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Title: Heroines That Every Child Should Know - Tales for Young People of the World's Heroines of All Ages
Author: Various
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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[Illustration: I bring you the best help that ever Knight or City
had For it is God's help not sent for love of me but by God's
good pleasure]


HEROINES THAT EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW

Tales for Young People of the World's Heroines of All Ages

CO-EDITED BY
HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE
AND KATE STEPHENS

DECORATED BY
BLANCHE OSTERTAG


[Illustration]


New York
Doubleday, Page & Company
1908



COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
PUBLISHED, FEBRUARY, 1908


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES
INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The editors and publishers wish to acknowledge the courtesy of authors
and publishers named below, for the use of certain material in this
volume: To Mrs. Elizabeth E. Seelye for material adapted for
Pocahontas, from her volume entitled "Pocahontas" (copyrighted, 1879,
by Dodd, Mead & Company); to Messrs. Harper and Brothers and to the
Estate of Mr. John S.C. Abbott for material adapted for Madame Roland;
to Messrs. Dodd, Mead & Company for material adapted for Alcestis,
Antigone and Iphigenia; to Messrs. E.P. Dutton & Company for material
adapted for Lady Jane Grey; to the Macmillan Company for certain
material in Paula; to Messrs. Hutchinson & Company, London, for
material adapted for Sister Dora.



INTRODUCTION


The Book of Heroes should never be separated from the Book of
Heroines; they are the two parts of that story of courage, service and
achievement which is the most interesting and inspiring chapter in the
history of human kind in this wonderful world of ours. Whenever and
wherever there has appeared a hero, a heroine has almost always worked
with or for him; for heroic and noble deeds are rarely done without
some kind of coöperation. Now and then, it is true, single acts of
daring stand out alone; but, as a rule, the hero gains his end because
other men or women stand beside him in times of great peril. William
the Silent could not have made his heroic defence of the Low Countries
against the armies of Spain if men of heroic temper and women of
indomitable courage had not been about him in those terrible years;
Washington could not have converted a body of farmers into an
organized and disciplined army if he had not been aided by the skill
of drill masters like Steuben; nor could Lieutenant Peary make
brilliant dashes for the North Pole if other men did not join him in
his perilous expeditions. The hero is generally a leader of heroes, as
a great general is a leader of soldiers who carry out his plans in
hourly jeopardy of limb and life.

It is a mistake to think of heroes as rare and exceptional men; the
world is full of those who take their lives in their hands every day
and think nothing about it; or, if they think of it at all, think of
it, as Mr. Kipling would say, as part of the day's work. It is almost
impossible to open a daily newspaper without coming upon some story of
daring by some obscure man or woman. The record of a fire department
is usually a continuous register of the brave deeds done by those who
receive very small pay for a very dangerous service to their fellows.
It is not necessary to go back to the days of chivalry or to open the
histories of great wars to find a hero; he lives in every street,
works in every profession and never thinks that he is doing anything
unusual or impressive. There are many stories of heroic deeds and men,
but these are as nothing compared with the unwritten stories of brave
and chivalrous people whose lives are full of courage, self-denial and
sacrifice, but of whom no public reports are ever made.

It has taken three centuries to explore and settle this country, and
there are still parts of it in which those who live face the perils
and hardships of pioneers. Ever since the war of the Revolution the
skirmish line of civilisation has moved steadily forward from the
Atlantic to the Pacific; and every man who has carried a rifle or an
axe, who has defended his home against Indians or cut down trees, made
a clearing, built a rude house and turned the prairie or the land
taken from the forest into a farm, has had something of the hero in
him. He has often been selfish, harsh and unjust; but he has been
daring, full of endurance and with a capacity for heroic work; But he
has never been alone; we see him always as he faces his foes or bears
the strain of his work: we often forget that there was as much courage
in the log house as on the firing line at the edge of the forest, and
that the work indoors was harder in many ways than the work out of
doors and far less varied and inspiriting. If we could get at the
facts we should find that there have been more heroines than heroes in
the long warfare of the race against foes within and without, and that
the courage of women has had far less to stimulate it in dramatic or
picturesque conditions or crises. It is much easier to make a perilous
charge in full daylight, with flying banners and the music of bugles
ringing across the field, than to hold a lonely post, in solitude at
midnight, against a stealthy and unseen enemy.

Boys do not need to be taught to admire the bold rush on the enemies'
position, the brilliant and audacious passage through the narrow
channel under the guns of masked batteries, the lonely march into
Central Africa, the dash to the North Pole; they do need to be taught
the heroism of those who give the hero his sword and then go home
to wait for his return; who leave the stockade unarmed and, under a
fire of poisoned arrows, run to the springs for water for a thirsting
garrison; who quietly stay at their posts and as quietly die
without the inspiration of dramatic achievement or of the heart-felt
applause of spectators; who bear heavy burdens without a chance to
drop or change them; who are heroically patient under blighting
disappointments and are loyal to those who are disloyal to them; who
bear terrible wrongs in silence, and conceal the cowardice of those
they love and cover their retreat with a smiling courage which is the
very soul of the pathos of unavailing heroism and undeserved failure.

From the days of Esther, Judith and Antigone to those of Florence
Nightingale, women have shown every kind of courage that men have
shown, faced every kind of peril that men have braved, divided with
men the dangers and hardships of heroism but have never had an equal
share of recognition and applause. So far as they are concerned this
lack of equal public reward has been of small consequence; the best of
them have not only not cared for it, but have shunned it. It is well
to remember that the noblest heroes have never sought applause; and
that popularity is much more dangerous to heroes than the foes they
faced or the savage conditions they mastered in the splendid hour of
daring achievement. Many heroes have been betrayed by popularity into
vanity and folly and have lost at home the glory they won abroad.
Heroic women have not cared for public recognition and do not need it;
but it is of immense importance to society that the ideals of heroism
should be high and true, and that the soldier and the explorer should
not be placed above those whose achievements have been less dramatic,
but of a finer quality. The women who have shown heroic courage,
heroic patience, heroic purity and heroic devotion outrank the men
whose deeds have had their inspiration in physical bravery, who have
led splendid charges in full view of the world, who have achieved
miracles of material construction in canal or railroad, or the
reclaiming of barbarous lands to the uses of civilization. In a true
scale of heroic living and doing women must be counted more heroic
than men.

A writer of varied and brilliant talent and of a generous and gallant
spirit was asked at a dinner table, one evening not many years ago,
why no women appeared in his stories. He promptly replied that he
admired pluck above all other qualities, that he was timid by nature
and had won courage at the point of danger, and cared for it as the
most splendid of manly qualities. There happened to be a woman present
who bore the name of one of the most daring men of the time, and who
knew army life intimately. She made no comment and offered no
objection to the implication of the eminent writer's incautious
statement; but presently she began, in a very quiet tone, to describe
the incidents of her experience in army posts and on the march, and
every body listened intently as she went on narrating story after
story of the pluck and indifference to danger of women on the frontier
posts and, in some instances, on the march. The eminent writer
remained silent, but the moment the woman withdrew from the table he
was eager to know who the teller of these stories of heroism was and
how she had happened upon such remarkable experiences; and it was
noted that a woman appeared in his next novel!

The stories in this volume have been collected from many sources in
the endeavour to illustrate the wide range of heroism in the lives of
brave and noble women, and with the hope that these records of
splendid or quiet courage will open the eyes of young readers to the
many forms which heroism wears, and furnish a more spiritual scale of
heroic qualities.

                                               HAMILTON W. MABIE.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                                         PAGE

     I. ALCESTIS. Adapted from "Stories from the Greek
          Tragedians," by the Rev. Alfred J. Church                  3

    II. ANTIGONE. Adapted from "Stories from the Greek
          Tragedians," by the Rev. Alfred J. Church                 18

   III. IPHIGENIA. Adapted from "Stories from the Greek
          Tragedians," by the Rev. Alfred J. Church                 33

    IV. PAULA. Written and adapted from "The Makers of Modern
          Rome," by Mrs. Oliphant, "Martyrs and Saints of the
          First Twelve Centuries," by Mrs. E. Rundle Charles,
          and other sources                                         43

     V. JOAN OF ARC. Adapted from "Joan of Arc, the Maid,"
          by Janet Tuckey                                           57

    VI. CATHERINE DOUGLAS. From the Poetical Works of Dante
          Gabriel Rossetti                                         101

   VII. LADY JANE GREY. Adapted from "Child-life and Girlhood
          of Remarkable Women," by W.H. Davenport Adams            132

  VIII. POCAHONTAS. Adapted from "Pocahontas," by Elizabeth
          Eggleston Seelye, assisted by Edward Eggleston           146

    IX. FLORA MACDONALD. Adapted from "The Heroines of
          Domestic Life," by Mrs. Octavius Freire Owen             174

     X. MADAME ROLAND. Adapted from "Madame Roland," by John
          S.C. Abbott                                              190

    XI. GRACE DARLING. Written and adapted from various
          sources                                                  230

   XII. SISTER DORA. Adapted from "Virgin Saints and Martyrs,"
          by S. Baring-Gould                                       241

  XIII. FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE. Written and adapted from various
          sources                                                  266



Heroines Every Child Should Know



HEROINES EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW



I

ALCESTIS


Asclepius, the son of Apollo, being a mighty physician, raised men
from the dead. But Zeus was wroth that a man should have such power,
and so make of no effect the ordinance of the gods. Wherefore he smote
Asclepius with a thunderbolt and slew him. And when Apollo knew this,
he slew the Cyclopés that had made the thunderbolts for his father
Zeus, for men say that they make them on their forges that are in the
mountain of Etna.

Zeus suffered not this deed to go unpunished, but passed this sentence
on his son Apollo, that he should serve a mortal man for the space of
a whole year. Wherefore, for all that he was a god, he kept the sheep
of Admetus, who was the Prince of Pheræ in Thessaly. And Admetus knew
not that he was a god; but, nevertheless, being a just man, dealt
truly with him.

And it came to pass after this that Admetus was sick unto death. But
Apollo gained this grace for him of the Fates (who order of life and
death for men), that he should live, if only he could find some one
who should be willing to die in his stead. And he went to all his
kinsmen and friends and asked this thing of them, but found no one
that was willing so to die; only Alcestis his wife was willing.

And when the day was come on the which it was appointed for her to
die, Death came that he might fetch her. And when he was come, he
found Apollo walking to and for before the palace of King Admetus,
having his bow in his hand. And when Death saw him, he said:

"What doest thou here, Apollo? Is it not enough for thee to have kept
Admetus from his doom? Dost thou keep watch and ward over this woman
with thine arrows and thy bow?"

"Fear not," the god made answer, "I have justice on my side."

"If thou hast justice, what need of thy bow?"

"'Tis my wont to carry it."

"Ay, and it is thy wont to help this house beyond all right and law."

"Nay, but I was troubled at the sorrows of one that I loved, and
helped him."

"I know thy cunning speech and fair ways; but this woman thou shalt
not take from me."

"But consider; thou canst have but one life. Wilt thou not take
another in her stead?"

"Her and no other will I have, for my honour is the greater when I
take the young."

"I know thy temper, hated both of gods and of men. But there cometh a
guest to this house, whom Eurystheus sendeth to the snowy plains of
Thrace, to fetch the horses of Diomed. Haply he shall persuade thee
against thy will."

"Say what thou wilt; it shall avail nothing. And now I go to cut off
a lock of her hair, for I take these first-fruits of them that die."

In the meantime, within the palace, Alcestis prepared herself for
death. And first she washed her body with pure water from the river,
and then she took from her coffer of cedar her fairest apparel, and
adorned herself therewith. Then, being so arranged, she stood before
the hearth and prayed, saying:

"O Queen Heré, behold! I depart this day. Do thou therefore keep my
children, giving to this one a noble husband and to that a loving
wife."

And all the altars that were in the house she visited in like manner,
crowning them with myrtle leaves and praying at them. Nor did she weep
at all, or groan, or grow pale. But at the last, when she came to her
chamber, she cast herself upon the bed and kissed it, crying:

"I hate thee not, though I die for thee, giving myself for my husband.
And thee another wife shall possess, not more true than I am, but,
maybe, more fortunate!"

And after she had left the chamber, she turned to it again and again
with many tears.

And all the while her children clung to her garments, and she took
them up in her arms, the one first and then the other, and kissed
them. And all the servants that were in the house bewailed their
mistress, nor did she fail to reach her hand to each of them greeting
him. There was not one of them so vile but she spake to him and was
spoken to again.

After this, when the hour was now come when she must die, she cried to
her husband (for he held her in his arms, as if he would have stayed
her that she should not depart):

"I see the boat of the dead, and Charon standing with his hand upon
the pole, who calleth me, saying, 'Hasten; thou delayest us'; and then
again, 'A winged messenger of the dead looketh at me from under his
dark eyebrows, and would lead me away. Dost thou not see him?'"

Then, after this, she seemed now ready to die, yet again she gathered
strength, and said to the King:

"Listen, and I will tell thee before I die what I would have thee do.
Thou knowest how I have given my life for thy life. For when I might
have lived, and had for my husband any prince of Thessaly that I
would, and dwelt here in wealth and royal state, yet could I not
endure to be widowed of thee and that thy children should be
fatherless. Therefore I spared not myself, though thy father and
mother betrayed thee. But the gods have ordered all this after their
own pleasure. So be it. Do thou therefore make this recompense, which
indeed thou owest to me, for what will not a man give for his life?
Thou lovest these children even as I love them. Suffer them then to be
rulers in this house, and bring not a stepmother over them who shall
hate them and deal with them unkindly. A son, indeed, hath a tower of
strength in his father. But, O my daughter, how shall it fare with
thee, for thy mother will not give thee in marriage, nor be with thee,
comforting thee when a mother most showeth kindness and love. And now
farewell, for I die this day. And thou, too, farewell, my husband.
Thou losest a true wife, and ye, too, my children, a true mother."

Then Admetus made answer:

"Fear not, it shall be as thou wilt. I could not find other wife fair
and well born and true as thou. Never more shall I gather revellers
in my palace, or crown my head with garlands, or hearken to the voice
of music. Never shall I touch the harp or sing to the Libyan flute.
And some cunning craftsman shall make an image fashioned like unto
thee, and this I will hold in my arms and think of thee. Cold comfort
indeed, yet that shall ease somewhat of the burden of my soul. But oh!
that I had the voice and melody of Orpheus, for then had I gone down
to Hell and persuaded the Queen thereof or her husband with my song to
let thee go; nor would the watch-dog of Pluto, nor Charon that
ferrieth the dead, have hindered me but that I had brought thee to the
light. But do thou wait for me there, for there will I dwell with
thee; and when I die they shall lay me by thy side, for never was wife
so true as thou."

Then said Alcestis:

"Take these children as a gift from me, and be as a mother to them."

"O me!" he cried, "what shall I do, being bereaved of thee?"

And she said:

"Time will comfort thee; the dead are as nothing."

But he said:

"Nay, but let me depart with thee."

But the Queen made answer:

"'Tis enough that I die in thy stead."

And when she had thus spoken she gave up the ghost.

Then the King said to the old men that were gathered together to
comfort him:

"I will see to this burial. And do ye sing a hymn as is meet to the
god of the dead. And to all my people I make this decree; that they
mourn for this woman, and clothe themselves in black, and shave their
heads, and that such as have horses cut off their manes, and that
there be not heard in the city the voice of the flute or the sound of
the harp for the space of twelve months."

Then the old men sang the hymn as they had been bidden. And when they
had finished, it befell that Hercules, who was on a journey, came to
the palace and asked whether King Admetus was sojourning there.

And the old men answered:

"'Tis even so, Hercules. But what, I pray thee, bringeth thee to this
land?"

"I am bound on an errand for King Eurystheus; even to bring back to
him horses of King Diomed."

"How wilt thou do this? Dost thou not know this Diomed?"

"I know naught of him, nor of his land."

"Thou wilt not master him or his horses without blows."

"Even so, yet I may not refuse the tasks that are set to me."

"Thou art resolved then to do this thing or to die?"

"Ay; and this is not the first race that I have run."

"Thou wilt not easily bridle these horses."

"Why not? They breathe not fire from their nostrils."

"No, but they devour the flesh of men."

"What sayest thou? This is the food of wild beasts, not of horses."

"Yet 'tis true. Thou wilt see their mangers foul with blood."

"And the master of these steeds, whose son is he?"

"He is son of Ares, lord of the land of Thrace."

"Now this is a strange fate and a hard that maketh me fight ever with
the sons of Ares, with Lycaon first, and with Cycnus next, and now
with this King Diomed. But none shall ever see the son of Alcmena
trembling before an enemy."

And now King Admetus came forth from the palace. And when the two had
greeted one another, Hercules would fain know why the King had shaven
his hair as one that mourned for the dead. And the King answered that
he was about to bury that day one that was dear to him.

And when Hercules inquired yet further who this might be, the King
said that his children were well, and his father also, and his mother.
But of his wife he answered so that Hercules understood not that he
spake of her. For he said that she was a stranger by blood, yet near
in friendship, and that she had dwelt in his house, having been left
an orphan of her father. Nevertheless Hercules would have departed and
found entertainment elsewhere, for he would not be troublesome to his
host. But the King suffered him not. And to the servant that stood by
he said:

"Take thou this guest to the guest-chamber; and see that they that
have charge of these matters set abundance of food before him. And
take care that ye shut the doors between the chambers and the palace;
for it is not meet that the guest at his meal should hear the cry of
them that mourn."

And when the old men would know why the King, having so great a
trouble upon him, yet entertained a guest, he made answer:

"Would ye have commended me the more if I had caused him to depart
from this house and this city? For my sorrow had not been one whit the
less, and I had lost the praise of hospitality. And a right worthy
host is he to me if ever I chance to visit the land of Argos."

And now they had finished all things for the burying of Alcestis, when
the old man Pheres, the father of the King, approached, and servants
came with him bearing robes and crowns and other adornments wherewith
to do honour to the dead. And when he was come over against the bier
whereon they laid the dead woman, he spake to the King, saying:

"I am come to mourn with thee, my son, for thou hast lost a noble
wife. Only thou must endure, though this indeed is a hard thing. But
take these adornments, for it is meet that she should be honoured who
died for thee, and for me also, that I should not go down to the grave
childless." And to the dead he said, "Fare thee well, noble wife, that
hast kept this house from falling. May it be well with thee in the
dwellings of the dead!"

But the King answered him in great wrath:

"I did not bid thee to this burial, nor shall this dead woman be
adorned with gifts of thine. Who art thou that thou shouldest bewail
her? Surely thou art not father of mine. For being come to extreme old
age, yet thou wouldst not die for thy son, but sufferedst this woman,
being a stranger in blood, to die for me. Her, therefore, I count
father and mother also. Yet this had been a noble deed for thee,
seeing that the span of life that was left to thee was short. And I,
too, had not been left to live out my days thus miserably, bereaved of
her whom I loved. Hast thou not had all happiness, thus having lived
in kingly power from youth to age? And thou wouldst have left a son to
come after thee, that thy house should not be spoiled by thine
enemies. Have I not always done due reverence to thee and to my
mother? And, lo! this is the recompense that ye make me. Wherefore I
say to thee, make haste and raise other sons who may nourish thee in
thy old age, and pay thee due honour when thou art dead, for I will
not bury thee. To thee I am dead."

Then the old man spake:

"Thinkest thou that thou art driving some Lydian and Phrygian slave
that hath been bought with money, and forgettest that I am a freeborn
man of Thessaly, as my father was freeborn before me? I reared thee to
rule this house after me; but to die for thee, that I owed thee not.
This is no custom among the Greeks that a father should die for his
son. To thyself thou livest or diest. All that was thy due thou hast
received of me; the kingdom over many people, and, in due time, broad
lands which I also received of my father. How have I wronged thee? Of
what have I defrauded thee? I ask thee not to die for me; and I die
not for thee. Thou lovest to behold this light. Thinkest thou that thy
father loveth it not? For the years of the dead are very long; but the
days of the living are short yet sweet withal. But I say to thee that
thou hast fled from thy fate in shameless fashion, and hast slain this
woman. Yea, a woman hath vanquished thee, and yet thou chargest
cowardice against me. In truth, 'tis a wise device of thine that thou
mayest live forever, if marrying many times, thou canst still persuade
thy wife to die for thee. Be silent, then, for shame's sake; and if
thou lovest life, remember that others love it also."

So King Admetus and his father reproached each other with many
unseemly words. And when the old man had departed, they carried forth
Alcestis to her burial.

But when they that bare the body had departed, there came in the old
man that had the charge of the guest-chambers, and spake, saying:

"I have seen many guests that have come from all the lands under the
sun to this palace of Admetus, but never have I given entertainment to
such evil guest as this. For first, knowing that my lord was in sore
trouble and sorrow, he forebore not to enter these gates. And then he
took his entertainment in most unseemly fashion; for if he lacked
aught he would call loudly for it; and then, taking a great cup
wreathed with leaves of ivy in his hands, he drank of red wine
untempered with water. And when the food had warmed him, he crowned
his head with myrtle boughs, and sang in the vilest fashion. Then
might one hear two melodies, this fellow's songs, which he sang
without thought for the troubles of my lord and the lamentation
wherewith we servants lamented our mistress. But we suffered not this
stranger to see our tears, for so my lord had commanded. Surely this
is a grievous thing that I must entertain this stranger, who surely is
some thief or robber. And meanwhile they have taken my mistress to her
grave, and I followed not after her, nor reached my hand to her, that
was as a mother to all that dwell in this place."

When the man had so spoken, Hercules came forth from the
guest-chamber, crowned with myrtle, and his face flushed with wine.
And he cried to the servant, saying:

"Ho, there! why lookest thou so solemn and full of care? Thou shouldst
not scowl on thy guest after this fashion, being full of some sorrow
that concerns thee not nearly. Come hither, and I will teach thee to
be wiser. Knowest thou what manner of thing the life of a man is? I
trow not. Hearken therefore. There is not a man who knoweth what a day
may bring forth. Therefore I say to thee: Make glad thy heart; eat,
drink, count the day that now is to be thine own, but all else to be
doubtful. As for all other things, let them be, and hearken to my
words. Put away this great grief that lieth upon thee, and enter into
this chamber. Right soon shall I ease thee of these gloomy thoughts.
As thou art a man, be wise after the fashion of a man; for to them
that are of a gloomy countenance, life, if only I judge rightly, is
not life but trouble only."

Then the servant answered:

"All this I know; but we have fared so ill in this house that mirth
and laughter ill beseem us."

"But they tell me that this dead woman was a stranger. Why shouldst
thou be so troubled, seeing that they who rule this house yet live?"

"How sayest thou that they live? Thou knowest not what trouble we
endure."

"I know it, unless thy lord strangely deceived me."

"My lord is given to hospitality."

"And should it hinder him that there is some stranger dead in the
house?"

"A stranger, sayest thou? 'Tis passing strange to call her thus."

"Hath thy lord then suffered some sorrow that he told thee not?"

"Even so, or I had not loathed to see thee at thy revels. Thou seest
this shaven hair and these black robes."

"What then? Who is dead? One of thy lord's children, or the old man,
his father?"

"Stranger, 'tis the wife of Admetus that is dead."

"What sayest thou? And yet he gave me entertainment?"

"Yea, for he would not, for shame, turn thee from his house."

"O miserable man, what a helpmeet thou hast lost!"

"Ay, and we are all lost with her."

"Well I knew it; for I saw the tears in his eyes, and his head shaven,
and his sorrowful regard; but he deceived me, saying that the dead
woman was a stranger. Therefore did I enter the doors and make merry,
and crown myself with garlands, not knowing what had befallen my host.
But, come, tell me; where doth he bury her? Where shall I find her?"

"Follow straight along the road that leadeth to Larissa, and thou
shalt see her tomb in the outskirts of the city."

Then said Hercules to himself:

"O my heart, thou hast dared many great deeds before this day; and now
most of all must I show myself a true son of Zeus. Now will I save
this dead woman Alcestis, and give her back to her husband, and make
due recompense to Admetus. I will go, therefore, and watch for this
black-robed king, even Death. Me-thinks I shall find him nigh unto the
tomb, drinking the blood of the sacrifices. There will I lie in wait
for him, and run upon him, and throw my arms about him, nor shall
anyone deliver him out of my hands, till he have given up to me this
woman. But if it chance that I find him not there, and he come not to
the feast of blood, I will go down to the Queen of Hell, to the land
where the sun shineth not, and beg her of the Queen; and doubtless she
will give her to me, that I may give her to her husband. Right nobly
did he entertain me, and drave me not from his house, for all that he
had been stricken by such sorrow. Is there a man in Thessaly, nay in
the whole land of Greece, that is such a lover of hospitality? I trow
not. Noble is he, and he shall know that he is no ill friend to whom
he hath done this thing."

So Hercules went his way. And when he was gone Admetus came back from
the burying of his wife, a great company following him, of whom the
elders sought to comfort him in his sorrow. And when he was come to
the gates of his palace he cried:

"How shall I enter thee? how shall I dwell in thee? Once I came within
thy gates with many pine-torches from Pelion, and the merry noise of
the marriage song, holding in my hand the hand of her that is dead;
and after us followed a troop that magnified her and me, so noble a
pair we were. And now with wailing instead of marriage songs, and
garments of black for white wedding robes, I go to my desolate couch."

But while he yet lingered before the palace Hercules came back,
leading with him a woman that was covered with a veil. And when he saw
the King, he said:

"I hold it well to speak freely to one that is a friend, and that a
man should not hide a grudge in his heart. Hear me, therefore. Though
I was worthy to be counted thy friend, yet thou saidst not that thy
wife lay dead in thy house, but suffered me to feast and make merry.
For this, therefore, I blame thee. And now I will tell thee why I am
returned. I pray thee, keep this woman against the day when I shall
come back from the land of Thrace, bringing the horses of King Diomed.
And if it should fare ill with me, let her abide here and serve thee.
Not without toil came she into my hands. I found as I went upon my way
that certain men had ordered contests for wrestlers and runners, and
the like. Now for them that had the preëminence in lesser things there
were horses for prizes; and for the greater, as wrestling and boxing,
a reward of oxen, to which was added this woman. And now I would have
thee keep her, for which thing, haply, thou wilt one day thank me."

To this the King answered:

"I thought no slight when I hid this truth from thee. Only it would
have been for me sorrow upon sorrow if thou hadst gone to the house of
another. But as for this woman, I would have thee ask this thing of
some prince of Thessaly that hath not suffered such grief as I. In
Pheræ here thou hast many friends; but I could not look upon her
without tears. Add not then this new trouble. And also how could she,
being young, abide in my house, for young I judge her to be? And of a
truth, lady, thou art very like in shape and stature to my Alcestis
that is dead. I pray you, take her from my sight, for she troubleth my
heart, and my tears run over with beholding her."

Then said Hercules:

"Would I had such strength that I could bring back thy wife from the
dwellings of the dead, and put her in thy hands."

"I know thy good will, but what profiteth it? No man may bring back
the dead."

"Well, time will soften thy grief, which yet is new."

"Yea, if by time thou meanest death."

"But a new wife will comfort thee."

"Hold thy peace; such a thing cometh not into my thoughts."

"What? wilt thou always keep this widowed state?"

"Never shall woman more be wife of mine."

"What will this profit her that is dead?"

"I know not, yet had I sooner die than be false to her."

"Yet I would have thee take this woman into thy house."

"Ask it not of me, I entreat thee, by thy father Zeus."

"Thou wilt lose much if thou wilt not do it."

"And if I do it I shall break my heart."

"Haply some day thou wilt thank me; only be persuaded."

"Be it so; they shall take the woman into the house."

"I would not have thee entrust her to thy servants."

"If thou so thinkest, lead her in thyself."

"Nay, but I would give her into thy hands."

"I touch her not, but my house she may enter."

"'Tis only to thy hand I entrust her."

"O King, thou compellest me to this against my will."

"Stretch forth thy hand and touch her."

"I touch her as I would touch the Gorgon's head."

"Hast thou hold of her?"

"I have hold."

"Then keep her safe, and say that the son of Zeus is a noble friend.
See if she be like thy wife; and change thy sorrow for joy."

And when the King looked, lo! the veiled woman was Alcestis his wife.



II

ANTIGONE


It befell in times past that the gods, being angry with the
inhabitants of Thebes, sent into their land a very noisome beast which
men called the Sphinx. Now this beast had the face and breast of a
fair woman, but the feet and claws of a lion; and it was wont to ask a
riddle of such as encountered it; and such as answered not aright it
would tear and devour.

When it had laid waste the land many days, there chanced to come to
Thebes one Oedipus, who had fled from the city of Corinth that he
might escape the doom which the gods had spoken against him. And the
men of the place told him of the Sphinx, how she cruelly devoured the
people, and that he who should deliver them from her should have the
kingdom. So Oedipus, being very bold, and also ready of wit, went
forth to meet the monster. And when she saw him she spake, saying:

    "Read me this riddle right, or die:
    What liveth there beneath the sky,
    Four-footed creature that doth choose
    Now three feet and now twain to use,
    And still more feebly o'er the plain
    Walketh with three feet than with twain?"

And Oedipus made reply:

    "'Tis man, who in life's early day
    Four-footed crawleth on his way;
    When time hath made his strength complete,
    Upright his form and twain his feet;
    When age hath bowed him to the ground
    A third foot in his staff is found."

And when the Sphinx found that her riddle was answered, she cast
herself from a high rock and perished.

For a while Oedipus reigned in great power and glory; but afterwards
in madness he put out his own eyes. Then his two sons cast him into
prison, and took his kingdom, making agreement between themselves that
each should reign for the space of one year. And the elder of the two,
whose name was Eteocles, first had the kingdom; but when his year was
come to an end, he would not abide by his promise, but kept that which
he should have given up, and drave out his younger brother from the
city. Then the younger, whose name was Polynices, fled to Argos, to
King Adrastus. And after a while he married the daughter of the King,
who made a covenant with him that he would bring him back with a high
hand to Thebes, and set him on the throne of his father. Then the King
sent messengers to certain of the princes of Greece, entreating that
they would help in this matter. And of these some would not, but
others hearkened to his words, so that a great army was gathered
together and followed the King and Polynices to make war against
Thebes. So they came and pitched their camp over against the city. And
after they had been there many days, the battle grew fierce about the
wall. But the chiefest fight was between the two brothers, for the two
came together in an open space before the gates. And first Polynices
prayed to Heré, for she was the goddess of the great city of Argos,
which had helped him in this enterprise, and Eteocles prayed to
Pallas of the Golden Shield, whose temple stood hard by. Then they
crouched, each covered with his shield, and holding his spear in his
hand, if by chance his enemy should give occasion to smite him; and if
one showed so much as an eye above the rim of his shield the other
would strike at him. But after a while King Eteocles slipped upon a
stone that was under his foot, and uncovered his leg, at which
straightway Polynices took aim with his spear, piercing the skin. But
so doing he laid his own shoulder bare, and King Eteocles gave him a
wound in the breast. He brake his spear in striking, and would have
fared ill but that with a great stone he smote the spear of Polynices,
and brake this also in the middle. And now were the two equal, for
each had lost his spear. So they drew their swords and came yet closer
together. But Eteocles used a device which he had learnt in the land
of Thessaly; for he drew his left foot back, as if he would have
ceased from the battle, and then of a sudden moved the right forward;
and so smiting sideways, drave his sword right through the body of
Polynices. But when thinking that he had slain him he set his weapons
in the earth, and began to spoil him of his arms, the other, for he
yet breathed a little, laid his hand upon his sword, and though he had
scarce strength to smite, yet gave the King a mortal blow, so that the
two lay dead together on the plain. And the men of Thebes lifted up
the bodies of the dead, and bare them both into the city.

When these two brothers, the sons of King Oedipus, had fallen each by
the hand of the other, the kingdom fell to Creon their uncle. For not
only was he the next of kin to the dead, but also the people held him
in great honour because his son Menoeceus had offered himself with a
willing heart that he might deliver his city from captivity.

Now when Creon was come to the throne, he made a proclamation about
the two princes, commanding that they should bury Eteocles with all
honour, seeing that he died as beseemed a good man and a brave, doing
battle for his country, that it should not be delivered into the hands
of the enemy; but as for Polynices he bade them leave his body to be
devoured by the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, because
he had joined himself to the enemy, and would have beaten down the
walls of the city, and burned the temples of the gods with fire, and
led the people captive. Also he commanded that if any man should break
this decree he should suffer death by stoning.

Now Antigone, who was sister to the two princes, heard that the decree
had gone forth, and chancing to meet her sister Ismené before the
gates of the palace, spake to her, saying:

"O my sister, hast thou heard this decree that the King hath put forth
concerning our brethren that are dead?"

Then Ismené made answer: "I have heard nothing my sister, only that we
are bereaved of both of our brethren in one day, and that the army of
the Argives is departed in this night that is now past. So much I
know, but no more."

"Hearken then. King Creon hath made a proclamation that they shall
bury Eteocles with all honour; but that Polynices shall lie unburied,
that the birds of the air and the beasts of the field may devour him;
and that whosoever shall break this decree shall suffer death by
stoning."

"But if it be so, my sister, how can we avail to change it?"

"Think whether or no thou wilt share with me the doing of this deed."

"What deed? What meanest thou?"

"To pay due honour to this dead body."

"What? Wilt thou bury him when the King hath forbidden it?"

"Yea, for he is my brother and also thine, though, perchance, thou
wouldst not have it so. And I will not play him false."

"O my sister, wilt thou do this when Creon hath forbidden it?"

"Why should he stand between me and mine?"

"But think now what sorrows are come upon our house. For our father
perished miserably, having first put out his own eyes; and our mother
hanged herself with her own hands; and our two brothers fell in one
day, each by the other's spear; and now we two only are left. And
shall we not fall into a worse destruction than any, if we transgress
these commands of the King? Think, too, that we are women and not men,
and of necessity obey them that are stronger. Wherefore, as for me, I
will pray the dead to pardon me, seeing that I am thus constrained;
but I will obey them that rule."

"I advise thee not, and, if thou thinkest thus, I would not have thee
for helper. But know that I will bury my brother, nor could I better
die than for doing such a deed. For as he loved me, so also do I love
him greatly. And shall not I do pleasure to the dead rather than to
the living, seeing that I shall abide with the dead for ever? But
thou, if thou wilt, do dishonour to the laws of the gods?"

"I dishonour them not. Only I cannot set myself against the powers
that be."

"So be it; but I will bury my brother."

"O my sister, how I fear for thee!"

"Fear for thyself. Thine own lot needeth all thy care."

"Thou wilt at least keep thy counsel, nor tell the thing to any man."

"Not so: hide it not. I shall scorn thee more if thou proclaim it not
aloud to all."

So Antigone departed; and after a while came to the same place King
Creon, clad in his royal robes, and with his sceptre in his hand, and
set forth his counsel to the elders who were assembled, how he had
dealt with the two princes according to their deserving, giving all
honour to him that loved his country and casting forth the other
unburied. And he bade them take care that this decree should be kept,
saying that he had also appointed certain men to watch the dead body.

But he had scarcely left speaking when there came one of these same
watchers and said:

"I have not come hither in haste, O King, nay, I doubted much, while I
was yet on the way, whether I should not turn again. For now I
thought, 'Fool, why goest thou where thou shalt suffer for it'; and
then, again, 'Fool, the King will hear the matter elsewhere, and then
how wilt thou fare?' But at the last I came as I had purposed, for I
know that nothing may happen to me contrary to fate."

"But say," said the King, "what troubles thee so much?"

"First hear my case. I did not the thing, and know not who did it, and
it were a grievous wrong should I fall into trouble for such a
cause."

"Thou makest a long preface, excusing thyself, but yet hast, as I
judge, something to tell."

"Fear, my lord, ever causeth delay."

"Wilt thou not speak out thy news and then begone?"

"I will speak it. Know then that some man hath thrown dust upon this
dead corpse, and done besides such things as are needful."

"What sayest thou? Who hath dared to do this deed?"

"That I know not, for there was no mark as of spade or pick-axe; nor
was the earth broken, nor had wagon passed thereon. We were sore
dismayed when the watchman showed the thing to us; for the body we
could not see. Buried indeed it was not, but rather covered with dust.
Nor was there any sign as of wild beast or of dog that had torn it.
Then there arose a contention among us, each blaming the other, and
accusing his fellows, and himself denying that he had done the deed or
was privy to it. And doubtless we had fallen to blows but that one
spake a word which made us all tremble for fear, knowing that it must
be as he said. For he said that the thing must be told to thee, and in
no wise hidden. So we drew lots, and by evil chance the lot fell upon
me. Wherefore I am here, not willingly, for no man loveth him that
bringing evil tidings."

Then said the chief of the old men:

"Consider, O King, for haply this thing is from the gods."

But the King cried:

"Thinkest thou that the gods care for such an one as this dead man,
who would have burnt their temples with fire, and laid waste the land
which they love, and set at naught the laws? Not so. But there are
men in this city who have long time had ill will to me, not bowing
their necks to my yoke; and they have persuaded these fellows with
money to do this thing. Surely there never was so evil a thing as
money, which maketh cities into ruinous heaps, and banisheth men from
their houses, and turneth their thoughts from good unto evil. But as
for them that have done this deed for hire, of a truth they shall not
escape, for I say to thee, fellow, if ye bring not here before my eyes
the man that did this thing, I will hang you up alive. So shall ye
learn that ill gains bring no profit to a man."

So the guard departed; but as he went he said to himself:

"Now may the gods grant that the man be found; but however this may
be, thou shalt not see me come again on such errand as this, for even
now have I escaped beyond all hope."

Notwithstanding, after a space he came back with one of his fellows;
and they brought with them the maiden Antigone, with her hands bound
together.

And it chanced that at the same time King Creon came forth from the
palace. Then the guard set forth the thing to him, saying:

"We cleared away the dust from the dead body, and sat watching it. And
when it was now noon, and the sun was at his height, there came a
whirlwind over the plain, driving a great cloud of dust. And when this
had passed, we looked, and lo! this maiden whom we have brought hither
stood by the dead corpse. And when she saw that it lay bare as before,
she sent up an exceeding bitter cry, even as a bird whose young ones
have been taken from the nest. Then she cursed them that had done this
deed; and brought dust and sprinkled it upon the dead man, and poured
water upon him three times. Then we ran and laid hold upon her, and
accused her that she had done this deed; and she denied it not. But as
for me, 'tis well to have escaped from death, but it is ill to bring
friends into the same. Yet I hold that there is nothing dearer to a
man than his life."

Then said the King to Antigone:

"Tell me in a word, didst thou know my decree?"

"I knew it. Was it not plainly declared?"

"How daredst thou to transgress the laws?"

"Zeus made not such laws, nor Justice that dwelleth with the gods
below. I judged not that thy decrees had such authority that a man
should transgress for them the unwritten sure commandments of the
gods. For these, indeed, are not of to-day or yesterday, but they live
for ever, and their beginning no man knoweth. Should I, for fear of
thee, be found guilty against them? That I should die I knew. Why not?
All men must die. And if I die before my time, what loss? He who
liveth among many sorrows even as I have lived, counteth it gain to
die. But had I left my own mother's son unburied, this had been loss
indeed."

Then said the King:

"Such stubborn thoughts have a speedy fall, and are shivered even as
the iron that hath been made hard in the furnace. And as for this
woman and her sister--for I judge her sister to have had a part in
this matter--though they were nearer to me than all my kindred, yet
shall they not escape the doom of death. Wherefore let some one bring
the other woman hither."

And while they went to fetch the maiden Ismené, Antigone said to the
King:

"Is it not enough for thee to slay me? What need to say more? For thy
words please me not nor mine thee. Yet what nobler thing could I have
done than to bury my mother's son? And so would all men say but fear
shutteth their mouths."

"Nay," said the King, "none of the children of Cadmus thinketh thus,
but thou only. But, hold, was not he that fell in battle with this man
thy brother also?"

"Yes, truly, my brother he was."

"And dost thou not dishonour him when thou honourest his enemy?"

"The dead man would not say it, could he speak."

"Shall then the wicked have like honour with the good?"

"How knowest thou but that such honour pleaseth the gods below?"

"I have no love for them I hate, though they be dead."

"Of hating I know nothing: 'tis enough for me to love."

"If thou wilt love, go love the dead. But while I live no woman shall
rule me."

Then those that had been sent to fetch the maiden Ismené brought her
forth from the palace. And when the King accused her that she had been
privy to the deed she denied not, but would have shared one lot with
her sister.

But Antigone turned from her, saying:

"Not so; thou hast no part or lot in the matter. For thou hast chosen
life, and I have chosen death; and even so shall it be."

And when Ismené saw that she prevailed nothing with her sister, she
turned to the King and said:

"Wilt thou slay the bride of thy son?"

"Ay," said he, "there are other brides to win!"

"But none," she made reply, "that accord so well with him."

"I will have no evil wives for my sons," said the King.

Then cried Antigone:

"O Hæmon, whom I love, how thy father wrongeth thee!"

Then the King bade the guards lead the two into the palace. But
scarcely had they gone when there came to the place the Prince Hæmon,
the King's son, who was betrothed to the maiden Antigone. And when the
King saw him, he said:

"Art thou content, my son, with thy father's judgment?"

And the young man answered:

"My father, I would follow thy counsels in all things."

Then said the King:

"'Tis well spoken, my son. This is a thing to be desired, that a man
should have obedient children. But if it be otherwise with a man, he
hath gotten great trouble for himself, and maketh sport for them that
hate him. And now as to this matter. There is naught worse than an
evil wife. Wherefore I say let this damsel wed a bridegroom among the
dead. For since I have found her, alone of all this people, breaking
my decree, surely she shall die. Nor shall it profit her to claim
kinship with me, for he that would rule a city must first deal justly
with his own kindred. And as for obedience, this it is that maketh a
city to stand both in peace and in war."

To this the Prince Hæmon made answer:

"What thou sayest, my father, I do not judge. Yet bethink thee, that I
see and hear on thy behalf what is hidden from thee. For common men
cannot abide thy look if they say that which pleaseth thee not. Yet do
I hear it in secret. Know then that all the city mourneth for this
maiden, saying that she dieth wrongfully for a very noble deed, in
that she buried her brother. And 'tis well, my father, not to be
wholly set on thy thoughts, but to listen to the counsels of others."

"Nay," said the King; "shall I be taught by such an one as thou?"

"I pray thee regard my words, if they be well, and not my years."

"Can it be well to honour them that transgress? And hath not this
woman transgressed?"

"The people of this city judgeth not so."

"The people, sayest thou? Is it for them to rule, or for me?"

"No city is the possession of one man only."

So the two answered one the other, and their anger waxed hot. And at
the last the King cried:

"Bring this accursed woman, and slay her before his eyes."

And the Prince answered:

"That thou shalt never do. And know this also, that thou shalt never
see my face again."

So he went away in a rage; and the old men would have appeased the
King's wrath, but he would not hearken to them, but said that the two
maidens should die.

"Wilt thou then slay them both?" said the old men.

"'Tis well said," the King made answer. "Her that meddled not with the
matter I harm not."

"And how wilt thou deal with the other?"

"There is a desolate place, and there I will shut her up alive in a
sepulchre; yet giving her so much of food as shall quit us of guilt in
the matter, for I would not have the city defiled. There let her
persuade Death whom she loveth so much, that he harm her not."

So the guards led Antigone away to shut her up alive in the sepulchre.
But scarcely had they departed when there came an old prophet
Tiresias, seeking the King. Blind he was, so that a boy led him by the
hand; but the gods had given him to see things to come.

And when the King saw him he asked:

"What seekest thou, wisest of men?"

Then the prophet answered:

"Hearken, O King, and I will tell thee. I sat in my seat, after my
custom, in the place whither all manner of birds resort. And as I sat
I heard a cry of birds that I knew not, very strange and full of
wrath. And I knew that they tare and slew each other, for I heard the
fierce flapping of their wings. And being afraid, I made inquiry about
the fire, how it burned upon the altars. And this boy, for as I am a
guide to others so he guideth me, told me that it shone not at all,
but smouldered and was dull, and that the flesh which was burnt upon
the altar spluttered in the flame, and wasted away into corruption and
filthiness. And now I tell thee, O King, that the city is troubled by
thy ill counsels. For the dogs and the birds of the air tear the flesh
of this dead son of Oedipus, whom thou sufferest not to have due
burial, and carry it to the altars, polluting them therewith.
Wherefore the gods receive not from us prayer or sacrifice; and the
cry of the birds hath an evil sound, for they are full of the flesh of
a man. Therefore I bid thee be wise in time. For all men may err; but
he that keepeth not his folly, but repenteth, doeth well; but
stubbornness cometh to great trouble."

Then the King answered:

"Old man, I know the race of prophets full well, how ye sell your art
for gold. But, make thy trade as thou wilt, this man shall not have
burial; yea, though the eagles of Zeus carry his flesh to their
master's throne in heaven, he shall not have it."

And when the prophet spake again, entreating him, and warning, the
King answered him after the same fashion, that he spake not honestly,
but had sold his art for money.

But at the last the prophet spake in great wrath, saying:

"Know, O King, that before many days shall pass, thou shalt pay a life
for a life, even one of thine own children, for them with whom thou
hast dealt unrighteously, shutting up the living with the dead, and
keeping the dead from them to whom they belong. Therefore the Furies
lie in wait for thee, and thou shalt see whether or no I speak these
things for money. For there shall be mourning and lamentation in thine
own house; and against thy people shall be stirred up many cities. And
now, my child, lead me home, and let this man rage against them that
are younger than I."

So the prophet departed, and the old men were sore afraid, and said:

"He hath spoken terrible things, O King; nor ever since these gray
hairs were black have we known him say that which was false."

"Even so," said the King, "and I am troubled in heart, and yet am
loath to depart from my purpose."

"King Creon," said the old men, "thou needest good counsel."

"What, then, would ye have done?"

"Set free the maiden from the sepulchre, and give this dead man
burial."

Then the King cried to his people that they should bring bars
wherewith to loosen the doors of the sepulchre, and hastened with them
to the place. But coming on their way to the body of Prince Polynices,
they took it up, and washed it, and buried that which remained of it,
and raised over the ashes a great mound of earth. And this being done,
they drew near to the place of the sepulchre; and as they approached,
the King heard within a very piteous voice, and knew it for the voice
of his son. Then he bade his attendants loose the door with all speed;
and when they had loosed it, they beheld within a very piteous sight.
For the maiden Antigone had hanged herself by the girdle of linen
which she wore, and the young man Prince Hæmon stood with his arms
about her dead body, embracing it. And when the King saw him, he cried
to him to come forth; but the Prince glared fiercely upon him and
answered him not a word, but drew his two-edged sword. Then the King,
thinking that his son was minded in his madness to slay him, leapt
back, but the Prince drave the sword into his own heart, and fell
forward on the earth, still holding the dead maiden in his arms. And
when they brought the tidings of these things to Queen Eurydice, the
wife of King Creon and mother to the Prince, she could not endure the
grief, being thus bereaved of her children, but laid hold of a sword,
and slew herself therewith.

So the house of King Creon was left desolate unto him that day,
because he despised the ordinances of the gods.



III

IPHIGENIA


King Agamemnon sat in his tent at Aulis, where the army of the Greeks
was gathered together, being about to sail against the great city of
Troy. It was now past midnight. But the King slept not, for he was
careful and troubled about many things. And he had a lamp before him,
and in his hand a tablet of pine wood, whereon he wrote. But he seemed
not to remain in the same mind about that which he wrote; for now he
would blot out the letters, and then would write them again; and now
he fastened the seal upon the tablet and then brake it. And as he did
this he wept, and was like to a man distracted. But after a while he
called to an old man, his attendant (the man had been given in time
past by Tyndareus to his daughter, Queen Clytæmnestra), and said:

"Old man, thou knowest how Galchas the soothsayer bade me offer for a
sacrifice to Artemis, who is goddess of this place, my daughter
Iphigenia, saying that so only should the army have a prosperous
voyage from this place to Troy, and should take the city and destroy
it; and how when I heard these words I bade Talthybius the herald go
throughout the army and bid them depart, every man to his own country,
for that I would not do this thing; and how my brother, King Menelaus,
persuaded me so that I consented to it. Now, therefore, hearken to
this, for what I am about to tell thee three men only know, namely,
Calchas, the soothsayer, and Menelaus, and Ulysses, King of Ithaca. I
wrote a letter to my wife the Queen, that she should send her daughter
to this place, that she might be married to King Achilles; and I
magnified the man to her, saying that he would in no wise sail with us
unless I would give him my daughter in marriage. But now I have
changed my purpose, and have written another letter after this
fashion, as I will now set forth to thee: 'DAUGHTER OF LEDA, SEND
NOT THY CHILD TO THE LAND OF EUBOEA, FOR I WILL GIVE HER IN MARRIAGE
AT ANOTHER TIME.'"

"Ay," said the old man, "but how wilt thou deal with King Achilles?
Will he not be wroth, hearing that he hath been cheated of his wife?"

"Not so," answered the King, "for we have indeed used his name, but he
knoweth nothing of this marriage. And now make haste. Sit not thou
down by any fountain in the woods, and suffer not thine eyes to sleep.
And beware lest the chariot bearing the Queen and her daughter pass
thee where the roads divide. And see that thou keep the seal upon this
letter unbroken."

So the old man departed with the letter. But scarcely had he left the
tent when King Menelaus spied him and laid hands on him, taking the
letter and breaking the seal. And the old man cried out:

"Help, my lord; here is one hath taken thy letter!"

Then King Agamemnon came forth from his tent, saying:

"What meaneth this uproar and disputing that I hear?"

But even as he spake there came a messenger, saying:

"King Agamemnon, I am come, as thou badest me, with thy daughter
Iphigenia. Also her mother, Queen Clytæmnestra, is come, bringing
with her her little son, Orestes. And now they are resting themselves
and their horses by the side of a spring, for indeed the way is long
and weary. And all the army is gathered about them. And men question
much wherefore they are come, saying, 'Doth the King make a marriage
for his daughter; or hath he sent for her, desiring to see her?'"

King Agamemnon was sore dismayed when he knew that the Queen was come,
and spake to himself:

"Now what shall I say to my wife? For that she is rightly come to the
marriage of her daughter who can deny? But what will she say when she
knoweth my purpose? And of the maiden, what shall I say? Unhappy
maiden whose bridegroom shall be Death! For she will cry to me, 'Wilt
thou kill me, my father?' And the little Orestes will wail, not
knowing what he doeth, seeing he is but a babe."

And now King Menelaus came, saying that he repented, "For why should
thy child die for me? What hath she to do with war? Let the army be
scattered, so that wrong be not done."

Then said King Agamemnon:

"But how shall I escape from this strait? For the whole host will
compel me to this deed?"

"Not so," said King Menelaus, "if thou wilt send back the maiden to
Argos."

"But what shall that profit," said the King; "for Calchas will cause
the matter to be known; or Ulysses, saying that I have failed of my
promise; and if I fly to Argos, they will come and destroy my city and
lay waste my land. Woe is me! in what a strait am I set! But take
care, my brother, that Clytæmnestra hear nothing of these things."

When he had ended speaking, the Queen herself came unto the tent,
riding in a chariot, having her daughter by her side. And she bade one
of the attendants take out with care the caskets which she had brought
for her daughter and bade others help her daughter to alight, and
herself also, and to a fourth she said that he should take the young
Orestes. Then Iphigenia greeted her father, saying:

"Thou hast done well to send for me, my father."

"'Tis true and yet not true, my child."

"Thou lookest not well pleased to see me, my father."

"He that is a king and commandeth a host hath many cares."

"Put away thy cares awhile, and give thyself to me."

"I am glad beyond measure to see thee."

"Glad art thou? Then why dost thou weep?"

"I weep because thou must be long time absent from me."

"Perish all these fightings and troubles!"

"They will cause many to perish, and me most miserably of all."

"Art thou going a journey from me, my father?"

"Ay, and thou also hast a journey to make."

"Must I make it alone, or with my mother?"

"Alone; neither father nor mother may be with thee."

"Sendest thou me to dwell elsewhere?"

"Hold thy peace: such things are not for maidens to inquire."

"Well, my father, order matters with the Phrygians, and then make
haste to return."

"I must first make a sacrifice to the gods."

"'Tis well. The gods should have due honour."

"Ay, and thou wilt stand close to the altar."

"Shall I lead the dances, my father?"

"O my child, how I envy thee, that thou knowest naught! And now go
into the tent; but first kiss me, and give me thy hand, for thou shalt
be parted from thy father for many days."

And when she was gone within, he cried:

"O fair bosom and very lovely cheeks and yellow hair of my child! O
city of Priam, what woe thou bringest on me! But I must say no more."

Then he turned to the Queen, and excused himself that he wept when he
should rather have rejoiced for the marriage of his daughter. And when
the Queen would know of the estate of the bridegroom, he told her that
his name was Achilles, and that he was the son of Peleus and Thetis,
daughter of Nereus of the sea, and that he dwelt in Phthia. And when
she inquired of the time of the marriage, he said that it should be in
the same moon, on the first lucky day; and as to the place, that it
must be where the bridegroom was sojourning, that is to say, in the
camp. "And I," said the King, "will give the maiden to her husband."

"But where," answered the Queen, "is it your pleasure that I should
be?"

"Thou must return to Argos, and care for the maidens there."

"Sayest thou that I return? Who then will hold up the torch for the
bride?"

"I will do that which is needful. For it is not seemly that thou
shouldst be present where the whole army is gathered together."

"Ay, but it is seemly that a mother should give her daughter in
marriage."

"But the maidens at home should not be left alone."

"They are well kept."

"Be persuaded, lady."

"Not so; thou shalt order that which is without the house, but I that
which is within."

But now came Achilles, to tell the King that the army was growing
impatient, saying, that unless they might sail speedily, they would
return each man to his home. And when the Queen heard his name--for he
had said to the attendant, "Tell thy master that Achilles, the son of
Peleus, would speak with him"--she came forth from the tent and
greeted him, and bade him give her his right hand. And when the young
man was abashed she said:

"But why art thou abashed, seeing that thou art about to marry my
daughter?"

And he answered:

"What sayest thou, lady? I cannot speak for wonder at thy words."

"Often men are ashamed when they see new friends, and the talk is of
marriage."

"But lady, I never was suitor for thy daughter. Nor have the sons of
Atreus said aught to me of the matter."

The Queen was beyond measure astonished, and cried:

"Now this is shameful indeed, that I should seek a bridegroom for my
daughter in such fashion."

But when Achilles would have departed, to inquire of the King what
this thing might mean, the old man that had at the first carried the
letter came forth, and bade him stay. And when he had assurance that
he would receive no harm for what he should tell them, he unfolded
the whole matter. And when the Queen had heard it, she cried to
Achilles:

"O son of Thetis of the sea! help me now in this strait, and help this
maiden that hath been called thy bride! 'Twill be a shame to thee if
such wrong be done under thy name; for it is thy name that hath undone
us. Nor have I any altar to which I may flee, nor any friend but thee
only in this army."

Then Achilles made answer:

"Lady, I learnt from the most righteous of men to be true and honest.
Know, then, that thy daughter, seeing that she hath been given, though
but in word only, to me, shall not be slain by her father. For if she
so die, then shall my name be brought to great dishonour, since
through it thou hast been persuaded to come with her to this place.
This sword shall see right soon whether anyone will dare to take this
maiden from me."

And now King Agamemnon came forth, saying that all things were ready
for the marriage, and that they waited for the maiden.

"Tell me," cried the Queen, "dost thou purpose to slay thy daughter
and mine?" And when he was silent, not knowing, indeed, what to say,
she reproached him with many words, that she had been a loving and
faithful wife to him, for which he made an ill recompense slaying her
child.

And when she had made an end of speaking, the maiden came forth from
the tent, holding the young child Orestes in her arms, and cast
herself upon her knees before her father, and besought him, saying:

"I would, my father, that I had the voice of Orpheus, who made even
the rocks to follow him, that I might persuade thee; but now all that
I have I give, even these tears. O my father, I am thy child; slay me
not before my time. This light is sweet to look upon. Drive me not
from it to the land of darkness. I was the first to call thee father;
and the first to whom thou didst say 'my child.' And thou wouldst say
to me, 'Some day, my child, I shall see thee a happy wife in the home
of a husband.' And I would answer, 'And I will receive thee with all
love when thou art old, and pay thee back for all the benefits thou
hast done unto me.' This I indeed remember, but thou forgettest; for
thou art ready to slay me. Do it not, I beseech thee, by Pelops thy
grandsire, and Atreus thy father, and this my mother. And thou, O my
brother, though thou art but a babe, help me. Weep with me; beseech
thy father that he slay not thy sister. O my father, though he be
silent, yet, indeed, he beseecheth thee. For his sake, therefore, yea,
and for mine own, have pity upon me, and slay me not."

But the King was sore distracted, knowing not what he should say or
do, for a terrible necessity was upon him, seeing that the army could
not make their journey to Troy unless this deed should first be done.
And while he doubted came Achilles, saying that there was a horrible
tumult in the camp, the men crying out that the maiden must be
sacrificed, and that when he would have stayed them from their
purpose, the people had stoned him with stones. Nevertheless, he said
that he would fight for the maiden, even to the utmost; and that there
were faithful men who would stand with and help him. But when the
maiden heard these words, she stood forth and said:

"Hearken, my mother. Be not wroth with my father, for we cannot fight
against Fate. Also we must take thought that this young man suffer
not, for his help will avail naught, and he himself will perish.
Therefore I am resolved to die. All Greece looketh to me. Without me
the ships cannot make their voyage, nor the city of Troy be taken.
Wherefore I will give myself for the people. Offer me for an offering;
and let the Greeks take the city of Troy, for this shall be my
memorial for ever."

Then said Achilles:

"Lady, I should count myself most happy if the gods would grant thee
to be my wife. For I love thee well, when I see thee how noble thou
art. And if thou wilt, I will carry thee to my home. And I doubt not
that I shall save thee, though all the men of Greece be against me."

But the maiden answered:

"What I say, I say with full purpose. Nor will I that any man should
die for me, but rather will I save this land of Greece."

And Achilles said:

"If this be thy will, lady, I cannot say nay. It is a noble thing that
thou doest."

Nor was the maiden turned from her purpose though her mother besought
her with many tears. So they that were appointed led her to the grove
of Artemis, where there was built an altar, and the whole army of the
Greeks gathered about. When the King saw her going to her death he
covered his face with his mantle; but she stood by him, and said:

"I give my body with a willing heart to die for my country and for the
whole land of Greece. I pray the gods that ye may prosper, and win the
victory in this war, and come back safe to your homes. And now let no
man touch me, for I will offer my neck to the sword with a good
heart."

And all men marvelled to see the maiden of what a good courage she
was. Then the herald Talthybius stood in the midst and commanded
silence to the people; and Calchas the soothsayer put a garland about
her head, and drew a sharp knife from his sheath. And all the army
stood regarding the maiden and the priest and the altar.

Then there befell a marvellous thing. Calchas struck with his knife,
for the sound of the stroke all men heard, but the maiden was not
there. Whither she had gone no one knew; but in her stead there lay a
great hind, and all the altar was red with the blood thereof.

And Calchas said:

"See ye this, men of Greece, how the goddess hath provided this
offering in the place of the maiden, for she would not that her altar
should be defiled with innocent blood. Be of good courage, therefore,
and depart every man to his ship, for this day ye shall sail across
the sea to the land of Troy."



IV

PAULA


In the city of Rome when its imperial strength had faded, to seek
pleasure and to give one's self to display had taken the place of
honest work and sober duty. The time of which we speak was the fourth
century. Affairs of government had been moved to Constantinople, and
the effects of the conduct of great matters in their midst was thus
denied the Romans.

The populace, fed for ages on public doles and the terrible gaiety of
gladiatorial shows had become thoroughly debased, and unable to work
out their own bettering. The persons having riches were likewise
degraded by a life of luxury and senseless extravagance. Men of that
type aired themselves in lofty chariots, lazily reclining and showing
to advantage their carefully curled hair, robes of silk embroidery and
tissue of gold, to excite the admiration and envy of plainer livers.
Their horses' harness would be covered with ornaments of gold, their
coachmen armed with a golden wand instead of whip, and troups of
slaves, parasites and other servitors would dance attendance about
them. With such display the poor rich creatures would pass through the
streets, pushing out of the way or trampling and crushing to the dust
whomsoever they might chance to meet--very much as some automobilists
act to-day. Brutality and senseless show always are hand in glove with
each other.

The rich women of Rome well matched such men. Their very shoes
crackled under their feet from excess of gold and silver ornament.
Their dresses of cloth-of-gold or other expensive stuff were so heavy
that the wearers could hardly walk, even with the aid of attendants.
Their faces were often painted and their hair dyed and mounted high on
the head in monstrous shapes and designs.

Creeping into such a life as we have just been describing came the
pure and simple precepts of Jesus--and they doubtless found many a
soul athirst and sick with folly and coarse regard for riches. For
years the Christians had been persecuted and many of their number
gaining the strength that poverty and persecution bring. In opposition
to the luxury-loving spirit, also, had risen among a number an austere
denial of all pleasure, and such persons sought a solitary life in a
cave or other retired spot. The deserts were mined with caverns and
holes in the sand in which hermits dwelt, picking up food as best they
might, their bones rattling in a skin blackened by exposure--they were
starving, praying and agonising for the salvation of their own souls
and for a world sunk in luxury and wickedness.

Now and then one of these hermits would leave his country solitariness
and go to some city with a mission of converting vice to virtue. Among
these was a man whom we know as Jerome, or Saint Jerome. He was a
native of a village on the slope of the Illyrian Alps, and his full
name was Eusebius Hieronymus. Inflamed with a zeal for doing great
works, loving controversy and harsh and strong in conflict, Jerome
sought Rome after years of study and prayer in the desert. In Rome he
came to be a frequenter of a palace on the Aventine in which a number
of rich and influential women held meetings for Christian teaching and
sought a truer and purer life.

Of all these women we best know Paula. No fine lady of that day was
more exquisite, more fastidious, more splendid than she. She could not
walk abroad without the support of servants, nor cross the marble
floor from one silken couch to another, so heavily was gold interwoven
in the tissue of her dresses. Her eldest daughter, Blæsilla, a widow
at twenty, was a Roman exquisite, loving everything soft and
luxurious. It was said of her that she spent entire days before her
mirror giving herself to personal decoration--to the tower of curls on
her head and the touch of rouge on her cheeks. Paula's second
daughter, Paulina, had married a young patrician who was Christian.

The third member of the family, a girl of sixteen, was Eustochium, a
character strongly contrasting with her beautiful mother and sister.
Even in early years she had fixed her choice upon a secluded life and
shown herself untouched by the gaudy luxury about her. And to this the
following pretty story will bear witness. An aunt of hers was
Prætextata, wife of a high official of the Emperor Julian, and like
the Emperor a follower of the old faith in the gods rather than the
new faith in the teachings of Jesus. The family of Paula were,
however, as we said, Christian.

This aunt Prætextata saw with some impatience and anger what she
considered the artificial gravity of her youthful niece, and when she
heard that the maid had said she intended never to marry, and purposed
to withdraw from the world, she invited Eustochium to her house on a
visit. The young vestal donned her brown gown, the habit of humility,
and all unsuspicious sought her aunt. She had scarcely found herself
within the house, however, before she was seized by favourite maids,
who were interested in the plot. They loosed Eustochium's long hair
and elaborated it in curls and plaits; they took away her little brown
gown and covered her with silk and cloth-of-gold; they hung upon her
precious ornaments, and finally led her to the mirror to dazzle her
eyes with the reflection she would find in the polished surface.

The little maid with the Greek name and pure heart, let them turn her
round and round and praise her fresh and youthful beauty. But she was
a girl who knew her mind, and was blessed with a natural seriousness.
Her aunt's household she permitted to have their pleasure that day.
Then again she donned her little brown gown; and wore the habit all
her life.

To return to Jerome: he had hardly arrived in Rome when he was made
secretary of a council held in that city by ecclesiastics in the year
382. During his stay he dwelt in the house upon the Aventine in which
such women as Paula had been meeting. The little community were now
giving up their excessive luxuries and were devoting their time and
income to good works, to visiting the poor, tending the sick and
founding the first hospitals. To the man of the desert the gentle life
must have been more agreeable. In this retreat he accomplished the
first portion of his great work, the first authoritative translation
of the entire Canon of Scripture--the Vulgate--so named when the Latin
of Jerome was the language of the crowd.

But he did not work alone. Paula and other women of the community
helped in the translation. They studied with enthusiasm the
Scriptures in Hebrew and in Greek; they discussed phrases difficult of
understanding, and often held their own opinions against the learned
Jerome whose scribes they were willing to be.

Thus began the friendship between Paula and Jerome, which was deepened
by the death of Blæsilla. This eldest daughter of Paula had a serious
illness. One night, in a dream or vision, Jesus seemed to appear to
her and take her by the hand and say, "Arise, come forth." Waking, she
seemed to sit at the table like Mary of Bethany. From that night her
whole life was changed. She gathered together her embroidered robes
and her jewels and sold them for the poor. Instead of torturing her
head with a mitre of curls, she wore a simple veil. A woollen cord,
dark linen gown and common shoes replaced the gold embroidered girdle,
the glistening silks and the golden-heeled shoes. She slept upon a
hard couch. Like others of her family she was finely intelligent, and
she became one of the "apprentices" of Jerome, who wrote for her a
commentary on the book of Ecclesiastes, "Vanity of Vanities."

Her conversion was enduring, but her health failed. In a few months
another attack of fever laid her low. Her funeral was magnificent.
Paula, according to Roman custom, accompanied her child's body to the
tomb of her ancestors, wild with grief, lamenting, and, at last,
fainting, so that she was borne away as one dead.

The people were enraged. They accused Jerome, and other "detestable
monks" of killing the young widow with austerities. "Let them," they
said; "be stoned and thrown into the Tiber."

For days Paula wept and refused to see her friends. Jerome, because he
had understood, loved and reverenced her child, she consented to
admit. Paula listened to his telling her that she "refused nourishment
not from love of fasting, but from love of sorrow"; that "the spirit
of God descends only upon the humble," and she arose and went forth.
Nothing ever interrupted the friendship which from that time made the
joy of her life and of Jerome's.

It was in the summer of 385, nearly three years after his coming to
Rome, and not a year after the death of Blæsilla, that Jerome left
"Babylon," as he called the tumultuous city. An affectionate company
followed him to the seaport. Soon after Paula prepared for her
departure, dividing her patrimony among her children. Her daughter,
Paulina, was now married to a good and faithful husband, and these two
undertook the charge and rearing of their youngest sister and the
little Toxotius, a boy of ten. The grave young Eustochium, her head
now covered by the veil of the devotee, clung to her mother's side, a
serene figure in the midst of all the misunderstanding and agitation
of the parting.

Friends poured forth from the city to accompany them to the port, and
all the way along the winding banks of the Tiber they plied Paula with
entreaties and reproaches and tears. She made no answer. She was at
all times slow to speak, the chronicle tells us. She freighted a ship
at the port, Ostia, and retained her self-command until the vessel
began to move from the shore where stood her son Toxotius stretching
out his hands to her in last appeal, and by his side his sister
Rufina, with wistful eyes. Paula's heart was like to burst. She turned
her eyes away, unable to bear the sight, and would have fallen but
for the support of the firm Eustochium standing by her mother's side.

The rich Roman lady, luxury-loving, had become a pilgrim. She had,
however, according to the interpretation of the Christian spirit of
that day, in renouncing her former life and all its belongings, set
aside natural ties. Now she was going forth to make herself a home in
the solitude of Bethlehem.

Her ship was occupied by her own party alone, and carried much baggage
for this emigration for life. It came, hindered by no storms, to
Cyprus, where old friends received Paula with honour, and conducted
her to visit monks and nuns in their new establishments. She afterward
proceeded to Antioch, where Jerome joined the party, and then along
the coast of Tyre and Sidon, by Herod's splendid city of Cæsarea and
by Joppa rich with memories of the early apostles of their faith.
Paula, the pilgrim, was no longer a tottering fine lady, but a strong,
animated, interested traveller.

The little company continued on their tour for a year. They first
paused, at Jerusalem, and here the tender, enthusiasm of Paula found
its fullest expression. She went in a rapture of tears and exaltation
from one to another of the sacred sites. She kissed the broken stone
which was supposed to have been that rolled against the door of the
Holy Sepulchre, and trod with pious awe the path to the cave where the
True Cross was found. The legend of Helena's finding the cross was
still fresh in those days, and doubts there were none.

The ecstasies and joy of Paula, which found their expression in
rapturous prayers and tears, moved all Jerusalem. The city was
thronged with pilgrims, and the great Roman lady became their wonder.
The crowd followed her from point to point, marvelling at her frank
emotion and the warmth of her natural feeling.

From Jerusalem the party set out to journey through the storied
deserts of Syria. This was in the year 387. They stopped everywhere to
visit those monasteries built in awful passes of the rocks and upon
stony wastes that the penance of the indwellers might be the greater.
They found shelter with tanned and weather-beaten hermits in their
holes and caverns. They poured upon them enthusiastic admiration, and
shared with them their Arab bread and clotted milk, and also gave many
an alm. Paula fascinated by the desert, would stay there and found a
convent. But Jerome prevailed upon her to turn toward Jerusalem.

Thus they came to green Bethlehem, and the calm sweetness of the place
and its pleasant fields smote their hearts. Here they determined to
settle and build two convents--Jerome's upon the hill near the western
gate and Paula's upon the smiling level below. He is said to have sold
all that he had, and all that his brother, his faithful and constant
companion, had, to gain money for the expense of his building. Paula,
doubtless, had ample means from her former great wealth. Indeed, after
her own was builded she had two other convents put up near by, and
these were soon filled with devotees.

Also, she built a hospice for the reception of travellers, so that, as
she said with tender smile and tears in eyes, "If Joseph and Mary
should return to Jerusalem, they might be sure of finding room for
them in the inn." This gentle speech shines like a gleam of light upon
the little holy city, and shows us the noble, natural kindness of
Paula, and how profoundly she had been moved by associations to her
most sacred and holy. Every poor pilgrim passing her door must to her
sympathetic heart have had some semblance to that simple pair who
carried the Light of the World to David's little town among the hills.

Paula now laying aside wholly the luxurious habits of her life, set
the example of simple and industrious living by washing floors and
cleaning lamps and other household work. But she was far from ceasing
her studies.

Jerome every day laboured at his great translation, and Paula and
Eustochium copied, compared and criticised his daily labours. A great
part of the Vulgate he had completed in Rome. His two friends had,
doubtless, shared his studies during their long journey. They now read
with him every day a portion of the Scriptures in the original; and it
was at their entreaty and with their help that he began the
translation of the Psalms. The following is a sympathetic description
of the method of this work as it was carried out in the rocky chamber
at Bethlehem, or in the convent close by:

    His two friends charged themselves with the task of collecting
    all the materials, and this edition, prepared by their care, is
    that which remains in the Church under Jerome's name.... It is
    pleasant to think of the two noble Roman ladies seated before
    the vast desk upon which were spread the numerous manuscripts,
    Greek, Hebrew and Latin... whilst they examined and compared,
    reducing to order under their hands, with piety and joy, that
    Psalter of St. Jerome which is still sung to-day.

So on a whole their days passed in fruitful labour. Jerome held a
school for boys and young men, in which he taught the classics. But
his great work, and the great work of Paula and Eustochium, was the
translation of the Bible into what was then the speech of the people.
For this they spared no pains nor costs. They must have found a quiet
happiness above all they had calculated in this work. Their minds and
thoughts must have been held by the charm of the noble poetry, by the
puzzle of words to be cleared and read aright, by the constant
interest of accomplishment that every sunrise brought to them, and
brings ever to steadfast workers in these days.

And so they dwelt, the gentle Paula, a woman of courtesy, high spirit,
steadfastness and gracious, sprightly humour; Eustochium, the grave
young daughter who never left her mother's side, whose gentle shadow
is one with her mother's; and Jerome, the greatest writer of his time,
the mighty controversialist, a man evidently a well of force and
sympathy, the kind friend and fellow-worker. Every day the three had
conferences as to the most accurate renderings possible, and at all
times the greatest respect for the scholarship and acuteness of one
another. Amid them was the pleasant stir of independent opinion.

In the books that went forth from that seclusion in Bethlehem we find
such an inscription as this:

    You, Paula, and Eustochium, who have studied so deeply the books
    of the Hebrews, take it, this book of Esther, and test it word
    by word; you can tell whether anything is added, anything
    withdrawn: and can bear faithful witness whether I have rendered
    aright in Latin this Hebrew history.

Between these zealous workers in Bethlehem and the old Christian
friends in Rome letters were constantly passing. And as the years of
her absence grew, Paula, in time, heard of the marriage of Toxotius,
who, a little boy of ten, had held out begging hands to her as her
ship set sail from the port of Rome. Anon came the joyful news that a
daughter had been born and named after her grandmother, Paula. The
baby's mother, Leta, looking forward with early longings for the
child's future, at once wrote to Jerome about the education of the
little one.

The great writer's first thought, amidst his joyous congratulations,
is the probable conversion of the baby's maternal grandfather,
Albinus, a follower of the old gods.

"Albinus is already a candidate for the faith," he writes, "a crowd of
sons and grandsons besiege him. I believe, on my part, that if Jupiter
himself had such a family he would be converted to Jesus Christ."

Then Jerome gives, with tender detail, the counsels as to education
for which Leta had asked. But he adds:

    "It will be difficult to bring up thy little daughter thus at
    Rome. Send her to Bethlehem; she will repose in the manger of
    Jesus. Eustochium wishes for her; trust the little one with her.
    Let this new Paula be cradled on the bosom of her grandmother.
    Send her to me; I will carry her on my shoulders, old man as I
    am. I will make myself a child with her; I will lisp to fit her
    speech; and, believe me, I shall be prouder of my employment
    than ever Aristotle was of his" [as tutor to Alexander.]

The invitation was accepted. In a few years the little maiden was
indeed sent to Bethlehem, though not till after the death of her
grandmother Paula. And it was the child, the younger Paula, who at
last closed the eyes of Jerome.

Paula, the grandmother, did not live long after the birth of her
namesake. Her last illness was beginning. Eustochium watched her night
and day, entrusting to no one else the tender last cares--sustaining
the drooping head, warming the cold feet, feeding the weakened body,
and making the invalid's bed. If the mother fell asleep for a little
while, the daughter would go for prayers to the Manger, close at hand
and sanctified by its tender associations of motherhood.

But the precious life was slowly ebbing away. Knowing that her end was
near, Paula began to repeat with great joy the verses of the Psalms
she knew so well:

    "Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place
    where Thine honour dwelleth!"; "How amiable are Thy tabernacles,
    O Lord God of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, fainteth, for the
    courts of the house of my God."; "Better to be a doorkeeper in
    the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."

When she had finished, she began to say these songs of the threshold
over again. She did not answer when spoken to, until Jerome came and
asked gently why she did not speak and if she suffered. Then she
answered in Greek, the language of her father and of her childhood,
that she had no discomfort, but was "beholding in a vision all quiet
and tranquil things." "I feel already an infinite peace," she said.
And still she continued to murmur at intervals the words of that
ancient song of pilgrimage until her voice grew fainter and fainter,
and with the sigh of longing for God's presence on her lips she
entered it forever.

All Palestine may be said to have assisted at her funeral. A chorus of
psalms and lamentations sounded forth in all languages--Hebrew, Greek,
Latin. Hermits crept out of their caves, and monks came in throngs
from their monasteries to bewail their generous friend, this great
Roman lady, this devoted Christian. During her last days bishops from
the neighbouring dioceses had gathered round her and her coffin was
borne on their heads into the basilica of the Manger.

And there all the poor, the widowed and orphans lamented "their
foster-mother," "their mother," and showed the gifts she had given
them and the garments she had made for them. Eustochium could with
difficulty be prevailed to leave her. She stayed kissing the cold
lips, and at last, her grief breaking through the usual calm of her
life, throwing her arms about the unconscious form and praying to be
buried beside her.

Paula died at fifty-six. She had spent the last eighteen years of her
life in Palestine.

Jerome, for the first time in his laborious life, lost his appetite
for work. He could do no more. "I have been able to do nothing, not
even from the Scriptures, since the death of the holy and gracious
Paula," he wrote. "Grief overwhelms me."

Eustochium, with the instinct of true affection, drew him out of this
stupor by inducing him to write a memoir of her mother for her. In two
sleepless nights he dictated it. "He could not write himself. Each
time that he took up the tablets his fingers stiffened and the stylus
fell from his hand. He could not dwell," he said, "on her great
pedigree from the Scipios, the Gracchi, from Agamemnon, nor on her
splendid opulence and her palace at Rome. She had preferred Bethlehem
to Rome. Her praise was that she died poorer than the poorest she had
succoured. At Rome she had not been known beyond Rome. At Bethlehem
all Christendom, Roman and barbarian, revered her."

"We weep not her loss; we thank God to have had her. Nay! we have her
always, for all live by the spirit of God; and the elect who ascend to
Him remain still always in the family of those He loves."

Eustochium quietly took up the guidance of her mother's convents and
hospice and gently urged Jerome to resume his work. Writing almost
countless letters, translating and commenting on the Scriptures he
passed still many years, and at last, dying, at his own wish his body
was buried in a hollow of the rocks at Bethlehem. To this day, it is
said, his name can still be traced graven in the rock.

In the fifteen hundred years that have passed since the death of
Paula, the homes of piety and charity established by her strength and
love have been swept away. No tradition even of their site is left.
But with one storied chamber is connected a warm interest. It is the
rocky room, in one of the half caves, half excavations, close to that
of the Nativity, and communicating with it by rudely hewn stairs and
passages. In this, the legend runs, Jerome established himself while
his convent was building. He called it his paradise. Sunlit from
above, with prayer and the music of alleluias sounding there night and
day, brightened by the glow of the pure affections of Paula and
Eustochium and sanctified by their great work, from it flowed rivers
of water to refresh the earth.



V

JOAN OF ARC


On the 6th of January, 1412, Jeanne d'Arc, or, as we call her, Joan of
Arc, was born at Domremy, a little village on the left bank of the
Meuse, on land belonging to the French crown. Her parents, Jacques
d'Arc and Isabelle Romée, were simple peasants, "of good life and
reputation," who brought up their children to work hard, fear God and
honour the saints. Besides Joan, they had four children--three sons,
Jacques, Jean and Pierre, and a daughter, Catherine.

Joan's native valley was fair and fertile. The low hills that bounded
it were covered with thick forests, and the rich meadows along the
Meuse were gay with flowers, which gave to the chief town in the
district its name of Vaucouleurs, _Vallis colorum_. Domremy, built on
a slope, touched upon those flowery meadows, but over the hill behind
it spread an ancient oakwood, the _Bois Chesnu_ of legend and
prophecy. Between the forest and the village rose solitary a great
beech, "beautiful as a lily," about which the country people told a
thousand tales. They called it the "Fairies' Tree," the "Tree of the
Ladies," the "Beautiful May." In old times the fairies had danced
round it, and under its shadow a noble knight had formerly dared to
meet and talk with an elfin lady.

But now, in Joan's time, the presence of the fairies was less
certain, for the priest of Domremy came once a year to say mass under
the tree, and exorcise it and a spring that bubbled up close by. On
festival days the young villagers hung it with garlands, danced and
played round it, and rested under its boughs to eat certain cakes
which their mothers had made for them. During her childhood, Joan
brought her cakes and garlands like the rest, danced with them, and
sang more than she danced; but as she grew older, she would steal away
and carry her flowers to the neighbouring chapel of Our Lady of
Domremy.

Her early years were, considering the times, quiet and peaceful. With
the war raging between English and French and their allies, to its
west and north, Domremy had comparatively little to do. News of
English successes, of French defeats, and the sorrows of the French
King, were brought by fugitives from the war, by travelling monks, and
other wanderers. Joan helped to receive those wayfarers, waited on
them, gave up her own bed to them sometimes; and what they told of the
woes of France she heard with intense sympathy, and pondered in her
heart.

Her bringing up fitted her for the tender fulfilling of all womanly
duties. Unlike most girls of her class, she had few outdoor tasks, but
spent most of her time at her mother's side, doing the work of the
house, learning to sew and spin, to repeat the Belief, and the legends
of the saints. Her work done, her dearest pleasure was to go to the
village church, which was close to her father's cottage, and there
kneel in prayer, gaze on the pictured angels, or listen to the bells
calling the faithful to worship: she had always a peculiar delight in
the sound of church bells. She fasted regularly, and went often to
confession; so often, that her young companions were inclined to jest
at her devotion, and even her chosen friends, Haumette and Mengette,
half-scolded her for being over-religious. But her faith bore sound
fruit. The little money she got she gave in alms. She nursed the sick,
she was gentle to the young and weak, obedient to her parents, kind to
all. "There was no one like her in the village," said her priest. "She
was a good girl," testified an old peasant, "such a daughter as I
would gladly have had." A good girl, indeed: they were pure and
helpful hands that for a while held the fate of France.

There was a prophecy current during that unhappy time--an old prophecy
of Merlin--which the suffering people had taken and applied to their
own day and their own need. "The kingdom, lost by a woman, was to be
saved by a woman." The woman who had lost it was Isabeau, of Bavaria,
the wicked queen, the false wife of Charles VI, the unnatural mother.
Who was she that should save it? In the east of France it was said
that the deliverer would be a maid from the marshes of Lorraine.

Joan knew the ancient prophecy, and in her young mind it became
blended with legends of the saints, with stories of Bible heroines,
with her own ardent faith and high aspirations. She loved more and
more to be alone. Night and day the wonderful child brooded on the
sorrows of France. She sent out her vague hopes and yearnings in tears
and prayers, and passionate thoughts that were prayers, and they all
came back to her with form and sound, in the visions and voices that
were henceforth to be the rulers of her life.

They came first when she was thirteen years old. On a summer's day,
at noon, she was in her father's garden, when suddenly by the church
there appeared a great light, and out of the light a voice spoke to
her, "Joan, be a good child; go often to church." She was frightened
then, but both voice and brightness came again and again, and grew
dear and familiar. Noble shapes appeared in the glory. St. Michael
showed himself to her; St. Catherine and St. Margaret bent over her
their radiant heads, bidding her "be good; trust in God." They told
her of "the sorrow there was in the kingdom of France," and warned her
that one day it would be her mission to go and carry help to the King.

While to outward eyes she lived as usual, she had a life apart, given
to God and her saints. She vowed her virginity to Heaven, but of her
vow and the visions that had led her to it she told no one, not even
the priest. Her meditations, her prayers and unearthly friendships,
made of her no sickly dreamer nor hot brained fanatic. She grew up
strong, tall and handsome, with a healthy mind in her healthy body.

Meanwhile the dangers of France darkened and thickened. The war was
pushing southward; the English leader, Salisbury, was on his way to
Orleans; the French King, Charles, poor, indolent, ill-advised, was
deliberating whether he should retreat into Dauphiné, or Spain, or
Scotland.

Joan's voices grew more frequent and more urgent. Their word now was
always, "Go--go into France!" At last they had told her the way: "Go
to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudricourt, the governor; he will give
you men-at-arms, and send you to the King."

It was now that Joan's trial began. While her beautiful visitors had
spoken vaguely of some "deliverance" she was to bring about in the
future, she had listened with trembling joy. But now they had plainly
shown her the distasteful first step, and for a moment she shrank from
taking it. How could a peasant brave the governor of Vaucouleurs? How
was a modest girl to venture among rude men-at-arms? How could a
dutiful child leave her parents and her home?

"Alas!" she pleaded, "I am a poor girl; I know neither how to ride nor
how to fight." She had a short, hard struggle with her own weakness,
but the voices did not alter, and she set herself to do their bidding.

Her uncle, Durant Laxart, with whom she evidently was a favourite,
lived at a village near Vaucouleurs, and in May, 1428, she went to his
house for a visit. After a few days she confided to him something of
her plans, reminding him of the old prophecy of Merlin, but never
speaking of her visions. With much difficulty she prevailed on him to
help her. He went with her to Vaucouleurs, and before the governor, to
whom she made known her errand.

"Send and tell the Dauphin," she said, "to wait and not offer battle
to his enemies, because God will give him help before mid-Lent. The
kingdom belongs not to the Dauphin, but to my Lord; but my Lord wills
that the Dauphin shall be king, and hold it in trust. In spite of his
enemies he shall be king, and I myself shall lead him to be crowned."

"And who is your Lord?" demanded Baudricourt. She answered, "The King
of Heaven."

The governor, a rough and practical soldier, laughed at the young
peasant in her coarse red dress, and bade her uncle chastise her well,
and take her home to her father.

She returned to Domremy with her heart more than ever fixed on the
work she had before her. Now and again she let fall words that
revealed enough to make her parents anxious and fearful. Her father
dreamed that she had gone away with the soldiers. "If I thought such a
thing could happen," he said to her brothers, "I would bid you drown
her, and if you refused, I would drown her myself." But she was of a
marriageable age; why should she not marry, stay at home, and bring up
children, like other women? A lover came forward, a bold one, who,
when she rejected him, summoned her before the court at Toul,
declaring that she had promised to be his wife. But she went before
the judges, spoke out bravely, and defeated her persevering suitor.

As the months passed, her longing increased to be gone and do her
voices' bidding. Once more she obtained her uncle's help. His wife was
ill, and he came to Domremy and got leave for Joan to go back with him
and nurse her. She went, keeping secret the real end of her journey.
"If I had had a hundred fathers and a hundred mothers," she said
later, "and if I had been a king's daughter, I should have gone." She
took leave of her companion Mengette, but to Haumette, her dearer
friend, she would not trust herself to say farewell. Her uncle took
her to Vaucouleurs, and gave her in charge of a wheelwright's wife,
Catherine Royer, with whom she lived for some weeks. She went
constantly to church, she helped her hostess in the house, and was
gentle and obedient. At the same time, she spoke frankly of her
mission to any who chose to hear.

She again went to the governor, who received her no better than
before. But she was not cast down.

"I must go to the Dauphin," she said, "though I should go on my
knees."

Many people went to see her, among others a brave gentleman of Metz,
Jean de Novelonpont.

"What are you doing here, my child?" he asked her, jestingly. "Shall
the King be driven out of France, and must we all turn English?"

"I am come to this royal city," she answered, "to bid Robert de
Baudricourt take or send me to the King, but he does not heed my
words; and yet before mid-Lent I must be before the King, though I
should wear away my legs to the knees. For no one else in the world,
neither kings, nor dukes, can recover the kingdom of France, and there
is no help but in me. And, indeed, I would rather spin with my poor
mother, for this is not my calling; but I must go and do it, for it is
my Lord's will."

Like Baudricourt, the knight asked her:

"Who is your lord?"

And she answered, "He is God."

But, unlike Baudricourt, he was touched by her words. In the old
feudal fashion, he laid his hands within hers and vowed that, by God's
help, he would take her to the King. Another worthy gentleman,
Bertrand de Poulengy, gave a like promise.

Baudricourt was now forced to listen to Joan. The people of
Vaucouleurs believed in her with the ready faith of that time, and she
had at least two of his own class to take her part. But those voices
of hers, were they of God or of the Devil? Was she witch or saint? The
governor, like many another good soldier, had some weakness of
superstition. He went to see her, taking with him a priest, who began
to exorcise her, bidding her avaunt if she were of the Evil One. Joan
approached the priest and knelt before him, honouring not him, but his
office; for, as she said afterwards, he had not done well; he should
have known that no evil spirit spoke by her.

While she was waiting Baudricourt's pleasure, the Duke of Lorraine,
who was ill at Nancy, heard of her, and, hoping for the revelation of
some cure, desired to see her. He sent her a safe-conduct, and she
went to Nancy under care of her uncle. But she knew only what her
voices taught, and she had no power to cure any ills but those of
France. This she told the Duke, promising him her prayers, and begging
him to aid in her enterprise. He sent her back honourably, but did not
pledge himself to the royal cause.

The people of Vaucouleurs came forward to help Joan. They gave her a
horse, and the dress and equipment of a soldier; for as she was to
travel with men, she wisely chose to wear man's attire. Baudricourt
still doubted and delayed. The people she was sojourning with pitied
her anxiety. On the day of the battle of Rouvray she went to the
governor.

"In God's name," she said, "you are too slow about sending me. To-day
the Dauphin has suffered great loss near Orleans, and he is in danger
of yet greater if you do not send me to him soon."

At last he yielded to her urgency. He gave her a sword and a letter to
the King, and let her prepare to depart. Bertrand de Poulengy, Jean de
Novelonpont, and four armed men of lesser rank were to accompany her.
She did not see her parents to bid them farewell, but she sent them a
letter, entreating them to pardon her. She spoke cheerily to those who
were afraid for her safety. God and "her brothers of Paradise" would
guard her and her little escort on their dangerous journey.

On February 23, 1429, they set out, Baudricourt bidding her "Go, come
of it what may."

Her most timid well-wisher could hardly have exaggerated the perils of
the journey. More than half of it was through the enemy's country,
where there was continual risk of being stopped and questioned. The
rivers, swollen by the winter rains, were unfordable; therefore the
travellers had to cross over bridges in full sight of fortified towns.

On the eleventh day of their journey the Maid and her party reached
St. Catherine de Fierbois, near Chinon, where they rested, and Joan
heard three masses. She sent a letter to Charles requesting an
audience, and telling him she had come a hundred and fifty leagues to
help him.

An interview with Charles was no such simple affair as she had
fancied. Between her and him were doubts, jealousies, intrigues. But
her friends prevailed, and after two days' waiting she was admitted to
the castle. As she was passing through the gate, a man-at-arms called
out,

"What, is that the Maid?" and added a coarse jest and an oath.

Joan turned and looked gravely at him.

"Alas!" she said, "you blaspheme God, and you are so near your death!"
Within an hour the man was drowned by accident, and those words of
hers were repeated far and wide as a proof of her prophetic power.

The Count of Vendôme led her into the royal presence. She entered
meekly, but undismayed; in her visions she had seen finer company
than any earthly court could show her. Charles stood among the crowd
of nobles, and when she knelt before him he pointed to a
richly-dressed lord, saying:

"That is the King, not I."

But she knew the King, probably from descriptions she had heard of
him, and answered:

"In God's name, gracious Prince, you are he, and none other." She then
repeated to him the words which, like a charm, had brought her so far
and overcome so much; "I am Joan the Maid, sent by God to save
France," and she asked him for troops, that she might go and raise the
siege of Orleans.

Presently the Duke of Alençon came in, and the King having told her
who he was, she bade him welcome.

"The more there are of the blood-royal of France," she said, "the
better it will be."

Alençon, who had lately returned from a three years' captivity in
England, and was still paying a ruinous ransom, sympathised with the
girl-champion, and was inclined to believe in her.

The King and his advisers went cautiously to work.

They sent two monks to Domremy to inquire into Joan's character and
past life. They called her now and again to Court, where statesmen and
churchmen questioned her closely. Meanwhile, she was honourably
treated. She was given to the charge of Bellier, the King's
lieutenant, whose wife was a lady of virtue and piety, and many
distinguished persons visited her at the castle where she was lodged.
One day she rode with the lance before the King, and acquitted herself
so well that the Duke of Alençon rewarded her with the gift of a
beautiful horse. Could she have at all forgotten her mission, the
time would have passed pleasantly; as it was, she wearied for action.

At last she sought the King, and said to him:

"Gracious Dauphin"--until Charles was anointed at Reims with the
sacred oil, he was no real king in her eyes--"Gracious Dauphin, why
will you not believe me? I tell you, God has pity on you, your kingdom
and people."

To satisfy all doubts about Joan, it was settled that she should be
taken to Poitiers, where the Parliament was assembled, and be there
questioned by a royal commission.

"In God's name, let us go," she said; "I shall have hard work, but my
Lord will help me."

She was lodged in the house of the advocate-general to the Parliament,
and committed to his wife's care. The Archbishop of Reims called
together churchmen and learned doctors. The Commissioners met, and,
having called Joan, showed her "by good and fair arguments" that she
was unworthy of belief. They reasoned with her for more than two
hours, and she answered them so well that they were amazed. In spite
of their expressed distrust, she spoke to them freely and fully, told
how her voices had bidden her go into France, how she had wept at
their command and yet obeyed it, how she had come safely, because she
was doing the will of God.

"You require an army," said one, "saying it is God's will that the
English shall quit France. If that be so, there is no need for
men-at-arms, because God can drive them away by His pleasure."

"The men-at-arms shall fight," she answered, "and God shall give the
victory"; and the monk confessed that she had answered well.

When the examination had dragged on for three weeks, two of the
doctors came one day to question her, bringing with them the King's
equerry, whom she had known at Chinon. She clapped him, comrade-like,
on the shoulder, exclaiming:

"Would that I had many more men of as good will as you!" Then turning
to the doctors, she said, "I believe you are come to catechise me.
Listen!--I know neither A nor B, but there is more in God's books than
in yours. He has sent me to save Orleans and crown the King."

She demanded paper and ink. "Write what I tell you!" she said, and
dictated to the amazed scholars the famous letter which soon after was
sent to the English.

The grave and stern commissioners were won by the young peasant. None
of them bore her any grudge for the occasional sharpness of her
replies. Many of them believed firmly that she was inspired, and
quoted the old prophecy of Merlin, who had foretold the coming of a
maid who should deliver France. All of them trusted in her good faith,
and appreciated more or less the influence she would have over the
people. They advised, almost commanded, Charles to employ her. Her
life, they said, has been carefully inquired into; for six weeks she
has been kept near the King; persons of all ranks, men and women, have
seen and talked with her, and have found in her only "goodness,
humility, chastity, devotion, seemliness and simplicity." She has
promised to show her sign before Orleans: let the King send her there,
for to reject her would be to reject the Holy Spirit.

Besides her learned judges, she had others, whom had she been an
impostor, she would have found hard to deceive. Keen women's eyes had
been set to watch her, and had seen no fault in her. The ladies who
came to see the warrior-damsel were amazed to find her a mere girl,
"very simple, and speaking little." Her goodness and innocence moved
them to tears. She prayed them to pardon her for the man's attire she
wore; but in that lawless day the most modest women must have well
understood that such a dress was fittest and safest for her who had to
live among men.

Towards the end of April she was sent to Tours, where a military staff
was appointed her. Her brothers, Jean and Pierre, who had followed
her, were included in her retinue. A suit of beautiful armour was made
for her. She was provided with a banner after her own device--white,
embroidered with lilies: on one side of it, a picture of God enthroned
on clouds and holding a globe in His hand; on the other, the shield of
France, supported by two angels. She had also a pennon, whereon was
represented the Annunciation. The King would have given her a sword,
but her voices, she said, had told her of the only one she might use,
an ancient weapon with five crosses on its blade, which was lying
buried behind the altar in the church of St. Catherine de Fierbois. A
messenger was sent, and in the place she had told of was found an old
rusty sword such as she had described. After being polished, it was
brought to her with two rich scabbards, one of crimson velvet, the
other of cloth-of-gold; but the practical Maid got herself yet another
of strong leather for daily wear.

Joan, being accepted, the National party made rapid preparations for
the relief of Orleans.

Her first care was that the army given her by God should be worthy of
His favour. For the priests attached to it, she had a banner made with
a picture of the Crucifixion, beneath which they said mass and sang
hymns to the Virgin morning and evening.

On Thursday, April 28th, the relieving army set out from Blois, the
priests going before and singing the _Veni Creator_ round their banner
of the Cross. Joan wished to march along the north bank of the Loire,
and through the line of English forts; her voices, she said, had told
her that the convoy would pass them without hurt. But the captains,
who had little faith in her revelations, preferred keeping the river
between themselves and the chief bastiles of the enemy. They had
orders, however, to obey the Maid, so, to avoid contradicting her,
they misled her as to the position of Orleans; crossing the bridge at
Blois, they advanced by the south bank of the stream. When night came,
the army encamped on the plain, and Joan, who lay down in her armour,
arose bruised and weary for the next day's march. But all her fatigue
was forgotten when she saw how she had been deceived.

Dunois, with a following of knights and citizens, came up the river to
welcome the convoy. When he approached Joan, she asked him:

"Are you the bastard of Orleans?"

"Yes," he replied, "and I am glad of your coming."

"And did you advise that I should be brought by this side of the
river, and not straight to the English?"

He answered that it was so, he and the council having judged it
safest.

"In God's name," she said, "my Lord's counsel is safer and wiser than
yours. You thought to deceive me, but you have deceived yourselves,
for I bring you the best help that ever knight or city had; for it is
God's help, not sent for love of me, but by God's pleasure."

At eight that evening she entered Orleans, riding a white horse, her
standard carried before her. The people thronged to meet her, wild
with joy, "as if she had been an angel of God." "They felt comforted
and, as it were, dis-besieged by the divine virtue there was said to
be in that simple Maid." They crowded so upon her, that one of their
torches set fire to the border of her standard, and when she bent
forward and crushed out the flame, the little brave action seemed a
miracle to the excited multitude. After returning thanks to God in the
cathedral, she rode to the house of Jacques Boucher, treasurer to the
Duke of Orleans, and was hospitably received by his wife and his young
daughter Charlotte, whom she took to share her chamber during her stay
in the city.

The next Sunday, May 1st, Dunois went to fetch the army from Blois.
The Maid rode with him a little way, and he and his following passed
unmolested by the English forts. The days of his absence were spent by
Joan in making friends with the citizens, in attending mass and riding
out to reconnoitre the enemy's siege-works. The enthusiastic people
followed her everywhere, fearing nothing so long as they were near
her. On Tuesday some reinforcements arrived, and news came that the
army was on its way.

This time they took the northern side of the river, and on May 4th
Joan went a league out of the city to meet them. The whole army passed
the line of forts and entered Orleans. The besiegers made no sign, and
it is not wonderful that the English soldiers, seeing that strange
apathy of their leaders, believed Joan to be a witch, whose arts it
would be useless to resist.

The same day, towards evening she lay down to rest, but suddenly she
started up and called her squire, saying, "My counsel tells me to go
against the English." While he was arming her, she heard voices in the
street shouting that the French were suffering loss. She rushed out,
and meeting her page on the way:

"Ah, graceless boy!" she exclaimed, "you never told me the blood of
France was being spilt."

Her hostess finished arming her, then she sprang upon her horse, took
her standard which the page handed her out of a window, and galloped
to the eastern gate, her horse's hoofs striking sparks as she passed.

For the first time she now saw real war, and her courage did not fail.
Standing at the edge of the fosse, she urged her men on to the
assault. This first success, moderate in itself, was of immense value
to the National party, for it restored to the French that faith in
themselves of which the long series of their defeats had almost
deprived them. And their reverse had as great an effect upon the
English. Their failure appeared to them out of the natural course of
events, a wicked miracle, a thing brought about by sorcery. The brave
yeomen of Henry V were learning to fear.

On Friday, May 6th, Joan and about 3,000 men crossed to an island, in
the Loire, passed from it to the shore by an extempore bridge of two
boats, and planted her standard before the rampart of the Augustins.
But her troops had not all crossed from Orleans, and those who were
with her, seeing that the English were coming to reinforce their
fellows, were seized with fear, and hurried back to the boats. The
garrison rushed out and pursued the fugitives with jeers and insults.
The defeat of the French appeared certain, but Joan, who had been
trying to cover the retreat, faced round, and with a small brave
company charged the pursuers. The panic was on their side now. They
saw the Witch of France riding down upon them, her charmed standard
flying, her eyes flashing with terrible wrath, and they turned and
fled before her. Once more she planted her flag before the rampart,
and this time she was well supported. The bastile was taken after an
obstinate defence, and to prevent riot and pillage she ordered it to
be set on fire.

She would gladly have stayed with her soldiers who were left that
night to be ready for the next day's assault, but the chiefs, seeing
that she was very weary, persuaded her to return with them into
Orleans. They had another reason for parting her from the troops.
While she was resting they held a council, and agreed not to renew the
attack on the morrow, but recall the troops into the city, which was
now well victualled, and there await reinforcements. A knight was sent
to tell her of their over-cautious decision:

"God had already done much to help them; now they would wait."
Wait!--how Joan must have hated that word! "You have been in your
council," she said, "and I have been in mine. Be sure that God's
counsel will hold good and come to pass, and that all other counsel
shall perish."

Then she turned to Pasquerel, who was standing near.

"Rise early to-morrow," she said, "and keep near me all day, for I
shall have much to do, and blood shall flow above my breast."

She rose at dawn, and after hearing mass, started for the assault. Her
host urged her to take food before going; a shad was being got ready,
he told her.

"Keep it till evening," she said, gaily, "I will come back over the
bridge."

If the French fought for the deliverance of Orleans and the kingdom,
the English were defending their ancient glory and their own lives;
the fort once taken, there would be small chance of escape for any of
its garrison. Under cannon-fire and through flights of arrows, the
assailants leaped into the fosse and swarmed up the escarpment, "as if
they believed themselves immortal."

The English met them at the top; again and again they were driven
back, again and again the Maid cheered them on, crying:

"Fear not!--the place is yours!"

At last, as if to force victory, she sprang into the fosse, and was
setting a scaling-ladder against the wall when an arrow pierced her
between the neck and shoulder. She was carried to a place of shelter,
weeping for pain and fright; but her strong courage soon reasserted
itself; she drew out the arrow with her own hand, and had the wound
dressed with oil, forbidding the men-at-arms to "charm" it, as they in
their superstitious kindness wanted to do. She then confessed herself,
and so, hastened back to the rampart.

There was no success yet for the French, and the captains came to
Joan, telling her they intended to retire and suspend the attack until
next day. She besought them to persevere. She tried to break their
resolve with brave words. She went to Dunois with prayers and
promises.

"In God's name, you shall enter shortly. Doubt not, and the English
shall have no more power over you!"

Her entreaties prevailed. Then she ordered the men to rest a while,
eat and drink, and when they had done so, bade them renew the attack
"in God's name."

She mounted her horse again and rode to a vineyard a little way off,
where, out of the turmoil of battle, she prayed a few minutes. On her
return she stationed herself near the rampart, holding her standard.

"Watch until my banner touches the fort," she said to a gentleman who
stood near. Presently the wind caught it and blew it against the wall.

"It touches, Joan, it touches!" exclaimed the gentleman.

She cried to the troops:

"Go in now, all is yours!"

By evening Joan reëntered Orleans, where she and her men were received
with great joy, all the bells of the city ringing out the news of
victory. The Maid's wound was dressed carefully, and after her usual
supper of bread with a little wine and water, she lay down to sleep.

Very early next morning, those watching in Orleans saw the English
quit their bastiles and set themselves before the walls in order of
battle. The alarm was given, and the French, led by Joan, came out of
the city and ranged themselves in front of their enemies. While the
armies stood face to face, as it were waiting for a signal to begin to
fight, Joan had a camp-altar brought, and the priests said mass. Then
she asked:

"Are the faces of the English towards us, or their backs?"

She was told that they were retreating, and at that moment flames shot
up from some of their forts which they had set on fire.

"In God's name," said Joan, "let them go. My Lord does not choose
that we shall fight to-day. You shall have them another time."

Crowds rushed out from Orleans to destroy the unburnt bastiles, and
dragged back the stores and cannon the English had been obliged to
leave. But soon the excitement of victory gave way to the enthusiasm
of thankfulness. A few days ago the city had been surrounded by
enemies, threatened with the sword, more than threatened by famine.
But in one marvellous week God and the Maid had delivered it. Now let
her who had led the people to victory lead them also to give thanks.
They thronged after her. They followed her from church to church,
praising God and the saints, God and the Maid, before their rescued
altars. Night fell on their rejoicings, and early next morning the
Maid left them, eager to rejoin the King, and render an account of her
success. Her time for rest was not yet. She had as yet only given the
sign promised to the doctors of Poitiers--only begun the great work
she was sent to do.

Scholars, high in place, great in learning, paid her their tribute of
praise. But the common people were her most eager admirers and lovers.
During her journey from Orleans to Tours, they crowded about her,
trying to touch her hands, her dress, the trappings of her horse--even
stooping down to kiss the hoof-prints of her horse on the road.

Charles came to meet her at Tours. When she knelt before him, he took
off his cap, as to a queen, raised her, and seemed "as if he gladly
would have kissed her, for the joy he had." He would have ennobled her
at once, and he desired her to take for her arms the lilies of France,
with a royal crown and a sword drawn to defend it. Empty honours and
easy lip-gratitude were at her service, but she, who had only one
noble ambition, cared nothing for them. She wanted but one boon from
the King--ready action. Now was the time to go to Reims, while the
English were weakened and disheartened. Let the King come--she would
conduct him there safely and without hindrance--but let him come at
once, for she had much to do, and little time wherein to do it.

"Make use of me," she pleaded, "for I shall last only one year."

Her bold proposal amazed Charles and his council. Go to Reims, to a
city held by the English, through a country guarded by hostile troops!

The King, half-persuaded, agreed to go, but not until the English had
been driven from the Loire. The captains declared that it would be
unwise to march northward while the southern provinces remained so
exposed to the enemy, and Joan, whose good sense equalled her courage,
deferred to their judgment. An army was assembled, and put under
command of the Duke of Alençon, but the King required him to do
nothing without the Maid's advice. While she was near Charles, and her
brave words were in his ears, he almost believed in her.

On the 9th of June, just a month after her departure from Orleans,
Joan returned there with her army. During the campaign she made the
city her headquarters, to the delight of its people, who "could not
have enough of gazing at her." On the 11th she led the troops against
Jargeau, a strong town, bravely defended, but the assailants had the
advantage of numbers, and, once their fears were forgotten, went
boldly to the attack. Joan and the Duke, commanders though they were,
went down into the fosse like the rest, and the Maid was climbing a
scaling-ladder, when a stone hurled from the rampart struck her to the
earth. But she was up in a moment, shouting:

"Friends, friends, go on! Our Lord has condemned the English! They are
ours! Be of good courage!" The men swarmed over the walls, and the
place was taken. The more important captives were sent down the Loire
to Orleans, where Joan and Alençon returned the day after their
victory. Soon after, near Patay they came upon the English, who had
been warned of their approach, and were getting ready for battle. The
Duke asked Joan what was to be done.

"Have you good spurs?" she inquired.

"What!" exclaimed some who stood by; "should we turn our backs?"

"Not so, in God's name!" she answered. "The English shall do that.
They will be beaten, and you will want your spurs to pursue them."

Some of the chiefs hung back.

"In God's name, we must fight them!" she cried. "Though they were hung
to the clouds, we should have them. To-day the King shall have the
greatest victory he has won for long. My counsel tells me they are
ours."

In slain and prisoners the English lost nearly 3,000 men. Joan was
very indignant at the cruelty of the victors. Seeing one of them
strike down a wounded prisoner she sprang from her horse, raised the
poor soldier in her arms, and held him thus while he confessed to a
priest whom she had sent for, tenderly comforting him until he died.
It was always so with her. Before and during the fight she was the
stern champion of France; but when it was over she became again a
pitying woman, weeping for her dead enemies, and praying for their
souls.

Now Joan held her rightful place in the army. Every true and honest
man believed in her; even those who had doubted her at Orleans
confessed now not only her goodness and courage, but also the
instinctive military skill she had shown both in sieges and in the
field. Soldiers and leaders were alike eager to follow her to Reims.
With nothing to consult and combat but their frank likes and dislikes,
her task would have been an easy one; but to do her voices' bidding,
she had to hew or wind her way through the intrigues of a court.

Charles demurred at going to Reims at all. He hated trouble, and his
life in the south had been pleasant enough. All Joan's victories had
as yet done him no substantial good. He was as poor as ever, and the
excited men who flocked to the Maid's banner were to him objects less
of pride than of distrust.

The Maid, foreseeing more delays, sick at heart of his apathy, could
not control her tears, and he, bewildered by a grief he could not
understand, spoke to her kindly, paid her many compliments, and
advised her to take some rest. Still weeping, she besought him to have
faith, promising that he should recover his kingdom and be crowned
before long.

On Friday, June 24th, she brought the army of the Loire to Gien,
whence she sent a letter to the loyal city of Tournay, telling its
people of her late successes, and praying them to come to the
coronation.

Two days after her arrival at Gien, the justly impatient girl quitted
the town with some of her troops and encamped in the fields beyond it.
Her persistence carried the day. On the 29th, the King and an army of
12,000 men set out for Reims.

On July 5th it reached Troyes. Joan had written to the citizens,
requiring them to receive the King, and Charles also bade them
surrender, promising them amnesty and easy terms. But the place was
well garrisoned, and they determined to resist.

A council was held, and nearly all who were at it advised returning
southward. But among those faint hearts was one man who believed in
Joan--the old chancellor--and he spoke boldly for her. "When the King
undertook this journey, he did it not because of the great might of
the men-at-arms, nor because of the great wealth he had, nor because
the journey seemed possible to him, but because Joan told him to go
forward and be crowned at Reims, such being the good pleasure of God."
While he was yet speaking, Joan herself knocked at the door. She was
let in, and the Archbishop told her the cause of the debate.

She turned to the King.

"Will you believe me?" she asked.

"Speak," he replied, "and if you speak reasonably and profitably, we
will gladly believe you."

"Will you believe me?" she said again.

"Yes," repeated Charles, "according to what you say."

That cold answer might well have checked her, but she spoke on:

"Gracious King of France, if you will remain before your city of
Troyes, it shall be yours within three days by force or by love--doubt
it not."

"We would wait six, if we could be sure of having it," said the
Archbishop.

"Doubt not," she insisted, "you shall have it to-morrow."

It was then evening, but she at once mounted her horse and began
preparations for an assault. Her energy cheered the soldiers, who were
weary of inaction. They dragged the cannons into position, and brought
bundles of wood, doors, furniture, everything they could lay hands on,
to fill up the fosse. They worked far into the night--leaders, pages,
men-at-arms alike--Joan directing them "better than two of the best
captains could have done."

Through that night there was great excitement within Troyes. The
people had heard of Orleans and Jargeau; they could see and hear
Joan's preparations. At last they asked loudly why they, French by
birth, should risk their city and their lives for England. A council
was held, and the heads of the garrison and the city agreed to
surrender. Early next morning, just as Joan was giving the signal for
the assault, the city gates were opened.

The next day, Sunday, the King entered the town in state, attended by
Joan and his nobles.

They left Troyes, and approached Châlons on the 15th, and at some
distance from the town were met by a number of citizens who had come
to offer their submission. At Châlons, Joan had the great joy of
meeting friends from Domremy. She asked them many questions about her
home, and they looked with wonder at the girl who lived familiarly
with princes, and yet spoke and behaved as simply as ever she had done
in the days of her obscurity. One of them inquired whether she feared
nothing.

"Nothing but treachery," was her foreboding answer.

When the people of Reims heard that Châlons had submitted, and that
Charles was within four leagues, they sent deputies to tender their
obedience, and that same day, Saturday, July 16th, Charles entered the
city.

Preparations were at once made for his coronation, and early next
morning four nobles went to the abbey of St. Rémi to escort thence the
ampulla containing the sacred oil which a dove had brought from heaven
to the saint. The abbot, in full canonicals, carried it to the
cathedral, where the Archbishop of Reims received it from him, and set
it on the high altar. Below the altar stood the Dauphin, attended by
the nobles and clergy who acted as proxies for the peers of France who
should have been with him. By his side was Joan, holding her sacred
banner. The ceremony was performed according to the ancient rites, and
when it was over, Joan knelt at the feet of Charles, her King indeed
now, crowned and anointed.

"Gracious King," she said, "now is fulfilled the pleasure of God,
whose will it was that you should come to Reims to receive your worthy
coronation, showing that you are the true King to whom the kingdom
should belong." As she spoke she wept, and all who were in the church
wept for sympathy. Among those who witnessed her triumph was her
father, who had come to Reims to see her. The good man was honourably
treated; the corporation of the town paid his expenses, and when he
returned to Domremy, gave him a horse for the journey.

After his coronation, when Charles was bestowing honours and rewards
on his followers, Joan asked him for one favour, which he granted
readily--freedom from taxation for her native Domremy and the
adjoining village of Greux. For herself she wanted nothing, except
what she had already claimed and failed to receive, what the King
never gave her--his trust.

She had given a king to France, now she had to give France to her
King. She longed to be again at work. Every day of waiting was a day
of pain to her. Now that her King was crowned, she would have him
press forward to Paris, defy the English, and startle the disloyal
French into loyalty; but the evil advice of his courtiers and his own
indolence made him catch at every excuse for delay.

During the northward march of the army, people from every place on the
road crowded to welcome Joan and the King, crying, Noël, Noël, and
singing _Te Deums_ before them. Joan was first. They were glad to have
a French King again, but their chief love and enthusiasm were for her,
the heroic girl in shining armour, with her calm face and gentle
voice. The common folk called her "the angelic"; they sang songs about
her; images of her were put up in little country churches; a special
collect was said at mass, thanking God for her having saved France;
medals were struck in her honour, and worn as amulets. The people
pressed about her horse, and kissed her hands and feet. She was often
vexed by this excess of homage, which brought upon her the displeasure
of many churchmen.

Near Crespy, as she, riding between Dunois and Regnault de Chartres,
passed through the welcoming crowd, she said:

"What good people! I have yet seen none so joyful at the coming of
their prince. May I be so happy as to die and be buried in this land!"

"Oh, Joan," said the Archbishop, "in what place do you expect to
die?"

"Wherever it shall please God," she answered, "for I know not the
place nor the hour any more than yourself. Would to God that I might
return now, and lay down my arms, and go back to serve my parents, and
guard their flocks with my sister and brothers, who would be right
glad to see me." She must often have longed for her home, but never
except this once did she express her longing. She had a rare reticence
for one so young and simple. "She spoke little, and showed a
marvellous prudence in her words."

Joan greatly desired the King's arrival before Paris, believing that
his mere presence would make its gates fly open like those of Reims
and Soissons. The King's folly and the ill-will of his favourites were
not Joan's only troubles. The army before Paris was not like that
chosen army she had led to Orleans, a company of men "confessed,
penitent," who for the time seemed purified from evil desires, and
followed her as to a holy war. Such a state of things, fair to the
eye, but born only of the froth and ecstasy of religion, could not
last, as the Maid in her young confidence perhaps expected. She had
now to grieve because of her soldiers' habits of blasphemy and
pillage.

On the morning of September 8th, the festival of the Virgin's
nativity, they advanced to attack the city. They were divided into two
corps. One, led by Joan, Gaucourt, and Retz, went at once to the
assault. The attack began about noon; the bastion of the St. Honoré
gate having been set on fire, its defenders were forced to abandon it,
and the assailants, headed by Joan, passed the outer fosse. She
climbed the ridge separating it from the inner fosse, which was full
of water, and from that place summoned the city to surrender. She was
answered with jeers and insults and a shower of missiles, amid which
she carefully sounded the fosse with her lance, and found that it was
of unusual depth. At her bidding the men brought faggots and hurdles
to fill it up and make a resting-place for their ladders, but while
she was directing them, an arrow wounded her in the thigh so severely
that she was forced to lie down at the edge of the fosse. She
suffered, as she afterwards confessed, agonies of pain, but she never
ceased to encourage her men, bidding them advance boldly, for the
place would be taken. The place would have been taken, but the
captains who were with Joan, seeing that the hours went by and the men
were struck down without achieving much, ordered a retreat. The
trumpets sounded; the men withdrew, Joan, desperate in her sorrow,
clung to the ground, declaring she would not go until the place was
won. At about ten o'clock Gaucourt had her removed by force and set
upon her horse. She was carried back to La Chapelle, suffering in
body, suffering more in mind, but still resolute.

"The city would have been taken!" she insisted. "It would have been
taken!"

Joan spent four weary months--how weary we conjecture chiefly from
what we know of her character and her aspirations. Occasionally she
rode with a few followers to visit some town where she was known, but
generally she was with the Court, a sad and unwilling spectator of its
festivities. Sad only because of her unfulfilled mission: had she been
suffered to work it out, to see France delivered, she would doubtless
have taken pleasure in show and gaiety. She was at home and happy with
knights and ladies, and took a frank delight in rich garments and fine
armour. She was no bigot, her sanctity was altogether wholesome: it
was an exalted love for God, for France and the King, unsoured by any
contempt for the common life of humanity.

Wherever she went she visited the sick, she gave all she could in
alms, she was devoted to the services of the church and to prayer. The
people, who knew of her greatness and saw her goodness, treated her
with a reverence that was akin to superstition. They brought rings and
crosses for her to touch, and so turn into amulets. "Touch them
yourselves," she would say, laughing, "they will be just as good."
Some believed that she had a charmed life, and need never fear going
into battle.

Joan grew desperate. Sad voices from beyond the Loire were calling
her. She was greatly wanted there, and the King--her King whom she had
crowned--did not want her, cared nothing for her nor for his people's
trouble. She asked counsel of her other voices, of her saints, and
they neither bade her go nor stay; they told her only one certain
thing, that before St. John's day she would be taken. If so--if
indeed, as she herself had said, she was to last only a year--then the
more need to hasten with her work. One day at the end of March she
left Sully with a small company, as if going for one of her usual
rides. She did not bid farewell to the King, and she never saw him
again.

It was a time of sad forebodings for her. A story goes, that one
morning, after hearing mass in the church of St. Jacques, she went
apart and leaned dejectedly against a pillar. Some grown people and a
crowd of children came about her--she was always gentle to
children--and she said to them:

"My children and dear friends, I tell you that I am sold and betrayed,
and that I shall soon be given up to death. Therefore I entreat you
to pray for me, for never again shall I have any power to serve the
King or the Kingdom of France." She was not "sold and betrayed" yet;
that was to come.

Depression could not make her inactive. She went to Crespy for
reinforcements, but hearing that the siege of Compiègne had begun, she
hurried back there on the night of April 23rd, with about four hundred
men. She entered the place at sunrise, and spent the chief part of the
day in arranging a sortie, to be made before evening. Compiègne,
situated on the south bank of the Oise, was connected with the
opposite shore by a bridge, from which a raised causeway went over the
low river meadows to the hill-slopes of Picardy.

Late in the afternoon, Joan, with five hundred foot and horsemen, made
a short charge. Then Joan's troops feared to be cut off from
Compiègne, to be left in a country dotted with the enemy's camps, and
most of them turned, panic-stricken, and fled towards the city.

The English gained the causeway, and the archers stationed there dared
not shoot on them for fear of hurting their own people. The guns of
Compiègne were useless, for friends and foes were mingled in a
confused struggle. Joan tried to rally her men:

"Hold your peace!" she cried to some who spoke of retreating. "It
depends on you to discomfit them! Think only of falling upon them!"

But her words were in vain. All she could do was to cover the retreat,
and that she did valiantly, riding last, and charging back often.
Thanks to her a great part of the fugitives got safely into the city,
while others reached the boats; but the English pressed towards the
gate to cut off the retreat of the remainder, and Guillaume de Flavy,
afraid, as he said, lest in the confusion they might rush into the
town itself, ordered the draw-bridge to be raised, and the portcullis
lowered. There was no escape for the Maid now. She and a little
devoted band that kept with her fought desperately, but they were
driven into an angle of the fortifications; many fell in defending
her.

Compiègne remained shut. The city to whose help she had come at dawn
saw her lost at its very gates before sundown, and made no effort to
save her. Five or six men rushed on her at once, each crying:

"Yield to me! Pledge your faith to me!"

"I have sworn and pledged my faith to another than you," she said,
"and I will keep my oath."

She still struck at those who tried to seize her; but an archer came
behind her, and, grasping the gold-embroidered surcoat that she wore,
dragged her from her horse. She fell, exhausted and overcome at last,
and the man who had pulled her down carried her to his master.

She was taken to Margny, and thither flocked the English and
Burgundian captains, "more joyful than if they had taken five hundred
fighting men." In this very month of her capture, it had been found
needful to issue proclamations against English soldiers, men of the
old conquering race, who had refused to come over to France for fear
of the Witch. And now here was the Witch, vanquished, powerless, her
armour soiled in the fight, her magic banner fallen away from her. The
chiefs could hardly believe their good fortune, but her sad presence
was there to assure them of it, and they came and gazed on her.

The weeks went by, and no one stirred to help her. Her captors'
scruples were overcome, and before winter she was bought and sold.
John of Luxembourg got ten thousand livres--two thousand dollars.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hitherto we have seen Joan, a gracious figure always--better always
and nobler than her surroundings--but never yet solitary in goodness
and nobleness. Other figures have been grouped about her, gracious
also in their degree, worthy to divide with her our sympathy, and to
have some share in our love. Now they are all gone from her. Father
and mother, village friends and kinsfolk, devoted comrades and adoring
people, are all shut away from her for ever. The old life is over.

She is desolate, and worse than alone; to the darling of the saints,
loneliness would be no such terrible punishment. Wrong and horror
crowd upon her. Her honour and her life are in the hands of men evil
by nature, or turned to evil by hatred, or greed, or fear. Here and
there a judge speaks some word in favour of banished justice, but
those feeble flashes leave no light in the gloom. The light shines all
on Joan. The pure maiden, the noble heroine, stands out,
heaven-illumined, against the darkness. Her sorrow and her endurance
of it crown and sanctify her. Piteous though her fate be, we almost
forget to pity her, for compassion is well-nigh lost in reverence and
wonder.

On her arrival at Rouen, Joan was taken to the castle, and put into an
iron cage that had been made to receive her; and, as if its bars were
not enough, she was chained in it by her neck, her hands and her feet.
After being kept thus for several days, she was transferred to a
gloomy chamber in one of the towers, where she was fettered to a great
log of wood during the day, and to her bed at night. Both by night
and day she was guarded by five English soldiers of the lowest and
rudest class, three of whom were always with her, while the other two
kept the door outside.

Once given over to the Church, she should have been placed in an
ecclesiastical prison, and guarded by women. For this right she
pleaded often, and her plea was supported by several of her judges.
But the English would not lose their grip of a captive who had cost
them and lost them so much, and Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais,
had too great fear of displeasing them to advise such a simple measure
of decency and justice.

Joan had visitors in her prison. English nobles whose nobility did not
keep them from insulting a woman and a helpless captive, came to stare
and jest at her. Warwick and Stafford came one day, and with them a
man who might well have shrunk from looking her in the face--the Judas
of Luxembourg. He told her he had come to ransom her, on condition
that she would not again take up arms against England. She answered
him scornfully, as he deserved:

"In God's name, you but mock me, for I know you have neither the will
nor the power to do it;" and she added, "I know that the English will
kill me, thinking to have the kingdom of France after my death; but
were they a hundred thousand Goddams more than they are, they should
not have the kingdom."

Cauchon refused the Maid's just request for counsel to advise and
defend her during her examination. But he was not merciful enough to
leave her to the guidance of her own wise brain and true heart.
According to the bad custom of the Inquisition, he sent her a sham
confidant, a creature even more abject than himself--his friend and
tool, the Canon Loyseleur. This man went to Joan in disguise, and told
her that he, too, was a prisoner, a loyal subject of King Charles, and
a native of her own province. The guards left them together, and she,
poor child! being glad to see a friendly face, talked to him with a
trustfulness that might have touched even such a heart as his. The
bishop listened in an adjoining room, and stationed two scribes there
to report Joan's words; but the men were too honest for such work, and
refused to do it. To gain her fuller confidence, Loyseleur made known
to her that he was a priest, and heard her in confession. He also gave
her counsel how to answer her judges--bad and crooked counsel, of
which she availed herself little, but still enough for us to trace
here and there the influence of an evil mind over hers.

On Tuesday, February 20th, she was summoned to appear next day before
her judges. Having heard and seen what they were, she demanded that an
equal number of assessors of the French party should be associated
with them. She also entreated the Bishop of Beauvais to let her hear
religious service. The prayer was denied.

Joan appeared before them a youthful, girlish creature in her
masculine dress. The dress was all black, relieved only by the pale
prison-worn face, from which the dark eyes looked out fearlessly.

The bishop began by briefly stating the crimes she was accused of, and
explaining to her how he came to be her judge. He then exhorted her,
"with gentleness and charity," to answer truly all questions put to
her. From the first moment of the trial she was on her guard. She
felt her judges' falsehood and malevolence in the very air around her.

The Gospels were brought, and she was ordered to swear upon them that
she would speak the truth. She hesitated.

"I do not know what questions you may put to me," she said. "Perhaps
you will ask me things I cannot tell you."

"Will you swear," insisted Cauchon, "to speak the truth about whatever
you are asked concerning the faith, and whatever you know?" She
answered that she would willingly speak of her parents, and of all her
own actions since she had left Domremy.

Jean Beaupère took up the examination. His first question was, when
she had last eaten and drunk. It was the season of Lent; if she had
taken food as usual, she might be accused of contempt for the Church;
if she had fasted, she gave colour to a theory of Beaupère's, that her
visions were induced chiefly by physical causes. She told him she had
fasted since noon the day before. He inquired at what hour she had
last heard the voice.

"I heard it yesterday and to-day," she said. "I was asleep, and it
woke me.... I do not know whether it was in my room, but it was in the
castle.... I thanked it, sitting up in my bed, with clasped hands, and
implored its counsel.... I had asked God to teach me by its counsel
how to answer."

"And what did the voice say?"

"It told me to answer boldly, and God would help me." Here she turned
to the bishop. "You say that you are my judge. Take heed what you do,
for indeed I am sent by God, and you are putting yourself in great
peril."

Beaupère asked her if the voice never varied in its counsel.

"No," she said; "it has never contradicted itself. Last night again it
bade me answer boldly."

Her dress, her banner and pennon, were inquired about. Had not the
Knights, her companions, their pennons made after the pattern of hers?
Had she not told them that such pennons would be lucky? To this she
answered:

"I said to my men--'Go in boldly among the English!'--_and I went
myself_."

"Did you not tell them to carry their pennons boldly, and they would
have good luck?"

"I indeed told them what came to pass, and will come to pass again."

Had she not ordered pictures or images of herself to be made? No, nor
had she ever seen any image in her likeness. She had seen a picture of
herself at Arras. She was represented kneeling on one knee, and
presenting letters to the King.

Did she know that those of her party had caused masses and prayers to
be said in her honour?

"I know nothing of it," she answered, "and if they did so, it was not
by my command. Nevertheless, if they prayed for me, I think they did
no wrong."

"Do those of your party believe firmly that you are sent by God?"

"I do not know. I leave that to their consciences. But if they do not
believe it, I am none the less sent by Him."

"Do you think them right in believing it?"

"If they believe that I am sent by God, they are not deceived."

"Did you understand the feelings of those who kissed your feet, your
hands and your garments?"

"Many were glad to see me. I let them kiss my hands as little as
possible; but the poor people came to me gladly, because I did them no
unkindness, but helped them as much as I could."

"Did not the women touch their rings with the ring you wore?"

"Many women touched my hands and my rings, but I do not know why they
did so."

       *       *       *       *       *

For more than three months her trial went on. But her fate was settled
now. The Inquisition had no pardon for her. The judges left her, a few
daring to be sorry for the brave creature, but most of them openly and
indecently glad. In the courtyard they found a number of English
waiting for news, among them the Earl of Warwick.

"Farewell, farewell!" cried the bishop, as he passed him; "be of good
cheer--it is done!"

Her guilt was proved; let her be given over to the secular power; but
first let her be charitably exhorted for her soul's welfare, and
warned that she had nothing more to hope for in this world.

The bishop ordered a citation to be drawn up, summoning Joan to appear
next morning in the Old Market Place of Rouen, to receive her final
sentence. She did not hear her doom that night (May 30, 1431), but the
grave faces and grave words of the monks showed her the dreadful
reality, and for a little while youth and womanhood and human weakness
had their own way with her. She wept piteously.

"Alas," she cried, "will they treat me so horribly and cruelly? Must
my body be consumed to-day and turned to ashes? Ah! I would sooner
seven times be beheaded than be burnt! Oh, I appeal to God, the great
Judge, against the wrong and injustice done to me!"

While she was thus lamenting Cauchon came in, with Pierre Maurice, and
two or three others. Seeing him, she cried:

"Bishop, I die by you!"

Maurice looked kindly at her as he went, and she said to him:

"Master Pierre, where shall I be to-night?"

"Have you not a good hope in God?" he asked.

"Ah, yes, and by God's grace, I shall be in Paradise."

She received the sacrament with tears, and with deep penitence and
devotion. Thenceforth her faith was unshaken, and she failed no more.

Next morning at nine o'clock she left the prison, clothed now in a
woman's long gown, and wearing a mitre, inscribed with the words,
_Heretic_, _Relapsed_, _Apostate_, _Idolatress_. A cart was waiting
for her, and she got into it, accompanied by Brother Martin and the
usher Massieu. A guard of about eight hundred soldiers surrounded her
to keep off the crowd, but suddenly there rushed through their ranks a
haggard and miserable figure. It was Nicolaus Loyseleur, who, seized
by late and vain remorse, had come to ask forgiveness of her whom he
had betrayed. But before he could reach her, the soldiers drove him
back, and Joan probably neither saw nor heard him, for she was weeping
and praying, her head bowed upon her hands.

When she looked up, she saw beyond the soldiers a dense throng of
people, most of them grieving for her, many of them lamenting that
this thing should be done in their city.

"O Rouen, Rouen!" she cried, "is it here that I must die?"

At last she reached the Old Market Place, a very large space, where
had been raised three scaffolds: one for the Bishop of Beauvais and
his colleagues, and for all the prelates and nobles who desired to see
the show; another for Joan and some priests and officials; the third,
also for Joan--a pile of stone and plaster, raised high above the
heads of the crowd, and heaped with faggots. In front of it was a
tablet bearing this inscription:

_Joan, who has called herself The Maid--liar, pernicious, deceiver of
the people, sorceress, superstitious, blasphemer of God, presumptuous,
disbeliever of the faith of Christ, boaster, idolatress, dissolute,
invoker of devils, apostate, schismatic, heretic._

Master Nicolas Midi, a famous doctor from Paris, preached Joan's last
sermon, on the text, "If one member suffer, all the members suffer
with it."

At its close, he addressed her:

"Joan, go in peace! The Church can no longer defend you; it gives you
up to the secular power."

Then the bishop spoke to her. He did not read the form of abjuration,
as had been advised, for she would have boldly disavowed it, and would
so have spoilt a scheme he had concocted. But he admonished her to
think of her salvation, to remember her misdeeds, and repent of them.
Finally, after the usual inquisitorial form, he declared her cut off
from the Church, and delivered over to secular justice.

She needed no exhortation to prayer and penitence. For a while she
seemed to forget the gazing crowd and the cruel judges. She knelt and
prayed fervently--prayed aloud with such passionate pathos, that all
who heard her were moved to tears. Even Cauchon wept. Even the
Cardinal was touched. She forgave her enemies; she remembered the
King, who had forgotten her; she asked pardon of all, imploring all to
pray for her, and especially entreating the priests to say a mass for
her soul. Presently she asked for a cross. An English soldier broke a
stick in two and made a rough cross, which he gave her. She kissed it
and put it in her bosom, weeping, calling upon God and the saints.

But the men-at-arms were growing impatient. "Come, you priests!"
shouted one of them, "are you going to make us dine here?"

The bailiff of Rouen, as representing the secular power, should have
now pronounced sentence of death, but he seemed afraid of delaying the
soldiers, two of whom came up and seized Joan.

"Take her! take her!" he said, hurriedly, and he bade the executioner
"do his duty." The bishop's trial had, after all, an illegal and
informal ending.

The soldiers dragged Joan to the pile, and as she climbed it, some of
her judges left their platform and rushed away, fearing to behold what
they had helped to bring about. She was fastened to the stake, high
up, that the flames might gain slowly upon her, and that the
executioner might not be able to reach her and mercifully shorten her
agony.

"Ah, Rouen!" she cried again, as she looked over the city, bright in
the May sunshine--"Ah, Rouen, Rouen! I fear thou wilt have to suffer
for my death!"

The executioner set fire to the pile. The confessor was by Joan's
side, praying with her, comforting her so earnestly, that he took no
notice of the ascending flames. It was she who saw them and bade him
leave her.

"But hold up the cross," she said, "that I may see it."

Now Cauchon went to the foot of the pile, hoping perhaps that his
victim might say some word of recantation. Perceiving him there, she
cried aloud:

"Bishop, I die by you!"

And now the flames reached her, and she shrank from them in terror,
calling for water--holy water! But as they rose and rose and wrapped
her round, she seemed to draw strength from their awful contact. She
still spoke. Brother Martin, standing in the heat and glare of the
fire, holding the cross aloft for her comfort, heard her dying words:

"Jesus! Jesus! Mary! My voices! My voices!"

Did she hear them, those voices that had said, "Fret not thyself
because of thy martyrdom; thou shalt come at last to the Kingdom of
Paradise"?

"Yes," she said, "my voices were from God! My voices have not deceived
me!" Then, uttering one great cry--"Jesus!" she drooped her head upon
her breast, and died.

       *       *       *       *       *

The common folk soon added their tale of signs and wonders to the
simple and terrible truth. An English soldier, who greatly hated the
Maid, had sworn to bring a faggot to her burning, and he threw it on
the pile just as she gave that last cry. Suddenly he fell senseless to
the earth, and when he recovered, he told how at that moment he had
looked up, and had seen a white dove fly heavenward out of the fire.
Others declared that they had seen the word Jesus--her dying
word--written in the flames. The executioner rushed to a confessor
crying that he feared to be damned, for he had burned a holy woman.
But her heart would not burn, he told the priest; the rest of her body
he had found consumed to ashes, but her heart was left whole and
unharmed.

Many, not of the populace, were moved by her death to recognise what
she had been in life.

"I would that my soul were where I believe the soul of that woman is!"
exclaimed Jean Alespée, one of the judges.

"We are all lost; we have burnt a saint!" cried Tressart, a secretary
of the King of England. Winchester--determined that, though she might
be called a saint, there should be no relics of her--had her ashes
carefully collected and thrown into the Seine.

The tidings of her death went speedily through France. They found
Charles in his southern retirement, and nowise disturbed the ease of
mind and body that was more to him than honour. They reached Domremy,
and broke the heart of Joan's stern, loving father. Isabelle Romée
lived to see her child's memory righted and her prophecies fulfilled.

       *       *       *       *       *

In June, 1455, Pope Calixtus, named a commission to inquire into the
trial of Joan of Arc.

Joan's aged mother came before them, supported by her sons, and
followed by a great procession of nobles, scholars, and honourable
ladies. She presented the petition she had made to the Pope, and the
letter whereby he granted it, and the commissioners took her aside,
heard her testimony, and promised to do her justice.

And now the dead heroine was confronted with her dead judges, to their
shame and her enduring honour. Messengers were sent into her country
to hear the story of her innocent childhood and pure, unselfish youth.
Through her whole life went the inquiry, gathering testimony from
people of all ranks. The peasants whom she had loved and tended in her
early girlhood, the men who had fought by her side, the women who had
known and honoured her, the officers of the trial, and many who had
watched her sufferings and beheld her death--all were called to speak
for her now. They testified to her goodness, her purity, her
single-hearted love for France, her piety, her boldness in war, and
her good sense in counsel. All were for her--not one voice was raised
against her. Rouen, the place of her martyrdom, became the place of
her triumph.

The judges pronounced the whole trial to be polluted by wrong and
calumny, and therefore null and void; finally, they proclaimed that
neither Joan nor any of her kindred had incurred any blot of infamy,
and freed them from every shadow of disgrace.

By order of the tribunal, this new verdict was read publicly in all
the cities of France, and first at Rouen, and in the Old Market Place,
where she had been cruelly burnt. This was done with great solemnity;
processions were made, sermons were preached, and on the site of her
martyrdom a stone cross was soon raised to her memory.

The world has no relic of Joan. Her armour, her banner, the picture of
herself that she saw at Arras, have all disappeared. We possess but
the record of a fair face framed in plentiful dark hair, of a strong
and graceful shape, of a sweet woman's voice. And it seems--and yet,
indeed, hardly is--a wonder that no worthy poem has been made in her
honour. She is one of the few for whom poet and romancer can do
little; for as there is nothing in her life that needs either to be
hidden or adorned, we see her best in the clear and searching light of
history.



VI

CATHERINE DOUGLAS

THE TRAGEDY OF JAMES I. OF SCOTS. 20TH FEBRUARY, 1437


    NOTE.--Tradition says that Catherine Douglas, in honour of her
    heroic act when she barred the door with her arm against the
    murderers of James the First of Scots, received popularly the
    name of "Barlass." The name remains to her descendants, the
    Barlas family, in Scotland, who bear for their crest a broken
    arm. She married Alexander Lovell of Bolunnie.

    A few stanzas from King James's lovely poem, known as _The
    King's Quhair_, are quoted in the course of this ballad.

    I Catherine am a Douglas born,
     A name to all Scots dear;
    And Kate Barlass they've called me now
     Through many a waning year.

    This old arm's withered now. 'T was once
      Most deft 'mong maidens all
    To rein the steed, to wing the shaft,
      To smite the palm-play ball.

    In hall adown the close-linked dance
      It has shone most white and fair;
    It has been the rest for a true lord's head,
    And many a sweet babe's nursing-bed,
      And the bar to a King's chambère.

    Ay, lasses, draw round Kate Barlass,
      And hark with bated breath
    How good King James, King Robert's son,
      Was foully done to death.

    Through all the days of his gallant youth
      The princely James was pent,
    By his friends at first and then by his foes,
      In long imprisonment.

    For the elder Prince, the kingdom's heir,
      By treason's murderous brood
    Was slain; and the father quaked for the child
      With the royal mortal blood.

    I' the Bass Rock fort, by his father's care,
      Was his childhood's life assured;
    And Henry the subtle Bolingbroke,
    Proud England's King, 'neath the southron yoke
      His youth for long years immured.

    Yet in all things meet for a kingly man
      Himself did he approve;
    And the nightingale through his prison-wall
      Taught him both lore and love.

    For once, when the bird's song drew him close
      To the opened window-pane,
    In her bowers beneath a lady stood,
    A light of life to his sorrowful mood,
      Like a lily amid the rain.

    And for her sake, to the sweet bird's note,
      He framed a sweeter Song,
    More sweet than ever a poet's heart
      Gave yet to the English tongue.

    She was a lady of royal blood;
      And when, past sorrow and teen
    He stood where still through his crownless years
      His Scotish realm had been,
    At Scone were the happy lovers crowned,
      A heart-wed King and Queen.

    But the bird may fall from the bough of youth,
      And song be turned to moan,
    And Love's storm-cloud be the shadow of Hate,
    When the tempest-waves of a troubled State
      Are beating against a throne.

    Yet well they loved; and the god of Love,
      Whom well the King had sung,
    Might find on the earth no truer hearts
      His lowliest swains among.

    From the days when first she rode abroad
      With Scotish maids in her train,
    I Catherine Douglas won the trust
      Of my mistress sweet Queen Jane.

    And oft she sighed, "To be born a King!"
      And oft along the way
    When she saw the homely lovers pass
      She has said, "Alack the day!"

    Years waned, the loving and toiling years:
      Till England's wrong renewed
    Drove James, by outrage cast on his crown,
      To the open field of feud.

    'T was when the King and his host were met
      At the leaguer of Roxbro' hold,
    The Queen o' the sudden sought his camp
      With a tale of dread to be told.

    And she showed him a secret letter writ
      That spoke of treasonous strife,
    And how a band of his noblest lords
      Were sworn to take his life.

    "And it may be here or it may be there,
      In the camp or the court," she said:
    "But for my sake come to your people's arms
      And guard your royal head."

    Quoth he, "'Tis the fifteenth day of the siege,
      And the castle's nigh to yield."
    "O face your foes on your throne," she cried,
      "And show the power you wield;
    And under your Scotish people's love
      You shall sit as under your shield."

    At the fair Queen's side I stood that day
      When he bade them raise the siege,
    And back to his Court he sped to know
      How the lords would meet their Liege.

    But when he summoned his Parliament,
      The lowering brows hung round,
    Like clouds that circle the mountain-head
      Ere the first low thunders sound.

    For he had tamed the nobles' lust
      And curbed their power and pride,
    And reached out an arm to right the poor
      Through Scotland far and wide;
    And marry a lordly wrong-doer
      By the headsman's axe had died.

    'T was then upspoke Sir Robert Græme,
      The bold o'ermastering man:
    "O King, in the name of your Three Estates
      I set you under their ban!

    "For, as your lords made oath to you
      Of service and fealty,
    Even in like wise you pledged your oath
      Their faithful sire to be:

    "Yet all we here that are nobly sprung
      Have mourned dear kith and kin
    Since first for the Scotish Barons' curse
      Did your bloody rule begin."

    With that he laid his hands on his King:
      "Is this not so, my lords?"
    But of all who had sworn to league with him
      Not one spake back to his words.

    Quoth the King: "Thou speak'st but for one Estate,
      Nor doth it avow thy gage.
    Let my liege lords hale this traitor hence!"
      The Græme fired dark with rage:
    "Who works for lesser men than himself,
      He earns but a witless wage!"

    But soon from the dungeon where he lay
      He won by privy plots,
    And forth he fled with a price on his head
      To the country of the Wild Scots.

    And word there came from Sir Robert Græme
      To the King at Edinbro':
    "No Liege of mine thou art; but I see
    From this day forth alone in thee
      God's creature, my mortal foe.

    "Through thee are my wife and children lost,
      My heritage and lands;
    And when my God shall show me a way,
    Thyself my mortal foe will I slay
      With these my proper hands."

    Against the coming of Christmastide
      That year the King bade call
    I' the Black Friars' Charterhouse of Perth
      A solemn festival.

    And we of his household rode with him
      In a close-ranked company;
    But not till the sun had sunk from his throne
      Did we reach the Scotish Sea.

    That eve was clenched for a boding storm,
      'Neath a toilsome moon, half seen;
    The cloud stooped low and the surf rose high;
    And where there was a line of the sky,
      Wild wings loomed dark between.

    And on a rock of the black beach-side
      By the veiled moon dimly lit,
    There was something seemed to heave with life
      As the King drew nigh to it.

    And was it only the tossing furze
      Or brake of the waste sea-wold?
    Or was it an eagle bent to the blast?
    When near we came, we knew it at last
      For a woman tattered and old.

    But it seemed as though by a fire within
      Her writhen limbs were wrung;
    And as soon as the King was close to her,
      She stood up gaunt and strong.

    'T was then the moon sailed clear of the rack
      On high in her hollow dome;
    And still as aloft with hoary crest
      Each clamorous wave rang home,
    Like fire in snow the moonlight blazed
      Amid the champing foam.

    And the woman held his eyes with her eyes:
      "O King, thou art come at last;
    But thy wraith has haunted the Scotish Sea
      To my sight for four years past.

    "Four years it is since first I met,
      'Twixt the Duchray and the Dhu,
    A shape whose feet clung close in a shroud,
      And that shape for thine I knew.

    "A year again, and on Inchkeith Isle
      I saw thee pass in the breeze,
    With the cerecloth risen above thy feet
      And wound about thy knees.

    "And yet a year, in the Links of Forth,
      As a wanderer without rest,
    Thou cam'st with both thine arms i' the shroud
      That clung high up thy breast.

    "And in this hour I find thee here,
      And well mine eyes may note
    That the winding-sheet hath passed thy breast
      And risen around thy throat.

    "And when I meet thee again, O King,
      That of death hast such sore drouth,
    Except thou turn again on this shore,
    The winding-sheet shall have moved once more
      And covered thine eyes and mouth.

    "O King, whom poor men bless for their King,
      Of thy fate be not so fain;
    But these my words for God's message take,
    And turn thy steed, O King, for her sake
      Who rides beside thy rein!"

    While the woman spoke, the King's horse reared
      As if it would breast the sea,
    And the Queen turned pale as she heard on the gale
      The voice die dolorously.

    When the woman ceased, the steed was still,
      But the King gazed on her yet,
    And in silence save for the wail of the sea
      His eyes and her eyes met.

    At last he said: "God's ways are His own;
      Man is but shadow and dust.
    Last night I prayed by His altar-stone;
    To-night I wend to the Feast of His Son;
      And in Him I set my trust.

    "I have held my people in sacred charge,
      And have not feared the sting
    Of proud men's hate, to His will resign'd
    Who has but one same death for a hind
      And one same death for a King.

    "And if God in His wisdom have brought close
      The day when I must die,
    That day by water or fire or air
    My feet shall fall in the destined snare
      Wherever my road may lie.

    "What man can say but the Fiend hath set
      Thy sorcery on my path,
    My heart with the fear of death to fill,
    And turn me against God's very will
      To sink in His burning wrath?"

    The woman stood as the train rode past,
      And moved nor limb nor eye;
    And when we were shipped, we saw her there
      Still standing against the sky.

    As the ship made way, the moon once more
      Sank slow in her rising pall;
    And I thought of the shrouded wraith of the King,
      And I said, "The Heavens know all."

    And now, ye lasses, must ye hear
      How my name is Kate Barlass:
    But a little thing, when all the tale
      Is told of the weary mass
    Of crime and woe which in Scotland's realm
      God's will let come to pass.

    'T was in the Charterhouse of Perth
      That the King and all his Court
    Were met, the Christmas Feast being done,
      For solace and disport.

    'T was a wind-wild eve in February,
      And against the casement-pane
    The branches smote like summoning hands
      And muttered the driving rain.

    And when the wind swooped over the lift
      And made the whole heaven frown,
    It seemed a grip was laid on the walls
      To tug the housetop down.

    And the Queen was there, more stately fair
      Than a lily in garden set;
    And the King was loth to stir from her side;
    For as on the day when she was his bride,
      Even so he loved her yet.

    And the Earl of Athole, the King's false friend,
      Sat with him at the board;
    And Robert Stuart the chamberlain
      Who had sold his sovereign Lord.

    Yet the traitor Christopher Chaumber there
      Would fain have told him all,
    And vainly four times that night he strove
      To reach the King through the hall.

    But the wine is bright at the goblet's brim
      Though the poison lurk beneath;
    And the apples still are red on the tree
    Within whose shade may the adder be
      That shall turn thy life to death.

    There was a knight of the King's fast friends
      Whom he called the King of Love;
    And to such bright cheer and courtesy
      That name might best behove.

    And the King and Queen both loved him well
      For his gentle knightliness;
    And with him the King, as that eve wore on,
      Was playing at the chess.

    And the King said (for he thought to jest
      And soothe the Queen thereby),
    "In a book 'tis writ that this same year
      A King shall in Scotland die.

    "And I have pondered the matter o'er,
    And this have I found, Sir Hugh,
    There are but two Kings on Scotish ground,
      And those Kings are I and you.

    "And I have a wife and a newborn heir,
      And you are yourself alone;
    So stand you stark at my side with me
      To guard our double throne."

    "For here sit I and my wife and child,
      As well your heart shall approve,
    In full surrender and soothfastness,
      Beneath your Kingdom of Love."

    And the Knight laughed, and the Queen, too, smiled;
      But I knew her heavy thought,
    And I strove to find in the good King's jest
      What cheer might thence be wrought.

    And I said, "My Liege, for the Queen's dear love
      Now sing the song that of old
    You made, when a captive Prince you lay,
    And the nightingale sang sweet on the spray,
      In Windsor's castle-hold."

    Then he smiled the smile I knew so well
      When he thought to please the Queen;
    The smile which under all bitter frowns
      Of hate that rose between,
    For ever dwelt at the poet's heart
      Like the bird of love unseen.

    And he kissed her hand and took his harp,
      And the music sweetly rang;
    And when the song burst forth, it seemed
    'T was the nightingale that sang.

    "_Worship, ye lovers, on this May:
      Of bliss your kalends are begun:
    Sing with us, Away, Winter, away!
      Come, Summer, the sweet season and sun!
      Awake for shame, your heaven is won,
    And amorously your heads lift all:
    Thank Love, that you to his grace doth call!_"

    But when he bent to the Queen, and sang
      The speech whose praise was hers,
    It seemed his voice was the voice of the Spring
      And the voice of the bygone years.

    "_The fairest and the freshest flower
    That ever I saw before that hour,
    The which o' the sudden made to start
    The blood of my body to my heart._

      *       *       *       *       *

    _Ah sweet, are ye a worldly creature
    Or heavenly thing in form of nature?_"

    And the song was long, and richly stored
      With wonder and beauteous things;
    And the harp was tuned to every change
      Of minstrel ministerings;
    But when he spoke of the Queen at the last,
      Its strings were his own heart-strings.

    "_Unworthy but only of her grace,
      Upon Love's rock that's easy and sure,
    In guerdon of all my love's space
      She took me her humble creäture.
      Thus fell my blissful aventure
    In youth of love that from day to day
    Flowereth aye new, and further, I say._

    "_To reck all the circumstance
      As it happed when lessen gan my sore,
    Of my rancor and woeful chance,
      It were too long--I have done therefor.
      And of this flower I say no more
    But unto my help her heart hath tended
    And even from death her man defended._"

    "Ay, even from death," to myself I said;
      For I thought of the day when she
    Had borne him the news, at Roxbro' siege,
      Of the fell confederacy.

    But death even then took aim as he sang
      With an arrow deadly bright;
    And the grinning skull lurked grimly aloof,
    And the wings were spread far over the roof
      More dark than the winter night.

    Yet truly along the amorous song
      Of Love's high pomp and state,
    There were words of Fortune's trackless doom
      And the dreadful face of Fate.

    And oft have I heard again in dreams
      The voice of dire appeal
    In which the King sang of the pit
    That is under Fortune's wheel.

    "_And under the wheel beheld I there
      An ugly Pit as deep as hell,
    That to behold I quaked for fear:
      And this I heard, that who therein fell
      Came no more up, tidings to tell:
    Whereat, astound of the fearful sight,
    I wist not what to do for fright._"

    And oft has my thought called up again
      These words of the changeful song:
    "_Wist thou thy pain and thy travàil
    To come, well might'st thou weep and wail!_"
      And our wail, O God! is long.

    But the song's end was all of his love;
      And well his heart was grac'd
    With her smiling lips and her tear-bright eyes
      As his arm went round her waist.

    And on the swell of her long fair throat
      Close clung the necklet-chain
    As he bent her pearl-tir'd head aside,
    And in the warmth of his love and pride
      He kissed her lips full fain.

    And her true face was a rosy red,
      The very red of the rose
    That, couched on the happy garden-bed,
      In the summer sunlight glows.

    And all the wondrous things of love
      That sang so sweet through the song
    Were in the look that met in their eyes,
      And the look was deep and long.

    'T was then a knock came at the outer gate,
      And the usher sought the King.
    "The woman you met by the Scotish Sea,
      My Liege, would tell you a thing;
    And she says that her present need for speech
      Will bear no gainsaying."

    And the King said: "The hour is late;
      To-morrow will serve, I ween."
    Then he charged the usher strictly, and said:
      "No word of this to the Queen."

    But the usher came again to the King.
      "Shall I call her back?" quoth he:
    "For as she went on her way, she cried,
      'Woe! Woe! then the thing must be!'"

    And the King paused, but he did not speak.
      Then he called for the Voidee-cup:
    And as we heard the twelfth hour strike,
    There by true lips and false lips alike
      Was the draught of trust drained up.

    So with reverence meet to King and Queen
      To bed went all from the board;
    And the last to leave the courtly train
    Was Robert Stuart the chamberlain
      Who had sold his sovereign lord.

    And all the locks of the chamber-door
      Had the traitor riven and brast;
    And that Fate might win sure way from afar,
    He had drawn out every bolt and bar
      That made the entrance fast.

    And now at midnight he stole his way
      To the moat of the outer wall,
    And laid strong hurdles closely across
      Where the traitors' tread should fall.

    But we that were the Queen's bower-maids
      Alone were left behind;
    And with heed we drew the curtains close
      Against the winter wind.

    And now that all was still through the hall,
      More clearly we heard the rain
    That clamoured ever against the glass
      And the boughs that beat on the pane

    But the fire was bright in the ingle-nook,
      And through empty space around
    The shadows cast on the arras'd wall
    'Mid the pictured kings stood sudden and tall
      Like spectres sprung from the ground.

    And the bed was dight in a deep alcove;
      And as he stood by the fire
    The King was still in talk with the Queen
      While he doffed his goodly attire.

    And the song had brought the image back
      Of many a bygone year;
    And many a loving word they said
    With hand in hand and head laid to head;
      And none of us went anear.

    But Love was weeping outside the house,
      A child in the piteous rain;
    And as he watched the arrow of Death,
    He wailed for his own shafts close in the sheath
      That never should fly again.

    And now beneath the window arose
      A wild voice suddenly:
    And the King reared straight, but the Queen fell back
      As for bitter dule to dree;
    And all of us knew the woman's voice
      Who spoke by the Scotish Sea.

    "O King," she cried, "in an evil hour
      They drove me from thy gate;
    And yet my voice must rise to thine ears;
      But alas! it comes too late!

    "Last night at mid-watch, by Aberdour,
      When the moon was dead in the skies,
    O King, in a death-light of thine own
      I saw thy shape arise.

    "And in full season, as erst I said,
      The doom had gained its growth;
    And the shroud had risen above thy neck
      And covered thine eyes and mouth.

    "And no moon woke, but the pale dawn broke,
      And still thy soul stood there;
    And I thought its silence cried to my soul
      As the first rays crowned its hair.

    "Since then have I journeyed fast and fain
      In very despite of Fate,
    Lest Hope might still be found in God's will:
      But they drove me from thy gate.

    "For every man on God's ground, O King,
      His death grows up from his birth
    In the shadow-plant perpetually;
      And thine towers high, a black yew-tree,
      O'er the Charterhouse of Perth!"

    That room was built far out from the house;
    And none but we in the room
    Might hear the voice that rose beneath,
    Nor the tread of the coming doom.

    For now there came a torchlight-glare,
      And a clang of arms there came;
    And not a soul in that space but thought
      Of the foe Sir Robert Græme.

    Yea, from the country of the Wild Scots,
      O'er mountain, valley, and glen,
    He had brought with him in murderous league
      Three hundred armèd men.

    The King knew all in an instant's flash,
      And like a King did he stand;
    But there was no armour in all the room,
      Nor weapon lay to his hand.

    And all we women flew to the door
      And thought to have made it fast;
    But the bolts were gone and the bars were gone
      And the locks were riven and brast.

    And he caught the pale pale Queen in his arms
      As the iron footsteps fell,
    Then loosed her, standing alone, and said,
      "Our bliss was our farewell!"

    And 'twixt his lips he murmured a prayer,
      And he crossed his brow and breast;
    And proudly in royal hardihood
    Even so with folded arms he stood--
      The prize of the bloody quest.

    Then on me leaped the Queen like a deer:
      "O Catherine, help!" she cried.
    And low at his feet we clasped his knees
      Together side by side.
    "Oh! even a King, for his people's sake,
      From treasonous death must hide!"

    "For _her_ sake most!" I cried, and I marked
      The pang that my words could wring.
    And the iron tongs from the chimney-nook
      I snatched and held to the King:
    "Wrench up the plank! and the vault beneath
      Shall yield safe harbouring."

    With brows low-bent, from my eager hand
      The heavy heft did he take;
    And the plank at his feet he wrenched and tore;
    And as he frowned through the open floor,
      Again I said, "For her sake!"

    Then he cried to the Queen, "God's will be done!"
      For her hands were clasped in prayer.
    And down he sprang to the inner crypt;
    And straight we closed the plank he had ripp'd
      And toiled to smoothe it fair.

    (Alas! in that vault a gap once was
      Wherethro' the King might have fled;
    But three days since close-walled had it been
    By his will; for the ball would roll therein
      When without at the palm he play'd.)

    Then the Queen cried, "Catherine, keep the door,
      And I to this will suffice!"
    At her word I rose all dazed to my feet,
      And my heart was fire and ice.

    And louder ever the voices grew,
      And the tramp of men in mail;
    Until to my brain it seemed to be
    As though I tossed on a ship at sea
      In the teeth of a crashing gale.

    Then back I flew to the rest; and hard
      We strove with sinews knit
    To force the table against the door
      But we might not compass it.

    Then my wild gaze sped far down the hall
      To the place of the hearthstone-sill;
    And the Queen bent ever above the floor,
      For the plank was rising still.

    And now the rush was heard on the stair,
      And "God, what help?" was our cry.
    And was I frenzied or was I bold?
    I looked at each empty stanchion-hold,
      And no bar but my arm had I!

    Like iron felt my arm, as through
      The staple I made it pass:
    Alack! it was flesh and bone--no more!
    'T was Catherine Douglas sprang to the door,
      But I fell back Kate Barlass.

    With that they all thronged into the hall,
      Half dim to my failing ken;
    And the space that was but a void before
      Was a crowd of wrathful men.

    Behind the door I had fall'n and lay,
      Yet my sense was widely aware,
    And for all the pain of my shattered arm
      I never fainted there.

    Even as I fell, my eyes were cast
      Where the King leaped down to the pit;
    And lo! the plank was smooth in its place,
      And the Queen stood far from it.

    And under the litters and through the bed
      And within the presses all
    The traitors sought for the King, and pierced
      The arras around the wall.

    And through the chamber they ramped and stormed
      Like lions loose in the lair,
    And scarce could trust to their very eyes--
      For behold! no King was there.

    Then one of them seized the Queen, and cried,
      "Now tells us, where is thy lord?"
    And he held the sharp point over her heart:
    She drooped not her eyes nor did she start,
      But she answered never a word.

    Then the sword half pierced the true true breast:
      But it was the Græme's own son
    Cried, "This is a woman--we seek a man!"
      And away from her girdle-zone
    He struck the point of the murderous steel;
      And that foul deed was not done.

    And forth flowed all the throng like a sea,
      And 't was empty space once more;
    And my eyes sought out the wounded Queen
      As I lay behind the door.

    And I said: "Dear Lady, leave me here,
      For I cannot help you now;
    But fly while you may, and none shall reck
      Of my place here lying low."

    And she said, "My Catherine, God help thee!"
      Then she looked to the distant floor,
    And clapsing her hands, "O God help _him_,"
      She sobbed, "for we can no more!"

    But God He knows what help may mean,
      If it mean to live or to die;
    And what sore sorrow and mighty moan
    On earth it may cost ere yet a throne
      Be filled in His house on high.

    And now the ladies fled with the Queen;
      And through the open door
    The night-wind wailed round the empty room
      And the rushes shook on the floor.

    And the bed drooped low in the dark recess
      Whence the arras was rent away;
    And the firelight still shone over the space
      Where our hidden secret lay.

    And the rain had ceased, and the moonbeams lit
      The window high in the wall--
    Bright beams that on the plank that I knew
      Through the painted pane did fall
    And gleamed with the splendour of Scotland's crown
      And shield armorial.

    But then a great wind swept up the skies,
      And the climbing moon fell back;
    And the royal blazon fled from the floor,
      And naught remained on its track;
    And high in the darkened window-pane
      The shield and the crown were black.

    And what I say next I partly saw
      And partly I heard in sooth,
    And partly since from the murderers' lips
      The torture wrung the truth.

    For now again came the armèd tread,
      And fast through the hall it fell;
    But the throng was less: and ere I saw,
      By the voice without I could tell
    That Robert Stuart had come with them
      Who knew that chamber well.

    And over the space the Græme strode dark
      With his mantle round him flung;
    And in his eye was a flaming light
      But not a word on his tongue.

    And Stuart held a torch to the floor,
      And he found the thing he sought;
    And they slashed the plank away with their swords
      And O God! I fainted not!

    And the traitor held his torch in the gap,
      All smoking and smouldering;
    And through the vapour and fire, beneath
      In the dark crypt's narrow ring,
    With a shout that pealed to the room's high roof
      They saw their naked King.

    Half naked he stood, but stood as one
      Who yet could do and dare;
    With the crown, the King was stript away--
    The Knight was reft of his battle-array--
      But still the Man was there.

    From the rout then stepped a villain forth--
      Sir John Hall was his name:
    With a knife unsheathed he leapt to the vault
      Beneath the torchlight-flame.

    Of his person and stature was the King
      A man right manly strong,
    And mightily by the shoulderblades
      His foe to his feet he flung.

    Then the traitor's brother, Sir Thomas Hall,
      Sprang down to work his worst;
    And the King caught the second man by the neck
      And flung him above the first.

    And he smote and trampled them under him;
      And a long month thence they bare
    All black their throats with the grip of his hands
      When the hangman's hand came there.

    And sore he strove to have had their knives,
      But the sharp blades gashed his hands.
    Oh James! so armed, thou hadst battled there
      Till help had come of thy bands;
    And oh! once more thou hadst held our throne
      And ruled thy Scotish lands!

    But while the King o'er his foes still raged
      With a heart that naught could tame,
    Another man sprange down to the crypt;
    And with his sword in his hand hard-gripp'd,
      There stood Sir Robert Græme.

    (Now shame on the recreant traitor's heart
      Who durst not face his King
    Till the body unarmed was wearied out
      With two-fold combating!

    Ah! well might the people sing and say,
      As oft ye have heard aright:
    "_O Robert Græme, O Robert Græme,
    Who slew our King, God give thee shame!_"
      For he slew him not as a knight.)

    And the naked King turned round at bay,
      But his strength had passed the goal,
    And he could but gasp: "Mine hour is come;
    But oh! to succour thine own soul's doom,
      Let a priest now shrive my soul!"

    And the traitor looked on the King's spent strength
      And said: "Have I kept my word?
    Yea, King, the mortal pledge that I gave?
    No black friar's shrift thy soul shall have,
      But the shrift of this red sword!"

    With that he smote his King through the breast;
      And all they three in the pen
    Fell on him and stabbed and stabbed him there
      Like merciless murderous men

    Yet seemed it now that Sir Robert Græme,
      Ere the King's last breath was o'er,
    Turned sick at heart with the deadly sight
      And would have done no more.

    But a cry came from the troop above:
      "If him thou do not slay,
    The price of his life that thou dost spare
      Thy forfeit life shall pay!"

    O God! what more did I hear or see,
      Or how should I tell the rest?
    But there at length our King lay slain
      With sixteen wounds in his breast.

    O God! and now did a bell boom forth,
      And the murderers turned and fled;
    Too late, too late, O God, did it sound!
    And I heard the true men mustering round,
      And the cries and the coming tread.

    But ere they came, to the black death-gap
      Somewise did I creep and steal;
    And lo! or ever I swooned away,
    Through the dusk I saw where the white face lay
      In the Pit of Fortune's Wheel.

    And now, ye Scotish maids who have heard
      Dread things of the days grown old--
    Even at the last, of true Queen Jane
      May somewhat yet be told,
    And how she dealt for her dear Lord's sake
      Dire vengeance manifold.

    'T was in the Charterhouse of Perth,
      In the fair-lit Death-chapelle,
    That the slain King's corpse on bier was laid
      With chaunt and requiem-knell.

    And all with royal wealth of balm
      Was the body purified;
    And none could trace on the brow and lips
      The death that he had died.

    In his robes of state he lay asleep
      With orb and sceptre in hand;
    And by the crown he wore on his throne
      Was his kingly forehead spann'd.

    And, girls, 't was a sweet sad thing to see
      How the curling golden hair,
    As in the day of the poet's youth,
      From the King's crown clustered there.

    And if all had come to pass in the brain
      That throbbed beneath those curls,
    Then Scots had said in the days to come
    That this their soil was a different home
      And a different Scotland, girls!

    And the Queen sat by him night and days
      And oft she knelt in prayer,
    All wan and pale in the widow's veil
      That shrouded her shining hair.

    And I had got good help of my hurt:
      And only to me some sign
    She made; and save the priests that were there
      No face would she see but mine.

    And the month of March wore on apace;
      And now fresh couriers fared
    Still from the country of the Wild Scots
      With news of the traitors snared.

    And still, as I told her day by day,
      Her pallor changed to sight,
    And the frost grew to a furnace-flame
      That burnt her visage white.

    And evermore as I brought her word,
      She bent to her dead King James,
    And in the cold ear with fire-drawn breath
      She spoke the traitors' names.

    But when the name of Sir Robert Græme
      Was the one she had to give,
    I ran to hold her up from the floor;
    For the froth was on her lips, and sore
      I feared that she could not live.

    And the month of March wore nigh to its end,
      And still was the death-pall spread;
    For she would not bury her slaughtered lord
      Till his slayers all were dead.

    And now of their dooms dread tidings came,
      And of torments fierce and dire;
    And naught she spake--she had ceased to speak--
      But her eyes were a soul on fire.

    But when I told her the bitter end
      Of the stern and just award,
    She leaned o'er the bier, and thrice three times
      She kissed the lips of her lord.

    And then she said, "My King, they are dead!"
      And she knelt on the chapel floor,
    And whispered low with a strange proud smile,
      "James, James, they suffered more!"

    Last she stood up to her queenly height,
      But she shook like an autumn leaf,
    As though the fire wherein she burned
    Then left her body, and all were turned
      To winter of life-long grief.

    And "O James!" she said, "My James!" she said,
      "Alas for the woeful thing,
    That a poet true and a friend of man,
    In desperate days of bale and ban,
      Should needs be born a King!"



VII

LADY JANE GREY

    "Seventeen--and knew eight languages--in music
    Peerless--her needle perfect, and her learning
    Beyond the Churchmen; yet so meek, so modest,
    So wife-like humble to the trivial boy
    Mismatched with her for policy! I have heard
    She would not take a last farewell of him;
    She feared it might unman him for his end.
    She could not be unmanned--no, nor outwoman'd.
    Seventeen--a rose of grace!
    Girl never breathed to rival such a rose;
    Rose never blew that equalled such a bud."
                                        --TENNYSON.


When the hapless daughter of Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, offered
up her fair young life upon the scaffold at Tower Hill she was still
in her "teens"--with the simplicity and freshness of girlhood upon
her. There is a tender and pathetic beauty about the tragic tale which
no repetition can wholly dim or wear off.

The reader needs not to be told that she was the eldest daughter of
Henry Grey, third Marquis of Dorset. She was allied with royal blood,
her mother being Frances the eldest daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke
of Suffolk, and Mary Tudor, second daughter of Henry VII. She came
also of royal stock on the father's side.

It is a curious fact that the date of the birth of this lady is not
exactly known; but, according to Fuller, it took place in 1536, at
her father's stately mansion, of Bradgate, near Leicester. She was the
eldest of three daughters, Jane, Katherine and Mary. At a very early
age her budding gifts gave abundant promise of a fair womanhood; so
serene her temper and so remarkable her love of knowledge. She was
fortunate in living at a time when the education of women was as
comprehensive and exact as that of men; and her father provided her
with two learned tutors in his two chaplains, Thomas Harding and John
Aylmer. To the latter she seems to have been more particularly given
in charge; and the teacher being as zealous as the pupil was diligent,
Lady Jane soon gained a thorough acquaintance with Latin and Greek,
and also some degree of proficiency in Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldaic,
French and Italian.

These grave and serious studies were relieved by a cultivation of the
graces. Her voice was melodious, and she sang with much skill and
expression; she also played on various musical instruments. Her
needle-work and embroidery excited the admiration of her
contemporaries; she acquired a knowledge of the medical properties of
herbs; dainty dishes, preserves, and "sweet waters" she concocted with
dexterous hand; her calligraphy was a marvel of ease and elegance; in
this last-named art she was instructed by the erudite Roger Ascham,
who was one of its most famous professors.

Thus it happened that even in her early girlhood she surpassed in
general scholarship her equals in age. But her tutors did not forget
the spiritual side of her education, and she was well grounded in the
dogmas of the Church as well as in the truths and lessons embodied in
the life and teaching of her Lord.

After the death of Henry VIII. Lady Jane went to reside with the
widowed Queen, Katherine Parr, at Chelsea; and when that lady married
Lord Seymour of Dudley, she accompanied them to Hanworth, in
Middlesex, a palace which Henry VIII. had bestowed upon Queen
Katherine in dower. The Queen did not long survive her second
nuptials, but died at Dudley Castle, September 5, 1548, in the
thirty-sixth year of her age. Lady Jane acted as chief mourner at the
funeral.

It was soon after this event that Lady Jane addressed the following
letter to the Lord High Admiral. As the composition of a girl of
twelve it shows no ordinary promise:--

                                          _October 1, 1548._

    My duty to your lordship, in most humble wise remembered, with
    no less thanks for the gentle letters which I received from you.
    Thinking myself so much bound to your lordship for your great
    goodness towards me from time to time, that I cannot by any
    means be able to recompense the least part thereof, I purposed
    to write a few rude lines unto your lordship, rather as a token
    to show how much worthier I think your lordship's goodness than
    to give worthy thanks for the same; and these my letters shall
    be to testify unto you that, like as you have become towards me
    a loving and kind father, so I shall be always most ready to
    obey your godly monitions and good instructions, as becometh one
    upon whom you have heaped so many benefits. And thus, fearing
    lest I should trouble your lordship too much, I must humbly take
    my leave of your good lordship.

                         Your humble servant during my life,
                                                       JANE GREY.

It is not impossible that at Bradgate Lady Jane may have regretted the
indulgent ease and splendid hospitality of Dudley Castle. Her parents
acted upon the maxim that to spare the rod is to spoil the child; and
notwithstanding her amiability and honourable diligence, subjected her
to a very severe discipline. She was rigorously punished for the
slightest defect in her behaviour or the most trivial failure in her
studies. Her parents taught her to fear, rather than to love, them;
and insisted upon reverence, rather than affection, as the duty of
children. It is no wonder, therefore, that from the austere brow and
unsympathetic voice she turned with ever-increasing delight towards
that secret spirit of knowledge which has only smiles for its
votaries.

In the pages of the wise she met with divine words of encouragement
and consolation; they soothed her sorrows, they taught her the heroism
of endurance, they lifted her into that serene realm where dwelt the
Immortals--the glorious minds of old. "Thus," says she, "my book hath
been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more and more
pleasure, that in respect of it all other pleasures in very deed be
but trifles and troubles unto me."

From an interesting passage in Roger Ascham's "Schoolmaster," we can
form some idea of the melancholy girlhood of this daughter of a royal
race. Ascham visited Bradgate in the summer of 1550 on his way to
London. He found, on his arrival, the stately mansion deserted; the
Lord and Lady, with all their household, were hunting merrily in the
park to the music of horn and hound. Making his way through the
deserted chambers, he came at length upon a secluded apartment, where
the fair Lady Jane was calmly studying the pages of Plato's immortal
"Phædon" in the original Greek. Surprised and delighted by a spectacle
so unusual, the worthy scholar, after the usual salutations, inquired
why she had not accompanied the gay lords and ladies in the park, to
enjoy the pastime of the chase.

"I wis," she replied, smiling, "all their sport in the park is but a
shadow to that pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas! good folk, they
never felt what true pleasure meant."

"And how came you, madam," quoth he, "to this deep knowledge of
pleasure? And what did chiefly allure you unto it, seeing not many
women, but very few men, have attained thereunto?"

"I will tell you," quoth she, "and tell you a truth which, perchance,
ye will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that ever God gave me
is that He sent me so sharp and severe parents and so gentle a
schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father or mother,
whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink, be merry
or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing or doing anything else, I must do
it, as it were, in such weight, measure and number, even so perfectly
as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly
threatened, yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nips and bobs, and
other ways which I will not name for the honour I bear them, so
without reason misordered, that I think myself in hell till time come
that I must go to Mr. Aylmer; who teacheth me so gently, so
pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all
the time nothing whiles I am with him. And when I am called from him,
I fall on weeping, because, whatever I do else but learning is full of
grief, trouble, fear and whole misliking unto me."

Ascham did not see her again after this memorable interview. "I
remember this talk gladly," he wrote, "both because it is so worthy of
memory and because also it was the last talk that ever I had and the
last time that ever I saw that noble and worthy lady."

In his letters to his learned friends, however, he frequently
commented on the sweetness of her character and the depth of her
erudition. He spoke of Lady Mildred Cooke and the Lady Jane Grey as
the two most learned women in England; and summed up his praises of
the latter in the remark that "however illustrious she was by her
fortune and royal extraction, this bore no proportion to the
accomplishments of her mind, adorned with the doctrine of Plato and
the eloquence of Demosthenes."

Her illustrious rank, her piety and her erudition necessarily made the
Lady Jane an object of special interest to the leaders of the Reformed
Church in England and on the continent. The learned Martin Bruce, whom
Edward VI. had appointed to the chair of divinity at the University of
Cambridge, watched over her with prayerful anxiety. Bullinger, a
minister of Zurich, corresponded with her frequently, encouraging her
in the practice of every virtue. Under the direction and counsel of
these and other divines she pursued her theological studies with great
success, so as to be able to defend and maintain the creed she had
adopted, and give abundant reason for the faith that was in her.

The Marquis of Dorset, in October, 1551, was raised to the dukedom of
Suffolk; and on the same day the subtle and ambitious intriguer, John
Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who was to exercise so malignant an influence
on his daughter's destiny, was created Duke of Northumberland.

The Lady Jane was then removed to the metropolis, residing with her
family at her father's town house, in Suffolk Place. She necessarily
shared in the festivities of the court; but she would seem to have
been distinguished always by a remarkable plainness of apparel; in
this obeying the impulse of her simplicity of taste, supported and
confirmed by the advice of Bullinger and Aylmer.

On one occasion the Princess Mary presented her with a sumptuous robe,
which she was desired to wear in recognition of the donor's
generosity. "Nay," she replied, "that were a shame, to follow my Lady
Mary, who leaveth God's word, and leave my Lady Elizabeth who
followeth God's word." A speech which the Lady Mary doubtless
remembered.

Early in 1553, men clearly saw that the life and reign of Edward VI.
were drawing to an abrupt termination. His legitimate successor was
his elder sister Mary; but her morose temper and bigoted attachment to
the old Church had filled the minds of the Reformers with anxiety. Her
unpopularity, and the dangers to the Reformed Church to be apprehended
from her accession, led Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, to conceive an
audacious design. He resolved to raise his son to the throne. But for
this purpose it was necessary to ally him to the blood-royal, and he
therefore planned a marriage between his young son, Lord Guilford
Dudley, and Lady Jane Grey.

There were such elements of fitness in the match that on neither side
was any obstruction thrown; and in June 1553 the bridal ceremony took
place at the Duke of Northumberland's palace in the Strand. The Duke
then obtained from King Edward, by an appeal to his zeal for the
Church, letters-patent excluding Mary and Elizabeth from the
succession and declaring Lady Jane Grey heir to the throne.

A few days afterwards the young king died; and on the evening of the
9th of July, the Duke of Northumberland, accompanied by the Marquis of
Northampton, the Earls of Arundel, Huntingdon and Pembroke, appeared
before the young bride in her quiet chamber at Northumberland House,
and urged her acceptance of a crown which was fated to become, for
her, a crown of thorns.

"How I was beside myself," she afterwards wrote, "how I was beside
myself, stupefied and troubled, I will leave it to those lords who
were present to testify, who saw me overcome by sudden and unexpected
grief, fall on the ground, weeping very bitterly; and then declaring
to them my insufficiency, I greatly bewailed myself for the death of
so noble a Prince, and at the same time turned myself to God, humbly
praying and beseeching Him that if what was given to me was _rightly
and lawfully_ mine, His divine Majesty would grant _me_ such grace and
spirit that I might govern it to His glory and service and to the
advantage of this realm."

Her prudent reluctance, however, was overruled. History records the
brief twelve days' pageant of her reign.

On the 19th of July her opponent, Mary entered London in triumph.

"Great was the rejoicing," says a contemporary; so great that the like
of it had never been seen by any living. The number of caps that were
flung into the air at the proclamation could not be told. The Earl of
Pembroke cast among the crowd a liberal largess. Bonfires blazed in
every street; and what with shouting and crying of the people, and
ringing of bells, there could no one man hear what another said.

Lady Jane was at first confined in the house of one Partridge, a
warder of the Tower. Thence, after she and her husband had been tried
for high treason and found guilty, they were removed to the Tower.
During her captivity she occasionally amused herself with the graceful
pursuits of her earlier and happier years, engraving on the walls of
her prison, with a pin, some Latin distich, which turned into English
read:

    "Believe not, man, in care's despite,
      That thou from others' ills art free
    The _cross_ that now _I_ suffer might
      To-morrow haply fall on _thee_"

    "Endless all malice, if our God is nigh:
    Fruitless all pains, if He His help deny,
    Patient I pass these gloomy hours away,
    And wait the morning of eternal day."

Her execution was fixed for the 12th of February 1554. On the night
preceding she wrote a few sentences of advice to her sister on the
blank leaf of a New Testament. To her father she addressed the
following beautiful letter, in which filial reverence softens and
subdues the exhortations of a dying saint:

    The Lord comfort Your Grace, and that in His Word, wherein all
    creatures only are to be comforted; and though it hath pleased
    God to take away two of your children, yet think not, I most
    humbly beseech Your Grace, that you have lost them; but trust
    that we, by leaving this mortal life, have won an immortal life.
    And I, for my part, as I have honoured Your Grace in this life,
    will pray for you in another life.--Your Grace's humble
    daughter,

                                            JANE DUDLEY.

The stern Lieutenant of the Tower, Sir John Brydges, had been
vanquished by the gentle graces of his prisoner and he sought from her
some memorial in writing. In a manual of manuscript prayers she wrote
a few sentences of farewell:

    Forasmuch as you have desired so simple a woman to write in so
    worthy a book, good Master Lieutenant, therefore I shall, as a
    friend, desire you, and as a Christian require you, to call upon
    God to incline your heart to His laws, to quicken you in His
    way, and not to take the word of truth utterly out of your
    mouth. Live still to die, that by death you may purchase eternal
    life, and remember how Methuselah, who, as we read in the
    Scriptures, was the longest liver that was of a man, died at the
    last; for, as the Preacher saith, there is a time to be born and
    a time to die; and the day of death is better than the day of
    our birth.--Yours, as the Lord knoweth, as a friend,

                                            JANE DUDLEY.

Mary and her advisers had originally intended that both Lady Jane and
her husband should be executed together on Tower Hill; but reflection
convinced them that the spectacle of so comely and youthful a pair
suffering for what was rather the crime of others than their own,
might powerfully awaken the sympathies of the multitude, and produce a
revulsion of feeling. It was ordered, therefore, that Lady Jane should
suffer within the precincts of the Tower.

The fatal morning came. The young husband--still a bridegroom and a
lover--had obtained permission to bid her a last farewell; but she
refused to see him, apprehensive that so bitter a parting might
overwhelm them, and deprive them of the courage needful to face death
with calmness. She sent him, however, many loving messages, reminding
him how brief would be their separation, and how quickly they would
meet in a brighter and better world.

In going to his death on Tower Hill, he passed beneath the window of
her cell; so that they had an opportunity of exchanging a farewell
look. He behaved on the scaffold with calm intrepidity. After spending
a brief space in silent devotion, he requested the prayers of the
spectators, and, laying his head upon the block, gave the fatal
signal. At one blow his head was severed from his body.

The scaffold on which the girl-queen was to close her stainless career
had been erected on the green opposite the White Tower. As soon as her
husband was dead the officers announced that the sheriffs waited to
attend her thither. And when she had gone down and been delivered into
their hands, the bystanders noted in her "a countenance so gravely
settled and with all modest and comely resolution, that not the least
symptom either of fear or grief could be perceived either in her
speech or motions; she was like one going to be united to her heart's
best and longest beloved."

So, like a martyr, crowned with glory, she went unto her death. Her
serene composure was scarcely shaken when, through an unfortunate
misunderstanding of the officer in command, she met on her way her
husband's headless trunk being borne to its last resting-place.

"Oh Guilford! Guilford!" she exclaimed; "the antepast is not so bitter
that you have tasted, and that I shall soon taste, as to make my flesh
tremble; it is nothing compared to the feast that you and I shall this
day partake of in heaven." This thought renewed her strength and
sustained and consoled, we might almost believe, by ministering
angels, she proceeded to the scaffold with as much grace and dignity
as if it were a wedding banquet that awaited her.

She was conducted by Sir John Brydges, the Lieutenant of the Tower,
and attended by her two waiting-women, Mrs. Elizabeth Tylney and Mrs.
Ellen. While these wept and sobbed bitterly, her eyes were dry, and
her countenance shone with the light of a sure and certain hope. She
read earnestly her manual of prayers. On reaching the place of
execution she saluted the lords and gentlemen present with unshaken
composure and infinite grace. No minister of her own Church had been
allowed to attend her, and she did not care to accept the services of
Feckenham, Queen Mary's confessor. She was not indifferent, however,
to his respectful sympathy and when bidding him farewell, she said:

"Go now; God grant you all your desires, and accept my own warm thanks
for your attentions to me; although, indeed, those attentions have
tried me more than death could now terrify me."

To the spectators she addressed a few gentle words, in admirable
keeping with the gentle tenor of her life.

"Good people," she exclaimed, "I am come hither to die, and by law I
am condemned to the same. My offence to the Queen's Highness was only
in consent to the device of others, which now is deemed treason; but
it was never my seeking, but by counsel of those who should seem to
have further understanding of things than I, who knew little of the
law, and much less of the titles to the Crown. I pray you all, good
Christian people, to bear me witness that I die a true Christian
woman, and that I look to be saved by none other means but only by the
mercy of God, in the merits of the blood of His only son, Jesus
Christ; and I confess, when I did know the word of God, I neglected
the same, loved myself and the world, and therefore this plague or
punishment is happily and worthily happened unto me for my sins; and
yet I thank God of His goodness, that He hath thus given me a time and
respite to repent. And now, good people, while I am alive, I pray you
to assist me with your prayers."

She knelt to her devotions, and turning to Feckenham, inquired whether
she should repeat the Miserere psalm (the fifty-first, "Have mercy
upon me, O Lord").

He replied in the affirmative; and she said it with great earnestness
from beginning to end. Rising from her knees, she began to prepare
herself for the headsman and pulling off her gloves, gave them and her
handkerchief to Mistress Tylney. The manual of prayers, in which she
had written at the desire of the Lieutenant, she handed to Thomas
Brydges, his brother. When she was unfastening her robe, the
executioner would have assisted her, but she motioned him aside, and
accepted the last offices of her waiting-women, who then gave her a
white handkerchief with which to bandage her eyes.

Throwing himself at her feet, the headsman humbly craved her
forgiveness, which she willingly granted. He then requested her to
stand upon the straw, and in complying with his direction she for the
first time saw the fatal block. Her composure remained unshaken; she
simply entreated the executioner to dispatch her quickly. Again
kneeling she asked him:

"Will you take it off before I lay me down?"

"No, madam," he replied.

She bound the handkerchief round her eyes, and feeling for the block,
exclaimed,

"What shall I do? Where is it?"

Being guided to it by one of the bystanders, she laid her head down,
exclaiming, in an audible voice:

"Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

In an instant the axe fell, and the tragedy was consummated. An
involuntary groan from the assembled multitude seemed to acknowledge
that vengeance had been satisfied, but justice outraged.

Lady Jane--or Queen Jane, as she should more properly be called--was
little more than seventeen years old when she thus fell a victim to
Mary's jealous fears and hate. She had hardly entered upon womanhood,
and the promise of her young life had had no time to ripen into
fruition. We may well believe, however, that she would not have
disappointed the hopes which that promise had awakened. Her heroic
death showed how well she had profited by the lessons she had imbibed
in her early years.

There was no affectation, no exaggeration, in her conduct upon the
scaffold; but she bore herself with serene dignity and with true
courage. It was worthy of her life--which, brief as an unhappy fortune
made it, was full of beauty, full of calmness, and truth, and
elevation and modest piety. The impression which it made upon her
contemporaries, an impression taken up and retained by posterity, is
visible in the fact to this hour we speak of her as she was in her
sweet simple maidenhood--we pass over her married name and her regal
title, and love to honour her, not as Lady Jane Dudley, or Queen Jane,
but as Lady Jane Grey.



VIII

POCAHONTAS


In his younger days Powhatan had been a great warrior. He was the
chief, or _werowance_, of eight tribes. Through conquest his dominions
had been extended until they reached from the James River to the
Potomac, from the sea to the falls in the rivers, and included thirty
of the forty tribes in Virginia. It is estimated that his subjects
numbered eight thousand. The name of his nation and the Indian name of
the James River was Powhatan. His enemies were two neighbouring
confederacies, the Mannahoacs, between the Rappahannock and York
rivers, and the Monacans between the York and James rivers, above the
falls.

Powhatan lived sometimes at a village of his name, where Richmond now
stands, and sometimes at Werowocomoco, on the York River. He had in
each of his hereditary villages a house built like a long arbour for
his especial reception. When Powhatan visited one of these villages a
feast was already spread in the long house or arbour. He had a hunting
town in the wilderness called Orapax. A mile from this place, deep in
the woods, he had another arbour-like house, where he kept furs,
copper, pearls, and beads, treasures which he was saving against his
burial.

Powhatan had twenty sons and eleven daughters living. We know nothing
of his sons except Nanteguas, "the most manliest, comliest, boldest
spirit" ever seen in "a savage." Pocahontas was Powhatan's favourite
daughter. She was born in 1594 or 1595. Of her mother nothing is
known. Powhatan had many wives; when he tired of them he would present
them to those of his subjects whom he considered the most deserving.

Indians are frequently known by several names. It is a disappointment
to learn that the name which the romantic story of this Indian
princess has made so famous was not her real name. She was called in
childhood Metoax, or Metoake. Concealing this from the English,
because of a superstitious notion that if these pale-faced strangers
knew her true name they could do her some harm, the Indians gave her
name as Pocahontas.

Powhatan's authority, like that of all Indian chiefs, was held in
check by custom. "The lawes whereby he ruleth," says Captain Smith,
"is custome. Yet when he listeth, his will is a law, and must be
obeyed: not only as a king, but as halfe a god they esteeme him."

Each village and tribe had its respective chief, or "werowance," as he
was called among the Powhatan Indians. The affairs of the tribe were
settled in a council of the chiefs and warriors of the several
villages.

Powhatan was the great werowance over all, "unto whom," says Captain
Smith, "they pay tribute of skinnes, beads, copper, pearle, deere,
turkies, wild beasts, and corne. What he commandeth they dare not
disobey in the least thing. It is strange to see with what care and
adoration all these people do obey this Powhatan. For at his feete
they present whatsoever he commandeth, and at the least frown of his
brow, their greatest spirits will tremble! and no marvell, for he is
very terrible and tyrannous in punishing such as offend him."

It was a barbarous life in which the little Pocahontas was bred. Her
people always washed their young babies in the river on the coldest
mornings to harden them. She was accustomed to see her old father
sitting at the door of his cabin regarding with grim pleasure a string
of his enemy's scalps, suspended from tree to tree, and waving in the
breeze. Men in England in her time idealised her into a princess and
fine lady. In our time historians have been surprised and indignant at
finding that she was not a heroine of romance, but simply an Indian
maiden. Such as her life made her she was--in her manners an untrained
savage. But she was also the steadfast friend and helper of the feeble
colony, and that is why her life is heroic and full of interest.

Powhatan, sensible of the pomp and dignity proper to his position as a
great warrior, particularly desired to impress the English who were
settling at Jamestown. A member of the colony, Captain Smith had been
prisoner for several weeks and was detained until preparations had
been made to receive him in state.

When Powhatan and his train had had time to deck themselves in all
"their greatest braveries," Captain Smith was admitted to the chief's
presence. He was seated upon a sort of divan resembling a bedstead.
Before him was a fire, and on either hand sat two young women about
eighteen years of age. Powhatan, "well beaten with many cold and
stormy winters," wore strings of pearls around his neck, and was
covered with a great robe of raccoon skins decorated with the tails.
Around the council house was ranged a double row of warriors. Behind
these were as many women. The heads and shoulders of the Indians were
painted red, many had their hair decorated with white down, and all
wore some savage ornament.

On the appearance of the prisoner a great shout arose from these
primitive courtiers. An Indian woman was appointed to bring water for
the prisoner to wash his hands in. Another woman brought him feathers
to dry them and Captain Smith was then feasted in the "best barbarous
manner," and a council was held to decide his fate. This debate lasted
a long time, but the conclusion could hardly have been favourable to
Captain Smith, since Powhatan was jealous of the white colony already
encroaching upon his seclusion at Werowocomoco.

During this solemn debate Captain Smith must have felt anything but
comfortable. He did not know his doom until two stones were brought in
and placed before Powhatan. Then as many as could lay hands on him
dragged him to the feet of the chief and laid his head upon the
stones. The executioners raised their clubs to beat out his brains.
Such a scene was not uncommon in this forest court. From childhood
these savage men and women were accustomed to exult in the most
barbarous tortures and executions. It is then the more wonderful that
the heart of a little Indian maiden should have been touched with pity
for the doomed white man. Pocahontas, a child of ten or twelve, and
"the king's dearest daughter," pleaded for the life of the captive.
But "no entreaty could prevail" with the stern Powhatan.

The warriors were ready to strike the blow, when the child flew to the
side of Captain Smith, took "his head in her arms and laid her own
upon his to save him from death, whereat," says the quaint narrative
"the Emperor [Powhatan] was contented he should live to make him
hatchets and her beads and copper," thinking he was accustomed to
follow all occupations. "For," says the story, "the king himself will
make his own robes, shoes, bows, arrows, and pots," while he would
"plant, hunt, or do any thing so well as the rest."

Powhatan did not long detain Captain Smith for such trivial uses as
making trinkets for Pocahontas. It had become the desire of his heart
to possess the powerful weapons and tools of the English. He saw that
a friend in Jamestown would be a good thing, and he perhaps hoped from
friendly commerce with the colony to acquire ascendancy over other
Indian tribes.

He took occasion to express his wishes to Captain Smith in a curious
manner.

Two days after his rescue from death he had the captive taken to one
of his arbour-like buildings in the woods and left alone upon a mat by
the fire. The house was curtained off in the centre with a mat. Soon a
most doleful noise came from behind the mat, and Powhatan, disguised
in "the most fearfullest manner," and looking "more like a devil than
a man," entered, with some two hundred Indians, painted black. The
outcome of this impressive ceremony was that Powhatan told Captain
Smith that they were now friends, and that he would presently send him
home, and that when he arrived at Jamestown he must send him two great
guns and a grindstone. In return he said he would give him the country
of Capahowosick, and would always consider him his son.

Captain Smith was accordingly sent to Jamestown with twelve guides.
The Indians delayed on their journey, though the distance was short.
They camped in the woods one night, and feasted sumptuously; but
Captain Smith was in constant fear of his life still, "expecting every
hour to be put to one death or another." He was, however, led in
safety to the fort. Here he treated his savage guides with great
hospitality, and showed Rawhunt, a trusty servant of Powhatan, two
demi-culverins (long cannons carrying a nine-pound shot) and a
mill-stone to carry to his chief. The Indians however, "found them
somewhat too heavy." For their benefit, Captain Smith had the guns
loaded with stones, and discharged among the boughs of trees covered
with icicles. The crashing fall of the ice-laden limbs so frightened
the Indians that they fled, "half dead with fear," and it was some
time before they could be induced to return. Presents of various toys
were given them for Powhatan and his family, and they went away
satisfied.

The winter of 1607-08 was remarkably cold, both in Europe and America.
In the midst of its severity an accident resulted in a fire which
destroyed many of the reed-thatched cottages, the palisades, and much
of the provisions of the colonists at Jamestown.

Powhatan still looked with covetous eyes upon the glittering swords,
the ponderous muskets, and the serviceable pistols of the English. So
long as the white man used supernatural bullets and sharp-edged swords
and the red man possessed only tomahawks of stone and stone-pointed
arrows and javelins, so long were the English safe from Indian
attacks. It was now the ambition of Powhatan's life to obtain a goodly
store of English weapons, instead of the rude wooden swords used by
the Indians. Savage-like, he went about his purpose in the most crafty
way with the most innocent air. And sent twenty turkeys "to express
his love," with the request that Captain Smith would return the
compliment with a present of twenty swords. But Smith refused,
knowing it would cut the throat of the colony to put such weapons into
the hands of the crafty chief.

Powhatan was not to be thus outdone. If he could not procure the
swords in one way he would in another. "He caused his people with
twenty devices to obtain" as many swords. The Indians became
"insolent." They surprised the colonists at their work. They would lie
in ambuscade at the very gates of Jamestown and procure the weapons of
stragglers by force. The council in England had deemed it the only
wise policy to keep peace with the savages at all hazards, and a wise
policy it was if it were not carried too far. The orders from this
body had been very strict; the colonists were in no way to offend the
Indians.

Thus a "charitable humour prevailed" until Captain Smith was the man
they "meddled" with. This fiery soldier did not wait for deliberation.
He hunted the miscreants, and those whom he captured he "terrified"
with whipping and imprisonment. In return, the Indians captured two
straggling Englishmen, and came in force to the very gates of
Jamestown, demanding seven Indians, whom, "for their villainies,"
Smith had detained. The irrepressible Captain immediately headed a
sally in which he forced the Indians to surrender the Englishmen
unconditionally. He then examined his prisoners, but they were
faithful to their chief, and he could get nothing from them. He made
six of them believe, by "several volleys of shot," that he had caused
one of their number to be killed. They immediately confessed, in
separate examinations, to a plot on the part of Powhatan to procure
the weapons, and then to cut the throats of the colonists. Captain
Smith still detained the Indians, resolving to give them a wholesome
fright.

Pocahontas presently came to Jamestown, accompanied by Indian
messengers. Her father had sent them with presents, and a message
excusing "the injuries done by some rash, untoward captains, his
subjects, desiring their liberties for this time with the assurance of
his love forever."

When Captain Smith had punished his seven prisoners as he thought fit,
he "used them well" for a few days, and delivered them to Pocahontas,
pretending that he saved their lives only for the sake of the little
Indian girl.

One cannot refrain from admiring in the brave colonists and their
captain the fortitude and persistence that they showed, and the
wonderful tact with which they managed the natives. Many had died,
some had recovered, and others were still sick.

Captain Smith had been installed as president. He governed the colony
wisely. His measures were doubtless severe, but severity was necessary
among these men totally unqualified for a frontier life, with an
unwise management in England, and endless discontent and jealousy at
Jamestown. Men shut up together in hard circumstances are sure to fall
out.

Captain Smith went energetically to work to better the condition of
the colony. Jamestown was once more the scene of busy activity. Church
and storehouse were repaired, new houses built for more supplies, and
the fort altered in form. The soldiers were drilled every day upon a
plain called Smithfield. Here crowds of Indians would gather to watch
with wonder the Englishmen shoot at a mark.

Captain Smith, to quiet all fears, and to show his willingness to
assist in the business on hand, as well as to hasten an affair which
would consume so much valuable time, undertook with four companions a
journey to Werowocomoco, to ask Powhatan to come to Jamestown.

It was now the season to trade for corn with the Indians.

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Englishmen reached the home of Powhatan they found that he
was some thirty miles away. They were received by the steadfast friend
of all white men, Pocahontas. She sent messengers for her father, and
undertook to entertain her friends while they waited.

The Englishmen were left in an open space, seated on a mat by the
fire. Suddenly they heard a "hideous noise" in the woods. Supposing
that Powhatan and his warriors were upon them, they sprang to their
feet, grasped their arms and seized two or three old Indians who were
near them. Pocahontas came to them, however, with her apology, saying
that they might kill her "if any hurt were intended." Those who stood
near, men, women and children, assured the white men that all was
right. Presently thirty young women came rushing out of the woods.
Their only covering was a cincture or apron of green leaves; they were
gaily painted, some one colour and some another. Every girl wore a
pair of deer's horns on her head, while from her girdle and upon one
arm hung an otter's skin. The leader wore a quiver of arrows, and
carried a bow and arrow in her hands. The others followed with swords,
clubs and pot-sticks.

"These fiends, with most hellish shouts and cries," says the
ungallant narrator, "cast themselves in a ring about the fire, singing
and dancing with most excellent ill variety." This masquerade lasted
about half an hour, when the Indian girls disappeared as they had
come.

They again reappeared in their ordinary costume. Pocahontas invited
Captain Smith to a dinner which had been spread for him with "all the
savage dainties" which they could procure. They tormented the captain
by pressing around him saying, "Love you not me? Love you not me?"
While he feasted they danced, and ended by conducting him to his
lodging with fire-brands for torches.

       *       *       *       *       *

Powhatan arrived the next day. Cold weather had come and famine began
to stare the colonists in the face. The president set out for the
country of the Nansemond Indians. These people refused not only to
provide the four hundred bushels of corn which they had promised in
their treaty with the colonists on their previous visit, but they
refused to trade at all. Their excuse was that they had used up the
most that they had, and that they were under commands from Powhatan
neither to trade with the English nor to allow them to enter their
river. The English had recourse to force, and the Indians fled at the
first volley of musketry without shooting a single arrow. The first
cabin the white men discovered they set on fire. The Indians
immediately desired peace, and promised the English half that they
had. Before night all the boats were loaded with corn, and the English
sailed some four miles down the river. Here they camped out for the
night in the open woods on frozen ground covered with snow.

The manner in which these adventurers of nearly three hundred years
ago made themselves comfortable is interesting. They would dig away
the snow and build a great fire, which would serve to dry and warm the
ground. They would then scrape away the fire, spread a mat on the
place where it had been, and here they would sleep with another mat
hung up as a shield against the wind. In the night, as the wind
shifted, they would change their hanging mat, and when the ground grew
cold they would again remove their fire and take its place. Their
story says that many "a cold winter night" did the adventurers sleep
thus; and yet those who went on these expeditions "were always in
health, lusty and fat."

Finding that the old Indian chief had determined to starve the colony
out of existence by a refusal to trade with the white men, Captain
Smith, appreciating the desperate extremity, resolved to take, as
usual, the boldest plan out of the difficulty. He meditated a plan for
surprising and entrapping Powhatan into his power. Smith saw no other
chance to procure food, and starving men do not stop to debate whether
a course is right or wrong.

About this time Powhatan sent a message to Smith inviting him to visit
him, and saying that if he would but build him a house, give him a
grindstone, fifty swords, some firearms, a hen and rooster, and much
beads and copper, he would fill the ship with corn. Captain Smith made
haste to accept this offer. He sent some of the Dutchmen and some
Englishmen ahead to begin the building of Powhatan's house.

On the twelfth of January the English neared Werowocomoco. The ice
extended nearly half a mile from shore in the York River. Captain
Smith pushed as near the shore as he could in the barge, by breaking
the ice. Impatient of remaining in an open boat in the freezing cold,
he jumped into the half-frozen marsh, and waded ashore. His example
was followed by eighteen of his men.

The English quartered at the first cabins they reached, and announced
their arrival in a message to Powhatan, requesting provision. The
chief sent them plenty of bread, venison and turkeys, and feasted them
according to his custom. The following day, however, he desired to
know when they "would be gone," pretending that he had not sent for
the English. He made the astonishing statement that he himself had no
corn, and his people had much less; but that he would furnish them
forty baskets of this grain for as many swords. Captain Smith quickly
confronted him with the men who had brought Powhatan's message to
Jamestown, and asked the chief "how it chanced he became so
forgetful." Powhatan answered with "a merry laughter," and invited the
English to show their commodities. But the crafty chief was not suited
with anything, unless it were guns or swords.

"Powhatan," said Captain Smith, "believing your promises to supply my
wants, I neglected all to satisfy your desire, and to testify my love
I sent you my men for your building, neglecting mine own. As for
swords and guns, I told you long ago I had none to spare, and you must
know those I have can keep me from want. Yet steal or wrong you I will
not, nor dissolve that friendship we have mutually promised, except
you constrain me by your bad usage."

Powhatan listened attentively to this speech, and promised that he
would spare them what he could, which he would deliver to them in two
days.

"Yet, Captain Smith," said the chief, "I have some doubt of your
coming hither that makes me not so kindly seek to relieve you as I
would, for many do inform me your coming hither is not for trade, but
to invade my people and possess my country, who dare not bring you
corn, seeing you thus armed with your men. To free us of this fear,
leave aboard your weapons, for here they are needless, we being all
friends."

But Captain Smith was not to be cajoled into a council without
weapons. That night was spent at Werowocomoco, and the following day
the building of Powhatan's house went forward.

Meanwhile the English managed "to wrangle" some ten bushels of corn
out of the chief for a copper kettle.

       *       *       *       *       *

The chief was dissatisfied that he could not have his way.

"Captain Smith," said Powhatan with a sigh, "I never used any
werowance so kindly as yourself, yet from you I receive the least
kindness of any. Another captain gave me swords, copper, clothes, a
bed, towels or what I desired, ever taking what I offered him, and
would send away his guns when I entreated him; none doth deny to lie
at my feet or refuse to do what I desire but only you, of whom I can
have nothing but what you regard not, and yet you will have whatsoever
you demand. You call me father, but I see you will do what you list,
and we must seek to content you. But if you intend so friendly as you
say, send hence your arms, that I may believe you."

The wily old chief was right. Captain Smith was determined to have his
own way. He saw that nothing could be gained thus. Powhatan was
watching with lynx eyes for a chance to get the white men into his
power while he delivered eloquent and persuasive speeches. Captain
Smith asked the savages to break the ice for him that his boat might
reach the shore, to take him and the corn. He intended, when the boat
came, to land more men and surprise the chief. Meanwhile, to entertain
Powhatan and keep him from suspecting anything, he made the following
reply to his last speech:

"Powhatan, you must know as I have but one God I honour but one king,
and I live not here as your subject, but as your friend, to pleasure
you with what I can. By the gifts you bestow on me you gain more than
by trade, yet would you visit me as I do you, you should know it is
not our custom to sell our courtesies. To content you, to-morrow I
will leave my arms and trust to your promise. I call you father
indeed, and as a father you shall see I will love you; but the small
care you have for such a child caused my men to persuade me to look to
myself."

But Powhatan was not to be fooled. His mind was on the fast
disappearing ice. He managed to disengage himself from the captain's
conversation, and secretly fled with his women, children and luggage.
To avoid any suspicion, two or three women were left to engage Captain
Smith in talk while warriors beset the house where they were. When
Captain Smith discovered what they were doing, he and John Russell
went about making their way out with the help of their pistols, swords
and Indian shields. At the first shot the savages tumbled "one over
another" and quickly fled in every direction, and the two men reached
their companions in safety.

       *       *       *       *       *

Powhatan saw that his stratagem had failed. He immediately tried to
remove the unfavourable impression which this event and the sudden
appearance of so many warriors might make on the minds of the
English. He sent an "ancient orator" to Captain Smith with presents
of a great bracelet and chain of pearls.

"Captain Smith," said the Indian, "our werowance has fled, fearing
your guns, and knowing when the ice was broken there would come more
men; he sent these numbers but to guard his corn from stealing. Now
since the ice is open, he would have you send away your corn, and if
you would have his company, send away also your guns, which so
affrighteth his people that they dare not come to you as he promised
they should."

The Indians provided baskets that the English might carry their corn
to the boat. They were officious in tendering their services to guard
the colonists' arms while they were thus occupied, lest any one should
steal them. There were crowds of those grim, sturdy savages about; but
the sight of the white men cocking their matchlock guns rendered them
exceedingly meek. They were easily persuaded by this sight to leave
their bows and arrows in charge of the Englishmen, while they
themselves carried the corn down to the boats on their own backs. This
they did with wonderful dispatch.

Ebb tide left the boat stuck in the marsh, and the adventurers were
obliged to remain at Werowocomoco until high water. They returned to
the cabins where they were at first quartered. The savages entertained
them until night with "merry sports," and then left them. Powhatan was
gathering his forces and planning the certain destruction of his
visitors. The English were alone in the Indian cabins. Suddenly
Pocahontas, Powhatan's "dearest jewel and daughter," as she is styled
in the quaint narrative, appeared before Captain Smith. She had come
this dark night through the "irksome woods" alone from her father's
cabin.

"Captain Smith," said she, "great cheer will be sent you by and by;
but Powhatan and all the power he can make will after come and kill
you all, if they that bring you the cheer do not kill you with your
own weapons when you are at supper. Therefore, if you would live, I
wish you presently to be gone."

Captain Smith wished to give Pocahontas presents of those trifles dear
to the heart of an Indian, and such as Pocahontas most delighted in.

"I dare not," said the girl, with tears running down her cheeks, "be
seen to have any, for if Powhatan should know it, I am but dead."

She then ran away into the woods as she had come. Within less than an
hour, eight or ten savages came, bringing great platters of venison
and other food. They begged the Englishmen to put out the matches of
their guns, for the "smoke made them sick," and to sit down to eat.
But the Captain was vigilant. He made the Indians first taste of every
dish, and he then sent them back to Powhatan, asking him, "to make
haste," for he was awaiting his arrival. Soon after more messengers
came, "to see what news," and they were followed in a short time by
still more. Thus the night was spent by both parties with the utmost
vigilance, though to all appearances they were on very friendly terms.
When high water came the English prepared to depart. At Powhatan's
request they left a man named Edward Brynton to hunt for him, while
the Dutchmen remained to finish his house.

On an eminence near where Werowocomoco must have been, still stands a
stone chimney which is known to this day as "Powhatan's Chimney," and
according to tradition is the chimney of the house which the colonists
erected for this chief.

For several years Powhatan continued to be hostile to the colonists.
In one way and another he possessed himself of many English arms, and
detained a number of Englishmen as prisoners. Some time after this
Pocahontas happened to be among the Potomacs on the river of that
name. One account says that she had gone thither, feasting among her
friends, but another writer of that time says that she had been sent
to the Potomacs to trade with them. Perhaps also Powhatan distrusted
her friendship for the whites. Whatever may have been the cause,
Pocahontas was certainly making a stay on the Potomac River.

The English Captain Argall had gone to trade with the Indians on the
Potomac. Some friendly Indians informed him that Pocahontas was in the
region. A plan for bringing Powhatan to terms immediately suggested
itself to the unscrupulous captain. He sent for one of the Indian
chiefs, and told him that if he did not give Pocahontas into his hands
they would no longer be "brothers nor friends." The Potomac Indians
were at first unwilling to do this, fearing that it might involve them
in a war with Powhatan. Captain Argall assured them that he would take
their part in such a war, and they consented to his plan.

The following story is told of the manner in which Pocahontas was
betrayed. The Indian girl manifested no desire to go aboard Captain
Argall's vessels, having many a time been on English vessels, in her
friendly relations with the whites. Captain Argall offered an old
Indian named Japazaws the irresistible bribe of a copper kettle if he
would betray Pocahontas into his power. Japazaws undertook to do this
with the assistance of his wife. This wife became immediately
possessed with an intense desire to visit the English ship, which she
said had been there three or four times and she had never been aboard
it. She begged her husband to allow her to go aboard, but Japazaws
sternly refused, saying she could not go unless she had some woman to
accompany her. He at last threatened to beat her for her persistence.

The tender heart of Pocahontas was moved with pity; she offered to
accompany the woman on board the English vessel. Japazaws and his wife
with the chief's daughter were taken on to the ship, where they were
well entertained and invited to supper. The old man and his wife were
so well pleased with their success that during the whole meal they
kept treading on Captain Argall's toes. After supper the captain sent
Pocahontas to the gun-room while he pretended to have a private
conversation with Japazaws. He presently recalled her, and told her
that she must remain with him, and that she should not again see
Powhatan until she had served to bring about a peace between her
father and the English. Immediately Japazaws and his wife set up "a
howl and cry," and Pocahontas began to be "exceedingly pensive and
discontented." The old people were rowed to shore, happy in the
possession of their copper kettle and some trinkets.

Captain Argall sent an Indian messenger to Powhatan, informing him
that "his delight and darling, his daughter Pocahontas," was a
prisoner, and informing him that "if he would send home the Englishmen
whom he had detained in slavery, with such arms and tools as the
Indians had gotten and stolen, and also a great quantity of corn, that
then he should have his daughter restored, otherwise not."

Powhatan was "very much grieved," having a strong affection both for
his daughter and for the English weapons which he possessed. It was a
hard alternative. He sent, however, a message desiring the English to
use Pocahontas well, and promising to perform the conditions for her
rescue.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a long time before anything more was heard from Powhatan. After
three months he sent to the governor by way of ransom seven
Englishmen, overjoyed to be free from slavery and the constant fear of
cruel death, three muskets, a broadaxe, a whip-saw, and a canoe full
of corn. These were accompanied by a message to the effect that he
would satisfy injuries, give the English a large quantity of corn, and
be forever their friend when his daughter was delivered up. The
English received these things "in part payment," and returned such an
answer as this to Powhatan:

"Your daughter shall be well used, but we cannot believe the rest of
our arms are either lost or stolen from you, and therefore, till you
send them we will keep your daughter."

The wily old chief was much grieved at this message, and it was again
a long time before anything was heard from him. At last Sir Thomas
Dale, then the governor of the colony, taking with him Pocahontas and
one hundred and fifty men, embarked in the colony's vessels for a
visit to Powhatan. The party sailed up the York River. Powhatan was
not to be seen. The English told the Indians that they had come to
deliver up the daughter of Powhatan and to receive the promised return
of men and arms. These overtures were received with scornful threats
and open hostility. Skirmishing ensued, in which some of the Indian
houses were burned and property spoiled.

The Indians asked why this had been done. The English answered by
asking why they had shot at them. The Indians excused themselves,
laying the blame on some straggling savages. They protested they
intended no harm, but were the white man's friends. The English
rejoined that they did not come to hurt them, but came as friends.

A peace was patched up and messengers were sent to Powhatan. The
Indians told the English that their imprisoned men "were run off" for
fear the English would hang them, but that Powhatan's men "were run
after to bring them back." They promised to return them with the
stolen swords and muskets on the following day. The English perceived
that this story was told only to gain time.

Meantime two brothers of Pocahontas came aboard the ship to visit her.
They had heard that she was not well, and were overjoyed to find her
in good health and contented. While they were visiting with their
sister, Mr. John Rolfe and Mr. Sparks were sent to negotiate with
Powhatan. They were received kindly and hospitably entertained, but
they were not admitted to the presence of the offended chief. His
brother, Opechancanough, saw them and promised to do the best he could
with Powhatan, saying that "all might be well." With such slight
satisfaction the English were obliged to return to Jamestown, for it
was now April and time to sow corn.

Pocahontas had been about a year a prisoner at Jamestown. There can be
no doubt that she was treated with the greatest friendliness by the
colonists. Her feelings had always been warm for the white strangers.
Now that she was an innocent and interesting young prisoner among
them, what more natural than that she should be honoured and petted?
Pocahontas was now a woman, being about eighteen to nineteen years of
age. To judge from her portrait she could not have had the beauty with
which tradition has invested her, but she had at least a pleasant and
interesting face, and there must have been some charm in her large
black eyes and straight black hair.

There was one colonist at least who took a great interest in the young
prisoner. Mr. John Rolfe is styled in the different records "an honest
gentleman of good behaviour," "an honest and discreet English
gentleman," "a gentleman of approved behaviour and honest carriage."

The subject of the conversion of Pocahontas had weighed heavily upon
the mind of Mr. Rolfe. He accordingly attempted to convert her to
Christianity, and in doing so fell in love with her. Pocahontas became
a Christian, and what more natural than that the constant friend of
the white men should love an Englishman?

Long before the trip up the York River Mr. Rolfe had loved the Indian
maiden. He wrote a long letter to the governor, Sir Thomas Dale,
asking his advice. Sir Thomas readily consented to the marriage.
Pocahontas, on her part, told her brother of her attachment to Mr.
Rolfe. He informed Powhatan, who seemed to have been well pleased with
the proposition, for within ten days an old uncle of Pocahontas and
two of her brothers arrived at Jamestown. Powhatan had sent them as
deputies to witness the marriage of his daughter, and to do his part
toward the confirmation of it.

Pocahontas was first baptised. It was deemed necessary to give her a
Christian name at her baptism. She was christened Rebecca, and as a
king's daughter she was known after this as the Lady Rebecca, and
sometimes as the Lady Pocahontas.

In April, 1614, the odd bridal procession moved up the little church
with its wide-open windows and its cedar pews. The bridegroom was a
young Englishman, the bride an Indian chief's daughter, accompanied by
two red-skinned warriors, her brothers. Before the altar with its
canoe-like front Pocahontas repeated in imperfect English her marriage
vows, and received her wedding ring. The wedding is briefly mentioned
by the old recorders only as something bearing upon the welfare of the
colony. It was the first union between the people who were to possess
the land and the natives. The colonists doubtless regarded it as a
most auspicious event, binding as it did the most powerful chief in
Virginia to their interests.

From this day friendly intercourse and trade were again established
with Powhatan and his people. To the day of his death the old chief
never violated the peace which was thus brought about.

In still another way the marriage of Pocahontas benefited the colony.
The nearest neighbours of the English were the Chickahominys, a
powerful tribe of Indians who were just now free from the yoke of
Powhatan, whom they regarded as a tyrant. They had taken advantage of
the recent differences between this chief and the colonists to hold
themselves exceedingly independent of both. But now that Powhatan and
the English were united, the Chickahominys began to fear for their own
liberty. They sent a deputation to Sir Thomas Dale desiring peace.
Dale visited them, entered their council, and concluded a treaty
stipulating that the Chickahominy Indians should call themselves
Tassantessus, or Englishmen, as a sign of friendship, and fulfil other
conditions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir Thomas Dale had been five years in Virginia when in 1616 he
settled the affairs of the colony, and embarked for England. He took
with him Mr. Rolfe, Pocahontas, Tomocomo, one of Powhatan's chief men,
married to his daughter, Matachanna, and other Indians. Tomocomo, who
was considered among the Indians "an understanding fellow," had been
charged by Powhatan to count the people in England and give him an
exact idea of their strength.

The vessel reached Plymouth on the 12th of June, 1616. On leaving the
vessel Tomocomo was prepared with a long stick and a knife ready to
make a notch for every man he saw. He kept this up till "his
arithmetic failed him." We can imagine the excitement that followed
these travellers everywhere. They were all wonders, but especially was
the "Princess" Pocahontas.

Pocahontas was now mother to a little son, Thomas Rolfe, whom she
"loved most dearly." Immediately on her arrival the Virginia Company
took measures for the maintenance of her and her child. Persons of
great "rank and quality" took much notice of Pocahontas. She did not
like the smoke of London, and was removed to Brentford.

Captain Smith was at this time between two voyages and his stay in
London was limited. He met Tomocomo, and they renewed old
acquaintance.

"Captain Smith," said the Indian, "Powhatan did bid me find you out,
to show me your God, and the king and queen and prince you so much had
told us of."

"Concerning God," says Smith, in writing of this meeting, "I told him
the best I could, the king I heard he had seen, and the rest he should
see when he would." Tomocomo, however, denied having seen King James
till Smith satisfied him that he had by the circumstances. Tomocomo
immediately looked very melancholy and said:

"You gave Powhatan a white dog, which Powhatan fed as himself, but
your king gave me nothing, and I am better than your white dog."

Captain Smith, desiring to return the courtesy of Pocahontas, wrote
the following letter to Queen Anne immediately upon hearing of the
arrival of Pocahontas:

    _To the most high and virtuous Princess, Queen Anne of
      Great Britain_

    MOST ADMIRED QUEEN: The love I bear my God, my king, and country
    hath so oft emboldened me in the worst of extreme dangers, that
    now honesty doth constrain me to presume thus far beyond myself
    to present Your Majesty this short discourse. If ingratitude be
    a deadly poison to all honest virtues, I must be guilty of that
    crime if I should omit any means to be thankful.

    So it is that some ten years ago, being in Virginia, and taken
    prisoner by the power of Powhatan, their chief king, I received
    from this great savage exceeding great courtesy, especially from
    his son Nantequas, the most manliest, comeliest, boldest spirit
    I ever saw in a savage, and his sister Pocahontas, the king's
    most dear and well-beloved daughter, being but a child of twelve
    or thirteen years of age, whose compassionate, pitiful heart, of
    desperate estate, gave me much cause to respect her. I being the
    first Christian this proud king and his grim attendants ever
    saw, and thus enthralled in their barbarous power, I cannot say
    that I felt the least occasion of want that was in the power of
    those mortal foes to prevent, notwithstanding all their threats.

    After some six weeks fatting among these savage courtiers, at
    the minute of my execution she hazarded the beating out of her
    own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed
    with her father that I was safely conducted to Jamestown, where
    I found about eight-and-thirty miserable, poor and sick
    creatures to keep possession of all those large territories of
    Virginia. Such was the weakness of this poor commonwealth as,
    had the savages not fed us, we directly had starved.

    And this relief, most gracious queen, was commonly brought us by
    this lady, Pocahontas. Notwithstanding all these passages when
    inconstant fortune turned our peace to war, this tender virgin
    would still not spare to dare to visit us; and by her our jars
    have oft been appeased and our wants still supplied. Were it the
    policy of her father thus to employ her, or the ordinance of God
    thus to make her his instrument, or her extraordinary affection
    to our nation, I know not. But of this I am sure, when her
    father, with the utmost of his policy and power sought to
    surprise me, the dark night could not affright her from coming
    through the irksome woods, and with watered eyes gave me
    intelligence, with her best advice to escape his fury; which had
    he known he had surely slain her. Jamestown, with her wild
    train, she as freely frequented as her father's habitation; and,
    during the time of two or three years, she, next, under God, was
    still the instrument to preserve this colony from death, famine,
    and utter confusion, which if in those times had once been
    dissolved, Virginia might have lain as it was at our first
    arrival to this day.

    Since then this business having been turned and varied by many
    accidents from that I left it at. It is most certain after a
    long and troublesome war after my departure, betwixt her father
    and our colony, all which time she was not heard of, about two
    years after she herself was taken prisoner. Being so detained
    near two years longer, the colony by that means was relieved,
    peace concluded, and at last, rejecting her barbarous condition,
    she was married to an English gentleman, with whom at present
    she is in England; the first Christian ever of that nation, the
    first Virginian ever spoke English: a matter surely, if my
    meaning be truly considered and well understood, worthy a
    prince's understanding.

    Thus, most gracious lady, I have related to Your Majesty what at
    your best leisure our approved histories will account you at
    large, and done in the time of Your Majesty's life. And,
    however, this might be presented to you from a more worthy pen,
    it cannot come from a more honest heart, as yet I never begged
    anything of the State or any; and it is my want of ability and
    her exceeding desert, your birth, means and authority, her
    birth, virtue, want and simplicity, doth make me thus bold
    humbly to beseech your majesty to take this knowledge of her,
    though it be from one so unworthy to be the reporter as myself,
    her husband's estate not being able to make her fit to attend
    your majesty. The most and least I can do is to tell you this,
    because none hath so oft tried it as myself; and the rather
    being of so great a spirit, however her stature. If she should
    not be well received, seeing this kingdom may rightly have a
    kingdom by her means, her present love to us and Christianity
    might turn to such scorn and fury as to divert all this good to
    the worst of evil; where, finding so great a queen should do her
    some honour more than she can imagine, for being so kind to your
    servants and subjects, would so ravish her with content, as
    endear her dearest blood to effect that Your Majesty and all the
    king's honest subjects most earnestly desire. And so I humbly
    kiss your gracious hands.

Captain Smith went to Brentford with several others to see Pocahontas.
She saluted him modestly, and without a word turned round and
"obscured her face as not seeming well contented." Smith, with her
husband and the other gentlemen, left her "in that humour" for several
hours. The captain was disappointed, and repented having written the
queen that she could speak English. But when the gentlemen returned
Pocahontas began to talk, and said that she remembered Captain Smith
well, "and the courtesies she had done."

"You did promise Powhatan," said Pocahontas, "what was yours should be
his, and he the like to you. You called him father, being in his land
a stranger, and by the same reason so must I do to you."

Captain Smith tried to excuse himself from this honour. He "durst not
allow that title because she was a king's daughter."

"Were you not afraid," said Pocahontas, with a look of determination,
"were you not afraid to come into my father's country, and caused fear
in him and all his people but me, and fear you here I should call you
father? I tell you then I will, and you shall call me child, and so I
will be forever and ever your countryman. They did tell us always you
were dead, and I knew no other until I came to Plymouth; yet Powhatan
did command Tomocomo to seek you and know the truth, because your
countrymen will lie much."

Pocahontas had really felt a warm affection for Smith as a friend of
her childhood.

Pocahontas, it is said, had been so well instructed that she "was
become very formal and civil after our English manner." During his
brief stay in London Captain Smith made frequent visits to Pocahontas,
accompanied by courtiers and other friends who wished to see the
Indian lady. The gentlemen, said Smith, "generally concluded they did
not think God had a great hand in her conversion," and said that they
had seen "many English ladies worse favoured, proportioned, and
behavioured."

While Pocahontas was in England her portrait was drawn and engraved.
She is represented in the fashionable costume of the day. Beneath the
picture were these words:

    Matoaks als Rebecka, daughter to the mighty Prince Powhatan,
    Emperor of Attanough-kornouck als Virginia, converted and
    baptised in the Christian faith, and wife to the worshipful Mr.
    John Rolfe. Aged 21. Anno Domini 1616.

Pocahontas was destined never to return to America. She died at
Gravesend on the eve of her departure for America, being about
twenty-two years of age. The few words devoted in Smith's History to
her death are quite characteristic of the times:

    It pleased God at Gravesend to take this young lady to His
    mercy, where she made not more sorrow for her unexpected death
    than joy to the beholders to hear and see her make so religious
    and godly an end.

In the parish register at Gravesend is the following blundering entry,
which could hardly have referred to any other than Pocahontas:

      1616, May 2j, Rebecca Wrothe
      wyff of Thomas Wroth gent.
  a Virginian lady borne, here was buried
            in ye channcell.

The child of Pocahontas was left in England in the care of Sir Lewis
Stewkley, and afterwards transferred to the care of his uncle, Mr.
Henry Rolfe, a London merchant. He was educated in England and
afterwards returned to America. From him descended some of the most
respectable families in Virginia. There is on record a petition signed
by Pocahontas's son, Thomas Rolfe, and addressed to the authorities of
the colony in 1641, praying to be allowed to go to the Indian country
to visit his mother's sister, known among the white people as
Cleopatra.



IX

FLORA MACDONALD


In the year 1745 Charles Edward, commonly called the "Young Pretender"
to the throne of England and Scotland, landed in Scotland and raised
the standard of revolt. He was followed by many of the Highland clans
and also by certain of the Lowland. At the head of five thousand men
he advanced into England, but he was forced to retreat, and after the
battle of Culloden became a fugitive from the pursuing English.

At last he found himself in the Islands of the Hebrides off the
northwest coast of Scotland where he hoped to escape the vessels of
war in search of him, and soldiers close upon his tracks, and to find
a ship upon which he might sail to France. When, about the middle of
May, 1846, he reached the Island of South Uist, he and the two friends
who clung to him, found themselves in a most miserable condition. They
had lived for several days on dried fish and for still longer subject
to inclemencies of weather. In South Uist they sought shelter of a
friendly chief.

It required all the hospitable care of the Macdonald of Clanronald,
who lived at a place called Ormaclade, to recruit and restore his
visitors. A hut, built in a desolate spot among the neighbouring
mountains was prepared for the royal adventurer where he awaited,
under the friendly care, not only of the island's chief, but of every
member of the chieftaincy, means of escape.

When Charles made his appearance at the house of Clanronald, he was in
tattered clothing and almost barefoot. Supplied with every necessary,
though condemned to the shelter of a miserable shed, and fearing to
stir beyond this humble abode, he yet recovered in a degree, his
energies, and was strengthened enough to hear that there was no
prospect of escape to France. In less time than he had realised, he
beheld himself completely hemmed in by sea and land. Several ships of
war guarded the coast, and a host of soldiers scoured every probable
retreat where the object of their search could be concealed.

In this strait, the islanders, untutored and primitive as they were,
vied with each other in giving assistance to their chieftain to
preserve his guest's life. Although his retreat was perfectly well
known to nearly every inhabitant of the island, neither man, woman nor
child ever lisped the secret.

It chanced at this time that Flora, sister to the Macdonald of Milton,
who also lived on the island, was upon a visit to her brother, and
learned of the peril of the royal fugitive. When visiting her
relatives at Ormaclade, this young lady, then in her twenty-fifth
year, and possessed of a heroic spirit, became much interested in the
visits of one of Charles's friends, O'Neil, to procure necessaries for
the prince, and, before long, earnestly expressed her desire to be
introduced to him, and to contribute to his escape. It seems that
O'Neil had previously met Flora, and, from the estimate he had formed
of her capacity, led Charles's mind to dwell greatly upon engaging her
assistance to rescue him from danger.

The stepfather of Miss Macdonald was, at that time, employed as
commander of the very body of soldiers engaged in the pursuit. He was
obliged to act in obedience to the chief of his clan, the laird of
Sleat, which is the southern part of the island of Skye; but he
secretly endeavoured to assist the fugitive, and was only too happy to
afford silent consent to any plan which might be originated for his
deliverance.

It was a beautiful June evening when Flora's wish to see the Prince
was carried out. O'Neil joined her at the house of one of her
brother's retainers, leaving his companion concealed, until he should
engage Flora to consent to the plan he had in view. He proposed that
she should disguise Charles as a female servant; and under pretext of
travelling with her maid, conduct him in safety from Uist to the Isle
of Skye; whence further measures could be taken to effect his escape.

This was a proposition that Flora's delicacy, as well as innate
prudence, shrank from entertaining. She hesitated, avowing her
distrust in the wildness of the scheme, and her fear of compromising
her friends, Sir Alexander and Lady Margaret Macdonald, by taking the
fugitive into their neighbourhood. O'Neil, however, with Irish tact,
so worked upon the young lady's feelings, by leading forth his hapless
Prince just at the right moment, that poor Flora's resolutions melted
away before the sight of a figure so attenuated, and a countenance so
filled by grief and despair, as those now presented to her gaze. She
consented, after a brief interval.

When Flora first saw Charles all the brilliancy and promise of his
first arrival had passed away, together with the charm of attractive
exterior. Weeks of anxiety had taken the colour from his cheek and
fire from his eye. Lack of food had made him emaciated. He was no
longer the bold aspirant for the throne of the Stuarts. He was the
defeated, hunted scion of the ex-royal family, with a price upon his
head.

Upon leaving the Prince, Miss Macdonald and her servant were seized by
a band of militia; but difficulty was happily set aside by our
heroine's discovery that the band was commanded by her stepfather.
With little trouble she engaged his assistance, and obtained from him
a pass for herself and her man-servant, Neil Mackechan, back to the
Island of Skye, where her mother lived. Mention was also made in the
passport, of a third person, an Irish domestic, named "Betty Burke,"
who was especially recommended by Captain Macdonald to his wife, as an
"excellent spinner of flax, and a faithful servant." After getting
this document, Flora's next care was to secure a boat, with a crew of
six men, a supply of provisions, and last, but most important of all,
the disguise intended to transform the elegant Prince Charles into a
rough Irish maid-of-all-work, and which consisted of a printed linen
gown, a white apron and head gear.

The morning of the 27th of June was chosen for their departure, and,
accompanied by Lady Clanronald, Miss Macdonald set out towards the
seashore. They found the Prince roasting the liver of a sheep for his
dinner, a sight which brought the reverses of fortune forcibly to
their minds, and moved one of his gentle visitors to tears. That night
an alarm, which drew the ladies back to the house, prevented the boat
from starting; but the next evening, all being in readiness, the
Prince assumed his linen gown and apron and, exchanging his sword for
a good-sized walking-stick, embarked with his fair ally, her servant
Mackechan, and six boatmen, for Skye.

It was not one of pleasure, this voyage, to a young and delicate
woman, considering the number of vessels lying all around, whose shots
it would probably be difficult to avoid if suspicion were excited; the
distance to be covered, thirty or forty miles, and the time, night.
Soon rain began to fall; the skies and sea faded into one leaden
expanse; the boatmen, wet and sulky, relapsed into perfect silence.
The voice of the young Prince alone broke the stillness; and he, with
a mixture of boyish vivacity and manly tact, told story after story,
and sang snatches of song until he succeeded in dispelling the cloud
of anxiety which oppressed his companion, less fearful for her own
than for his safety. At length, overpowered by fatigue, Flora slept.
Charles continued a long while singing, in the hope of lulling her to
repose; and when, some time after, she awoke, she found him watching
her with the greatest solicitude, endeavouring to screen her from the
spray, and to protect her from contact with the sails and cordage.

It must have been an unspeakable relief to the occupants of that
little boat when the first dim lines of light in the distant horizon
announced the approach of morning. When clear enough to distinguish
objects, they discovered that they were alone upon the ocean--no land
in sight; but this gave little anxiety to the sailors, and after a
short interval, during which the wind favoured their passage, the
rocky coast of the mountainous Island of Skye appeared. As they were
passing a headland called Vaternish, a party of the Macleod militia,
espied them, and fired several shots. Happily, however, the tide was
out, and before a boat would be got into deep water, pursuit was
hopeless.

"Don't mind the villains, but pull for your lives," cried the Prince,
and the boatmen, animated by his address and courage, replied cheerily
that they would soon distance their assailants; adding, that if they
cared at all, it was only for him.

"Oh, there's no fear for me!" was the response, while the Prince
busied himself in taking care of Flora, whom he had persuaded to take
shelter in the bottom of the boat, a retreat which, to satisfy her
fears, he himself adopted shortly after.

A few miles further, the boat was put into a creek, for the purpose of
affording a little rest to the rowers, by this time greatly fatigued.
They were soon, however, obliged to put off again, in consequence of
being watched from the shore and, proceeding about twelve miles from
Vaternish, they reached in safety, Mugstat, the residence of Sir
Alexander Macdonald, formerly a staunch Jacobite, or follower of the
Stuarts, though now in actual attendance upon the Duke of Cumberland
at Fort Augustus.

When the boat containing the fugitive Prince had landed, Flora,
attended by Mackechan, proceeded to the house, leaving Charles, in his
female dress, sitting on her trunk on the beach. On arriving at the
dwelling, she desired a servant to inform Lady Margaret that she had
called on her way home from Uist. She was immediately introduced to
the family apartment, where she found, besides Mrs. Macdonald of
Kirkibost, a Lieutenant Macleod, the commander of militia stationed
near, three or four members of which were also in the house. There was
also present, Mr. Alexander Macdonald of Kingsburgh, an elderly
gentleman of the neighbourhood, who acted as factor to Sir Alexander,
and who was, she knew, a sound Jacobite.

Flora entered easily into conversation with the officer, who asked her
a number of questions; where she had come from, where she was going,
and so forth; all of which she answered without manifesting the least
trace of confusion which might have been expected from a young lady
under such circumstances. The same man had been in the custom of
examining every boat which landed from Long Island; that, for
instance, in which Mrs. Macdonald of Kirkibost arrived had been so
examined, and we can only account for his allowing that of Miss Flora
to pass by the circumstance of his meeting her under the courtesies of
the drawing-room of a lady.

Miss Macdonald, with the same self-possession, dined in Lieutenant
Macleod's company. Seizing a proper opportunity, she apprised
Kingsburgh of the circumstances of the Prince, and he immediately
proceeded to another room, and sent for Lady Margaret, that he might
break the intelligence to her in private. Notwithstanding the previous
warning, she was much alarmed at the idea of the wanderer being so
near her house, and immediately sent for a certain Donald Roy
Macdonald, to consult as to what should be done. Donald had been
wounded in the Prince's army at Culloden, and was as obnoxious to the
Government as he could be. He came and joined the lady and her friends
in the garden, when it was arranged that Kingsburgh should take the
Prince along with him to his own house, some miles distant, and thence
pass him through the island to Portree, where Donald Roy should take
him up, and provide for his further safety.

No time was lost in dispatching Kingsburgh to communicate these
arrangements to the Prince, and to carry him some refreshment. The
poor refugee, seeing some one approaching him, started up, and
discovering the heavy stick he carried, put himself in an attitude of
defiance.

"I am Macdonald of Kingsburgh, come to serve Your Highness," said the
old man; and he proceeded to explain how this might be effected.

While these two set off toward Kingsburgh, Miss Macdonald quietly
seated with Lady Margaret and the officer before named, endeavoured to
secure to them a good start upon their journey. Presently she bade
farewell to her hostess, who pretended to be extremely averse to
parting with her so soon, and invited her warmly to remain; reminding
her that she had promised to pay her a lengthened visit. Flora excused
herself, upon the plea that her mother was ill, and needed her
presence at home. After dinner, therefore, she departed, leaving young
Macleod quite unsuspicious of the real nature of her visit to Mugstat.
In after years Flora often rallied this gentleman upon having so
completely deceived him.

Mrs. Macdonald of Kirkibost, her servants, and Mackechan, accompanied
Flora, whose object was to come up with the pedestrians and, joining
them, to proceed all together to Kingsburgh. They soon appeared in
sight; but as the servants of her companion were unacquainted with the
secret, it was necessary to put them off the scent by passing the
travellers, as if unknown to them, at a trot. Charles is represented
as being very awkward in his feminine attire: Kingsburgh laughed and
said to him.

"Your enemies call you a Pretender; but if you be, I can tell you, you
are the worst at the trade I ever saw."

He held up his petticoats in a very undignified manner; and when
remonstrated with, improved upon matters by permitting the skirts of
his dress to draggle in the water, when a brook again had to be
passed. His height was so remarkable, and his strides so immense, that
the maid-servant at Flora's side exclaimed to her:

"That must be an Irishwoman, or else a man in woman's clothes; see
what steps the creature takes!"

Flora replied that she was doubtless an Irishwoman. Shortly after they
parted company, and Flora rejoined the travellers, who had been
somewhat annoyed on their side by the inquiries and remarks as to the
uncommon height of the pretended Betty Burke. About eleven o'clock at
night, the little party arrived in safety at Kingsburgh House, where
Mrs. Macdonald received them.

Supper followed, Charles, still in gown and coif, presiding, with his
hostess on his left hand, and Flora in the place of honour. After
supper the ladies withdrew to discuss past perils and future plans.

"And what," said Lady Kingsburgh, "has been done with the boatmen who
brought you to the island?"

"They have been sent back to South Uist," replied the young lady.

"That was an oversight. These men ought to have been detained a short
time. I fear that if they meet with Government officers, they may
incautiously, or for money, betray our poor wanderer's retreat."

Lady Kingsburgh's surmise, which had even at that early period proved
correct, seemed so alarming, that Flora decided upon persuading the
Prince to assume, as soon at possible, the dress of his own sex.

The hunted Prince had now been several days without taking off his
clothes or enjoying the luxury of a bed. He was only too happy to
retire to the one provided for him, and it was now far into the night.
He slept until late the following morning, so late, indeed, that Miss
Macdonald went into Kingsburgh's room, and urged him to rouse the
Prince, and depart with him, lest a party of militia should arrive,
and make it impossible to leave the house.

Kingsburgh, however, would by no means consent to disturb the weary
outcast he had so generously sheltered. "Let the poor boy sleep after
his fatigues," he said. "As for me, I care little if they rake off
this old gray head, ten or eleven years sooner than I should die in
the course of nature." Saying these words, he turned again to his
pillow, and was asleep in a moment.

Toward afternoon the party again set forward, but previously
Kingsburgh had provided the Prince with a new pair of shoes, his own
being completely worn out. "Look," said this enthusiastic Jacobite,
holding up the old ones, "I shall faithfully keep these shoes until
you are comfortably settled at St. James. I will then introduce myself
by shaking them at you, and thus put you in mind of your night's
entertainment and protection under this roof."

"Be as good as your word, my friend," replied the Prince: "whenever
that time arrives I shall expect to see you."

It was judged better that, as Flora had come with a female servant,
she should take one away with her; so Charles waited to alter his
dress until they reached a little wood upon the road to Portree, when
he again assumed his male attire, exchanging his petticoat and apron
for a tartan coat and waistcoat, a philibeg and short hose, plaid and
bonnet. Kingsburgh here bade adieu to the Prince, who, with Mackeckan,
was to walk a distance of fourteen miles to Portree, while to avoid
suspicion, Flora proceeded thither by another road. Arriving at
Portree, Flora detained him no longer than to bid him an earnest,
though agitated, farewell. Charles thanked her, in the most animated
terms, for all the heroism she had shown in his cause.

"Ah! madam," he said, with emotion, "for all that has happened, I hope
we shall meet in St. James's yet."

This was the last time Charles ever saw his generous protectress. They
hurried him away to the vessel, while Flora, with a heavy heart,
turned her steps toward the house of her mother at Sleat. She had
effected all in her power, she had used her best exertions to secure
the safety of this, the last unfortunate scion of the old Stuart line,
and to Heaven she commended the rest. What vicissitudes the wretched
Charles encountered, how he lay, pinched with hunger, and failing in
health, in cowsheds, in caves and among bushes and underwood until,
three months after, he was able to embark from Lochnanuagh, the very
spot where he had landed, and to effect his escape to France, is well
known in history. It is probable that, after the part she had taken,
after the dangers she had boldly confronted in the endeavour to secure
his escape, Flora Macdonald's thoughts were with the fugitive
constantly; nor is it to be supposed she ever enjoyed a moment of
actual peace of mind until the news of his safe arrival in Brittany
reached her.

       *       *       *       *       *

Flora Macdonald, after quitting the Prince, proceeded to the house of
her mother. Upon her arrival, she checked the confidence which she
would otherwise have gladly made, relative to her late employment,
fearing to involve others in the danger she herself had incurred. She
considered it better, if inquiries were made, that they should be able
to declare nothing had been known to them of the Prince's escape. That
such inquiries would arise, Flora felt assured; and the result proved
how correct was her anticipation. It was only a day or two before she
heard that the boatmen, on reaching the island whence they had
conveyed the fugitives, had been intimidated into revealing the place
where they had left her. A Captain Ferguson, a Government emissary,
obtaining the description of "Betty Burke's" appearance, sailed at
once for Skye, and finding no "tall female" had been seen there with
Miss Macdonald, followed upon the latter's track to Kingsburgh, where
he soon discovered from the servants, that the supposed Irish domestic
had reappeared, and been accommodated with the best bedchamber in the
house. The good old Kingsburgh refusing to give further information,
was laid in durance, and threatened with no punishment short of death;
while the attendance of Miss Macdonald was commanded without loss of
time. In opposition to the advice of her family, Flora wisely
determined to obey the summons. On her way she met her stepfather, but
was almost immediately after seized by a party of soldiers, and taken
to the vessel of the Captain Ferguson named above. Meeting on board
General Campbell, she frankly confessed to him the truth of the
statement made by her boatmen, and quietly resigned herself prisoner.

It will be remembered that Charles's friend, and ardent admirer--his
only follower, indeed, at that time--was Captain O'Neil, the one who
had first, from some slight acquaintance with Flora, suggested her
aid, and, succeeded in gaining it. On board the ship to which, after
twenty-two days Flora was sent, she found this generous and lively
young Irishman also a prisoner, and going straight up to him, she
tapped him gently with her hand, and said laughingly, "To that black
countenance, it seems, I am to owe all my misfortunes." He replied
earnestly: "Ah! do not regard as a misfortune what is the brightest
honour; only go on as you have begun; neither repent nor be ashamed of
what will yet redound to your greatest praise and advantage." This
exhortation must have been needless to one of our heroine's
temperament.

Owing to the courtesy of those in authority, Flora experienced as well
in the ship of Commodore Smith as on board the _Bridgewater_, her next
prison, the greatest kindness and indulgence. She was permitted to
land and bid her mother farewell, to engage a Scotch attendant, the
only girl who could be induced to accompany her, and to secure a
portion of her wardrobe, she having been some time deprived of a
change of clothing. On arriving at Leith she remained nearly two
months in harbour, and was allowed to receive visitors on board,
though she was not allowed to leave the ship. The simple-minded
country maiden suddenly discovered that she had been transformed into
a heroine. The fame of her courage had gone far and wide; everybody
was anxious to see her. Many brought presents, and one a Bible and
Prayer Book, together with sewing materials, which she joyfully
received. It is related that Lady Mary Cochrane paid her a visit, and
upon the wind freshening a little, pretended fear of returning to
shore, in order that she might, as she said, be able to say she had
spent the night with Miss Flora Macdonald.

Arrived in London, Miss Macdonald was placed in the house of a
gentleman, where she could scarcely be said to be put under restraint
of any disagreeable nature. Here she remained for several months, and
upon the passing of the Act of Indemnity, in July of the year, 1747,
was set at liberty without the ceremony of a trial. Public opinion was
wholly in her favour, and many in power, Frederick, Prince of Wales,
father of George III, among the number, made no secret of their
approbation of her conduct under the affecting circumstances in which
the unhappy Charles Edward had sought her aid.

Shortly after her return home, on November 6, 1750, she was married to
young Macdonald, the son of the generous Kingsburgh, and became the
mother of five sons, more or less remarkable for the courage and
intrepidity ennobling their ancestry on both sides.

When Dr. Johnson went with Boswell to the Hebrides, in the year 1773,
he was warmly received by the husband of Flora, then himself possessor
of the family mansion in which Charles Edward had been successfully
hidden. "Kingsburgh," says Boswell, in his account of the great
moralist's tour, "is completely the figure of a gallant Highlander,
exhibiting the graceful mien and manly looks which our popular Scotch
song has justly attributed to that character. He had jet black hair
which was tied behind, and was a large, stately man, with a steady,
sensible countenance." Flora herself he describes as a woman of middle
stature, soft features, gentle manners, and elegant presence. She was,
at this time, fifty-three years old. Lady Kingsburgh spelled her name
not "Flora," but "Flory" Macdonald.

The year following this visit of the doctor, the Kingsburghs emigrated
to North Carolina, in the hope of effecting a comfortable settlement
in America. Their journey was not a fortunate one. The husband of
Flora, who appears to have been as brave as ever in the cause he
embraced, joining the 84th Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment, was
imprisoned by the provincial force; but he was soon set at liberty,
and he then joined the North Carolina Highlanders, serving in Canada.
Upon the conclusion of the war he returned to Scotland, probably
wearied of the incessant harass he had experienced in the New World,
and yearning for a sight of his native land. During their homeward
voyage the ship was attacked by a French privateer. It would scarcely
be in character to suppose our heroine a silent or impassive spectator
of the combat. While standing on deck near her husband, and boldly
animating the sailors by spirited words and gestures, which even in
her old age seemed to have lost nothing of their power, she was thrown
down with such violence that the shock broke her arm. In allusion to
this accident and the circumstances of it, she is said to have
remarked with great coolness, that "she had now suffered a little for
both the houses of Stuart and Hanover."

After her return to Skye, Flora never again left it. She lived to be
quite an old woman, and her body was followed to the grave by about
three thousand persons, friends and retainers, amongst whom many had
been recipients of her bounty, and most were capable of estimating the
fine qualities of heart and mind which rendered her death a public
loss. Besides her sons, all of them officers in the army or navy,
Flora Macdonald had two daughters, who were married to gentlemen
following the same profession as their brothers. One of the sons,
anxious to perpetuate the remembrance of the spot where so heroic and
devoted a mortal was buried, sent a marble tablet, commemorative of
his mother, to be placed upon her tomb in the churchyard of Kilmuir;
but this having been broken by accident, tourists took the opportunity
to carry off pieces and, at the present time the grave of Flora
Macdonald remains undistinguished within the rude inclosure that holds
the dust of so many of the brave Kingsburgh family.



X

MADAME ROLAND


In the year 1754 there was living in an obscure workshop in Paris, an
engraver by the name of Gratien Phlippon. He had married a very
beautiful woman, whose placid temperament and cheerful content
contrasted strikingly with the restlessness of her husband. The
comfortable yet humble apartments of the engraver were over the shop
where he plied his daily toil. He was much dissatisfied with his lowly
condition in life, and that his family, in the enjoyment of frugal
competence alone, were debarred from those luxuries which were
profusely showered upon others. Bitterly and unceasingly he murmured
that his lot had been cast in the ranks of obscurity and of unsparing
labour, while others, by a more fortunate, although no better merited
destiny, were born to ease and affluence, and honour and luxury.
Phlippon was a philosopher. Submission was a virtue he had never
learned, and never wished to learn.

Madame Phlippon was just the reverse of her husband. She was a woman
in whom faith, and trust, and submission predominated. She surrendered
her will, without questioning, to all the teachings of the Church. She
was placid, contented and cheerful, and undoubtedly sincere in her
piety. In every event of life she recognised the overruling hand of
Providence, and feeling that the comparatively humble lot assigned
her was in accordance with the will of God, she indulged in no
repinings.

Of eight children born to these parents, one only, Jeanne Manon, or
Jane Mary, survived the hour of birth. Her father first received her
to his arms in 1754, and she became the object of his painful and most
passionate adoration. Both parents lived in her and for her. She was
their earthly all. Even in her infantile years she gave indication of
a most brilliant intellect--and her father repined that she should be
doomed to a life of obscurity and toil, while the garden of the
Tuileries and the Elysian Fields were thronged with children, neither
so beautiful nor so intelligent, who were reveling in boundless
wealth, and living in a world of luxury and splendour which, to
Phlippon's imagination, seemed more alluring than any idea he could
form of heaven.

By nature Jane was endowed with a soul of unusual delicacy. From early
childhood, all that is beautiful or sublime in nature, in literature,
in character, had charms to rivet her entranced attention. She loved
to sit alone at her chamber window in the evening of a summer's day,
to gaze upon the gorgeous hues of sunset. Books of poetry and
descriptions of heroic character and achievements were her especial
delight. "Plutarch's Lives," that book which, more than any other,
appears to be the incentive of early genius, was hid beneath her
pillow, and read and re-read. Those illustrious heroes of antiquity
became the companions of her solitude and of her hourly thoughts. She
adored them and loved them as her own most intimate personal friends.
Her character became insensibly moulded to their forms, and she was
inspired with restless enthusiasm to imitate their deeds. When but
twelve years of age her father found her, one day, weeping that she
was not born a Roman maiden.

It was, perhaps, the absence of playmates, and the habitual converse
with mature minds which, at so early an age, inspired Jane with that
insatiate thirst for knowledge which she ever manifested. Books were
her only resource in every unoccupied hour. From her walks with her
father, and her domestic employments with her mother, she turned to
her little library and to her chamber window, and lost herself in the
limitless realms of thought.

In a bright summer's afternoon she might be seen sauntering along the
boulevards, led by her father's hand, gazing upon that scene of gaiety
with which the eye is never wearied. A gilded coach, drawn by the most
beautiful horses in the richest trappings, sweeps along the streets--a
gorgeous vision. Phlippon takes his little daughter in his arms to
show her the sight, and, as she gazes in infantile wonder and delight,
the discontented father says:

"Look at that lord and lady, and child, lolling so voluptuously in
their coach. They have no right there. Why must I and my child walk on
this hot pavement, while they repose on velvet cushions and revel in
all luxury? A time will come when the people will awake to the
consciousness of their wrongs, and their tyrants will tremble before
them."

He continues his walk in moody silence, brooding over his sense of
injustice. They return to their home.

Jane wishes that her father kept a carriage, and liveried servants and
outriders. She thinks of politics, and of the tyranny of kings and
nobles, and of the unjust inequalities of man. She retires to the
solitude of her loved chamber window, and reads of Aristides the Just,
of Themistocles with his Spartan virtues, of Brutus, and of the mother
of the Gracchi. Greece and Rome rise before her in all their ancient
renown. She despises the frivolity of Paris and her youthful bosom
throbs with the desire of being noble in spirit and of achieving great
exploits. Thus, when other children of her age were playing with their
dolls, she was dreaming of the prostration of nobles and of the
overthrow of thrones.

The education of young ladies, at that time in France, was conducted
almost exclusively by nuns in convents. The idea of the silence and
solitude of the cloister inspired the highly imaginative girl. Her
mother's spirit of religion was exerting a powerful influence over
her, and one evening she fell at her mother's feet and, bursting into
tears, besought that she might be sent to a convent to prepare to
receive her first Christian communion in a suitable frame of mind.

The convent of the sisterhood of the Congregation in Paris was
selected for Jane. She subsequently wrote:

    While pressing my dear mother in my arms, at the moment of
    parting with her for the first time in my life, I thought my
    heart would break; but I was acting in obedience to the voice of
    God, and I passed the threshold of the cloister, tearfully
    offering up to him the greatest sacrifice I was capable of
    making. This was on the 7th of May, 1765, when I was eleven
    years and two months old. The first night I spent in the convent
    was a night of agitation. I was no longer under the paternal
    roof. I was at a distance from that kind mother, who was
    doubtless thinking of me with affectionate emotion. A dim light
    diffused through the room in which I had been put to bed with
    four children of my own age. I stole softly from my couch and
    drew near the window, the light of the moon enabling me to
    distinguish the garden, which it overlooked. The deepest silence
    prevailed around, and I listened to it, if I may use the
    expression, with a sort of respect. Lofty trees cast their
    gigantic shadows along the ground, and promised a secure asylum
    to meditation. I lifted up my eyes to the heavens; they were
    unclouded and serene. I imagined that I felt the presence of the
    Deity smiling upon my sacrifice, and already offering me a
    reward in the hope of a celestial abode. Tears of delight flowed
    down my cheeks. I repeated my vows with holy ecstasy, and went
    to bed again to taste the slumber of God's chosen children.

Two years after this she was taken to pass a week at the luxurious
abodes of Maria Antoinette. Versailles was in itself a city of palaces
and of courtiers, where all that could dazzle the eye in regal pomp
and voluptuousness was concentred. Most girls of her age would have
been enchanted and bewildered by this display. Jane was permitted to
witness, and partially to share, all the pomp of luxuriously spread
tables and presentations, and court balls, and illuminations and the
gilded equipages of ambassadors and princes, but this maiden, just
emerging from the period of childhood and the seclusion of the
cloister, undazzled by all this brilliance, looked sadly on the scene.
The servility of the courtiers excited her contempt. She contrasted
the boundless profusion and extravagance which filled these palaces
with the absence of comfort in the dwellings of the over-taxed poor,
and pondered deeply the value of that despotism which starved the
millions to pander to the dissolute indulgence of the few. Her
personal pride was also severely stung by perceiving that her own
attractions, mental and physical, were entirely overlooked by the
crowds which were bowing before power. Disgusted with the frivolity of
the living, she sought solace in companionship with the illustrious
dead. She chose the gardens for her resort, and, lingered around the
statues which embellished scenes of almost fairy enchantment.

"How do you enjoy your visit, my daughter?" inquired her mother.

"I shall be glad when it is ended," was the characteristic reply,
"else, in a few more days, I shall so detest all the persons I see
that I shall not know what to do with my hatred."

"Why, what harm have these persons done you, my child?"

"They make me feel injustice and look upon absurdity," replied this
philosopher of thirteen.

Soon after this Jane entered her fourteenth year and her mother,
conscious of the importance to her child of a knowledge of domestic
duties, took her to the market to obtain meat and vegetables, and
occasionally placed upon her the responsibility of the family
purchases. The unaffected dignity with which the imaginative girl
yielded herself to these most prosaic avocations was such, that when
she entered the market, the fruit women hastened to serve her. It is
quite remarkable that Jane, apparently, never turned with repugnance
from these humble avocations of domestic life. It speaks most highly
in behalf of the sound judgment of her mother, that she was enabled
thus successfully to allure her daughter from her realms of romance to
those unattractive practical duties which our daily necessities
demand. At one hour this ardent maiden might have been seen in her
little chamber absorbed in studies of deepest research. The highest
themes which can elevate the mind of man claimed her delighted
reveries. The next hour she might be seen in the kitchen, under the
guidance of her mother, receiving from her judicious lips lessons
upon frugality, and industry, and economy. The white apron was bound
around her waist, and her hands, which, but a few moments before, were
busy with the circles of the celestial globe, were now occupied in
preparing vegetables for dinner. There was thus united in the
character of Jane the appreciation of all that is beautiful and
sublime in the world of fact and the world of imagination, and also
domestic skill and practical common sense. She was thus prepared to
fascinate by the graces of a refined and polished mind, and to create
for herself, in the midst of all vicissitudes, a region of loveliness
in which her spirit could ever dwell; and, at the same time she
possessed that sagacity and tact, and those habits of usefulness,
which prepared her to meet calmly all the changes of fortune, and over
them all to triumph. With that self-appreciation which with her was
frankness rather than vanity she subsequently writes:

    This mixture of serious studies, agreeable relaxations and
    domestic cares, was rendered pleasant by my mother's good
    management, and fitted me for everything. It seemed to forebode
    the vicissitudes of future life, and enabled me to bear them. In
    every place I am at home. I can prepare my own dinner with as
    much address as Philopoemen cut wood; but no one seeing me thus
    engaged would think it an office in which I ought to be
    employed.

As years passed on through the friendship of a family of noble rank,
Jane was often introduced to the great world. The family became much
interested in the fascinating young lady, and her brilliant talents
and accomplishments secured her invitations to many social interviews.
This slight acquaintance with the nobility of France did not, however,
elevate them in her esteem. She found the conversation of the old
marquises and antiquated dowagers who frequented the saloon of Madame
De Boismorel more insipid and illiterate than that of the tradespeople
who visited her father's shop, and upon whom these nobles looked down
with contempt. Jane was also disgusted with the many indications she
saw, not only of indolence, but of dissipation and utter want of
principle. Her good sense enabled her to move among these people as a
studious observer of human nature, neither adopting their costume nor
imitating their manners. She was very unostentatious and simple in her
dress, and never, in the slightest degree, affected the mannerism of
mindless and artless fashion.

Madame De Boismorel, at one time eulogising her taste in these
respects, remarked:

"You do not love feathers, do you, Miss Phlippon? How very different
you are from the giddy-headed girls around us!"

"I never wear feathers," Jane replied, "because I do not think that
they would correspond with the condition in life of an artist's
daughter who is going about on foot."

"But were you in a different situation in life, would you then wear
feathers?"

"I do not know what I should do in that case. I attach very slight
importance to such trifles. I merely consider what is suitable for
myself, and should be very sorry to judge of others by the superficial
information afforded by their dress."

M. Phlippon now began to advance rapidly in a career of dissipation.
Jane did everything in her power to lure him to love his home. All her
efforts were unavailing. Her situation was now painful in the
extreme. Her mother, who had been the guardian angel of her life, was
sleeping in the grave. The father was daily becoming more neglectful
and unkind to his daughter. Under these circumstances, Jane, by the
advice of friends, had resort to a legal process, by which there was
secured to her, from the wreck of her mother's fortune, an annual
income of about one hundred dollars.

In these gloomy hours which clouded the morning of her day, Jane found
an unfailing resource and solace in her love of literature. With pen
in hand, extracting beautiful passages and expanding suggested
thoughts, she forgot her griefs and beguiled many hours, which would
otherwise have been burdened with wretchedness.

Maria Antoinette, woe-worn and weary, in tones of despair uttered the
exclamation:

"Oh! what a resource amid the casualties of life must there be in a
highly cultivated mind."

The maiden could utter the same exclamation in accents of joy.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Jane was in the convent, she became acquainted with a young lady
from Amiens, Sophia Cannet. They formed for each other a strong
attachment and commenced a correspondence which continued for many
years. There was a gentleman in Amiens by the name of Roland de la
Platière, born of an opulent family, and holding the quite important
office of inspector of manufactures. His time was mainly occupied in
travelling and study. Being deeply interested in all subjects relating
to political economy, he had devoted much attention to that science,
and had written several treatises upon commerce, mechanics and
agriculture which had given him, in the literary and scientific
world, no little celebrity. He frequently visited the father of
Sophia. She often spoke to him of her friend Jane, showed him her
portrait, and read to him extracts from her glowing letters. The calm
philosopher became very much interested in the enthusiastic maiden,
and entreated Sophia to give him a letter of introduction to her, upon
one of his annual visits to Paris. Sophia had also often written to
Jane of her father's friend, whom she regarded with so much reverence.

Jane, the enthusiastic, romantic Jane, saw in the serene philosopher
one of the sages of antiquity, and almost literally bowed and
worshipped. All the sentiments of M. Roland were in accordance with
the most cherished emotions which glowed in her mind. She found what
she had ever been seeking, but had never found before, a truly
sympathetic soul. She looked up to M. Roland as to a superior
being--to an oracle, by whose decisions she could judge whether her
own opinions were right or wrong. It is true that M. Roland never
entered those airy realms of beauty and regions of romance where Jane
loved, at times, to revel. And perhaps Jane venerated him still more
for his more stern and unimaginative philosophy. But his meditative
wisdom, his abstraction from the frivolous pursuits of life, his high
ambition, his elevated pleasures, his consciousness of superiority
over the mass of his fellowmen, and his sleepless desire to be a
benefactor of humanity, were all traits of character which
resistlessly attracted the admiration of Jane. She adored him as a
disciple adores his master. She listened eagerly to all his words, and
loved communion with his thoughts. M. Roland was by no means
insensible to this homage, and he was charmed with her society
because she was so delighted with his own conversation. Several years
after their acquaintance began M. Roland made an avowal of his
attachment. Jane knew very well the pride of the Roland family, and
that her worldly circumstances were such that the connection would not
seem an advantageous one. She also was too proud to enter into a
family who might feel dishonoured by the alliance. She, therefore,
frankly told him that she felt much honoured by his addresses, and
that she esteemed him more highly than any other man she had met. Her
father was a ruined man, however, and by his increasing debts and his
errors still deeper disgrace might be entailed upon all connected with
him, and she could not think of allowing M. Roland to make his
generosity to her a source of future mortification to himself.

The more she manifested this elevation of soul, in which Jane was
perfectly sincere, the more earnestly did M. Roland persist in his
plea. At last Jane, influenced by his entreaties, consented that he
should make proposals to her father. He wrote to M. Phlippon. In reply
he received an insulting letter, containing a blunt refusal. M.
Phlippon declared that he had no idea of having for a son-in-law a man
of such rigid principles, who would ever be reproaching him for all
his little errors. He also told his daughter that she would find in a
man of such austere virtue not a companion and an equal, but a tyrant.
Jane laid this refusal of her father deeply to heart, and resolved
that if she could not marry the man of her choice, she would marry no
one else. She wrote to M. Roland, requesting him to abandon his
design, and not to expose himself to any further affronts. She then
requested permission of her father to retire to a convent.

The scanty income she had saved from her mother's property rendered it
necessary for her to live with the utmost frugality. She determined to
regulate her expenses in accordance with this small sum. Potatoes,
rice, and beans, with a little salt, and occasionally the luxury of a
little butter, were her only food. She allowed herself to leave the
convent but twice a week: once, to call for an hour upon a relative,
and once to visit her father, and look after his linen. She had a
little room under the roof in the attic, where the pattering of the
rain upon the tiles soothed and lulled her to sleep by night. She
carefully secluded herself from association with the other inmates of
the convent, receiving only a visit of an hour each evening from the
much-loved Sister Agatha. Her time she devoted, with unremitting
diligence to those literary avocations in which she found so much
delight.

The quiet and seclusion of this life had many charms for Jane. Indeed,
a person with such resource for enjoyment within herself could never
be very weary. Several months thus glided away in tranquillity. She
occasionally walked in the garden, at hours when no one else was
there. The resignation, which she had so long cultivated; the peaceful
conscience she enjoyed, in view of duty performed; the elevation of
spirit which enabled her to rise superior to misfortune; the
methodical arrangement of time, which assigned to each hour its
appropriate duty; the habit of close application, which riveted her
attention to her studies; the highly cultivated taste and buoyantly
winged imagination, which opened before her all the fairy realms of
fancy, were treasures which gilded her cell and enriched her heart.

In the course of five or six months M. Roland again visited Paris, and
called at the convent to see Jane. He saw her pale and pensive face
behind a grating, and the sight of one who had suffered so much from
her faithful love for him, and the sound of her voice, which ever
possessed a peculiar charm, revived in his mind those impressions
which had been somewhat fading away. He again renewed his offer and
entreated her to allow the marriage ceremony at once to be performed.
Jane, without much delay, yielded to his appeals. They were married in
the winter of 1780. Jane was then twenty-five years of age. Her
husband was twenty years her senior.

The first year of their marriage life they passed in Paris. It was to
Madame Roland a year of great enjoyment. Her husband was publishing a
work upon the arts, and she, with all the energy of her enthusiastic
mind, entered into all his literary enterprises. With great care and
accuracy she prepared his manuscripts for the press and corrected the
proofs. She lived in the study with him, became the companion of all
his thoughts, and his assistant in all labours. The only recreations
in which she indulged, during the winter, were to attend a course of
lectures upon natural history and botany. M. Roland had hired ready
furnished lodgings. She, well instructed by her mother in domestic
duties, observing that all kinds of cooking did not agree with him,
took pleasure in preparing his food with her own hands. Her husband
engrossed her whole time, and, being naturally rather austere and
imperious, he secluded her from the society of others and monopolised
all her capabilities of friendly feeling.

At the close of the year the couple went to Amiens and soon after was
born a daughter, her only child, whom she nurtured with the most
assiduous care. Her literary labours were, however, unremitted, and
she still lived in the study with her books and her pen. M. Roland was
writing several articles for an encyclopædia. She aided most
efficiently in collecting the materials and arranging the matter.
Indeed, she wielded a far more vigorous pen than he did. Her
copiousness of language, her facility of expression and the play of
her fancy, gave her the command of a very fascinating style; and M.
Roland obtained the credit for many passages rich in diction and
beautiful in imagery for which he was indebted to the glowing
imagination of his wife. Frequent sickness of her husband alarmed her
for his life. The tenderness with which she watched over him
strengthened the tie which united them. He could not but love a young
and beautiful wife so devoted to him. She could not but love one upon
whom she was conferring such rich blessings. Their little daughter,
Eudora, was a source of great delight to the fond parents, and Madame
Roland took the deepest interest in the developments of her mind. The
office of M. Roland was highly lucrative, and his literary projects
successful. They remained in Amiens four years.

Later they retired to La Platière, the paternal estate of M. Roland,
situated at the base of the mountains near Lyons in the valley of the
Saône. It is a region solitary and wild, with rivulets meandering down
from the mountains, fringed with willows and poplars, and threading
their way through narrow, yet smooth and fertile meadows luxuriant
with vineyards. A large, square stone house, with regular windows and
a roof nearly flat, of red tiles constituted the comfortable, spacious
and substantial mansion.

Her mode of life during the five calm and sunny years at La Platière
must have been exceedingly attractive. She rose with the sun, devoted
sundry attentions to her husband and child, and personally
superintended the arrangements for breakfast, taking an affectionate
pleasure in preparing her husband's frugal food with her own hands.
That social meal being passed, M. Roland entered the library for his
intellectual toil, taking with him for his silent companion the
idolised little Eudora. She amused herself with her pencil or reading
or other studies, which her father and mother superintended. Madame
Roland, in the meantime devoted herself, with most systematic energy,
to her domestic concerns. She was a perfect housekeeper and each
morning all the interests of her family, from the cellar to the
garret, passed under her eye. She superintended the preservation of
the fruit, the sorting of the linen, and those other details of
domestic life which engross the attention of a good housewife. The
systematic division of time, which seemed to be an instinctive
principle of her nature, enabled her to accomplish all this in two
hours. She had faithful and devoted servants to do the work. The
superintendence was all that was required. This genius to superintend
and be the head, while others contribute the hands, is not the most
common of human endowments. Madame Roland, having thus attended to her
domestic concerns, laid aside those cares for the remainder of the
day, and entered the study to join her husband in his labours there.

At the close of the literary labours of the morning Madame Roland met
her guests at the dinner table. The labour of the day was then over.
The repast was prolonged with social converse. After dinner they
walked in the garden, sauntered through the vineyard and looked at the
innumerable objects of interest which are ever to be found in the yard
of a spacious farm. Madame Roland frequently retired to the library to
write letters to her friends or to superintend the lessons of Eudora.
Occasionally, of a fine day, she would walk for several miles, calling
at the cottages of the peasantry, whom she greatly endeared to her by
her unvarying kindness. In the evening, after tea, they again resorted
to the library. Guests of distinguished name and influence were
frequently with them, and the hours glided swiftly, cheered by the
brilliance of philosophy and genius. The journals of the day were
read, Madame Roland being usually called upon as reader. When not thus
reading, she usually sat at her work-table, employing her fingers with
her needle, while she took part in the conversation.

"This kind of life," says Madame Roland, "would be very austere, were
not my husband a man of great merit, whom I love with my whole heart.
I congratulate myself on enjoying it; and I exert my best endeavours
to make it last."

Again she draws the captivating picture of rural pleasures:

"I am preserving pears which will be delicious. We are drying raisins
and prunes. We overlook the servants busy in the vineyard; repose in
the shady groves, and on the green meadows; gather walnuts from the
trees; and having collected our stock of fruit for the winter, spread
it to dry. After breakfast this morning we are all going in a body to
gather almonds. Throw off, then, dear friend, your fetters for a
while, and come and join us in our retreat. You will find here true
friendship and real simplicity of heart."

       *       *       *       *       *

Madame Roland was thus living at La Platière, in the enjoyment of all
that this world can give of peace and happiness, when the first
portentious mutterings of the French Revolution fell upon her ears.
She eagerly caught the sounds, and, believing them the precursor of
blessings, rejoiced in the assurance that the hour was approaching
when long-oppressed humanity would reassert its rights and achieve its
triumph. Little did she dream of the woes which in surging billows
were to roll over her country and which were to engulf her and all
whom she loved in their tide. Her faith in human nature was so strong
that she could foresee no obstacles and no dangers in the way of
immediate disfranchisement from all laws and usages which her judgment
disapproved. Her whole soul was aroused and she devoted all her
affections and every energy of her mind to the welfare of the human
race.

Louis XVI. and Maria Antoinette had but recently inherited the throne
of the Bourbons. Louis was benevolent, but destitute of the decision
of character requisite to hold the reins of government in a stormy
period. Maria Antoinette had neither culture of mind nor knowledge of
the world. She was an amiable but spoiled child, with native nobleness
of character, but with those defects which are the natural consequence
of the frivolous education she had received. She thought never of duty
and responsibility; always and only of pleasure. It was her
misfortune rather than her fault that the idea never entered her mind
that kings and queens had aught else to do than to indulge in luxury.
It would be hardly possible to conceive of two characters less
qualified to occupy the throne in stormy times than were Louis and
Maria. The people were slowly, but with resistless power, rising
against the abuses of the aristocracy and the monarchy. Louis, a man
of unblemished kindness, was made the scapegoat for the sins of
oppressive, profligate princes, who for centuries had trodden with
iron hoofs upon the necks of their subjects. The accumulated hate of
ages was poured upon his head.

The National Assembly consisted of the nobility, the higher clergy,
and representatives, chosen by the people, from all parts of France.

M. Roland, who was quite an idol with the populace of Lyons and its
vicinity, was chosen representative to the Assembly from the city of
Lyons. In that busy city the revolutionary movement had begun with
great power, and the name of Roland was the rallying point of the
people now struggling to escape from oppression. M. Roland spent some
time in the city, drawn thither by the intense interest of the times,
and in the salon of Madame Roland meetings were every evening held by
the most influential men of the revolutionary party. Her ardour
stimulated their zeal, and her well-stored mind and fascinating
eloquence guided their councils.

In this rising conflict between plebeian and patrician, between
democrat and aristocrat, the position in which M. Roland and wife were
placed, as most conspicuous and influential members of the
revolutionary party, arrayed against them, with daily increasing
animosity, the aristocratic community of Lyons. Each day their names
were pronounced by the advocates of reform with more enthusiasm and by
their opponents with deepening hostility. The applause and the censure
alike invigorated Madame Roland, and her whole soul became absorbed in
the idea of popular liberty. This object became her passion, and she
devoted herself to it with the concentration of every energy of mind
and heart.

On the 20th of February, 1791, Madame Roland accompanied her husband
to Paris, as he took his seat in the National Assembly. Her persuasive
influence was dictating those measures which were driving the ancient
nobility of France from their châteaux, and her vigorous mind was
guiding those blows before which the throne of the Bourbons trembled.
The unblemished and incorruptible integrity of M. Roland, his
simplicity of manners and ability, invested him immediately with much
authority among his associates. The brilliance of his wife also
reflected much lustre upon his name. Madame Roland with her growing
zeal, had just written a pamphlet upon the new order of things, in
language so powerful and impressive that more than sixty thousand
copies had been sold--an enormous number, considering the comparative
fewness of readers at that time. She, of course, was received with the
most flattering attention, and great deference was paid to her
opinions. She attended daily the sittings of the Assembly, and
listened with the deepest interest to the debates.

All her tastes were with the ancient nobility and their defenders. All
her principles were with the people. And as she contrasted the
unrefined exterior and clumsy speech of the democratic leaders with
the courtly bearing and elegant diction of those who rallied around
the throne, she was aroused to a more vehement desire for the
elevation of those with whom she had cast in her lot. The conflict
with the nobles was of short continuance. The energy of rising
democracy soon vanquished them.

The most moderate party was called the Girondist. It was so called
because their most prominent leaders were from the department of the
Gironde. They would deprive the King of many of his prerogatives, but
not of his crown. They would take from him his despotic power, but not
his life. They would raise the mass of the people to the enjoyment of
liberty, but to liberty controlled by vigorous law. Opposed to them
were the Jacobins--far more radical in their reform. They would break
down all privileged orders, confiscate the property of the nobles and
place prince and beggar on the footing of equality. These were the two
great parties into which revolutionary France was divided and the
conflict between them was the most fierce and implacable earth has
ever witnessed.

M. Roland and wife gathered around them every evening many of the most
influential members of the Assembly. They attached themselves with all
their zeal and energy to the Girondists. Four evenings of every week
the leaders of this party met in the salon of Madame Roland, to
deliberate respecting their measures.

The powerful influence which Madame Roland was thus exerting could not
be concealed. She appeared to have no ambition for personal renown.
She sought only to elevate the position and expand the celebrity of
her husband. It was whispered from ear to ear, and now and then openly
asserted in the Assembly, that the bold and decisive measures of the
Girondists received their impulse from the lovely wife of M. Roland.
She also furnished many very able articles for a widely circulated
journal, established by the Girondists for the advocacy of their
political views.

The spirit of the revolution was advancing with giant strides, and the
throne was reeling beneath the blows of the people. Massacres were
rife all over the kingdom. The sky was nightly illumined by
conflagrations. Nobles were abandoning their estates and escaping from
perils and death to refuge in the little army of emigrants at
Coblentz. The King, insulted and a prisoner, reigned but in name. He
hoped, by the appointment of a Republican ministry to pacify the
democratic spirit.

He yielded to the pressure, dismissed his ministers, and surrendered
himself to the Girondists for the appointment of a new ministry. The
Girondists called upon M. Roland to take the important post of
Minister of the Interior. It was a perilous position to fill, but what
danger will not ambition face? In the present posture of affairs the
Minister of the Interior was the monarch of France. M. Roland smiled
nervously at the power which, thus unsolicited, was passing into his
hands. Madame Roland, whose all-absorbing passion it now was to
elevate her husband to the highest summits of greatness, was gratified
in view of the honour and agitated in view of the peril; but, to her
exalted spirit, the greater the danger, the more heroic the act.

"The burden is heavy," she said; "but Roland has a great consciousness
of his own powers, and would derive fresh strength from the feeling of
being useful to liberty and his country."

In March, 1792, he entered upon his arduous and exalted office. When
M. Roland made his first appearance at court instead of arraying
himself in the court dress, he affected in his costume the simplicity
of his principles. He had not forgotten the impression produced in
France by Franklin, as in republican simplicity he moved among the
glittering throng at Versailles. He accordingly presented himself at
the Tuileries in a plain black coat, with a round hat, and dusty shoes
fastened with ribbons instead of buckles. The courtiers were
indignant. The King was highly displeased at what he considered an act
of disrespect. The master of ceremonies was in consternation, and
exclaimed with a look of horror to General Damuriez:

"My dear sir, he has not even buckles on his shoes!"

"Mercy upon us!" exclaimed the old general, with the most laughable
expression of affected gravity, "we shall then all go to ruin
together!"

M. Roland after his first interview with the monarch assured his wife
that the community had formed a totally erroneous estimate of the
King; that he was a hearty supporter of the Constitution which had
been forced upon him. The prompt reply of Madame Roland displayed even
more than her characteristic sagacity:

"If Louis is sincerely a friend of the Constitution, he must be
virtuous beyond the common race of mortals. Mistrust your own virtue,
M. Roland. You are only an honest countryman wandering amid a crowd of
courtiers. They speak our language; we do not know theirs. No! Louis
cannot love the chains that fetter him. He may feign to caress them.
He thinks only of how he can spurn them. No man likes his humiliation.
Trust in human nature; that never deceives. Distrust courts. Your
virtue is too elevated to see the snares which courtiers spread
beneath your feet."

From all the spacious apartments of the mansion alloted as the
residence of the Minister of the Interior Madame Roland selected a
small and retired parlour, which she had furnished with every
attraction as a library and a study. This was her much-loved retreat,
and here M. Roland, in the presence of his wife, was accustomed to see
his friends in all their confidential intercourse. But the position of
the Girondists began to be more and more perilous. The army of
emigrant nobles at Coblentz, within the dominions of the King of
Prussia, was rapidly increasing in numbers. There were hundreds of
thousands in France, the most illustrious in rank and opulence, who
would join such an army. The people all believed that Louis wished to
escape from Paris and head that army. On the other hand, they saw
another party, the Jacobin, noisy, turbulent, sanguinary and
threatening with destruction all connected in any way with the
execrated throne. M. Roland was urged to present to the throne a most
earnest letter of expostulation and advice. Madame Roland sat down at
her desk and wrote the letter for her husband. It was expressed in
that glowing style so eminently at her command. Its eloquence was
inspired by the foresight she had of impending perils. M. Roland,
almost trembling in view of its boldness and its truths, presented the
letter to the King. Its last sentences will give some idea of its
character:

    Love, serve the Revolution, and the people will love it and
    serve it in you. Ratify the measures to extirpate their
    fanaticism. Paris trembles in view of its danger. Surround its
    walls with an army of defence. Delay longer, and you will be
    deemed a conspirator and an accomplice. Just Heaven! hast thou
    stricken kings with blindness? I know that truth is rarely
    welcomed at the foot of thrones. I know, too, that the
    withholding of truth from kings renders revolutions so often
    necessary. As a citizen, a minister, I owe truth to the King,
    and nothing shall prevent me from making it reach his ear.

This celebrated letter was presented to the King on the 11th of June,
1792. On the same day M. Roland received a letter from the King
informing him that he was dismissed from office.

"Here am I, dismissed from office," was M. Roland's exclamation to his
wife on his return home.

"Present your letter to the Assembly, that the nation may see for what
counsel you have been dismissed," replied the undaunted wife.

M. Roland did so. He was received as a martyr to patriotism. The
letter was read amid the loudest applause. It was ordered to be
printed and circulated by tens of thousands through the kingdom; and
there came rolling back upon the metropolis the echo of the most
tumultuous indignation and applause. The famous letter was read by all
France--nay, more, by all Europe. Roland was a hero. Upon this wave of
enthusiastic popularity Madame Roland and her husband retired from the
magnificent palace where they had dwelt for so short a time and
selected for their retreat very humble apartments in an apparently
obscure street.

But M. Roland and wife were more powerful now than ever before. The
letter had placed them in the front ranks of the friends of reform,
and enshrined them in the hearts of the ever fickle populace. Even the
Jacobins were compelled to swell the universal voice of commendation.
M. Roland's apartments were ever thronged. All important plans were
discussed and shaped by him and his wife before they were presented to
the Assembly.

The outcry against M. Roland's dismissal was falling in thunder tones
on the ear of the King. This act had fanned those flames of
revolutionary frenzy which were now glaring in every part of France.
The people, intoxicated and maddened by the discovery of their power,
were now arrayed, with irresistible thirstings for destruction and
blood, against the King, the court, and the nobility. There was no
hope for Louis but in the recall of M. Roland. The Jacobins were upon
him in locust legions. M. Roland alone could bring the Girondists, as
a shield, between the throne and the mob. He was recalled, and again
moved in calm triumph from his obscure chambers to the palace of the
minister. If Madame Roland's letter dismissed him from office, her
letter also restored him again with an enormous accumulation of power.

Madame Roland was far more conscious of the peril than her husband.
With intense emotion, but calmly and firmly, she looked upon the
gathering storm. The peculiarity of her character, and her great moral
courage, was illustrated by the mode of life she vigorously adopted.
She was entirely undazzled, and resolved that, consecrating all her
energies to the demands of the tempestuous times, she would waste no
time in fashionable parties and heartless visits. Selecting for her
own use one of the smallest parlours, she furnished it as her library.
Here she lived engrossed in study, busy with her pen, and taking an
unseen but most active part in all those measures which were literally
agitating the whole civilised world. Her little library was the
sanctuary for all confidential conversation upon matters of state.
Here her husband met his political friends to mature their measures.
She wrote many of his proclamations, his letters, his state papers,
and with all the glowing fervour of an enthusiastic woman.

She writes:

    Without me my husband would have been quite as good a minister,
    for his knowledge, his activity, his integrity were all his own;
    but with me he attracted more attention, because I infused into
    his writings that mixture of spirit and gentleness, of
    authoritative reason and seducing sentiment, which is, perhaps,
    only to be found in the language of a woman who has a clear head
    and a feeling heart.

Anarchy now reigned throughout France. The King and the royal family
were imprisoned in the Temple. The Girondists in the National
Convention, and M. Roland at the head of the ministry, were struggling
to restore the dominion of law, and, if possible, to save the life of
the King. The Jacobins, who, unable to resist the popularity of M.
Roland, had, for a time, coöperated with the Girondists, now began to
separate themselves again more widely from them. They flattered the
mob. They encouraged every possible demonstration of lawless violence.
In tones daily increasing in boldness and efficiency, they declared
the Girondists to be the friends of the monarch, and the enemies of
popular liberty.

Madame Roland, in the name of her husband, drew up for the Convention
the plan of a republic as a substitute for the throne. From childhood
she had yearned for a republic. Now the throne and hereditary rank
were virtually abolished, and all France clamoured for a republic. Her
husband was nominally Minister of the Interior, but his power was
gone. The mob of Paris had usurped the place of King, and
Constitution and law. The Jacobins were attaining the decided
ascendency. The guillotine was daily crimsoned with the blood of the
noblest citizens of France. The streets and the prisons were polluted
with the massacre of the innocent.

M. Roland was almost frantic in view of these horrors which he had no
power to quell. The mob, headed by the Jacobins, had now the complete
ascendency, and he was minister but in name. He urged the adoption of
immediate and energetic measures to arrest these execrable deeds of
lawless violence. Many of the Girondists in the Assembly gave vehement
utterance to their execration of the massacres. Others were
intimidated by the weapons which the Jacobins were now so effectually
wielding. Madame Roland distinctly saw and deeply felt the peril to
which she and her friends were exposed. She knew, and they all knew,
that defeat was death.

The question between the Girondist and the Jacobin was: "Who shall lie
down on the guillotine?" For some time the issue of the struggle was
uncertain. The Jacobins summoned their allies, the mob. They
surrounded the doors and the windows of the Assembly, and with their
howlings sustained their friends. The Girondists found themselves, at
the close of the struggle, defeated, yet not so decidedly but that
they still clung to hope.

M. Roland, who had not yet entirely lost, with the people, that
popularity which swept him again into the office of Minister of the
Interior, now presented to the Assembly his resignation of power which
was merely nominal. Great efforts had for some time been made by his
adversaries, to turn the tide of popular hatred against him, and
especially against his wife. Madame Roland might have fled from these
perils, and have retired with her husband to tranquillity and safety,
but she urged M. Roland to remain at his post and resolved to remain
herself and meet her destiny, whatever it might be.

The Jacobins now made a direct and infamous attempt to turn the rage
of the populace against Madame Roland. She was summoned to present
herself before the Convention, to confront her accuser, and defend
herself from the scaffold. Her gentle yet imperial spirit was
undaunted by the magnitude of the peril. Her name had often been
mentioned in the Assembly as the inspiring genius of the most
influential party which had risen up amid the storms of the
Revolution. Her talents, her accomplishments, her fascinating
eloquence, had spread her renown widely through Europe.

The aspect of a woman combining in her person and mind all the
attractions of nature and genius, entering this vast assembly of
irritated men to speak in defence of her life, at once hushed the
clamour of hoarse voices and subdued the rage of angry disputants.
Silence filled the hall. Every eye was fixed upon her. She stood
before the bar.

"What is your name?" inquired the president.

She paused for a moment, and then in clear and liquid tones answered:

"Roland! A name of which I am proud, for it is that of a good and an
honourable man."

"Do you know Achille Viard?" the president inquired.

"I have once, and but once, seen him."

"What has passed between you?"

"Twice he has written to me, soliciting an interview. Once I saw him.
After a short conversation, I perceived that he was a spy, and
dismissed him with the contempt he deserved."

Briefly, in tremulous tones of voice, but with a spirit of firmness
which no terrors could daunt, she entered upon her defence. It was the
first time that a woman's voice had been heard in the midst of the
clamour of these enraged combatants. The Assembly, unused to such a
scene, were fascinated by her attractive eloquence. Madame Roland was
acquitted by acclamation. Upon the spot the president proposed that
the marked respect of the Convention be conferred upon Madame Roland.
With enthusiasm the resolution was carried. As she retired from the
hall, her bosom glowing with the excitement of the triumph she had
won, her ear was greeted with the enthusiastic applause of the whole
Assembly. The eyes of all France had been attracted to her as she thus
defended herself and her friends, and confounded her enemies.

The most distressing embarrassments now surrounded M. Roland. He could
not abandon power without abandoning himself and his supporters in the
Assembly to the guillotine; and while continuing in power, he was
compelled to witness deeds of atrocity from which not only his soul
revolted, but to which it was necessary for him apparently to give his
sanction. Thus situated, he sent in his final resignation and retired
to humble lodgings in one of the obscure streets of Paris. Here,
anxiously watching the progress of events, he began to make
preparations to leave the mob-enthralled metropolis and seek a retreat
in the calm seclusion of La Platière. Neither the sacredness of law
nor the weapons of their friends could longer afford them any
protection. The danger became so imminent that the friends of Madame
Roland brought her the dress of a peasant girl, and entreated her to
put it on, as a disguise and escape by night, that her husband might
follow after her, unencumbered by his family; but she proudly repelled
that which she deemed a cowardly artifice. She threw the dress aside,
exclaiming:

"I am ashamed to resort to any such expedient. I will neither disguise
myself, nor make any attempt at secret escape. My enemies may find me
always in my place. If I am assassinated it shall be in my own home. I
owe my country an example of firmness, and I will give it."

The gray of a dull and sombre morning was just beginning to appear as
Madame Roland threw herself upon a bed for a few moments of repose.
Overwhelmed by sorrow and fatigue, she had just fallen asleep, when a
band of armed men rudely broke into her house, and demanded to be
conducted to her apartment. She knew too well the object of the
summons. The order for her arrest was presented her. She calmly read
it, and requested permission to write to a friend. The request was
granted. When the note was finished, the officer informed her that it
would be necessary for him to be made acquainted with its contents.
She quietly tore it into fragments and cast it into the fire. Then,
imprinting her last kiss upon the cheek of her unconscious child, with
the composure which such a catastrophe would naturally produce in so
heroic a mind, she left her home for the prison. As she was led from
the house a vast crowd collected around the door, who, believing her
to be a traitor to her country, and in league with her enemies,
shouted, "A la guillotine!" Unmoved by their cries, she looked calmly
without gesture or reply. One of the officers, to relieve her from the
insults to which she was exposed, asked her if she wished to have the
windows of the carriage closed.

"No!" she replied, "I do not fear the looks of honest men, and I brave
those of my enemies."

"You have very great resolution," was the reply, "thus calmly to await
justice."

"Justice!" she exclaimed; "were justice done I should not be here. But
I shall go to the scaffold as fearlessly as I now proceed to the
prison."

At ten o'clock that evening, her cell being prepared, she entered it
for the first time. It was a cold, bare room, with walls blackened by
the dust and damp of ages. There was a small fireplace in the room,
and a narrow window, with a double iron grating, which admitted but a
dim twilight even at noonday. In one corner there was a pallet of
straw. The chill night air crept in at the unglazed window, and the
dismal tocsin proclaimed that Paris was still the scene of tumult and
of violence. Madame Roland threw herself upon her humble bed, and was
so overpowered by fatigue and exhaustion that she woke not from her
dreamless slumber until twelve o'clock of the next day.

Eudora, who had been left by her mother in the care of weeping
domestics, was taken by a friend and watched over and protected with
maternal care. Though Madame Roland never saw her idolised child
again, her heart was comforted in the prison by the assurance that she
had found a home with those who, for her mother's sake, would love and
cherish her.

When Madame Roland awoke from her long sleep, instead of yielding to
despair and surrendering herself to useless repinings, she
immediately began to arrange her cell as comfortably as possible, and
to look round for such sources of comfort and enjoyment as might yet
be obtained. She obtained the favour of a small table, and then of a
neat white spread to cover it. This she placed near the window to
serve for her writing-desk. To keep this table, which she prized so
highly, unsoiled, she smilingly told her keeper that she should make a
dining-table of her stove. A rusty dining-table indeed it was. Two
hairpins, which she drew from her own clustering ringlets, she drove
into a shelf for pegs to hang her clothes upon. These arrangements she
made as cheerfully as when superintending the disposition of the
gorgeous furniture in the palace over which she had presided. Having
thus provided her study, her next care was to obtain a few books. She
happened to have Thomson's "Seasons," a favourite volume of hers, in
her pocket. Through the jailer's wife she succeeded in obtaining
"Plutarch's Lives" and Sheridan's "Dictionary."

The prison regulations were very severe. The Government allowed twenty
pence per day for the support of each prisoner. Ten pence was to be
paid to the jailer for the furniture he put into the cell; tenpence
only remained for food. The prisoners were, however, allowed to
purchase such food as they pleased from their own purse. Madame
Roland, with that stoicism which enabled her to triumph over all
ordinary ills, resolved to conform to the prison allowance. She took
bread and water alone for breakfast. The dinner was coarse meat and
vegetables. The money she saved by this great frugality she
distributed among the poorer prisoners. The only indulgence she
allowed herself was in the purchase of books and flowers. In reading
and with her pen she beguiled the weary days of her imprisonment. And
though at times her spirit was overwhelmed with anguish at her
desolate home and blighted hopes, she still found solace in the warm
affections which sprang up around her, even in the uncongenial
atmosphere of a prison.

One day some commissioners called at her cell, hoping to extort from
her the secret of her husband's retreat. She looked them calmly in the
face and said:

"Gentlemen, I know perfectly well where my husband is. I scorn to tell
you a lie. I know, also, my own strength. And I assure you that there
is no earthly power which can induce me to betray him."

The commissioners withdrew, admiring her heroism, and convinced that
she was still able to wield an influence which might yet bring the
guillotine upon their own necks. Her doom was sealed. Her heroism was
a crime. She was too illustrious to live.

       *       *       *       *       *

Madame Roland remained some time in the Abbayé prison. On the
twenty-fourth day of her imprisonment, to her inexpressible
astonishment, an officer entered her cell, and informed her that she
was liberated, as no charge could be found against her. Hardly
crediting her senses--fearing that she should wake up and find her
freedom but a dream--she took a coach and hastened to her own door.
Her eyes were full of tears of joy and her heart almost bursting with
delight, in the anticipation of again pressing her idolised child to
her bosom. Her hand was upon the door latch--she had not yet passed
the threshold--when two men, who had watched at the door of her
dwelling, again seized her in the name of the law. In spite of her
tears and supplications, they conveyed her to the prison of St.
Pélagié. This loathsome receptacle of crime was filled with the
abandoned who had been swept from the streets of Paris. It was,
apparently, a studied humiliation, to compel their victim to associate
with beings from whom her soul shrank with loathing.

Many hours of every day she beguiled in this prison in writing the
memoirs of her own life. It was an eloquent and a touching narrative,
written with the expectation that each sentence might be interrupted
by the entrance of the executioners to conduct her to trial and to the
guillotine. In this unveiling of the heart to the world, one sees a
noble nature animated to benevolence by native generosity. The
consciousness of spiritual elevation constituted her only solace. The
anticipation of a lofty reputation after death was her only heaven. No
one can read the thoughts she penned but with the deepest emotion.

The Girondists who had been in prison were led from their dungeons in
the Conciergerie to their execution on October 31, 1793. Upon that
very day Madame Roland was conveyed from the prison of St. Pélagié to
the same gloomy cells vacated by the death of her friends. She was
cast into a bare and miserable dungeon, in that receptacle of woe,
where there was not even a bed. Another prisoner, moved with
compassion, drew his own pallet into her cell, that she might not be
compelled to throw herself for repose upon the cold, wet stones. The
chill air of winter had now come, and yet no covering was allowed her.
Through the long night she shivered with the cold.

       *       *       *       *       *

The day after Madame Roland was placed in the Conciergerie, she was
visited by one of the officers of the revolutionary party, and closely
questioned concerning the friendship she had entertained for the
Girondists. She frankly avowed the affection with which she cherished
their memory, but she declared that she and they were the cordial
friends of republican liberty; that they wished to preserve, not to
destroy, the Constitution. The examination lasted for three hours, and
consisted in an incessant torrent of criminations, to which she was
hardly permitted to offer one word in reply. This examination taught
her the nature of the accusations which would be brought against her.
She sat down in her cell that very night, and, with a rapid pen,
sketched that defence which has been pronounced one of the most
eloquent and touching monuments of the Revolution. It so beautifully
illustrates the heroism of her character and the beauty and energy of
her mind that it will ever be read with the liveliest interest.

She remained in the Conciergerie but one week, and during that time so
endeared herself to all as to become the prominent object of attention
and love. Her case is one of the most extraordinary the history of the
world has presented, in which the very highest degree of heroism is
combined with the most resistless loveliness. With an energy of will,
an inflexibility of purpose, a firmness of endurance which no mortal
man has ever exceeded, she combined gentleness and tenderness and
affection.

The day before her trial, her advocate, Chauveau de la Garde, visited
her to consult respecting her defence. She, well aware that no one
could speak a word in her favour but at the peril of his own life, and
also fully conscious that her doom was already sealed, drew a ring
from her finger, and said to him:

"To-morrow I shall be no more. I know the fate which awaits me. Your
kind assistance cannot avail aught for me, and would but endanger you.
I pray you, therefore, not to come to the tribunal, but to accept of
this last testimony of my regard."

The next day she was led to her trial. She attired herself in a white
robe, as a symbol of her innocence, and her long dark hair fell in
thick curls on her neck and shoulders. She emerged from her dungeon a
vision of unusual loveliness. The prisoners who were walking in the
corridors gathered around her, and with smiles and words of
encouragement she infused energy into their hearts. Calm and
invincible she met her judges. Whenever she attempted to utter a word
in her defence, she was browbeaten by the judges, and silenced by the
clamours of the mob which filled the tribunal. At last the president
demanded of her that she should reveal her husband's asylum. She
proudly replied:

"I do not know of any law by which I can be obliged to violate the
strongest feelings of nature."

This was sufficient, and she was immediately condemned. Her sentence
was thus expressed:

    The public accuser has drawn up the present indictment against
    Jane Mary Phlippon, the wife of Roland, late Minister of the
    Interior, for having wickedly and designedly aided and assisted
    in the conspiracy which existed against the unity and
    indivisibility of the Republic, against the liberty and safety
    of the French people, by assembling, at her house, in secret
    council, the principal chiefs of that conspiracy, and by keeping
    up a correspondence tending to facilitate their treasonable
    designs. The tribunal, having heard the public accuser deliver
    his reasons concerning the application of the law, condemns Jane
    Mary Phlippon, wife of Roland, to the punishment of death.

She listened calmly to her sentence, and then, rising, bowed with
dignity to her judges and, smiling, said:

"I thank you, gentlemen, for thinking me worthy of sharing the fate of
the great men whom you have assassinated. I shall endeavour to imitate
their firmness on the scaffold."

With the buoyant step of a child, and with a rapidity which almost
betokened joy, she passed beneath the narrow portal, and descended to
her cell, from which she was to be led, with the morning light, to
death. The prisoners had assembled to greet her on her return, and
anxiously gathered round her. She looked upon them with a smile of
perfect tranquillity, and, drawing her hand across her neck, made a
sign expressive of her doom.

The morning of the 8th of November, 1793, dawned gloomily upon Paris.
It was one of the darkest days of that reign of terror which, for so
long a period, enveloped France in its sombre shades. The ponderous
gates of the courtyard of the Conciergerie opened that morning to a
long procession of carts loaded with victims for the guillotine.
Madame Roland had contemplated her fate too long, and had disciplined
her spirit too severely, to fail of fortitude in this last hour of
trial. She came from her cell scrupulously attired. A serene smile was
upon her cheeks, and the glow of joyous animation lighted up her
features as she waved an adieu to the weeping prisoners who gathered
round her. The last cart was assigned to Madame Roland. She entered it
with a step as light and elastic as if it were a carriage for a
morning's drive. By her side stood an infirm old man, M. La Marche. He
was pale and trembling, and his fainting heart, in view of the
approaching terror, almost ceased to beat. She sustained him by her
arm, and addressed to him words of consolation and encouragement, in
cheerful accents and with a benignant smile. She stood firmly in the
cart, looking with a serene eye upon the crowds which lined the
streets, and listening to the clamour which filled the air. A crowd
surrounded the cart shouting:

"To the guillotine! to the guillotine!"

She looked kindly upon them, and bending over the railing of the cart,
said to them in tones as placid as if she were addressing her own
child:

"My friends, I _am_ going to the guillotine. In a few moments I shall
be there. They who send me thither will ere long follow me. I go
innocent. They will come stained with blood. You who now applaud our
execution will then applaud theirs with equal zeal."

The long procession arrived at the guillotine, and the bloody work
began. The victims were dragged from the carts, and the axe rose and
fell with unceasing rapidity. Head after head fell into the basket.
The executioners approached the cart where Madame Roland stood by the
side of her fainting companion. With an animated countenance and a
cheerful smile, she was endeavouring to infuse fortitude into his
soul. The executioner grasped her by the arm.

"Stay," said she, slightly resisting his grasp; "I have one favour to
ask, and that is not for myself. I beseech you grant it me." Then
turning to the old man she said: "Do you precede me to the scaffold.
To see my blood flow would make you suffer the bitterness of death
twice over. I must spare you the pain of witnessing my execution."

The stern officer gave a surly refusal, replying: "My orders are to
take you first."

With that winning smile and that fascinating grace which were almost
resistless, she rejoined: "You cannot, surely, refuse a woman her last
request."

The hard-hearted executor of the law was brought within the influence
of her enchantment. He paused, looked at her for a moment in
bewilderment, and yielded. The poor old man, more dead than alive, was
conducted upon the scaffold and placed beneath the fatal axe. Madame
Roland, without the slightest change of colour, or the apparent tremor
of a nerve, saw the ponderous instrument, with its glittering edge,
glide upon its deadly mission, and the decapitated trunk of her friend
was thrown aside to give place for her. With a placid countenance and
a buoyant step she ascended the steps. She stood for a moment upon the
platform, looked calmly around upon the vast concourse, and then
bowing before a clay statue of Liberty near by exclaimed: "O Liberty!
what crimes are committed in thy name." She surrendered herself to the
executioner, and was bound to the plank. The plank fell to its
horizontal position, bringing her head under the fatal axe. The
glittering steel glided through the groove, and the head of Madame
Roland was severed from her body.

The grief of M. Roland, when apprised of the event, was unbounded. For
a time he entirely lost his senses. Life to him was no longer
endurable. Privately he left by night, the kind friends who had
concealed him for six months, and wandered to such a distance from his
asylum as to secure his protectors from any danger on his account.
Through the long hours of the winter's night he continued his dreary
walk, till the first gray of the morning appeared. Drawing a long
stiletto from the inside of his walking-stick, he placed the head of
it against the trunk of a tree, and threw himself upon the sharp
weapon. The point pierced his heart and he fell lifeless upon the
frozen ground. Some peasants passing by discovered his body. A piece
of paper was pinned to the breast of his coat, upon which there were
written these words:

    Whoever thou art that findest these remains, respect them as
    those of a virtuous man. After hearing of my wife's death, I
    would not stay another day in a world so stained with crime.

The daughter of Madame Roland succeeded in escaping the fury of the
tyrants of the Revolution. She lived surrounded by kind protectors,
and in subsequent years was married to M. Champeneaux, the son of one
of her mother's intimate friends.



XI

GRACE DARLING


Grace Darling was born on the 24th of November, 1815, at a small town
upon the northeastern coast of England. She was the seventh child of
her parents. Her grandfather, Robert Darling, had been keeper of the
coal-light on the outmost of the Farne Islands, and her father,
William, succeeded him in that post. In 1826, however, when Grace was
eleven years old, William Darling took his family to Longstone,
another island of the same group.

These Farne Islands are about twenty-five in number at low tide, and,
as a visitor has pointed out, are desolate to an uncommon degree,
although they are at no great distance from the Northumberland coast.
The sea rushes with great force through the channels between the
islands. Longstone, upon which Grace dwelt was, says another visitor,
of dark whinstone, cracked in every direction and worn with the action
of winds, waves and tempests, since the world began. Over the greater
part of it was not a blade of grass nor a grain of earth; it was hard
and iron-like stone, crusted round all the coast as far as high
water-mark with limpet and still smaller shells. We ascended wrinkled
hills of black stone, and descended into worn and dismal dells of the
same, into some of which, where the tide got entrance, it came pouring
and roaring in raging whiteness, and churning the loose fragments of
whinstone into round pebbles, and piling them up in deep crevices,
with seaweed. Over our heads screamed hundreds of hovering birds, the
gull mingling its hideous laughter most wildly.

Fancy a lone lighthouse standing upon this pile of stone, dropped
seemingly, in the midst of the water, five miles from the mainland.
The sea tosses, and swells, and beats the rocks unceasingly. In fine
weather it is blue and more kindly; in storms the waters are black and
furious and fearful. It was known as a most desolate and dangerous
lighthouse, and its service could be only a man and family of courage,
endurance, large human feeling and strong sense of duty.

In such an abode grew the little girl, almost alone so far as school
friends go. Her father taught her to read and write together with the
seven of her brothers and sisters, and their schoolroom was the
lantern of the lighthouse. Her instructors were in other ways the sky
and the breaking surf; her comrades the sea birds and the simple shell
fish and floating grasses of the salt water and all the strange and
curious growths the sea brings wherever it is free.

Like her brothers and sisters, Grace was schooled after the simpler
fashion. But when such days were passed she kept to her home rather
than go out into the world or marry. The lighthouse sheltered a united
and happy family. Grace loved the seclusion of that life and assisted
her mother with the work of the household. Others of the daughters had
gone to homes of their own upon the mainland.

If our surroundings help to form our characters, here in this
lighthouse Grace must have grown into a strong self-control and a
spirit of helpfulness toward hapless people and those wrecks upon the
Farne Islands, of which many a legend has been told.

About thirty years before she was born a fine merchantman from America
had struck the ledges near the lighthouse, and it is said that to the
recital of this ship-wreck, of how the brave sailors fought for life
and how one by one they fell or were swept into the fierce waters, the
little girl would listen weeping, and then go pitifully to her bed.
This tale, and the story of other sea mishaps, had a special
attraction for the child, and the strength of her interest and
compassion for the shipwrecked were noticed by her family as they sat
round the family table of an evening, knitting, talking of the sea and
watching the bright beacon above.

So it was that Grace Darling grew to womanhood. She was twenty-two
years old when the disaster came that made evident what sort of a girl
had come to woman's years upon the solitary island.

In the fall of the year, 1838, one fifth of September, a steamer,
called the _Forfarshire_, a vessel of small size, but laden with a
considerable cargo, sailed for Dundee, Scotland, from the port of
Hull, England. There were forty-one passengers and twenty-two of the
crew--sixty-three in all. The ship was but two years old, but her
boilers were in bad order, although they had had some overhauling
before she cleared her port.

She sailed in the early evening and for a part of her way seemed to be
steaming safely. But as the vessel neared Flamborough Head the captain
and crew became disturbed by many anxieties. Word passed from mouth to
mouth among the passengers that the leak of the boiler was growing
rapidly and the firemen could with difficulty keep up the fires. So
much did this delay the passage of the steamer that toward the
evening of the following day she had only made the channel between the
coast and the Farne Islands. The wind was blowing from the north. It
is reported that the engines became utterly useless. There being great
danger of drifting ashore, the sails were hoisted fore and aft, and
the vessel got about in order to get her before the wind and keep her
off the land. It rained heavily during the entire time, and the fog
was so dense that it became impossible to tell the situation of the
vessel. At length breakers were discovered close to leeward, and the
Farne Light, which about the same period became visible, left no doubt
as to the peril of all on board.

Passengers crowded the deck and as rain beat upon them and the fog
shut out all but the sad scene on board, friends and strangers pressed
hands for support and sought hopeful words from one another's lips.
The sails hoisted for a defence became useless for the purpose, the
wind was rising to tempest strength, and all control over the vessel
seemed gone. The sea was master and was tossing the helpless steamer
in its waves, and, as the summer wind drives thistledown in its
course, was driving her toward the light. The billows beat upon the
frail timbers and every lurch and swell took the vessel nearer the
island where the wild waters were breaking in foam.

At length appeared in an opening of the fog a great rock, frightfully
rugged, deadly to a ship weakened and in the power of the sea.
Passengers and crew alike knew the spot, and they knew that unless
some miracle prevailed the ship must go to pieces. There was a
moment's delay, the sea seemed putting off its final victory, and then
it brought the vessel with her bow foremost upon the rocks.

A panic followed. All who had been below rushed to the deck and sought
in the companionship of wretchedness an escape from threatening
destruction. Some of the crew, determined to save themselves, lowered
the larboard quarter boat, and left the ship. The boiling sea now
swept over the decks.

Very soon after the first shock a powerful wave struck the vessel on
the quarter, and raising her off the rocks allowed her immediately
after to fall violently upon it, the sharp edge striking her
amidships. She was by this fairly broken in two pieces, and the after
part, containing the cabin with many passengers was instantly carried
off through a tremendous current, called the Piper Gut. The captain
and his wife were among those who perished.

The forepart still remained crushed upon the rocks. Upon its deck were
eight unfortunate creatures--five sailors and three of the passengers.
In the cabin below lay a woman huddling two children in her arms, a
girl of eleven and a boy of eight. The waves washed through the cabin
tearing off the clothing of the children and half freezing them with
cold. The hideous noise of the tempest drowned their melancholy cries
and at last they lay quiet and dead.

At the Longstone Lighthouse the morning of the seventh of September
broke mistily. The dwellers there were but three--the keeper and his
wife and daughter. They were used to raging seas and driving winds,
but this night had been one of anxiety. Grace, it is said, had been
unable to sleep, and as she dozed toward morning had started up with a
wail for help echoing in her ears. She roused her father and taking
his field-glass sought the wreck which she felt must be near. The
remains of the shattered vessel lying about a mile off met her eye,
and dim figures clinging to the broken timbers. As the waters lashed
the wreck it seemed as if each wave must sweep the forms into the sea.

The hearts of all three of the lighthouse family sank. What could
three do and the billows running mountains? William Darling shrank
from attempting any rescue. He had been on other humane enterprises.
But this seemed futile. At Grace's earnest plea the boat was launched,
her father yielding to her entreaties, which his heart said were
right. Grace sprang in--she knew how to handle an oar--and her father
followed. She had never assisted in the boat before this wreck of the
_Forfarshire_, but other members of the family had been present.

Her mother, Mrs. Darling, had assisted in making the boat ready, but
as her husband and daughter pushed off, and the waves washed the rock
on which she stood, she cried with tears in her eyes:

"Oh, Grace, if your father is lost, I'll blame you for this morning's
work."

Says one who told the story:

"In estimating the dangers which heroic adventurers encounter, one
circumstance ought not to be forgotten. Had it been at ebb tide the
boat could not have passed between the islands; and Darling and his
daughter knew that the tide would be flowing on their return, when
their united strength would have been utterly insufficient to pull the
boat back to the lighthouse island. Had they not got aid of the
survivors in rowing back again, they themselves would have been
compelled to remain on the rock beside the wreck until the tide ebbed
again."

The frail boat passed over the stormy waters and neared the rock.

It could only have been by the exertion of muscular power as well as
determined courage that the father and daughter carried the boat to
the rock. And when there a danger, greater even than that which they
had encountered in approaching it, arose from the difficulty of
steadying the boat and preventing its being destroyed on those sharp
ridges by the ever-restless chafing and heaving of the billows.

The father and daughter could see the eager faces turned toward them,
and the sight redoubled their efforts in reaching the rock, and in the
task of disembarking and drawing the boat up the rock and out of reach
of the waves. It was a perilous landing-place. But when the craft was
secured the father and Grace approached the half-dead group.

All were safe except the two children. Their mother was seemingly
dead, also, and lay clasping the bodies in her arms. But care and
attention revived her. A fireman who had lain for three hours on the
rock where he had been tossed, had clung to a strong nail spiked in
the rock, and though lashed and beaten by the waves, and tortured by
bleeding hands, he had not let go.

The rescuers placed the survivors one by one in the boat. But the
return journey was even more perilous than that which took them to the
wreck, although the sailors aided at the oars. Longstone, however, was
at last reached and the sufferers housed in the lighthouse.

They were in safety, but the violence of the sea forbade any attempt
to reach the mainland. There were good accommodations at the light.
The tower was ingeniously built, and besides a well-furnished
sitting-room, in which was a capital collection of books, had three
or four comfortable bedrooms. In addition there was an abundance of
wholesome, homely fare.

The poor woman who had lost her children was suffering intensely, and
to her Grace gave up her bed, sleeping upon a table. A boat's crew
from Northumberland, which after some hours came in search of the
_Forfarshire_, also had to claim the hospitality of the lighthouse,
and for three days were held by the raging seas. Finally, the passage
to the mainland was undertaken in safety, and the news reached the
keeper's family that the boat first launched had been picked up and
its nine passengers rescued. Of the sixty-three who had sailed from
Hull five days before, nineteen were alive.

Within a few days search was made for the missing bodies, but almost
in vain. The cargo of the steamer, which was of unusual value was
wholly lost. The wreck, consisting of the engine, paddle-wheels,
anchor, foremast and rigging, remained upon the rock and was visited
by thousands.

Report of Grace Darling's heroic deed was soon spread throughout
England. It was a simple, humane action and such actions are doing
among us all the time. But the courage in facing the elemental rage of
the sea, and the helpful sympathy with the unfortunate which it made
evident, appealed to the popular heart, and Grace became a people's
heroine. Public subscriptions were at once set on foot to express by a
splendid gift the universal sense of her deserts. Many smaller tokens
also came to her. Among them was a silver medal which read:

    Presented by the Glasgow Humane Society to Miss Grace Horsley
    Darling, in admiration of her dauntless and heroic conduct in
    saving (along with her father) the lives of nine persons from
    the wreck of the _Forfarshire_ steamer, 7th September, 1838.

So great was popular report and admiration for the heroine that the
manager of a theatre broached to her the plan of representing the
rescue, in part at least, upon his stage, and offered her a
considerable sum for sitting in the boat for the audience to view. Her
portrait was taken and sold everywhere. She was generally flattered
and caressed.

It was now that we find the true balance and strength in Grace's
character. The testimonials she received with quiet pleasure. But she
preferred to remain upon the solitary island under the light, and aid
her mother in her simple household work.

She was glad to have saved lives at the risk of her own, she said, and
would most willingly do it again if opportunity should occur. But she
could not feel that she had done anything great, and certainly she did
not wish for the praise that had been bestowed upon her. As for going
to the theatre to receive the plaudits of a curious crowd, that was
the last thing she desired.

Of Grace at this time the pleasing English writer, William Howitt,
gives this account. He paid a visit to Longstone and met the heroine:

"When I went she was not visible, and I was afraid I should not see
her, as her father said she very much disliked meeting strangers that
she thought came to stare at her; but when the old man and I had had a
little conversation he went up to her room, and soon came down with a
smile, saying that she would be with us soon. So when we had been up
to the top lighthouse, and had seen its machinery, and taken a good
look-out at the distant shore, and Darling had pointed out the spot of
the wreck, and the way they took the people off, we went down and
found Grace sitting at her sewing, very neatly but very simply
dressed in a plain sort of striped print gown, with her watch-seal
just seen at her side and her hair neatly braided--just, in fact, as
such girls are dressed, only not quite so smart as they often are. She
rose, very modestly, and with a pleasant smile said: 'How do you do,
sir?'

"Her figure is by no means striking--quite the contrary; but her face
it full of sense, modesty and genuine goodness; and that is just the
character she bears. Her prudence delights one. We are charmed that
she should so well have supported the brilliancy of her humane deeds.
It is confirmative of the notion that such actions must spring from
genuine heart and mind."

She had the sweetest smile, continued Mr. Howitt, that he had ever
seen in a person of her station and appearance. "You see that she is a
thoroughly good creature, and that under her modest exterior lies a
spirit capable of the most exalted devotion, a devotion so entire that
daring is not so much a quality of her nature, as that the most
perfect sympathy with suffering or endangered humanity swallows up and
annihilates everything like fear or self-consideration, puts out, in
fact, every sentiment but itself."

As we read above Grace was slight of frame, and not markedly robust.
Barely three years after the wreck at which her pity and heroism had
won her world-wide fame, she showed evidences of decline. Toward the
close of 1841 she was taken from Longstone and placed under the care
of a doctor in Bamborough. Not gaining in strength she begged to be
moved to Wooler, a small market town on the border of Northumberland,
where the scenery is of the Cheviot Hills--of sunny heights and wooded
glens. But even here the clear bracing air had little help for her
illness, and after meeting her father and considering her failing
strength, with his advice she returned to Bamborough. Her eldest
sister nursed her with devotion, but it was evident her life was
fading.

Throughout her illness she never murmured and never complained, we are
are told, and shortly before her death she expressed a wish to see as
many of her relations as the peculiar nature of their employment would
admit, and with surprising fortitude and self-command she delivered to
each one of them some token of remembrance. This done she calmly
awaited the approach of death; and finally, on October 20, 1842,
resigned her spirit without a murmur.

Two stones have been raised to her memory, one in the Bamborough
churchyard, her figure lying at length; and another in the chapel of
St. Cuthbert, on one of the Farne Islands, and bearing this memorial:

                 TO THE MEMORY OF
              Grace Horsley Darling
    A NATIVE OF BAMBOROUGH AND AN INHABITANT
                 OF THESE ISLANDS
           WHO DIED OCTOBER 20TH, 1842,
                  AGED 26 YEARS.

But the best memorial of a heroine is the inspiration her example
offers to her own generation and those that succeed her, the love her
deeds engender in other hearts, the enlarging and uplifting of our
kind through her endeavour. And so it is that the heroine of Farne
Islands has become a lovely memory to us, and to those who shall come
after us.



XII

SISTER DORA


Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison was born on January 15th, 1832. She was the
youngest daughter, and the youngest child but one, of the Rev. Mark
Pattison, who was for many years Rector of Hauxwell, near Richmond, in
Yorkshire. She inherited from her father, who was of a Devonshire
family, that finely proportioned and graceful figure which she always
maintained; and from her mother, who was the daughter of a banker in
Richmond, those lovely features which drew forth the admiration of
everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.

Her father was a good and sincere man. He was thoroughly upright and
strict.

Dora and her sister, like a thousand other country parsons' daughters,
were of the utmost use in their father's Yorkshire parish. A French
gentleman who had lived a while in England and in the country, said to
me one day:

"Your young ladies astound me. They are angels of mercy. They wear no
distinguishing habit; one does not see their wings, yet they fly
everywhere, and everywhere bring grace and love and peace--in my
country such a thing would be impossible."

These Pattison girls were for ever saving their pocket money to give
it away, and they made it a rule to mend and remake their old frocks,
so as not to have to buy new ones out of their allowance for clothes,
so as to have more to give. Even their dinners they would reserve for
poor people, and content themselves with bread and cheese. "Giving to
others instead of spending on themselves seems to have been the rule
and delight of their lives."

A pretty story is told of Dorothy at this time. A schoolboy in the
village, who was especially attached to her, fell ill of rheumatic
fever. The boy's one longing was to see "Miss Dora" again, but she was
abroad on the Continent. As he grew worse and worse, he constantly
prayed that he might live long enough to see her. On the day on which
she was expected, he sat up on his pillows intently listening, and at
last, long before anyone else could hear a sound of wheels, he
exclaimed: "There she is!" and sank back. She went to him at once, and
nursed him till he died.

Her beauty was very great: large brilliant, brown eyes, full red lips,
a firm chin and a finely cut profile; her hair dark, and slightly
curling, waved all over her head; and the remarkable beauty and
delicacy of her colouring and complexion, added to the liveliness of
her expression, made her a fascinating creature to behold. Her father
always called her "Little Sunshine."

But the most remarkable feature about her was to be found in her inner
being. A will, which no earthly power could subdue, enabled her to
accomplish an almost superhuman work; yet at times it was to her a
faculty that brought her into difficulties. She was twenty-nine before
she was able to find real scope for her energies, and then she took a
bold step--answered an advertisement from a clergyman for a lady to
take the village school. Her mother had died in 1861, and she
considered herself free from duties that bound her to her home. Her
father did not relish the step she took, but acquiesced. She went to
Woolston, and remained there three years, during which time she won
the hearts, not of the children only, but of their parents as well.
She had to live alone in a cottage, and do everything for her self;
but the people never for a moment doubted she was a real lady, and
always treated her with great respect.

Not thinking a little village school sufficient field for her
energies, she resolved to join a nursing sisterhood at Redcar, in
Yorkshire. The life was not quite suited to her strong will, but it
did her good. She there learned how to make beds and to cook. At first
she literally sat down and cried when the beds which she had just put
in order were all pulled to pieces by some superior authority, who did
not approve of the method in which they were made. But it was a useful
lesson for her after life in a hospital. She was there till the early
part of 1865, and then was sent to Walsall to help at a small cottage
hospital, which had already been established for more than a year.

Walsall, though not in the "Black Country," is in a busy manufacturing
district, chiefly of iron. At the time when Sister Dora went there it
contained a population of 35,000 inhabitants. It is now connected with
Birmingham by almost continuous houses and pits and furnaces.

As fresh coal and iron pits were being opened in the district around
Walsall, accidents became more frequent, and it was found
impracticable to send those injured to Birmingham, which was seven
miles distant; Accordingly, in 1863, the Town Council invited the
Redcar Society to start a hospital there. When the Sister who had
begun the work fell ill, Sister Dora was sent in her place, and almost
directly caught small-pox from the outpatients. She was very ill, and
even in her delirium showed the bent of her mind by ripping her sheets
into strips to serve as bandages.

When the cottage hospital--which was the second of its kind in
England--was opened, the system of voluntary nursing was unknown; the
only voluntary nurses heard of then being those who had gone out to
the Crimea with Miss Florence Nightingale. Therefore a good deal of
misunderstanding was the result; but in the course of time people
began to judge the institution by its results. But Sister Dora, by her
frank, open manner, disarmed suspicion, while the sublime eloquence of
noble deeds silenced tongues, and won for the hospital the confidence
of the public, and for herself the admiration and affection of the
people.

In 1866 she had a serious illness, brought on by exposure to wet and
cold. She would come home from dressing wounds in the cottages, wet
through and hot with hurrying along the streets, to find a crowd of
outpatients awaiting her return at the hospital, and she would attend
to them in total disregard of herself, and allow her wet clothes to
dry on her.

This neglect occurred once too often; a chill settled on her, and for
three weeks she was dangerously ill. Then it was that the people of
Walsall began to realise what she was, and the door of the hospital
was besieged by poor people come to inquire how their "Sister Dora"
was.

The hospital had moved men of every shade of politics, and every form
of religious belief, to the work, and there have been passages in its
history not pleasant to remember, but not one of these in the
remotest degree involved Sister Dora. On the contrary, her presence
and counsel always brought light and peace, and lifted every question
into a higher sphere. "Ask Sister Dora," it used to be said. "Had we
not better send for Sister Dora" some member would exclaim out of the
fog of contention. Thereupon she would appear; and many well remember
how calmly self-possessed, and clear-sighted she would stand--never
sit down. Indeed, there were those who worked with her fifteen years
who never saw her seated; she would stand, usually with her hand on
the back of the chair which had been placed for her, every eye
directed to her; nor was it ever many moments before she had grasped
the whole question, and given her opinion just as clearly and simply
and straight to the purpose as any opinion given to the sufferers in
the wards. Nor was she ever wrong; nor did she ever fail of her
purpose with the committee. No committeemen ever questioned or
differed from Sister Dora, yet in her was the charm of unconsciousness
of power or superiority and the impression left was of there being no
feeling of pleasure in her, other than the triumph of the right.

In 1867 the cottage hospital had to be abandoned, as erysipelas broke
out and would not be expelled. The wards were evidently impregnated
with malignant germs to such an extent that the committee resolved to
build a new hospital in a better situation.

Sister Dora's work became more engrossing when this larger field was
opened for it; the men's beds were constantly full, and even the
women's ward was hardly ever entirely empty.

Just at this period an epidemic of small-pox broke out in Walsall,
and all the energies of Sister Dora were called into play. She visited
the cottages where the patients lay, and nursed them or saw to their
being supplied with what they needed; whilst at the same time carrying
on her usual work at the hospital.

One night she was sent for by a poor man who was dying of what she
called "black-pox," a violent form of small-pox. She went at once, and
found him in the last extremity. All his relations had fled, and a
neighbour alone was with him. When Sister Dora found that only one
small piece of candle was left in the house, she gave the woman some
money, begging her to go and buy some means of light whilst she stayed
with the man. She sat on by his bed, but the woman, who had probably
spent the money at the public house, never returned; and after some
little while the dying man raised himself up in bed with a last
effort, saying, "Sister, kiss me before I die." She took him, all
covered as he was with the loathsome disease, into her arms and kissed
him, the candle going out almost as she did so, leaving them in total
darkness. He implored her not to leave him while he lived, although he
might have known she would never do that. So she sat through the
night, till the early dawn breaking in revealed that the man was dead.

When the bell at the head of her bed rang at night she rose at once,
saying to herself, "The Master is come, and calleth for thee!" Indeed,
she loved to think that she was ministering to her Lord in the person
of His poor and sick.

Here is a letter from a former patient in the hospital, from which
only a short extract can be made:

"I had not been there above a week when Sister Dora found me a little
bell, as there was not one to my bed, and she said, 'Enoch, you must
ring this bell when you want sister.' This little bell did not have
much rest, for whenever I heard her step or the tinkle of her keys in
the hall I used to ring my bell, and she would call out, 'I'm coming,
Enoch,' which she did, and would say, 'What do you want?' I often used
to say, 'I don't know, Sister,' not really knowing what I did want.
She'd say, 'Do you want your pillows shaken up, or do you want moving
a little?' which she'd do, whatever it was, and say, 'Do you feel
quite cosey now?' 'Yes, Sister.' Then she would start to go into the
other ward, but very often before she could get through the door I'd
call her back and say my pillow wasn't quite right, or that my leg
wanted moving a little. She would come and do it, whatever it was, and
say, 'Will that do?' 'Yes, Sister.' Then she'd go about her work, but
at the very next sound of her step my bell would ring, and so often as
my bell rang Sister would come; and some of the other patients would
often remark that I should wear that little bell out or Sister, and
she'd say, 'Never mind, for I like to hear it, and it's never too
often.' And it rang so often that I've heard Sister say that she often
dreamt she heard my little bell and started up in a hurry to find it
was a dream."

Sister Dora said once to a friend, who was engaging a servant for the
hospital:

"Tell her this is not an ordinary house, or even a hospital. I want
her to understand that all who serve here, in whatever capacity, ought
to have one rule, _love for God_, and then, I need not say, love for
their work."

She spoke often and with intense earnestness, on the duty, the
necessity, of prayer. It was literally true that she never touched a
wound without raising her heart to God and entreating him to bless the
means employed. As years glided away, she became able almost to fulfil
the Apostle's command: "Pray without ceasing." And her prayers were
animated by the most intense faith--an absolutely unshaken conviction
of their efficacy. It may truly be said that those who pray become
increasingly more sure of the value of prayer. They find that,
whatever men may say about the reign of law and the order of nature,
earnest prayer does bring an answer, often in a marvellous manner. The
praying man or woman is never shaken in his or her trust in the
efficacy of prayer. She firmly held to the supernatural power, put
into the hands of men by means of the weapon of prayer; and the
practical faithlessness in this respect of the world at large was an
ever-increasing source of surprise and distress to her.

Since her death, in commemoration of her labours at Walsall, a very
beautiful statue has been there erected to her, and on the pedestal
are bas-reliefs representing incidents in her life there. One of these
illustrates a terrible explosion that took place in the Birchett's
Iron Works, on Friday, October 15, 1875, whereby eleven men were so
severely burnt that only two survived. All the others died after their
admission into the hospital. It came about thus: The men were at work
when water escaped from the "twyer" and fell upon the molten iron in
the furnace and was at once resolved into steam that blew out the
front of the furnace, and also the molten iron, which fell upon the
men. Some suffered frightful agonies, but the shock to the nervous
systems of others had stupefied them. The sight and the smell were
terrible. Ladies who volunteered their help could not endure it, and
were forced to withdraw, some not getting beyond the door of the ward.
But Sister Dora was with the patients incessantly till they died,
giving them water, bandaging their wounds, or cutting away the sodden
clothes that adhered to the burnt flesh. Some lingered on for ten
days, but in all this time she never deserted the fetid atmosphere of
the ward, never went to bed.

She had so much to do with burns that she became specially skilful in
treating them. Children terribly burnt or scalded were constantly
brought to the hospital; often men came scalded from a boiler, or by
molten metal. She dressed their wounds herself, but, if possible,
always sent the patients to be tended at home, where she would visit
them and regularly dress their wounds, rather than have the wards
tainted by the effluvium from the burns. Her treatment of burnt
children merits quotation.

"If a large surface of the body was burnt, or if the child seemed
beside itself with terror, she did not touch the wounds themselves,
but only carefully excluded the air from them by means of cotton wool
and blankets wrapped around the body. She put hot bottles and flannel
to the feet, and, if necessary, ice to the head. Then she gave her
attention to soothing and consoling the shocked nerves--a state which
she considered to be often a more immediate source of danger to the
life of the child than the actual injuries. She fed it with milk and
brandy, unless it violently refused food, when she would let it alone
until it came round, saying that force, or anything which involved
even a slight further shock to the system, was worse than useless.
Sometimes, of course, the fatal sleep of exhaustion, from which there
was no awakening, would follow; but more often than not food was
successfully administered, and after a few hours, Sister Dora, having
gained the child's confidence, could dress the wounds without fear of
exciting the frantic terror which would have been the result of
touching them at first."

Children Sister Dora dearly loved; her heart went out to them with
infinite tenderness, and she was even known to sleep with a burnt baby
on each arm. What that means only those know who have had experience
of the sickening smell arising from burns.

Once a little girl of nine was brought into the hospital so badly
burnt that it was obvious she had not many hours to live. Sister Dora
sat by her bed talking to her of Jesus Christ and His love for little
children, and of the blessed home into which he would receive them.
The child died peacefully, and her last words were: "Sister, when you
come to heaven, I'll meet you at the gates with a bunch of flowers."

One of the most heroic of her many heroic acts was taking charge of
the small-pox hospital when a second epidemic broke out.

Mr. S. Welsh says: "In the spring of 1875 there was a second
visitation of the disease, and fears were entertained that the results
would be as bad as during the former visitation. One morning Sister
Dora came to me and said, 'Do you know, I have an idea that if some
one could be got to go to the epidemic hospital in whom the people
have confidence, they would send their friends to be nursed, the
patients would be isolated, and the disease stamped out.'" This was
because a prejudice was entertained against the new small-pox
hospital, and those who had sick concealed the fact rather than send
them to it. "I said," continues Mr. Welsh, "'I have long been of the
opinion you have just expressed; but where are we to get a lady, in
whom the people would have confidence, to undertake the duty?'

"Her prompt reply was, 'I will go.'

"I confess the sudden announcement of her determination rather took me
by surprise, for I had no expectation of it, and not the least remote
idea that she intended to go. 'But,' I said, 'who will take charge of
the hospital if you go there?'

"'Oh,' she replied, 'I can get plenty of ladies to come there, but
none will go to the epidemic. And', she added, by way of reconciling
me to her view, 'it will only be for a short time.'

"'But what if you were to take the disease and die?' I inquired.

"'Then,' she added, in her cheery way, 'I shall have died in the path
of duty, and, you know, I could not die better.'

"I knew it was no use pointing out at length the risk she ran, for
where it was a case of saving others, _self_ with her was no
consideration. I tried to dissuade her on other grounds.... A few days
later I was in company with the doctor of the hospital, who was also
medical officer of health, and who, as such, had charge of the
epidemic hospital, near to which we were at the time. He said, 'Do you
know where Sister Dora is?' 'At the hospital I suppose,' was my reply.
'No,' he rejoined, 'she is over there!' pointing to the epidemic
hospital....

"The people as soon as they knew Sister Dora was in charge, had no
misgiving about sending their relatives to be nursed, and the result
was as she had predicted; the cases were brought in as soon as it was
discovered that patients had the disease, and the epidemic was
speedily stamped out."

She had, however, a hard time of it there, as she lacked assistants.
Two women were sent from the work-house, but they proved of little
use. The porter, an old soldier, was attentive and kind in his way,
but he always went out "on a spree" on Saturday nights, and did not
return till late on Sunday evening. When the work-house women failed
her she was sometimes alone with her patients, and these occasionally
in the delirium of small-pox.

It was not till the middle of August, 1875, that the last small-pox
patient departed from the hospital, and she was able to return to her
original work.

One of the bas-reliefs on her monument represents Sister Dora
consoling the afflicted and the scene depicted refers to a dreadful
colliery accident that occurred on March 14, 1872, at Pelsall, a
village rather over three miles from Walsall, by which twenty-two men
were entombed, and all perished. For several days hopes were
entertained that some of the men would be got out alive; and blankets
in which to wrap them, and restoratives, were provided, and Sister
Dora was sent for to attend the men when brought to "bank." The
following extract, from an article by a special correspondent in a
newspaper, dated Dec 10, 1872, will give some idea of Sister Dora's
connection with the event:

    Out of doors the scene is weird and awful, and impresses the
    mind with a peculiar gloom; for the intensity of the darkness is
    heightened by the shades created by the artificial lights. Every
    object, the most minute, stands out in bold relief against the
    inky darkness which surrounds the landscape. On the crest of the
    mound or pit-bank, the policemen, like sentinels, are walking
    their rounds. The wind is howling and whistling through the
    trees which form a background to the pit-bank, and the rain is
    coming hissing down in sheets. In a hovel close to the pit shaft
    sit the bereaved and disconsolate mourners, hoping against hope,
    and watching for those who will never return. There, too, are
    the swarthy sons of toil who have just returned from their
    fruitless search in the mine for the dear missing ones, and are
    resting while their saturated clothes are drying.

    But another form glides softly from that hovel; and amid the
    pelting rain, and over the rough pit-bank, and through miry
    clay--now ankle deep--takes her course to the dwellings of the
    mourners, for some, spent with watching, have been induced to
    return to their homes. As she plods her way amid pieces of
    timber, upturned wagons and fragments of broken machinery, which
    are scattered about in great confusion, a "wee, wee bairn"
    creeps gently to her side, and grasping her hand and looking
    wistfully into her face, which is radiant with kindness and
    affection, says, "Oh, Sister, do see to my father when they
    bring him up the pit." Poor child! Never again would he know a
    father's love, or share a father's care. She smiled, and that
    smile seemed to lighten the child's load of grief, and her
    promise to see to his father appeared to impart consolation to
    his heavy, despairing heart.

    On she glides, with a kind word or a sympathetic expression to
    all. One woman, after listening to her comforting words, burst
    into tears--the fountains of sorrow so long pent up seemed to
    have found vent. "Let her weep," said a relative of the
    unfortunate woman; "it is the first tear she has shed since the
    accident has occurred, and it will do her good to cry." But who
    is the good Samaritan? She is the sister who for seven years has
    had the management of the nursing department in the cottage
    hospital at Walsall.

This is written in too much of the "special correspondent" style to be
pleasant; nevertheless it describes what actually took place.

Mr. Samuel Welsh says: "I remember one evening I was in the hospital
when a poor man who had been dreadfully crushed in a pit was brought
in. One of his legs was so fearfully injured that it was thought it
would be necessary to amputate it. After examining the patient, the
doctor came to me in the committee-room--one door of which opened into
the passage leading to the wards and another into the hall in the
domestic portion of the building. After telling me about the patient
who had just been brought in, he said, 'Do you know Sister Dora is
very ill? So ill,' he continued, 'that I question if she will pull
through this time.' I naturally inquired what she was suffering from,
and in reply the doctor said, 'She will not take care of herself, and
is suffering from blood-poison.' He left me, and I was just trying to
solve the problem--'What shall be done? or how shall her place be
supplied if she be taken from us by death?' when I saw a spectral-like
figure gliding gently and almost noiselessly through the room from the
domestic entrance to the door leading to the wards. The figure was
rather indistinct, for it was nearly dark; and as I gazed at the
receding form, I said, 'Sister, is it you?' 'Whist!' she said, and
glided through the doorway into the wards. In a short time she
returned, and I said to her, 'Sister, the doctor has just been telling
me how ill you are--how is it you are here?' 'Ah!' replied, she 'it is
true I am very ill; but I heard the surgeons talking about amputating
that poor fellow's limb, and I wanted to see whether or not there was
a possibility of saving it, and I believe there is; and, knowing that,
I shall rest better.' So saying, she glided as noiselessly out of the
room as when she entered.

"On her recovery--which was retarded by her neglecting herself to
attend to others--she called me one day to the hall-door of the
hospital, and asked me if I thought it was going to rain. I told her I
did not think it would rain for some hours. She then told me to go
and order a cab to be ready at the hospital in half an hour. I tried
to persuade her not to venture out so soon; but it was no use--she
went; and many a time I wondered where she went to.

"About six months afterward I happened to be at a railway station, and
saw a pointsman who had been in our hospital with an injured foot, but
who, as his friends wished to have him at home, had left before his
foot was cured. I inquired how his foot was. He replied that had it
not been for Sister Dora he would have lost his foot, if not his life.
I said, 'How did she save your foot when you were not in the hospital,
and she was ill at the time you left the hospital?' 'Well,' he
replied, 'you know my foot was far from well when I left the hospital;
there was no one at our house who could see to it properly, and it
took bad ways, and one evening I was in awful pain. Oh, how I did wish
for Sister Dora to come and dress it! I felt sure she could give me
relief, but I had been told she was very ill, so I had no hope that my
earnest desire would be realised; but while I was thinking and
wishing, the bedroom door was gently opened, and a figure just like
Sister Dora glided so softly into the room that I could not hear her,
but oh! she was so pale that I began to think it must be her spirit
but when she folded the bedclothes from off my foot, I knew it was
she. She dressed my foot, and from that hour it began to improve.'

"A few days after this interview with the pointsman I was talking to
Sister Dora, and said: 'By the bye, Sister, I have found out where you
went with the cab that day.' She replied with a merry twinkle in her
eye, 'What a long time you have been finding it out!'"

Her old patients ever remembered her with gratitude. A man called
Chell, an engine-stoker, was twice in the hospital under her care,
first with a dislocated ankle, severely cut; the second time with a
leg crushed to pieces in a railway accident. It was amputated.
According to his own account he remembered nothing of the operation,
except that Sister Dora was there, and that, "When I come to after the
chloroform, she was on her knees by my side with her arm supporting my
head, and she was repeating:

    "'They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
      Through peril, toil and pain:
    O God, to us may grace be given
      To follow in their train.'

And all through the pain and trouble that I had afterward, I never
forgot Sister's voice saying those words." When she was in the
small-pox hospital, avoided by most, this man never failed to stump
away to it to see her and inquire how she was getting on.

There were, as she herself recognised, faults in the character of
Sister Dora; and yet, without these faults, problematical as it may
seem, it is doubtful whether she could have achieved all she did.

One who knew her long and intimately writes to me "A majestic
character, brimming over with sympathy, but, for lack of
self-discipline, this sympathy was impulsive and gushing. Her glorious
nature, physical and mental, was marred by undisciplined impulse. Her
nature found its congenial outlet in devoted works of mercy and love
to her fellow creatures. How far she would have done the same under
authority, I fear is a little doubtful."

Miss Twigg, who knew her well, writes me: "She was a lovable woman,
so bright and winsome. She used to come into our rather dull and sad
home (our mother died when we were quite children) after evening
service. She would nurse one of us, big as we were then, and the
others would gather round her, while she would tell us stories of her
hospital life.... She was a _real_ woman."

There is one point in Sister Dora's life to which sufficient attention
has not been paid by her biographers. It is one which the busy workers
of the present day think of too little--namely, the writing of bright,
helpful letters to any friend who is sick or in trouble. Somehow or
other she always found time for that, wrote one who knew her well, and
who contributes the following, written to a young girl who was at the
time in a spinal hospital, and who was almost a stranger to her:

    MY DEAR MISS J.--I was so glad to hear from you, though I fear
    it must be a trouble for you to write. I _do_ hope that you will
    really have benefited by the treatment and rest. I am so glad
    that the doctor is good to his "children." Such little
    attentions when you are sick help to alleviate wonderfully. I
    wish I could come and take a peep at you. Did Mrs. N. tell you
    that she had sent us five pounds for our seaside expedition? Was
    it not good of her? Oh! we shall have such a jolly time. To see
    all those poor creatures drink in the sea-breezes! We have had a
    very busy week of accidents and operations. It has been a
    regular storm.[A] My dear, it is in such times as you are now
    having that the voice of Jesus Christ can be best heard, "Come
    into a desert place awhile." Know you surely that it is God's
    visitation. Take home that thought, realise it: God _visiting
    you_. Elizabeth was astonished that the Mother of her Lord
    should visit her. We can have our Emmanuel. I can look back on
    my sicknesses as the best times of my life. Don't fret about the
    future. He carrieth our sicknesses and healeth our infirmities.
    You know infirmity means weakness after sickness. Think of the
    cheering lines of our hymn: "His touch has still its ancient
    power." When I arose up from my sick bed they told me I should
    never be able to enter a hospital or do work again. I was
    fretting over this when a good friend came to me, and told me
    only to take a day's burden and not look forward, and it was
    such a help. I got up every day feeling sure I should have
    strength and grace for the day's trial. May it be said of you,
    dear, "They took knowledge of her that she had been with Jesus."
    May He reveal Himself in all His beauty is the prayer of

                                      Your sincere friend,
                                                     SISTER DORA.

It does not truly represent Sister Dora to dwell on her outer life,
and not look as well into that which is within, as it was the very
mainspring of all her actions, as it, in fact, made her what she was.

The same writer to the _Guardian_ gives some sentences from other
letters: "Take your cross day by day, dearie, and with Jesus Christ
bearing the other end it will not be _too_ heavy." "If we could find
Jesus, it must be on a mountain, not in the plains or smooth places."
"He went up into a mountain and taught them, saying," etc. "It is only
on a mountain side that we shall see the cross. It was only after
Zacchæus had _climbed_ the tree he could see Jesus. I have been
thinking much of this lately. It is not in the smooth places we shall
see Jesus, it is in the rough, in the storm, or by the sick couch." "A
Christian is one whose object is Christ." "I am rejoiced that you are
enjoying Faber's hymns; they always _warm_ me up. Oh, my dear, is it
not sad that we prefer to live in the shade when we might have the
glorious sunshine?"

It was during the winter of 1876-77 that Sister Dora felt the first
approach of the terrible disease that was to cause her death, and then
it was rather by diminution of strength than by actual pain. She
consulted a doctor in Birmingham, in whom she placed confidence, and
he told her the plain truth, that her days in this world were
numbered. She exacted from him a pledge of secrecy, and then went on
with her work as hitherto.

"She was suddenly brought, as it were, face to face with
death--distant, perhaps, but inevitable; she, who was full of such
exuberant life and spirit that the very word 'death' seemed a
contradiction when applied to her. Even her doctor, as he looked at
her blooming appearance, and measured with his eye her finely made
form, was almost inclined to believe the evidence of his outward
senses against his sober judgment.... She could not endure pity. She,
to whom everybody had learnt instinctively to turn for help and
consolation, on whom others leant for support, must she now come down
to ask of them sympathy and comfort? The pride of life was still
surging up in her, that pride which had made her glory in her physical
strength for its own sake, as well as for its manifold uses in the
service of her Master. True, she had been long living two lives
inseparably blended: the outward life of hard, unceasing toil; the
inner, a constant communion with the unseen world, the existence of
which she realised to an extent which not even those who saw the most
of her could appreciate. To all the poor, ignorant beings whose souls
she tried to reach by means of their maimed bodies, she was, indeed,
the personification of all that they could conceive as lovable, holy
and merciful in the Saviour. At the same time she judged her own self
with strict impartiality. She knew her own faults, her unbending
will--her pride and glory in her work seemed to her even a fault; and,
in place of looking on herself as perfect she was bowed down with a
sense of her own short-comings. At the same time--with death before
her, she hungered for more work for her Master. His words were
continually on her lips: 'I must work the works of Him that sent me
while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.'"

At last, in the month of August, 1878, typhoid fever having broken out
in the temporary hospital, it was found necessary to close it, and
hasten on the work of the construction of another. This gave her an
opportunity for a holiday and a complete change. She went to the Isle
of Man, to London, and to Paris.

But the disorder was making rapid strides, and was causing her intense
suffering, and she craved to be back at Walsall. She got as far as
Birmingham, and was then in such a critical state that it was feared
she would die. But her earnest entreaty was to be taken to Walsall.
"Let me die," she pleaded, "among my own people."

Mr. Welsh says: "On calling at the Queen's Hotel, Birmingham (where
she was lying ill), I was told the doctor of the hospital (Dr.
Maclachlan) was with her, and thinking they were probably arranging
matters connected with the hospital, I did not go to her room, but
proceeded to the train. I had scarcely got seated when the doctor
called me out, and we entered a compartment where we were alone. He
asked me when it was intended to open the hospital. I replied, 'On the
4th of November.' 'Then,' he said, 'that will just be about the same
time Sister Dora will die.'

"The announcement was to me a shock of no ordinary kind, for I had not
heard of her being ill, and no one could have imagined, from the
cheerful tone of a letter I had received from her a week or so
before, that there was anything the matter with her. Not being able to
fully realise the true state of affairs, I asked him if he were
jesting. He replied he was not, and that he thought it best to let me
know at once, so that arrangements might be made for getting someone
to take her place when the hospital was opened. I said, 'I suppose she
is going to Yorkshire?' 'No,' he replied, 'and that is another thing I
wish to speak to you about. She wishes to die in Walsall, and she must
be removed immediately.'

"On Sunday (the day following) I saw the chairman and vice-chairman of
the hospital. On Sunday evening I returned with Dr. Maclachlan to the
Queen's Hotel, where he found his patient very weak. On Monday morning
a house was taken, and the furniture she had in her rooms at the
hospital removed to it. Her old servant who had gone to The Potteries,
was telegraphed for, and arrived in a few hours, and by midday the
house was ready for her reception. My daughter, knowing Sister Dora's
fondness for flowers, had procured and placed on the table in the
parlour a very choice bouquet; and when all was ready Dr. Maclachlan
drove over to Birmingham, and brought her to Walsall in his private
carriage.

"The disease was now making steady progress, and it was evident that
every day she was becoming weaker; but she never lost her
cheerfulness, and anyone to have seen her might have thought she was
only suffering from some slight ailment, instead of an incurable and
painful disease."

"A few hours before her death," writes Mr. S. Welsh "she called me to
her bedside and said, 'I want you to promise that you will not, when I
am gone, write anything about me; _quietly I came among you and,
quietly I wish to go away_.'" And this desire of hers would have been
faithfully complied with had not misrepresentations fired the
gentleman to whom the request was made to take up his pen, not in
defence of her, but in the correction of statements that affected
certain persons who were alive.

In her last sickness when she found her end approaching, she insisted
on every one leaving the room--it was her wish to die alone. And as
she persisted, so was it, only one nurse standing by the door held
ajar, and watching till she knew by the change of attitude, and a
certain fixed look in the countenance, that Sister Dora had entered
into her rest.[B]

"It was Christmas Eve when she passed away, and a dense fog, like a
funeral pall, hung over the town and obscured every object a few feet
from the ground. Under this strange canopy the market was being held,
and people were busy buying and selling, and making preparations for
the great Christmas festival on the following day; but when the deep
boom of the passing bell announced the melancholy intelligence that
Sister Dora had entered into her rest, a thrill of horror ran through
the people, who, with blanched cheeks and bated breath, whispered,
'Can it be true?' Although for seven weeks the process of dissolution
had been going on before their eyes, they could not realise the fact
that she whom they loved and revered was no more."

The funeral took place on Saturday, the 28th of December. "The day
was dark and dismal, the streets, covered with slush and sludge caused
by the melted snow, were thronged with spectators.... There was
general mourning in the town; and although it was market day nearly
every shop was closed during the time of the funeral, and all the
blinds along the route of the procession were drawn.... On reaching
the cemetery it was found that four other funerals had arrived from
the workhouse; and as these coffins had been taken into the chapel
there was no room for Sister Dora's, which had, consequently, to be
placed in the porch. This was as Sister Dora would have wished, had
she had the ordering of the arrangements, for she always gave
preference to the poor, to whom she was attached in life, and from
whom she would not have desired to be separated in death."

True to her thought of others, in the midst of her last sufferings,
she had made arrangements for a Christmas dinner to be given to a
number of her old patients, in accordance with a custom of hers in
previous years; but on this occasion the festive proceedings were
shorn of their gladness. All thought of her who in her pain and on her
deathbed had thought of them. Every one tried, but ineffectually, to
cheer and comfort the other, but the task was hopeless. One young
lady, after the meal, and while the Christmas tree was being lighted
commenced singing the pretty little piece, "Far Away," but when she
came to the words:

    Some are gone from us forever
    Longer here they could not stay,

she burst into tears; and the women present sobbed, and tears were
seen stealing down the cheeks of bearded men.

The Walsall writer of "A Review" concludes his paper thus:

    She is no idol to us, but we worship her memory as the most
    saintly thing that was ever given us. Her name is immortalised,
    both by her own surpassing goodness, and by the love of a whole
    people for her--a love that will survive through generations,
    and give a magic and a music to those simple words, "Sister
    Dora," long after we shall have passed away. There was little we
    could ever do--there was nothing she would let us do--to relieve
    the self-imposed rigours of her life; but we love her in all
    sincerity, and now in our helplessness we find a serene joy in
    the knowledge that to her, as surely as to any human soul, will
    be spoken the divine words: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto
    the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

In Sister Dora, surely we have the highest type of the Christian life,
the inner and hidden life of the soul, the life that is hid in God,
combined with that outer life devoted to the doing of good to
suffering and needy humanity. In the cloistered nun we see only the
first, and that tends to become self-centred and morbid; it is
redeemed from this vice by an active life of self-sacrifice.

I cannot do better than, in conclusion, quote from the last letter
ever penned by Sister Dora:

"It is 2.30 A.M., and I cannot sleep, so I am going to write to you. I
was anything but 'forbearing,' dear; I was overbearing, and I am truly
sorry for it now. I look back on my life and see 'nothing but leaves.'
Oh, my darling, let me speak to you from my deathbed, and say, watch
in all you do that you have a single aim--_God's_ honour and glory. 'I
came not to work my own work, but the works of Him that sent me.' Look
upon working as a privilege. Do not look upon nursing in the way they
do so much nowadays, as an art or science, but as work done for
Christ. As you touch each patient, think it is Christ Himself, and
then virtue will come out of the touch to yourself. I have felt that
myself, when I have had a particularly loathsome patient. Be full of
the Glad Tidings, and you will tell others. You cannot give what you
have not got."

FOOTNOTES:

[A] A Yorkshire expression for heavy work.

[B] This has been denied. Her old and devoted servant said: "Do you
think I would let my darling die alone?" But it appears to me that
Sister Dora's desire was one to be expected in such a spiritual
nature; and in the statement above given it is not said that she was
actually left in solitude.



XIII

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE

    Day unto day her dainty hands
      Make Life's soiled temples clean;
    And there's a wake of glory where
      Her spirit pure hath been.
    At midnight through the shadow-land
      Her living face doth gleam;
    The dying kiss her shadow, and
      The dead smile in their dream.
                       --_Gerald Massey._


Some years ago, when the celebrated Florence Nightingale was a little
girl, living at her father's home, a large, old Elizabethan house,
with great woods about it, in Hampshire, there was one thing that
struck everybody who knew her. It was that she seemed to be always
thinking what she could do to please or help anyone who needed either
help or comfort. She was very fond, too, of animals, and she was so
gentle in her way, that even the shyest of them would come quite close
to her, and pick up whatever she flung down for them to eat.

There was, in the garden behind the house, a long walk with trees on
each side, the abode of many squirrels, and when Florence came down
the walk, dropping nuts as she went along, the squirrels would run
down the trunks of their trees, and, hardly waiting until she passed
by, would pick up the prize and dart away, with their little bushy
tails curled over their backs, and their black eyes looking about as
if terrified at the least noise, though they did not seem to be afraid
of Florence.

Then there was an old gray pony named Peggy, past work, living in a
paddock, with nothing to do all day long but to amuse herself.
Whenever Florence appeared at the gate, Peggy would come trotting up
and put her nose into the dress pocket of her little mistress, and
pick it of the apple or the roll of bread that she knew she would
always find there, for this was a trick Florence had taught the pony.
Florence was fond of riding, and her father's old friend, the
clergyman of the parish, used often to come and take her for a ride
with him when he went to the farm cottages at a distance.

As he had studied medicine when a young man, he was able to tell the
people what would do them good when they were ill or had met with an
accident. Little Florence took great delight in helping to nurse those
who were ill; and whenever she went on these long rides, she had a
small basket fastened to her saddle, filled with something nice which
she saved from her breakfast or dinner, or carried for her mother.

There lived in one of two or three solitary cottages in the wood an
old shepherd of her father's, named Roger, who had a favourite
sheep-dog called Cap. Roger had neither wife nor child, and Cap lived
with him and kept him company at night after he had penned his flock.
Cap was a very sensible dog; indeed people used to say he could do
everything but speak. He kept the sheep in wonderfully good order, and
thus saved his master a great deal of trouble. One day as Florence and
her old friend were out for a ride, they came to a field where they
found the shepherd giving his sheep their night feed; but he was
without the dog, and the sheep knew it, for they were scampering in
every direction. Florence and her friend noticed that the old shepherd
looked very sad, and they stopped to ask what was the matter, and what
had become of his dog.

"Oh," said Roger, "Cap will never be of any more use to me; I'll have
to hang him, poor fellow, as soon as I go home to-night."

"Hang him!" said Florence. "Oh, Roger, how wicked of you! What has
dear old Cap done?"

"He has done nothing," replied Roger; "but he will never be of any
more use to me, and I cannot afford to keep him for nothing; one of
the mischievous school boys throwed a stone at him yesterday and broke
one of his legs." And the old shepherd's eyes filled with tears, which
he wiped away with his shirt-sleeve, then he drove his spade deep in
the ground to hide what he felt, for he did not like to be seen
crying.

"Poor Cap," he sighed, "he was as knowing almost as a human being."

"But are you sure his leg is broken?" asked Florence.

"Oh, yes, miss, it is broken safe enough; he has not put his foot to
the ground since."

Florence and her friend rode on without saying anything more to Roger.

"We will go and see poor Cap," said the vicar; "I don't believe the
leg is really broken. It would take a big stone and a hard blow to
break the leg of a big dog like Cap."

"Oh, if you could cure him, how glad Roger would be!" replied
Florence.

They soon reached the shepherd's cottage, but the door was fastened;
and when they moved the latch, such a furious barking was heard that
they drew back, startled. However, a little boy came out of the next
cottage, and asked if they wanted to go in, as Roger had left the key
with his mother. So the key was got and the door opened and there on
the bare brick floor lay the dog, his hair dishevelled, and his eyes
sparkling with anger at the intruders. But when he saw the little boy
he grew peaceful, and when he looked at Florence and heard her call
him "poor Cap," he began to wag his short tail; and then crept from
under the table and lay down at her feet. She took hold of one of his
paws, patted his old rough head, and talked to him, whilst her friend
examined the injured leg. It was dreadfully swollen, and hurt very
much to have it examined; but the dog knew it was meant kindly, and
though he moaned and winced with pain, he licked the hands that were
hurting him.

"It's only a bad bruise, no bones are broken," said her old friend.
"Rest is all Cap needs; he will soon be well again."

"I am so glad," said Florence; "but can we do nothing for him, he
seems in such pain?"

"There is one thing that would ease the pain and heal the leg all the
sooner, and that is plenty of hot water to foment the part."

Florence struck a light with the tinder-box, and lighted the fire,
which was already laid. She then set off to the other cottage to get
something to bathe the leg with. She found an old flannel petticoat
hanging up to dry, and this she carried off, and tore up into strips,
which she wrung out in warm water, and laid them tenderly on Cap's
swollen leg. It was not long before the poor dog felt the benefit of
the application, and he looked grateful, wagging his little stump of a
tail in thanks. On their way home they met the shepherd coming slowly
along, with a piece of rope in his hand.

"Oh, Roger," cried Florence, "you are not to hang poor old Cap; his
leg is not broken at all."

"No, he will serve you yet," said the vicar.

"Well, I be main glad to hear it," said the shepherd, "and thanks to
you for going to see him."

On the next morning Florence was up early, and the first thing she did
was to take two flannel petticoats to give to the poor woman whose
skirt she had torn up to bathe Cap. Then she went to the dog, and was
delighted to find the swelling of his leg much less. She bathed it
again, and Cap was as grateful as before.

Two or three days afterward Florence and her friend were riding
together, when they came up to Roger and his sheep. This time Cap was
watching the sheep, though he was lying quite still, and pretending to
be asleep. When he heard the voice of Florence speaking to his master,
who was portioning out the usual food, his tail wagged and his eyes
sparkled, but he did not get up, for he was on duty. The shepherd
stopped his work, and as he glanced at the dog with a merry laugh,
said, "Do look at the dog, Miss; he be so pleased to hear your voice."
Cap's tail went faster and faster. "I be glad," continued the old man,
"I did not hang him. I be greatly obliged to you Miss, and the vicar,
for what you did. But for you I would have hanged the best dog I ever
had in my life."

This child, Florence Nightingale, of whom the foregoing story is told,
was born in Florence, Italy, in 1820. Her parents were English, and
her early years were given to the studies which a girl fortunately
situated would follow. She was taught in science and mathematics as
well as in the fluent use of French, German and Italian.

But from the day the little girl nursed the leg of the shepherd's dog,
it became the custom of the neighbourhood where she lived to send for
her when anyone had a cut or bruise or sick animal. "During her
girlhood," says the lady who has written her life, "she was chief
almoner to the cottages around her home, and nursed all illnesses
under the advice of her mother and the vicar." Her favourite books
were those that taught of helpfulness to the suffering and miserable,
and it seemed as if her whole nature was turning toward her great
work. While still a young girl she became interested in what Elizabeth
Fry had done in English prisons, and she paid an interested visit to
Mrs. Fry.

When in London she would visit hospitals and kindred institutions, and
it is said that in the family travels in Egypt she nursed to health
several sick Arabs. Her tastes and time, it is evident, were turned
toward a humane and benevolent rather than a social life. Thus passed
the years of her younger womanhood.

She had withdrawn from gaieties to learn whatever she could of the
hospitals of London, Edinburgh and Dublin, and indeed, of the civil
and military hospitals of all Europe, and finally in 1851, she went
into training as a nurse in a famous institution at Kaiserwerth on the
Rhine. Here, when she had taken the course of instruction, she passed
a distinguished examination. After a short period of further study in
Paris she returned to her beautiful English home for rest.

But at this time a hospital and home in London for sick and aged
governesses was about to fail from lack of means and lack of able
direction. To this Miss Nightingale gave herself with ardour, and so
renewed its strength that it still remains a witness to her energy.
She gave largely to this institution. Nevertheless she was to be
found, says a visitor, "organising the nurses, attending to the
correspondence, prescriptions and accounts; in short, performing all
the duties of a hard-working matron."

Ten years she had been serving apprenticeship for the great work of
her life, and now she was thirty-four years old. In 1854 a war broke
out between England and Russia. It is known as the Crimean War.
England sent her soldiers to the Black Sea in many thousands. These
soldiers were sadly clad and fed. Bad management seems to have
prevailed, and the service for carrying supplies was inadequate. Warm
clothing, blankets, tents and other protection failed to reach the
troops. "What a mockery," says one writer, "it must have seemed to the
poor fellows, who with scanty rations and in threadbare and tattered
clothes, were enduring the most cruel fatigues aggravated by wind and
rain and snow and cold upon the bleak heights of the Tauric
Chersonese," to hear comforts had been sent them. "When men of
courageous mould have been seen 'to weep,' as on night after night,
succeeding days of starvation and toil, they were ordered to their
work in freezing trenches, who can estimate the exhausting misery they
had at first endured?"

"It is now pouring rain," wrote another who was there, "the skies are
black as ink--the wind is howling over the staggering tents--the
trenches are turned into dykes--in the tents the water is sometimes a
foot deep--our men have not either warm or waterproof clothing--they
are out for twelve hours at a time in the trenches--they are plunged
into the inevitable miseries of a winter campaign--and not a soul
seems to care for their comfort, or even for their lives. The wretched
beggar who wanders about the streets of London in the rain, leads the
life of a prince, compared with the British soldiers who are fighting
out here for their country.

"The commonest accessories of a hospital are wanting; there is not the
least attention paid to decency or cleanliness; the fetid air can
barely struggle out to taint the atmosphere, save through the chinks
in the walls and roofs, and, for all I can observe, these men die
without the least effort being made to save them. There they lie, just
as they were let gently down on the ground by the poor fellows, their
comrades, who brought them on their backs from the camp with the
greatest tenderness, but who are not allowed to remain with them. The
sick appear to be tended by the sick, and the dying by the dying."

During that winter of 1854, many were frozen in their tents. Of nearly
forty-five thousand, over eighteen thousand were reported in the
hospitals. The English people at last saw their disaster, and certain
women volunteered services of helpfulness. The head of the War
Department of the Government who knew of Miss Nightingale's interest
in nursing, asked her to superintend and organise a staff of nurses.
By a strange coincidence Florence Nightingale had written and offered
her aid to the sick and wounded soldiers, and her letter passed the
letter from the Government.

It was an undertaking wholly new to English habits--a band of devoted
women going to soften the horrors of war and save lives the war had
endeavoured to end. As the nurses landed at Boulogne in France, the
poor fisherwomen seized and carried their baggage in token of their
admiration for the work they were starting out to do. And in their
journey through France the innkeepers would not take pay for their
lodgings and food. They sailed across the Mediterranean and in
November, 1854, reached Scutari, a town in Turkey in Asia, opposite
Constantinople.

Four thousand sick and wounded soldiers lay in the hospitals awaiting
their ministrations. And still others from a great battle were coming
in. These hospitals were so filled that even in the corridors were two
rows of mattresses and so close together that two persons could barely
walk between the rows. The beds reeked with infection. There was no
thought, seemingly, of sanitation. Rather than curers the hospitals
were breeders of pestilence.

"The whole of yesterday one could only forget one's own existence,"
wrote one of the nurses, "for it was spent first in sewing the men's
mattresses, and then in washing them, and assisting the surgeons, when
we could, in dressing their ghastly wounds after their five days'
confinement on board ship, during which space hundreds of wounds had
not been dressed. Hundreds of men with fever, dysentery and cholera
(the wounded were the smaller portion) filled the wards in succession
from the overcrowded transports." Such were the conditions this band
of women found.

The head of the band, Miss Nightingale, began her work of
organisation. She laboured with tireless energy and indomitable will.
But not without opposition. The military and medical officials, says
one who was there, "were in the uttermost confusion among themselves,
and they generally regarded these gentle missionaries as a new element
of anarchy."

As soon as the wounded soldiers had had treatment, Miss Nightingale
set in active operations a kitchen where food fit for the sick might
be prepared. Many hundreds of the invalids could not eat of ordinary
food without serious evil results. In this kitchen the nurses cooked
nourishing delicacies for the poor fellows. The following is a little
snapshot by one who was there: "In the outer room we caught a glimpse
of the justly celebrated Miss Nightingale, an amiable and highly
intelligent-looking lady, delicate in form and prepossessing in
appearance. Her energies were concentrated for the instant in the
careful preparation of a dish of delectable food for an enfeebled
patient--one of her homely ministrations to the wan victims of
relentless war."

After the kitchen the master--or mistress--mind planned a laundry
where the clothing and beds of the sick men might be cleansed. Miss
Nightingale, you see, merely organised and conducted housekeeping upon
a giant scale. Then in addition she set on foot evening lectures for
the men able to listen, and a library and a schoolroom.

Nevertheless she gave distinct and individual service. "I believe,"
wrote one, "that there never was a severe case of any kind that
escaped her notice; and sometimes it was wonderful to see her at the
bedside of a patient who had been admitted perhaps but an hour before,
and of whose arrival one would hardly have supposed it possible she
could already be cognisant."

"As her slender form glided quietly along each corridor every poor
fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her," wrote
another. "When all the medical officers have retired for the night and
silence and darkness have settled down on the miles of prostrate sick,
she may be observed alone with a little lamp in her hand making her
solitary rounds. No one who has observed her fragile figure and
delicate health can avoid misgivings lest these should fail. With the
heart of a true woman and the manners of a lady she combines a
surprising calmness of judgment and promptitude and decision of
character."

"To see her pass was happiness," one poor fellow said. "As she passed
down the beds she would nod to one and smile at many more; but she
could not do it to all, you know. We lay there by hundreds; but we
could kiss her shadow as it fell, and lay our heads upon the pillows
again, content."

"The magic of her power over men used often to be felt," wrote
Kinglake the historian, "in the room--the dreaded, the blood-stained
room--where 'operations' took place. There perhaps the maimed soldier,
if not yet resigned to his fate, might at first be craving death
rather than meet the knife of the surgeon; but when such a one looked
and saw that the honoured lady-in-chief was patiently standing by him
and, with lips closely set and hands folded, decreeing herself to go
through the pain of witnessing pain, he used to fall into the mood of
obeying the silent command, and, finding strange support in her
presence, bring himself to submit and endure."

Every fresh detachment of the wounded meant fresh work for the band of
devoted women. Miss Nightingale was always among the busiest and she
was known to stand for twenty hours assisting at operations, directing
nurses, herself ministering to cholera and fever patients and
distributing stores. Once she was prostrated by fever for some weeks.
Illness also attacked others of the nurses and many were laid in
quiet graves in that distant land.

At last the fighting was brought to an end. For a year and a half had
the noble and humane work of nursing gone on and shown the world how
much greater is the saving of lives than the destruction of lives by
the murder of war. The gratitude the English people felt for what the
nurses had done they expressed by a gift of fifty thousand pounds to
Miss Nightingale after her return to England. They had planned also a
public welcome of their heroine, but with the modesty and calm
judgment that always characterised her, she slipped quietly into
England by the carriage of a French steamer and so to her country
home. Queen Victoria, who with her husband the Prince Consort, had
most earnestly admired Miss Nightingale's course, and had sought
direct knowledge of her work during her stay in the East, entertained
her at Balmoral and presented her with a valuable jewel. The sum
presented her by the nation was, at her request, given to the
foundation of a training home for nurses in connection with St.
Thomas's Hospital. It is called the "Nightingale Home."

This "Angel of the Crimea" returned to England so enfeebled with
arduous labour that she has never since entered active life. She lived
many years, perforce, in her own sick-room with scarcely strength to
pen a letter, and saw no one but closest associates. The knowledge and
experience she had got in public service, however, she gave to the
world in part in her "Notes on Nursing" and "Notes on Hospitals," and
other publications. Several Governments have sought her advice upon
the sanitation of army camps, and the Red Cross Society is in part
from her aid and endeavour.

Her "Notes on Nursing" are full of sound sense and we should be more
fortunate if the knowledge in them were more general than it is.

"Everything you do in a patient's room after he is 'put up' for the
night increases tenfold the risk of his having a bad night; but if you
rouse him up after he has fallen asleep, you do not risk--you secure
him a bad night."

"Conciseness and decision are above all things necessary with the
sick. Let your doubt be to yourself, your decision to them."

"Above all leave the sick-room quietly, and come into it quietly; not
suddenly, not with a rush."

"Remember never to lean against, sit upon, or unnecessarily shake the
bed upon which a patient lies."

"An extraordinary fallacy is the dread of night air," she wrote. "What
air can we breathe at night but night air? The choice is between pure
night air from without and foul night air from within. Most people
prefer the latter--an unaccountable choice. What will they say if it
be proved true that fully one-half of all the disease we suffer from
is occasioned by people sleeping with their windows shut? An open
window most nights of the year can never hurt anyone. In great cities
night air is often the best and purest to be had in the twenty-four
hours."

"The five essentials, for healthy houses," she again says, "are pure
air, pure water, efficient drainage, cleanliness and light. I have
known whole houses and hospitals smell of the sink. I have met just as
strong a stream of sewer air coming up the back staircase of a grand
London house, from the sink, as I have ever met at Scutari; and I have
seen the rooms in that house all ventilated by the open doors, and
the passages all unventilated by the close windows, in order that as
much of the sewer air as possible might be conducted into and retained
in the bedrooms. It is wonderful!"

She is opposed to dark houses; says they promote scrofula; to old
papered walls and to carpets full of dust. An uninhabited room becomes
full of foul air soon, and needs to have the windows open often. She
would keep sick people, or well, forever in the sunlight if possible,
for sunlight is the greatest possible purifier of the atmosphere. "In
the unsunned sides of narrow streets," she writes, "there is
degeneracy and weakliness of the human race--mind and body equally
degenerating. Oh, the crowded school, where so many children's
epidemics have their origin, what a tale its air test would tell!"

"Nursing is an art; and if it is to be made an art, requires as
exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter's or
sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold
marble compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of
God's Spirit? Nursing is one of the fine arts; I had almost said, the
finest of the fine arts."

Miss Nightingale is living with her great work done. Still she
continues and will ever continue, her ministrations in the bravery,
devotion and unselfishness of every nurse and in the effective work of
every hospital.


SANTA FILOMENA

BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

    When e'er a noble deed is wrought,
    When e'er is spoken a noble thought,
        Our hearts in glad surprise,
        To higher levels rise.

    The tidal wave of deeper souls
    Into our inmost being rolls,
        And lifts us unawares
        Out of all meaner cares.

    Honour to those whose words or deeds
    Thus help us in our daily needs,
        And by their overflow
        Raise us from what is low!

    Thus thought I, as by night I read
    Of the great army of the dead,
        The trenches cold and damp,
        The starved and frozen camp.

    The wounded from the battle-plain,
    In dreary hospitals of pain,
        The cheerless corridors,
        The cold and stony floors.

    Lo! in that house of misery
    A lady with a lamp I see
        Pass through the glimmering gloom
        And flit from room to room.

    And slow, as in a dream of bliss
    The speechless sufferer turns to kiss
        Her shadow as it falls
        Upon the darkening walls.

    As if a door in heaven should be
    Opened and then closed suddenly
        The vision came and went
        The light shone and was spent

    On England's annals, through the long
    Hereafter of her speech and song,
        That light its rays shall cast
        From the portals of the past.

    A Lady with a Lamp shall stand,
    In the great history of the land,
        A noble type of good,
        Heroic womanhood.

    Nor even shall be wanting here
    The palm, the lily and the spear
        The symbols that of yore
        Saint Filomena[C] bore.


FOOTNOTES:

[C] In her "Sacred and Legendary Art," Mrs. Jamieson writes that "at
Pisa the Church of San Francesco contained a chapel dedicated to Santa
Filomena; over the altar is a picture by Sabatelli, representing the
saint as a beautiful nymph-like figure floating down from heaven,
attended by two angels, bearing the lily, palm, and javelin, and
beneath, in the foreground, the sick and maimed who are healed by her
intercession."

Longfellow gave the name Filomena to Florence Nightingale partly
because of her labours among the sick and dying at Scutari, and partly
on account of the resemblance between Filomena and the Latin Philomela
(nightingale).--_Brewer._



       *       *       *       *       *



    +-----------------------------------------------------------+
    | Typographical errors corrected in the text:               |
    |                                                           |
    | Page  52: Bethelehem replaced with Bethlehem              |
    | Page  60: Dauphinè replaced with Dauphiné                 |
    | Page  90: deserevd replaced with deserved                 |
    | Page  97: "pronounced sentenced of death" replaced with   |
    |           "pronounced sentence of death"                  |
    | Page 145: propperly replaced with properly                |
    | Page 167: "and sometimes at the Lady Pocahontas"          |
    |           replaced with                                   |
    |           "and sometimes as the Lady Pocahontas"          |
    | Page 182: heighth replaced with height                    |
    | Page 189: Mandonald replaced with Macdonald               |
    | Page 234: fairty replaced with fairly                     |
    | Page 235: surviviors replaced with survivors              |
    | Page 280: dailyneeds replaced with daily needs            |
    |                                                           |
    | Readers should note that in the Chapter on Catherine      |
    | Douglas, pp. 101-131, the spelling 'Scotish' is not an    |
    | error, but a varient spelling.                            |
    |                                                           |
    +-----------------------------------------------------------+





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