spirit of the woman who inspires a man
to be his best self.

Three long years now went by and Adrienne alone bore the anxiety and
responsibility of her baby boy's alarming sickness, at the same time
constantly kept on the rack of suspense by newspaper accounts of the
dangerous campaigns in which Lafayette was playing a prominent part. But
she remained outwardly calm and courageous, and even made herself enter
a little into Court festivities, that she might brighten the lives of
her mother and the children who looked to her for their sunshine.

Days, weeks and months went by, and then there came a grand fête at the
Hôtel de Ville, to celebrate the birth of the Dauphin, and despite her
heavy heart Adrienne went to it, looking very pretty in her stately
Court gown of stiff brocade, which threw into sharp contrast her girlish
figure and face. Trying not to put a damper on the party, she was
chatting as gaily as possible with a courtier who was her devoted
admirer, when a message was brought to her. There was a general stir of
excited interest around her. What was it they said? Adrienne could
scarcely credit the news. The Virginia campaign brought to a successful
end? The Marquis de Lafayette at home? Cornwallis surrendered? Lafayette
_at home_, and waiting for her? Even the Queen was wildly excited by the
good news, and being fond of both Adrienne and Lafayette, she rushed to
the dazed girl's side, exclaiming impatiently, "Rouse, dear, rouse; make
haste, or," this laughingly, "your red-headed boy may have sailed again
for his beloved land of freedom!" Still Adrienne made no movement, and
Marie Antoinette took her by the arm, saying, "I see I must personally
conduct you to your own happiness. Come, my own carriage waits!"

By this time Adrienne's heart had responded to the bewildering news, and
bending over the Queen's hand she would have thanked her for her favour,
but Marie Antoinette was young and romantic, and pushed aside the
ceremonious thanks, to impel the still dazed Adrienne into the carriage.

The Queen's carriage! The Queen herself! was whispered on every side at
the unwonted sight of royalty driving so unceremoniously through the Rue
Saint Honoré, but the Queen paid no heed to the fact that she was doing
something unusual, and Adrienne saw nothing--heard nothing--she only
kept repeating, "The campaign is over--Cornwallis has surrendered. He is
back!"

The massive gates of the courtyard of the Hôtel de Noailles swung open
to admit the carriage. Marie Antoinette only waited to murmur an
exclamation of congratulation, to press a hasty kiss on Adrienne's
cheek, then drove away, while Adrienne, her great brown eyes lustrous
with excitement and joy, her cheeks flaming with such crimson as had
not flushed them for weary months, ran up the steps between the rows of
stiff lackeys, ran so fast that she tripped on her absurdly ceremonious
dress of brocade, tripped and tripped again, and then with a cry of joy
ran into the arms of her beloved boy with the red hair!

Brave little Adrienne--the pages of history are filled with the noble
deeds of that husband who so early in life took up the cause of American
liberty, and so valiantly fought for it, but who dares say that your
name too should not be honoured with his, by every true American,
because of your loving thoughts, your prayers and hopes which, winging
their way across the ocean, inspired the young French patriot to all
that was finest in his achievement!



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

Repeated chaper titles were removed.

Varied hyphenation was retained.

Obvious punctuation errors were corrected.

Page 18, "whereever" changed to "wherever" (vowed to go wherever)

Page 23, "seige" changed to "siege" (siege of Orléans)

Page 71, "Gwenynedd" changed to "Gwynedd" (Gwynedd, some fifteen)

Page 86, "Gwenyedd" changed to "Gwynedd" (the hills of Gwynedd)

Page 117, word "be" added to text (would be useless to teach)

Page 187, "Spottsylvania" changed to "Spotsylvania" (the battle of
Spotsylvania)

Page 193, "VERCHERES" changed to "VERCHÈRES" (MADELEINE DE VERCHÈRES)

Page 222, "divison" changed to "division" (a division in the
continental)





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