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Heroines ot History and Legend
Stories and Poems
Edited by ELVA S. SMITH
Cataloguer of Children's Books, Carnegie Library
Illustrated Cloth $2.00 each
GOOD OLD STORIES for Boys and Girls
MYSTERY TALES for Boys and Girls
PEACE AND PATRIOTISM
Edited by ELVA S. SMITH and
ALICE I. HAZELTINE
St. Louis Public Library
CHRISTMAS IN LEGEND AND STORY
Heroines of History
STORIES AND POEMS
ELVA S. SMITH
Carnegie Library of Piiisburgh
LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.
Copyright, 1 921,
By Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.
All Rights Reserved
Heroines of History and Legend
BERWICK & SMITH CO.
U. S. A.
This book belongs to tlie romance of history,
rather than to biography. In it are brought to-
• gather stories, ballads and narrative poems which
^ tell of the loyalty, patriotism, courage and self-
^ sacrifice of girls and women in different ages and
^ in many lands, from the time of the East Indian
princess, Savitri, whose love was not conquered by
J death, to Edith Cavell, the English nurse, who gave
r* her life in the great European war. Some of the
'^ stories are altogether true to fact ; but not all that
is here set forth will be found recorded in the sober
] pages of history. Traditional tales and mediaeval
J legends have been included ; and these, in the
^course of countless recitations, may have become
fj) altered and the actual events linked with the mar-
velous. Some of them have been embellished by the
fancy and imagination of the poets and prose writ-
ers of a later age ; for " men will sing for aye the
deed one moment brings to birth." But even
though all may not have happened exactly as re-
lated in story or verse, though there may be varia-
tions in details or in setting, these legendary tales
are a part of the "high tradition of the world."
Fundamentally all of them are true ; and the spirit
of service, the devotion to duty, the loyalty to coun-
try or religion are an inspiration to every one who
deliglits in brave conduct or heroic action. One
may not be called ui^on to lead troops to battle,
man a gun, or defend a castle ; but there are plenty
of real opportunities for true heroism in the every-
day life of the present and a great need for higher
ideals of national service, not only for boys, but for
girls as well.
The selections included in this volume represent
only a small part of the great heritage of heroic and
patriotic example from early Greece and Rome,
the Middle Ages, and the later history of Europe
and America ; but additional reading has been sug-
gested in the notes, and other tales of heroes and
heroines will be found in Miss Yonge's " Book of
Golden Deeds," and similar collections.
It is hoped that these stories and poems will give
real pleasure to the girls who read them. If hero-
ism is contagious, may they not also help to de-
velop a sense of obligation and the spirit that freely
gives itself to others?
Elva S. Smith.
The editor is indebted to the following authors
and publishers for permission to use the selections
Bums & Gates: "Nurse Edith Cavell," from "A Father
of Women, and Other Poems," by Alice Meynell.
The Century Company: "Grizel Cochrane 's Ride," by
Elia W. Peattie, from St. Nicholas.
Miss Helen Gray Cone: "Greencastle Jenny."
J. M. Dent & Sons: "Golden Apples and Roses Red,"
from "A Child's Book of Samts," by William Can-
Harper & Brothers: "Mulan, the Maiden Chief," from
"The Chinese; Their Education, Philosophy and
Letters," by W. A. P. Martin.
Houghton Mifflin Company: "Santa Filomena," by
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; "Saint Elizabeth,"
by William Wetmore Story; "Heartbreak Hill," by
Celia Thaxter; "Barbara Frietchie," by John
Greenleaf Whittier. (Used by permission of and by
special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Com-
pany, the authorized publishers.)
Little, BroAvn & Company: "The Soul of the Great
Bell," from "Some Chinese Ghosts," by Lafcadio
Hearn; "The Heroine of Vercheres," from "Count
Front enac and New France," by Francis Parkman.
The London Times: "Belgium, the Bar-Lass," by A.
Mary F. Robinson.
The Page Company: ''How the Mohawks Set Out for
Medoetec," by C. G. D. Roberts.
G. P. Putnam's Sons and Mrs. W. H. Drummond:
"Madeleine Vereheres," from the poems by W. H.
Drummond, courtesy of G. P. Putnam's Sons, pub-
Scott, Foresman and Company: "Savitri's Choice,"
from "Hindu Literature," by Elizabeth A. Reed.
(Used by permission of Scott, Foresman and Com-
Charles Scribner's Sons: "Brier-Rose," from "Idyls of
Norway, and Other Poems," by Hjalmar Hjorth
Boyesen. (Copyright, 1882, by Charles Scribner's
T. Fisher Unwin: "A Ballad of Orleans," from "The
Collected Poems" of A. Mary F. Robinson.
' ' The Privateer of Hall 's Harbor, ' ' by Grace Dean Mc-
Leod, is from Wide Awake, and "The Maid," by
Theodore Roberts, is from the Pall Mall Magazine.
Savitri's Choice, from the
Elisabeth A. Reed
Jephtha's Daughter .
Jephthah's Daughter .
Lord Tennyson .
Two Immortal Names . ;
Elisabeth W. Champney
William Cowper .
Golden Apples and Roses
William Canton .
The Shepherd Girl of Nan-
Charlotte M. Yonge .
MuLAN, THE Maiden Chief
Chinese Bahad .
Lord Tennyson .
The English Merchant and
the Saracen Lady .
The Women of Weinsberg
Adelbert von Chamisso
The Brave Women of Tann
William James Linton
Saint Elizabeth .
William Wetmore Story
Black Agnes of Dunbar
Sir Walter Scott .
The Soul of the Great
A Legend of Bregenz
Adelaide A. Proctor
The Farewell of Joan of
A Ballad of Orleans
A. Mary F. Robinson .
The Maid ....
The King's Tragedy .
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Helen of Kirkconnell
Scottish Ballad .
English Ballad .
William Makepeace Thacken
How the Mohawks Set Out
for Medoctec .
Charles G. D. Roberts
Alice Vane ....
The Two Margarets .
Grizel Cochrane's Ride
The Heroine of VERcnfeRES
Welcome to Skye
Flora Macdonald, the Her-
oine ofthe " Forty-Five "
The Lament of Flora Mac-
Captain Molly at Mon-
Agostina of Zaragoza
The Maid of Saragoza
The Privateer of Hall's
The Heroism of Madame
The Chieftainess and the
Santa Filomena .
The Relief of Lucknow
Brier-Rose . . . .
Belgium, the Bar-Lass
Nurse Edith Cavell .
Elia W. Peattie .
Frank Mundell .
William Collins .
Charlotte M. Yonge
Grace Dean McLeod
William Henry Drummond 206
Celia Thaxter . . .212
Jacob ite Song . . .216
Charlotte M. Yonge . . 265
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 270
Robert Traill Spence Lowell iTl
John Greenleaf Whittier . 276
Helen Gray Cone . -279
Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen . 282
A. Mary F. Robinson . . 291
Alice Meynell . . . 293
Flora Macdonald, The Heroine of the
"Forty-Five" ( Page 219) . Frontispiece
Jephthah's Daughter Coming to Meet Her
Father ....... 30
St. Genevieve as Child in Prayer ... 58
Joan of Arc Listening to the Heavenly Voices 106
The Maid of Zaragoza 240
Saint Filomena 270
The Campbells are Coming . . . .274
Heroines of History and
Retold from the Mahabharata by Elizabeth A. Reed
Long years ago there lived in palace halls the
mighty King of Kekaya. Gallant and brave in per-
son, just and beneficent in the administration of the
laws of his realm, he was the hero of his people and
they rendered to him a loyal obedience.
But King Asva-pati carried a desolate heart amid
the magnificence which surrounded him, for the
gods had written him childless. Through long
years of faithful fasting and penance his prayers
had been unanswered. But one glad day the god-
dess of the sun arose from his sacrificial fire ; beau-
tiful and bright she came in the form of glorious
womanhood, and rising through the crimson flame
stepped into the royal presence, saying : " What
wilt thou, mighty Raja, that I shall do for thee?
I have listened to thy prayers ; T have watched thy
penance, and seen the bounty of thine offerings.
During all the years of thy reign the poor have
found in thee a valued friend, and now, O King ! I
U HEROINES OF HISTOEY A^D LEGEND
wait to do thy bidddng ; tell me now the dearest wish
of thy heart.''
And AsTa-pati answered : " Oh, beautiful god-
dess, 'tis for my barren line that I do penance and
have performed my vows, lo! these many years.
Give me an heir for my throne and kingdom ; give
me children to grace my royal hearthstone."
Then the radiant goddess, smiling, said : " I knew
thy wish, O King, and there shall be born a daugh-
ter unto thee — not a son, but a fair girl — ^the love-
liest that the stars have ever shone upon " ; and,
smiling still, the beauteous vision vanished in the
Time passed on with flying feet, and ere long a
child was given to the royal house, and courtiers
brought their praise unto the palace gates, while
the streets of the city were ringing with joyous
music, and everywhere the glad news went that the
queen had borne a daughter — a babe of loveliest
mould. The child was named Savitri, and the
happy father made a royal birthday feast ; the poor
were fed and the city was decorated with bright
flags and long festoons of flowers. Every porch
and pillar was made bright and fragrant with floral
vines, and the great vases in front of the palace
were filled with branches of orange and mango
The little one who met with such a royal welcome
grew more beautiful as the years went by, and when
she reached the fair heights of womanhood she was
a vision of grace and loveliness. The lithe figure of
SATITPJ'S CHOICE 16
this Indian maid was like a dream of beauty and
grace, and the rosy light of health flashed through
the olive shades of her face. The crimson lips
smiled over pearly teeth and the great dark eyes
were luminous with light and love. But still no
raja dared to ask the hand of the princess in mar-
riage. Her loveliness and truth, her queenly in-
dependence had awed them into silence.
At last her father gave to her a princess's right to
choose for herself a lord, and gave his royal word
that the man she chose should be welcomed by her
sire. A royal train moved through the provinces
and visited every court, for Savitri with her minis-
ters and maidens would take the air and travel for
the princess's health. They received everywhere a
royal welcome, but she loved best the trees and
groves ; hence, they wandered through the fragrant
woods and gathered fruits and flowers there.
One day they found a hermit, aged and blind, who
with his faithful wife sat in the dense shade of a
teak tree, whose abundant leaves gleamed in the
sunshine above them and protected them from its
heat. The gentle princess stayed to give them a
few kindly words and enjoy the wild flowers around
the hermitage. "SMiile she listened to their story, a
young man came from the thicket bearing the sa-
cred wood to be used in the evening sacrifice. He
stopped in wonder and admiration before Savitri,
and her eyes rested a moment upon his manly form
and honest face. It was Satyavan, the hermit's
son, who stayed to serve his aged parents in their
16 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
banishment. The princess had dawned upon his
vision like a dream of heaven, and lil^e a dream she
vanished from his woodland home, leaving her
memory to haunt his steps and make his loneliness
more terrible. In the still hours of the night he
heard her voice and saw the lovely face which had
become part of his being.
One day the Maha-raja sat in his council hall
with the sage Narada. They were talking in low
tones of the affairs of state when the Idng's daugh-
ter was announced. With her dark eyes glowing
with light and happiness she stepped into the royal
presence and bowed meekly before her father, who
laid his hand lovingly upon her dark hair, as he
bent down and caressed his child. Narada looked
in admiration upon the princess and said to the
king, " Thy daughter is very fair. Thou shouldst
give her in marriage to the raja of some goodly
" For this purpose she has been abroad," replied
the king. Then, turning to his daughter, he said,
" My child, hast thou chosen thy lord? " But she
answered not. Standing before the sage with her
face crimsoned with blushes, her eyes mutely ap-
pealed to her father to stay his questions. Reading
her wish, he said, " Fear not, my child, to speak
before the sage Narada ; he is thy father's best and
truest friend; but tell me if thou hast found the
object of thy search."
Then she answered: "Father, I have been long
away ; I have visited the courts of princes ; I have
SAYITIirS CHOICE 17
offered sacrifice in the sacred groves, and I have
found in one of these the banished king of Chalva,
who lost his throne and kingdom because of blind-
ness. An usurper reigns upon his throne, and his
faithful queen stays with him in the woodland cot.
Their loyal son ministers to their wants ; he brings
them fruit and game for food; he feeds their sacri-
ficial fire and pulls the sacred kusa grass to make
their couch both soft and warm; he brings fresh
water from the passing brook and gives them love
and tenderness in their daily need. Father, I have
chosen him, this banished prince, to be my lord."
Then said Narada, '- Not he, my child, — thou
canst not choose the banished Satyavan. He is
both brave and noble ; a grander youth ne'er trod a
kingly court, but o'er his head there hangs a fearful
fate. He is doomed to die, and in a year the gods
decide that he must go." Her blushes fled and her
cheeks grew strangely pale as she answered:
" Whether he live long or die to-day, whether he be
full of grace and wisdom, or graceless stand before
me, my heart hath chosen once — it chooseth not
again, and I have my father's royal pledge that he
will ratify my decision."
Then said the king, " Kemember, child, the sad
lot of Hindu widowhood, and choose again. The
noblest raja in the land w^ould gladly call thee wife.
Let not this banished youth who has only a year to
live take my peerless Indian gem into his rough
The dark eyes were raised again to his and in
18 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
their liquid depths lie read her answer even before
her lips replied, "A loyal heart can choose but once,
and a loyal sire will not revoke his promise."
Then the raja sighed, "As thou wilt, dear child,
but for thine own sake I would have had thee make
a wiser choice." One quick look of gratitude
flashed from the wondrous eyes, then bending her
blushing face to kiss her father's hand and rever-
ently bidding the sage farewell, she left the council
Having given his royal sanction to his daughter's
choice, the king ordered that preparations should
be made for the coming nuptials. Though the bride
should dwell in a lonely hermitage, she would still
be a king's daughter, and her robes even in the
woodland should befit her noble birth. It was an
imperial pageant that went forth to the humble
dwelling of the hermit. There were the priests and
sages and courtiers, and the royal family, mounted
upon the war elephants with their costly trap-
Amid the strains of martial music the train went
forth from the palace gates. No courier had been
sent to give warning of their coming ; therefore the
king ordered a halt when near the hermitage, and
he himself went forward to hold council with the
blind lord of the humble home. Courteous saluta-
tions were passed between them and after extend-
ing the modest hospitalities that still were his, the
blind king asked what brought the Maha-raja to his
door. " I have come," said he, " to ask of you that
SAVITRl'S CHOICE 19
you will ratify my daughter's choice; she hath
chosen your son Satyavan to be her lord."
Then answered the banished king, " In the days
of my proud position it was my ambition to link
my house with yours by ties of blood, O noble King !
but now that my kingdom is lost and I am but a
dethroned and banished sovereign, I could not take
the lovely princess from her palace home to share
our humble fate."
But the raja replied, " You and I are both too old
to think that happiness is dependent upon luxury.
We know that love can hold her sylvan court in
humblest bower, and your son is the lady's choice.
She has chosen to dwell in modest guise with him
she loves rather than share the splendors of an-
other. Shall we deny her wish? "
" Nay, never," said the banished king. " Her
gracious wish is mine, and great honor she brings
to our fallen house. May the blessings of Indra
rest upon her beauteous head ! " And calling
Satyavan he told him why the raja came. The be-
wildered prince could scarcely believe the lovely
princess had chosen him. His words were few ; but
his eyes were eloquent with the joy his lips refused
Then the royal train was ordered into view, and
there beneath the massive trees were gathered
priest and sage with golden jars filled from the
waves of the sacred Ganges. Beyond the great
trees where the hermitage stood were thickets of
rose laurel, whose fragrance filled the air; on the
20 HEROINES OF HISTOEY A:NT> LEGEND
other side a silver brook was hastening by to find
rest on the bosom of a clear lake, beneath the fra-
grant cups of lotus blossoms and white lilies. Here
in Nature's temple, beneath her shining dome and
beside her sacred pools, with legal rites the two
were bound in holy marriage; and Love stayed by
and held his court where the royal lovers pledged
The raja and his queen bade their child a fond
farewell, and when they passed from sight the
princess took from her hands and arms the costly
jewels that she wore and laid aside her silken robes ;
then on her delicate form she placed the rough gar-
ments that befitted her new station as a hermit's
wife. Thus she proved the great love that brought
her here ; she could not wear a finer robe than he ;
she could not see her little hands decked with gold
and gems while his were roughened with honest
toil. She had chosen to share the fortune of the
man she loved, and no ray of barbaric splendor
should suggest to him that she cared for things he
could not furnish. The gray-haired mother looked
smilingly on and loved the loyal wife, whose gra-
cious ways and loving words soon won the heart of
the banished king as well.
The little family dwelt In their forest home in
sweet content and the days went by on silver feet.
To Satyavan it seemed that life's ills all were done,
and he rested in the heaven of his happiness, feeling
that the gods could do no more. But Savitri carried
in her loving heart a fearful dread — a counting of
SAVITRI'S CHOICE 21
the days when the death decree should be fulfilled.
When the sun went down in the sea and the
soft folds of night cooled the fevered earth,
she knew that one day less remained to Satya-
At last the days had nearly fled — the little wife
grew strangely still ; her gentle, loving deeds were
still her own, but her songs were hushed in tearful
prayers. When the time was nearly come she sat
beneath a great tree like a beautiful statue and
neither ate nor drank. For three long days and
nights she sat thus, mutely imploring the gods to
save from death's decree the man she loved. Dur-
ing all the year she had carried the fatal secret in
her own faithful heart. She could not pain the
others with the weight of her terrible woe, and they
wondered now at the severity of her penance ; but
they thought she craved some great gift of the gods,
and they could not deny her wish.
The fateful day dawned at last and found her
weak and faint, but she would not taste of food.
Only one plea she made — that she might go with
Satyavan when he went out into the forest to cut
the sacred wood for the evening sacrifice.
Tenderly he remonstrated, " The way is rough
and thy little feet are tender ; the mother's side is a
safer place for thee." But still she pleaded, "I
cannot let thee go unless I am with thee"; and
Satyavan looked down into the depths of her tear-
ful eyes, that looked back love and tenderness into
his own. Then said he, " Surely thou shalt go and
22 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
make the dark wood glad with thy sweet pres-
Cheerily he set out axe in hand through the wil-
derness, making a path for the little feet that pa-
tiently followed his own. The morning was won-
drously bright; flower-laden trees stood here and
there along the pathway ; gigantic climbers grew in
the thickets in great profusion, interlacing the
smaller trees and even piling their gorgeous blos-
soms upon their heads. The sunlight lay upon the
surface of the little lake near their home, and bright
water-birds hovered above the reeds and rushes, or
settled down amidst the white lilies and fragrant
lotus cups near the water's edge. Away in the dis-
tance the Himalayas lifted their snowy brows into
the blue heavens and reflected the sun's rays from
their icy peaks.
"Is it not beautiful?" said Satyavan, pointing
to the landscape around him, or directing her atten-
tion to the strange wild flowers springing from the
mosses at their feet. And smiling the little wife re-
plied, even while the fearful dread around her heart
almost stayed its beating.
Afar from home, they gathered fruits and flowers
for the evening sacrifice, and all the while the anx-
ious wife watched with aching heart every look and
motion of her lord. He struck the tree to gather
sacred wood, and blow after blow of his axe echoed
through the forest. At last he reeled in sudden
pain and cried, " I cannot work " ; then falling at
her feet he fainted there. Quicldy the beloved head
SAVITRl'S CHOICE 23
was laid upon her lap, and eagerly she strove by
chafing the temples and tired hands to bring the life
tide back. She knew it was the day of fate, but
still she could not yield.
Suddenly at her side she saw a fearful shape,
that was neither god nor man — tall and dark with
visage grim, he looked down pitilessly upon them
both. His garments were crimson, as if with
blood; his cruel eyes glowed like burning coals in
their deep sockets. In one hand he bore a long
black noose and bent over Satyavan. As the spec-
tre leaned above her husband, the trembling
princess laid the head tenderly upon the ground,
and springing up reverently folded her hands in
supplication, and prayed to know who he was and
why he came. He answered, " I am Yama, the god
of death, and I am come to bear away the soul of
" But," pleaded the wife, " 'tis thy messengers
that bear away the souls of men. Why is it, mighty
chiof, that thou hast come? "
" Because Prince Satyavan was the grandest,
noblest of his race," replied the god, "and none
save Yama's self was worthy to bear his soul away."
And bending lower still he fitted the dreadful noose
and drew out the soul of Satyavan ; then silently he
strode away toward the southland with his prize,
leaving the poor body pale and cold, with life and
grace and beauty gone.
But the stricken princess followed him. With
her hands folded in supplication she hastened on
24 HEROINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
behind this fearful King of Death. At last he
turned. " Go back," said he ; " why dost thou fol-
low in my steps? No mortal e'er has dared to come
whither I shall go. Go back and perform the fu-
neral rites for thy dead lord."
But she replied: "Wherever my lord is borne,
there I shall surely go ; he is my life, my all ; I can-
not leave him, and I must go with thee. By reason
of my wifely love thou wilt let me come." And
still she followed on until the King of Death him-
self felt pity for the faithful wife, and, turning
back, he said : " Return, my child, to life and health.
Thy wifely love is good, but the Idngdom of Yama
is not the place for thee. Still, I will grant thee
any boon that thou dost crave, except this life that
I am bearing away."
Then said Savitri, " Let the blind and banished
king, my husband's father, have both his sight and
throne restored." " It shall be so," returned the
god. " I grant thee this because of thy purity and
fidelity; but now turn back; our way is long and
dark, thy little feet are already weary, and thou
wilt die upon the road."
" I am not weary," said Savitri, " I cannot tire
while I am near to Satyavan. Wherever he is
borne, there the loyal wife must go." And the tire-
less feet toiled patiently on behind the King of
Death until he turned again and said : " Darkness
is coming on; soon thou canst not find thy way
alone. I will give to thee another boon — anything
except this life, and then thou must return."
SAYITRI'S CHOICE 25
Quickly the princess thought of her own sire,
whose only child now followed Death — thought of
his lonely home and coming age, and she said,
" Give to my father princely sons to bear his royal
name. This is the boon I crave, O mighty one."
" So shall it be," returned the king; "and now I
have granted thy wishes, go back to life and light."
But she only answered plaintively, " I cannot go,
great king. I cannot leave my lord. Thou hast
taken him and my heart is in thy hand. I must
surely come with thee."
Darkness came slowly down in the dense forest,
and her tender feet were torn with thorns and cut
with the sharp stones of the rugged path. Hungry
wolves and jackals pressed around her, while night
birds spread their black wings above her and start-
led the silence with their cries. Trembling with
terror and faint with grief and hunger, she still
pursued her way. Her tear-blinded eyes could no
longer see the terrible shape she followed, but she
heard his footfalls and almost felt his fearful
strides, for it seemed that every step came down
upon her bleeding heart.
At last they came to a cavern, dark and damp as
death itself, and here again Yama turned upon the
pitiful figure in the darkness behind him, and this
time he fiercely demanded, "Art thou still upon my
track? If thou wert not so true and good, I would
take thee in my arms, and my worms should feed
upon thy beauty; but thou art truth itself, and I
26 HEEOmES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
will give to thee, poor child, one more boon. In
pity for thy grief I will give thee anything thou wilt
— except this life within my hand."
Then answered Savitri, " Give me children — the
sons of Satyavan. Let me bear to him brave, loyal
heirs of his goodness and his truth."
Death grimly smiled. Should he be conquered
yet by this little Hindu wife? But he answered:
" Yama hath promised thee, and I must grant thee
Then with rapid strides he entered the great
vault of the cavern, while the startled bats and owls
flapped their dark wings and made the place more
hideous with their cries. But still he heard the
patter of patient feet behind him, and his burn-
ing eyeballs blazed in the darlmess upon poor Sa-
" Go back," he said. " Thou shalt return ; I will
bear no longer with thy persistent following ! "
" I would go back, O mighty Yama, if I could,"
wailed the weary wife, "but in your hands you
carry my own life. 'Tis only my helpless frame
that follows thee, and now I am so weak with grief
and fear that I must come nearer to Satyavan " ;
and the tired head drooped upon the dark, cold
hand of Death, close to the life she craved.
The pitiless king felt the soft touch of tear-wet
cheeks and clinging hair, and again his cruel heart
was softened by her faithful love. " Thou art inno-
cence itself, and tenderness and truth," said Yama.
" Thou hast taught me lessons new of woman's
SAYITKI'S CHOICE 27
fidelity. Ask any boon thou wilt, and it shall be
Then at his feet she fell in grateful joy and ten-
derly caressed them. " This time, O King," she
cried, " thou hast excepted nothing, and I ask not
wealth, nor throne, nor heaven itself. I crave my
heart, my life — give me my Satyavan ! "
The fire in his eyes beamed more softly, and the
light in them was almost tender as he said : " Fair
Queen, thou art the brightest gem of womankind.
Here, take thy Satyavan. Saved by his peerless
wife, he long shall live and reign with her, and his
line shall be upheld by princely sons who shall call
thee mother. Go now, my child, time hasteth, and
long hast thou been with me."
Then, turning gloomily away, he went down —
down into the darlmess of the cavern. But the
glad wife, holding her precious treasure close to
her heart, retraced her steps back through the dark-
ness of cavern and wood, her torn feet climbing the
ascending pathway, fearing nothing, knowing noth-
ing, save that in her arms she carried her beloved.
It was dark in the forest, where the dense foliage
almost shut out the light of noontime, but it was
lighter here where only little groves of sacrod fig
trees and thickets of flowering shrubs obscured the
vision, and traces of gold and crimson still lingered
round the setting sun. Thankful for the light, she
hastened to where the body lay, and raising the
head, pressed it tenderly again to her bosom, and
gently wooed the life tide back to heart and pulse.
28 HEEOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Soft and warm his hand became, and his lips moved
to speak a tender word that had died upon them
when Yama came. The evening light was gone,
and darkness came down with velvet touch around
them, but the glorious stars came out and the south-
ern constellations flashed like crown jewels above
the living prince and his loyal wife.
Since our Country, our God — Oh, my Sire I
Demand that thy daughter expire ;
Since thy triumph was bought by thy vow —
Strike the bosom that's bared for thee now !
And the voice of my mourning is o'er,
And the mountains behold me no more :
If the hand that I love lay me low,
There cannot be pain in the blow !
And of this, oh, my father ! be sure —
That the blood of thy child is as pure
As the blessing I beg ere it flow.
And the last thought that soothes me below.
Though the virgins of Salem lament.
Be the judge and the hero unbent!
I have won the great battle for thee.
And my Father and Country are free !
When this blood of thy giving hath gush'd.
When the voice that thou lovest is hush'd,
Let my memory still be thy pride.
And forget not I smiled as I died !
Extract from A Dream of Fair Women
Slowly my sense uudazzled. Then I heard
A noise of some one coming thro' the lawn,
And singing clearer than the crested bird
That claps his wings at dawn :
" The torrent brooks of hallow'd Israel
From craggy hollows pouring, late and soon,
Sound all night long, in falling thro' the dell,
Far-heard beneath the moon.
" The balmy moon of blessed Israel
Floods all the deep-blue gloom with beams
All night the splinter'd crags that wall the dell
With spires of silver shine."
As one that museth where broad sunshine laves
The lawn by some cathedral, thro' the door
Hearing the holy organ rolling waves
Of sound on roof and floor
Within, and anthem sung, is charm'd and tied
To where he stands, — so stood I, when that flow
Of music left the lips of her that died
To save her father's vow;
I El-UillAU's DaIUHIKU LuMI.NC. iu Mi-.i'.i LU.i. iAlliLl..
From I'aintinij by Gustave Dort.
JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER 31
The daughter of the warrior Gileadite,
A maiden puie ; as wheu slie went along
From Mizpch's tower'd gate with welcome light,
With timbrel and with song.
Mj words leapt forth : " Heaven heads the count
With that wild oath." She render'd answer
" Not so ; nor once alone, a thousand times
I would be born and die.
" Single I grew, like some green plant, whose root
Creeps to the garden water-pipes beneath,
Feeding the flower ; but ere my flower to fruit
Changed, I was ripe for death.
" My God, my land, my father — ^these did move
Me from my bliss of life, that Nature gave,
Lower'd softly with a threefold cord of love
Down to a silent grave.
" And I went mourning, * No fair Hebrew boy
Shall smile away my maiden blame among
The Hebrew mothers ' — emptied of all joy,
Leaving the dance and song,
" Leaving the olive-gardens far below.
Leaving the promise of my bridal bower,
The valleys of grape-loaded vines that glow
Beneath the battled tower.
32 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" The light white cloud swam over us. Anon
We heard the lion roaring from his den ;
We saw the large white stars rise one by one,
Or, from the darken'd glen,
" Saw God divide the night with flying flame,
And thunder on the everlasting hills.
I heard Him, for He spake, and grief became
A solemn scorn of ills.
" When the next moon was roll'd into the sky.
Strength came to me that equall'd my desire.
How beautiful a thing it was to die
For God and for my sire !
" It comforts me in this one thought to dwell.
That I subdued me to my father's will ;
Because the kiss he gave me, ere I fell.
Sweetens the spirit still.
" Moreover it is written that my race
Hew'd Ammon, hip and thigh, from Aroer
On Arnon unto Minneth." Here her face
Glow'd as I look'd at her.
She lock'd her lips ; she left me where I stood :
" Glory to God," she sang, and past afar,
Thridding the sombre boskage of the wood,
Toward the morning-star.
TWO IMMORTAL NAMES
Elizabeth W. Champney
One spring day nearly five hundred years before
Christ, a Greek boy and girl stood earnestly talking
before the palace of the King of Sparta. The girl
was Hervina, one of the maids of honor of the wife
of the brave King Leonidas, and the boy was her
brother Ephialtes, one of the king's favorite pages,
a handsome youth and an expert in athletic sports.
In Sparta, at this period, great attention was
paid to physical exercise ; even the girls were drilled
in gymnasiums, and Hervina was one of the fleetest
runners in all the country round, while her brother
was an accomplished boxer, tumbler and wrestler,
as well as a reckless rider and furious driver. He
was as ambitious as he was handsome, his ruling
motive an overweening fondness for praise. The
Lady Gorgo, the wife of King Leonidas, sometimes
shook her head and said she feared Ephialtes was
too ambitious, for his desire of excelling made him
unscrupulous of ways and means. But Leonidas
patted the shoulder of his favorite, and said that
ambition and love of praise rightly directed were
good steeds if held in with the rein of principle.
There was something in Ephialtes' keen, watch-
34 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
fill, but sidelong glance which migiit have reminded
one of Plato's words : " Have you never yet observed
of those that are termed 'wicked yet clever/ how
sharply the little soul looks out? " He seemed ever
on the watch for means of benefiting himself by
every circumstance and occurrence. Just now
while the city resounded with lamentation at the
news just received by a herald that the Persians
were advancing upon Greece, Ephialtes' face was
flushed with delight, and he trembled with excite-
ment as he related his own personal plans to Her-
" The Persians are really upon the march," he
exclaimed ; " Xerxes commands in person the land
force, which is going around through Asia Minor,
while a navy of innumerable ships follows him by
Hervina turned pale. " He means to avenge his
father's disgrace ten years ago at Marathon."
"Ah, didn't the Athenians whip him well there ! "
exclaimed the boy. " I hope the Spartans will do
some of the fighting this time. A congress of the
rulers of all the states of Greece has been sum-
moned to meet at Corinth to concert measures of
defense. Leonidas is at this moment bidding adieu
to the queen. He wishes to reach Corinth with all
despatch, and has chosen me to conduct his chariot,
for he knows no one can better manage his Thessa-
lian horses. Mark me, Hervina, I go a simple char-
ioteer ; but when this war is over my name shall be
famous. I have consulted the oracle, and have re-
TWO IMMOKTAL NAMES' 35
ceived the response that of all the Spartans who
march out, the names alone of Leonidas and
Ephialtes shall be handed down to posterity."
As he spoke, a groom led up the champing horses
and gilded cliariot, a curtain was withdrawn from
a portal of the palace, and Leonidas came down the
steps dressed in armor. He motioned to Ephialtes,
who took the reins and leapt gracefully to his posi-
tion. Then Leonidas mounted, waved his hand to
the Lady Gorgo, and the chariot rolled away.
Then came a weary waiting-time, varied by mes-
sages which brought dismay. Now they heard of
the advance of the Persian fleet, of the sacking of
towns and cities, and once or twice hurried missives
came from Corinth from Leonidas. One ran as
^' I am consumed with impatience," Leonidas
wrote, "to begin hostilities at once, to march for-
ward with my brave Spartans to meet the foe. In-
stead of this, I find myself involved in argument
and conciliation, in the persuasion and threatening
of our brother rulers to undertake this war. From
Argos and Boeotia we have nothing to hope. The
Korkyraians profess to have sent us sixty ships, but
they have not arrived. I fear that they have de-
serted to the enemy. Genlon, the despot of Syra-
cuse, offers to bear the whole expense of the war if
we will recognize him as our leader; but to this
none of the congress will agree, and Genlon has sent
us an insulting message that we are likely to have
many leaders but few to be led. The greater part
36 HEROIII^S OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
of tlie congress are now so terrified by the approach
of the Persians that they are for sending Xerxes at
once a present of earth and water in token of our
submission to him. I am no orator or statesman,
and all I could do in answer to such dishonorable
proposals was to pour out my soul in wrath and in-
dignation. Fortunately the skilled general and
leader, Themistocles, is one of the Athenian dele-
gation. His patriotism and bravery equal my
own, while his prudence and wily power of govern-
ing men and making all things subservient to his
will are something at which I admire and wonder.
He works night and day, and keeps four scribes
writing constantly, demanding help from Crete,
Sicily and the other island allies of Greece ; making
requisitions of supplies, moneys and men from
every state; numbering the army, fitting out the
navy, reconciling enemies, encouraging the cow-
ardly, bribing the avaricious, tempting the ambi-
tious. He is indefatigable ; he is in the saddle and
everywhere at the same moment. He pours forth
a stream of persuasive eloquence, before the con-
gress, and the next moment is despatching a depu-
tation of couriers with missives, or listening to the
reports of his spies. I admire the man, but his
work is not my work, and I long for fierce fighting.
He has promised me that I shall lead in the first
decisive action. I trust that all will soon be ar-
ranged and that we shall meet the enemy in Thrace.
I commend myself to thy prayers.
TWO IMMORTAL NAMES 37
This letter was brought by Epbialtes himself.
" I have received aii important mission," he said.
" Themistocles has appointed me a spy, and I am
on my way to the Persians. I shall discover all I
can ^nd return with information for the congress."
Again Hervina could do nothing but wait and
beseech the gods. The Lady Gorgo quieted her
own impatience by embroidering a marvelous cro-
cus-colored robe for Minerva. She had designed a
strange border of spiders' webs ( for the spider was
sacred to Minerva), and she worked in the webs
with a lace of silver thread, while the spiders' eyes
were tiny emeralds. While she worked she be-
sought Minerva to lie in the path like a venomous
spider and bite the heel of the invader. Her
prayers were addressed not alone to Minerva; she
sent costly golden cups and vases to the shrines of
all the other Grecian divinities, and caused Her-
vina and her other maidens to sing in the sleepless
night while their needles flashed at their embroid-
ery under the flaring lamps, an invocation to all the
gods and goddesses like that written by the poet
"The time demands it : why, then, why delay?
Broider the pall, give garlands as you pray.
If e'er thy soul had pleasure in the brave,
God of the golden helm, hear. Mars, and save !
And thou by whom the pawing steed arose,
Great Neptune, save us, free us from our foes.
Thou terror of the brute, Apollo, hear —
In all thy terrors rush upon the foe !
38 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Chaste virgin huntress, Dian, ever dear,
Wing the keen arrow from thy ready bow !
By every shrine the eager vow is paid.
Hear us, ye guardian gods, hear us and aid ! ' '
Ephialtes paused with them for a hurried meal
on his return from his mission. His mien had
changed. His overweening confidence was lost.
He had sprinkled dust upon his head, and his face
was blanched with terror.
" We are lost ! " he cried ; " the whole population
of Greece would be as nothing to oppose to the for-
midable host approaching. Xerxes has gathered
ships by thousands, men by nations. I had scarce
come within the lines before I was detected and
brought before the king. I felt certain that I was
condemned to death. But no: he ordered one of
his soldiers to go with me throughout the army and
assist me in numbering his hosts and in pointing
out the vast preparations which he had made for
this war. After this was over he gave me a safe
conduct to return and report to those who sent me."
"And wilt thou carry out his design of intimidat-
ing our generals? " asked Hervina.
" What else can I do? " replied the boy moodily.
" I were an ill friend to my country should I falsely
encourage its armies to certain defeat. Listen,
Hervina, and I will tell thee of what stuff this cruel
and haughty tyrant is made. I came up to him at
Mount Athos. It was upon this rocky promontory
that the ships of his father were wrecked. Here,
therefore, he halted his army and set them to cut-
TWO IMMORTAL NAMES 39
ting a canal across the isthmus which separates the
mountain from the mainland. It is a superhuman
attempt; but ere I left I saw the canal half com-
pleted, and so wide that two of his double-banked
gallej's could ride side by side. I heard, too, the
proclamation which he caused his herald to read to
the mountain : ' Hear, O Athos, I command thee
that thou refrain from doing damage to any of my
ships. For so surely as thou causest their ship-
wreck I will pluck thee up by thy roots, and hurl
thee into the sea.'
"And the mountain has obeyed him ; for instead
of acting as a bulwark and a defense to Greece, it
stiinds as a breakwater against the sea for the Per-
sians who ride in a quiet harbor behind it. Hast
thou not heard also how he chastised the sea when
it had broken his bridge of boats by Avhich he
thought to have crossed the Hellespont? He caused
three hundred lashes to be applied to it, and cast
into it a pair of chains and manacles, together with
the heads of the engineers who had constructed the
bridge. If thus he disposes both of the mountains
and the sea of Greece, surely we shall be giving him
only that of which he hath already taken possession
if we send him the earth and water which he de-
The Lady Gorgo heard this with flashing eyes.
" Go and tell that tyrant," she exclaimed, " that as
yet he has had to do but with the land and water
of Greece, but let him reserve his boasts until he
hath met its men."
40 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
The message of Ephialtes was received bravely
by Leonidas. " Let me go," he besought of the con-
gress, " and teach this woiild-be conqueror that it is
not the multitude of an army that counts, but its
" It is indeed time," replied Themistocles
gravely ; and the command of the army was at once
voted to Sparta. " I will take seven thousand of
the allied forces," said Leonidas, " with three hun-
dred of my Spartans, and we will advance to the
defense of the frontier from the land force, while do
you plan for the reception of the navy ere it reach
The Pass of Thermopylae (or the Hot Gates, so
called from the presence of hot mineral springs in
the neighborhood and a broken Phocian wall which
had once been provided with iron gates ) , a narrow
defile through Mount CEtei, with craggy mountains
upon the left and an impassable bog upon the right,
was the place chosen as a point of defense. It was
the only way from upper into lower Greece and it
lay in the direct route of the Persians.
On his way to this position Leonidas paused to
urge his wife to retire with her maidens to Corinth,
where they would be safer than in the north of
Greece. He left Ephialtes to escort them, and,
gathering his chosen warriors, hastened on to Ther-
On their way southward Hervina noticed that
her brother had grown sullen. She understood his
discontent; his eager spirit chafed at being sent
TWO IMMORTAL NAMES 41
back with the women, instead of being allowed to
share the exploits of the warriors.
The Lady Gorgo, gathering together her women
and her jewels, assigned to Ephialtes the guard of
the rear of her little train. The second day he
lagged behind more and more. Hervina drew the
rein of her milk-white palfrey and waited until he
came up. Their companions had just disappeared
around a turn in the road. Ephialtes looked up
and saw her there alone, regarding him with sym-
pathetic, questioning eyes. Seizing her palfrey's
rein, Ephialtes struck spurs to his own steed and
galloped swiftly toward the north.
At night they slept under the open sky, and by
day they pursued their way steadily toward Mount
(Eta, whose steep sides they climbed by a lonely
and deserted road. Hervina never doubted that
their destination was Thermopylae, but when they
reached the summit of the mountain they found the
place, though suited for a fastness, only slenderly
guarded by a small band of Phocians.
"We seek Leonidas," said Ephialtes to the sol-
dier who barred his pathway. " Below," replied
the soldier; and he pointed to a somewhat wider
pass in the mountains below them, where, with the
barricade of an ancient wall in front, the marsh
formed by the overflow of the hot springs on their
right, and the precipitous cliff, down which Ei)hi-
altes now looked, upon their loft, the followers of
Leonidas were even now engaged in battle with the
42 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Ephialtes turned and looked toward the west.
The camp of the Persians with its myriad tents
filled all the valleys, and their foraging bands were
discernible collecting cattle and prisoners from a
little hamlet on the mountainside.
" Why has not Leonidas more heavily garrisoned
this pass? " asked Ephialtes. " The Persians could
easily swarm up that path and overcome you,"
" There is a good road from here to the Hot
Gates ; we have only to fall back, follow this ridge
downward, turn to the left, and find ourselves safe
in the rear of Leonidas."
" Yes, but the Persians could follow — then
Leonidas would be hemmed in on every side."
The soldier shrugged his shoulders. " Mars for-
bid that any one inform the Persians of the path
leading hither," he replied. Further conversation
was suspended as they watched the attack upon the
Spartans at the Hot Gates.
Huge rocks were rolled down upon the Persians ;
but their front ranks were driven forward by those
behind, and again and again pressed to the onset,
only to be driven back with slaughter.
" He has conquered for to-day," exclaimed Ephi-
altes. " That general with the glittering helm is
Mardonius ; he fought at Marathon ten years ago ;
he knows the temper of our Greeks — see, he is try-
ing in vain to rally his men. But they retire, while
Leonidas has respite to prepare for a fiercer strug-
gle. Exercising in the plain below is the Immortal
Band. See the gleam of the gold and silver pome-
TWO IMMORTAL NAMES 43
granates at their lance-heads ! Should they be or-
dered to charge, Leoiiidas would have to surren-
The Phocian soldier smiled grimly. " You know
more of the Persians, my fine youth, than of Leon-
idas," he said scornfully. " Yonder Immortal Band
is even now upon the march — and you shall see
them flee. Leonidas had hard fighting all day yes-
terday, and conquered. He is holding his own to-
day. He will never surrender."
The tide of battle rolled more fiercely than be-
fore. The Immortal Band fought well ; many fell,
but none turned to flee. Once the followers of
Leonidas gave way and fell backward, and the Per-
sians poured in through the gaping wall. But the
disaster was only a feint ; the Spartans waited until
goodly numbers had swarmed into the trap, and
then sprang forward and massacred all, hurling the
dead and dying into the bog. At length, the Im-
mortal Band fell back. The attack was ended for
" He has conquered ! " murmured Hervina ;
" surely the Persians can make no fiercer attempt."
" Let us hasten by the road they have shown me,
to Leonidas," said Ephialtes, hurriedly.
They rode on for some distance in silence. The
road made a long detour, and at last Ephialtes
halted. " Hervina, if we tie our horses in the goat-
herd's hut yonder we can climb down into this ra-
vine and follow it, and so reach Leonidas more
quickly than by keeping to the regular road."
44 HEROmES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
Witliin tlie hut where they fastened their horses
they found several sheepskins.
" We shall attract less attention, should we en-
counter Persians, and also be better able to clam-
ber, if we change our court clothing for these sheep-
skins," suggested Ephialtes.
Clothed as goatherds, they proceeded on their
way. They reached the valley in safety just as the
moon rose, and cautiously went forward through
the twisted olive trees, looking for some path by
which they could gain the Hot Gates. Suddenly,
from the fantastic shadows, two men appeared be-
fore them, while a small squad of soldiers followed
— all Persians. One of the men held a headless
spear, to which was aflxed a white pennon; the
other carried upon his head a heavily laden golden
" Who are ye? " exclaimed the strangers and
Ephialtes in the same breath. "I am a simple
goatherd," replied Ephialtes.
"And I," said the foremost stranger, "am Hy-
darnes, a herald sent by King Xerxes to the Spar-
" But your back is turned to his fortress," said
" Yea," replied the other ; " for I am returning
from a fruitless quest. My king, hopeless of storm-
ing his stronghold, had written him that if he would
permit the Persians to pass, he should reign unmo-
lested in Sparta under his own royal protection."
" And Leonidas refused this offer? "
TWO IMMORTAL NAMES 45
" Yea, and this goodly golden jar of jewels which
it is now my toilsome lot to bear back again over
this weary way," said the second Persian.
"It matters little," added the first; "we shall
starve them out in the end — they are not provi-
sioned for two weeks longer ; but it chafes his royal
highness to be thus stopped upon his march."
" How think you would Xerxes reward that
man," asked Ephialtes, "who would show him a
speedy manner of storming the citadel of Leonidas
— show him another pass across the mountains
higher up, dominating their stronghold, and
guardc'' ' y but a handful of men? "
" Know you of such a pass? " asked the Persians
eagerly, while Hervina, uttering a cry of despair,
clutched her brother's arm.
" If Xerxes will make me the same offer which
Leonidas has refused, I will show him a secret path
by which he can take his enemy."
Hervina threw herself upon her brother in an
agony of grief and shame; but he shook her off,
"My own welfare and fortune are more to me
than that of Leonidas. Go to the cave of the goat-
herd and there await my return ! " Then, follow-
ing the lead of the Persians, he disappeared.
Hervina stood thunderstruck. Then suddenly a
wild hope kindled in her breast. It was not too
late to warn Leonidas, not too late for him to re-
treat. With reckless leaps she climbed down the
steep mountainside, clinging to projecting bits of
46 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
rock where even a goat would not have ventured.
May it not be that the poet ^schylus, who was a
rising poet at the time, had this scene in his mind,
when he wrote a score of years afterwards the lines :
* ' Ye rising hills whose reverenced heads
Majestic wave their awe-commanding shades,
What woes our shudd'ring souls await,
Or flying on the wings of fear.
In some cavern dark and drear,
Deep shall we plunge and hide us from our fate.
Oh that I could as smoke arise.
That rolls its black wreaths through the air ;
Mix with the clouds that o'er the skies
Show their light forms and disappear,
Or like the dust be tossed
By every sportive wind till all be lost !
They come, they come', the haughty foes !
These are but preludes to my woes.
Look down, thou Sovereign of the world, and save! "
She remembered joyfully how she had often out-
stripped the girls at Sparta in the footraces, and
her training stood her in good stead now. She
reached Leonidas just as the Persians set out on
their march for the upper pass.
" It is certain death to remain," said the Spartan
king as he looked at the frowning cliff soon to be
held by the foe. " I order the seven thousand sent
me by the allied Greeks to retire, bearing little
Hervina with them ! "
" Come, too," pleaded Hervina.
" Nay, little one, I have an example to set to
TWO IMMORTAL NAMES 47
Greece — a lesson to teach the Persians. They must
know that Leonidas and his three hundred were not
afraid to face three millions and certain death.
The post will be stormed, but it will not be de-
On the next day Leonidas and his brave Spartans
fell. But the example and the lesson were not
wanting. Xerxes learned for the first time of what
stuff patriots were made, and the knowledge un-
nerved his arm for further effort. The death of
their countrymen fired the other Greeks to emulate
their valor and avenge their massacre. At Salamis,
Themistocles dealt a death-blow to the Persian
navy, and Xerxes with his shattered army fled,
while the defeat of his general Mardonius at the
battle of Platasa closed the war.
Ephialtes died a miserable outcast on Persian
soil, realizing at last, let us trust, the meaning of
the ambiguous oracle, and that while the name of
Leonidas would be rendered immortal by his bra-
very and willing death for his country, his own
would be handed down to endless ignominy and dis-
When the Britisli warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Koman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Every burning word he spoke
Full of rage, and full of grief.
Princess ! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,
'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
Kome shall perish — ^write that word
In the blood that she has spilt ;
Perish, hopeless and abhorr'd,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Rome, for empire far renown'd,
Tramples on a thousand states ;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground-
Hark ! the Gaul is at her gates !
Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name ;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.
Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,
Shall a wider world command.
Regions Caesar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they.
Such the bard's prophetic words.
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords
Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride.
Felt them in her bosom glow :
Rush'd to battle, fought, and died ;
Dying hurl'd them at the foe.
Ruffians, pitiless as proud.
Heaven awards the vengeance due ;
Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you.
GOLDEN APPLES AND EOSES BED
In the cruel days of old, when Diocletian was the
master of the world, and the believers in the Cross
were maimed, and tortured with fire, and torn with
iron hooks, and cast to the lions, and beheaded with
the sword, Dorothea, a beautiful maiden of Cses-
area, was brought before Sapricius, the governor
of Cappadocia, and commanded to forsake the Lord
Christ and offer incense to the images of the false
Though she was so young and so fair and tender,
she stood umnoved by threats and entreaties, and
when, with little pity on her youth and loveliness,
Sapricius menaced her with the torment of the iron
bed over a slow fire, she replied : " Do with me as
you will. No pain shall I fear, so firm is my trust
in Him for whom I am ready to die."
"Who, then, is this that has won thy love?"
asked the Governor.
" It is Christ Jesus, the Son of God. Slay me,
and I shall but the sooner be with Him in His
Paradise, where there is no more pain, neither sor-
row, but the tears are wiped from all eyes, and the
roses are in bloom alway, and forever the fruit of
Joy is on the trees."
GOLDEN APPLES AND ROSES RED 51
" Thy words are but the babbling of madness,"
said the Governor angrily.
" I am not nmd, most noble Sapricius."
" Here, then, is the incense ; sacrifice, and save
'" I will not sacrifice," replied Dorothea.
" Then shalt thou die," said Sapricius ; and he
bade the doomsman take her to the place of execu-
tion and strike off her head.
Now as she was being led away from the judg-
ment-seat, a gay young advocate named Theophilus
said to her jestingly : " Farewell, sweet Dorothea ;
when thou hast joined thy lover, wilt thou not send
me some of the fruit and roses of his Paradise? "
Looking gravely and gently at him, Dorothea an-
swered, " I will send some."
Whereupon Theophilus laughed merrily, and
went his way homeward.
At the place of execution, Dorothea begged the
doomsman to tarry a little, and kneeling by the
block, she raised her hands to heaven and prayed
earnestly. At that moment a fair child stood be-
side her holding in his hand a basket containing
three golden apples and three red roses.
" Take these to Theophilus, I pray thee," she said
to the child, " and tell him Dorothea awaits him in
the Paradise whence they came."
Then she bowed her head, and the sword of the
Mark now what follows.
Theophilus, who had reached home, was still tell-
52 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
ing of what had happened and merrily repeating
his jest about the fruit and flowers of Paradise,
when suddenly, while he was speaking, the child
appeared before him with the apples and the roses.
" Dorothea," he said, " has sent me to thee with
these, and she awaits thee in the garden." And
straightway the child vanished.
The fragrance of those heavenly roses filled
Theophilus with a strange pity and gladness ; and,
eating of the fruit of the Angels, he felt his heart
made new within him, so that he, also, became a
servant of the Lord Jesus, and suffered death for
His name, and thus attained to the celestial garden.
Centuries after her martyrdom, the body of
Dorothea was laid in a bronze shrine richly inlaid
with gold and jewels in the church built in her
honor beyond Tiber, in the seven-hilled city of
Rome ; and every seven years the shrine was opened
that the faithful might gaze on the maiden martyr
THE SHEPHERD GIRL OF NANTERRE
Charlotte M. Yonge
FoUE hundred years of the Roman dominion had
entirely tamed the once wild and independent
Gauls. Everywhere, except in the moorlands of
Brittany, they had become as much like Romans
themselves as they could accomplish; they had
Latin names, spoke the Latin tongue, all their per-
sonages of higher rank were enrolled as Roman
citizens, their chief cities were colonies where the
laws were administered by magistrates in the
Roman fashion, and the houses, dress and amuse-
ments were the same as those of Italy. The greater
part of the towns had been converted to Christian-
ity, though some paganism still lurked in the more
remote villages and mountainous districts.
It was upon these civilized Gauls that the terrible
attacks came from the wild nations who poured out
of the center and east of Europe. The Franks came
over the Rhine and its dependent rivers, and made
furious attacks upon the peaceful plains, where the
Gauls had long lived in security, and reports were
everywhere heard of villages harried by wild horse-
men, with short double-headed battle-axes and a
horrible short pike, covered with iron and with sev-
54 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
eral large hooks, like a gigantic artificial minnow,
and like it fastened to a long rope, so that the prey
which it had grappled might be pulled up to the
owner. Walled cities usually stopped them, but
every farm or villa outside was stripped of its valu-
ables, set on fire, the cattle driven off, and the more
healthy inhabitants seized for slaves.
It was during this state of things that a girl was
born to a wealthy peasant at the village now called
Nanterre, about two miles from Lutetia, which was
already a prosperous city, though not as yet so en-
tirely the capital as it was destined to become un-
der the name of Paris. She was christened by an
old Gallic name, probably Gwenfrewi, or AVhite
Stream — in Latin Genovefa — but she is best known
by the late French form of Genevieve.
When she was about seven years old, two cele-
brated bishops passed through the village, Ger-
manus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes, who had
been invited to Britain to dispute the false doctrine
of Pelagius. All the inhabitants ilocked into the
church to see them, pray with them and receive
their blessing; and here the sweet childish devo^
tion of Genevieve so struck Germanus, that he
called her to him, talked to her, made her sit be-
side him at the feast, gave her his especial blessing
and presented her with a copper medal with a cross
engraven upon it. From that time the little maiden
always deemed herself especially consecrated to
the service of Heaven, but she still remained at
home, daily keeping her father's sheep, and spin-
THE SHEPHEKD GIRL OF NANTERRE 55
ning their wool as she sat under the trees watch-
ing them, but always with a heart full of prayer.
After this St. Germanus proceeded to Britain
and there encouraged his converts to meet the
heathen Picts at Maes Gannon in Flintshire, where
the exulting shout of the white-robed catechumens
turned to flight the wild superstitious savages of
the north, and the Hallelujah victory was gained
without a drop of bloodshed. He never lost sight
of Genevieve, the little maid whom he had so early
distinguished for her piety.
After she lost her parents she went to live with
her godmother, and continued the same simple hab-
its, leading a life of sincere devotion and strict self-
denial, constant prayer, and much charity to her
In the year 451 the whole of Gaul was in the
most dreadful state of terror at the advance of
Attila, the savage chief of the Huns, who came
from the banks of the Danube with a host of sav-
ages of hideous features, scarred and disfigured to
render them more frightful. The old enemies, the
Goths and the Franks, seemed like friends com-
pared with these formidable beings, whose cruelties
were said to be intolerable, and of whom every ex-
aggerated story was told that could add to the hor-
rors of the miserable people who lay in their path.
Tidings came that this " Scourge of God," as
Attila called himself, had passed the Rhine, des-
troyed Tongres and Metz, and was in full march
for Paris. The whole country was in the utmost
56 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
terror. Every one seized his most valuable posses-
sions, and would have fled; but Genevieve placed
herself on the only bridge across the Seine, and
argued with the people, assuring them, in a strain
that was afterwards thought of as prophetic, that,
if they would pray, repent, and defend instead of
abandoning their homes, God would protect them.
They were at first almost ready to stone her for
thus withstanding their panic; but just then a
priest arrived from Auxerre, with a present for
Genevieve from St. Germanus, and they were thus
reminded of the high estimation in which he held
her. They became ashamed of their violence, and
she led them back to pray and to arm themselves.
In a few days they heard that Attila had paused
to besiege Orleans, and that Aetius, the Roman
general, hurrying from Italy, had united his troops
with those of the Goths and Franks, and given At-
tila so terrible a defeat at Chalons that the Huns
were fairly driven out of Gaul. And here it must
be mentioned that when the next year, 452, Attila
with his murderous host came down into Italy, and
after horrible devastation of all the northern prov-
inces, came to the gates of Rome, no one dared to
meet him but one venerable Bishop, Leo, the Pope,
who, when his flock were in transports of despair,
went forth, only accompanied by one magistrate, to
meet the invader and endeavor to turn his wrath
aside. The savage Huns were struck with awe by
the fearless majesty of the unarmed old man. They
conducted him safely to Attila, who listened to him
THE SHEPHEKD GIRL OF NANTERRE 57
with respect, and promised not to lead his people
into Rome, provided a tribute should be paid to
him. He then retreated, and, to the joy of all
Europe, died on his way back to his native domin-
But with the Huns the danger and suffering of
Europe did not end. The happy state described
in the Prophets as " dwelling safely, with none to
make them afraid " was utterly unknown in Europe
throughout the long break-up of the Roman Em-
pire; and in a few more years the Franks were
overrunning the banks of the Seine, and actually
venturing to lay siege to the Roman walls of Paris
The fortifications were strong enough, but hunger
began to do the w^ork of the besiegers, and the garri-
son, unwarlike and untrained, began to despair.
But Genevieve's courage and trust never failed;
and finding no warriors willing to run the risk of
going beyond the walls to obtain food for the
women and children who were perishing around
them, this brave shepherdess embarked alone in a
little boat, and guiding it down the stream, landed
beyond the Frankish camp, and repairing to the
different Gallic cities, she implored them to send
succor to their famished brethren. She obtained
complete success. Probably the Franks had no
means of obstructing the passage of the river, so
that a convoy of boats could easily penetrate into
the town, and at any rate they looked upon Gene-
vieve as something sacred and inspired whom they
68 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
durst not touch ; probably as one of tbe battle-maids
in whom their own myths taught them to believe.
But a city where all the valor resided in one
woman could not long hold out, and in another in-
road, when Genevieve was absent, Paris was ac-
tually seized by the Franks. Their leader, Hilperik,
was absolutely afraid of what the mysteriously
brave maiden might do to him, and commanded
the gates of the city to be carefully guarded lest
she should enter; but Genevieve learnt that some
of the chief citizens were imprisoned, and that
Hilperik intended their death, and nothing could
withhold her from making an effort in their behalf.
The Franks had made up their minds to settle,
and not to destroy. They were not burning and
slaying indiscriminately, but while despising the
Romans, as they called the Gauls, for their coward-
ice, they were in awe of their superior civilization
and knowledge of arts. The country people had
free access to the city, and Genevieve, in her homely
gown and veil, passed by Hilperik's guards without
being suspected of being more than any ordinary
Gaulish village maid ; and thus she fearlessly made
her way, even to the old Roman halls where the
long-haired Hilperik was holding his wild carousal.
Would that we knew more of that interview, —
one of the most striking that ever took place ! We
can only picture to ourselves the Roman tesselated
pavement bestrewn with wine, bones, and frag-
ments of the bnrbarous revelry. There were un-
tamed Franks, their sunburnt hair tied up in a Imot
St. Genevievk as a Child in Prayer.
From Palntbifi by /'«/'('.< de Chava7ines.
THE SHEPHERD GIRL OF NANTERRE 59
at the top of their heads, and falling down like a
horse's tail, their faces close shaven, except two
huge moustaches, and dressed in tight leather gar-
ments, with swords at their wide belts. Some slept,
some feasted, some greased their long locks, some
shouted out their favorite war-songs around the
table, which was covered with the spoils of
churches, and at their head sat the wild, long-haired
chieftain, who was a few years later driven away
by his own followers for his excesses, — the whole
scene was all that was abhorrent to a pure, devout,
and faithful nature ; most full of terror to a woman.
Yet there, in her strength, stood the peasant
maiden, her heart full of trust and pity, her looks
full of the power that is given by fearlessness of
them that can kill the body.
What she said we do not know, — we only know
that the barbarous Hilperik was overawed; he
trembled before the expostulations of the brave
woman, and granted all she asked, — the safety of
his prisoners, and mercy to the terrified inhabitants.
No wonder that the people of Paris have ever since
looked back to Genevieve as their protectress, and
that in after ages she has grown to be the patron
saint of the city.
She lived to see the son of Hilperik, Chlodweh,
or, as he was more commonly called, Clovis, marry
a Christian wife, Clotilda, and after a time become
a Christian. She saw the foundation of the cathe-
dral of Notre Dame, and of the two famous
churches of St. Denys and of St. Martin of Tours,
60 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
and gave her full share to the first efforts for bring-
ing the rude and bloodthirsty conquerors to some
knowledge of Christian faith, mercy and purity.
After a life of constant prayer and charity she died,
three months after King Clovis, in the year 512, the
eighty-ninth year of her age.
MULAN, THE MAIDEN CHIEF
A Chinese Ballad
" Say, maiden at your spinning-wheel,
Why heave that deep-drawn sigh?
Is't fear, perchance, or love you feel?
Pray tell — oh, tell me why ! "
" Nor fear nor love has moved my soul —
Away oci^Ii idle thought!
A warrior's glory is the goal
By my ambition sought.
" My father's cherished life to save,
My country to redeem,
The dangers of the field I'll brave :
I am not what I seem.
" No son has he his troop to lead,
No brother dear have I ;
So I must mount my father's steed,
And to the battle hie."
At dawn of day she quits her door,
At evening rests her head
Where loud the mountain torrents roar
And mail-clad soldiers tread.
62 HEEOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
The northern plains are gained at last,
The mountains sink from view ;
The sun shines cold, and the wintry blast
It pierces through and through.
A thousand foes around her fall,
And red blood stains the ground ;
But Mulan, who survives it all,
Eeturns with glory crowned.
Before the throne they bend the knee
In the palace of Changan,
Full many a knight of high degree,
But the bravest is Mulan.
" Nay, prince," she cries, " my duty's done,
No guerdon I desire ;
But let me to my home begone.
To cheer my aged sire."
She nears the door of her father's home,
A chief with trumpet's blare ;
But when she doffs her waving plume,
She stands a maiden fair.
/ waited for the train at Coventry;
I hung with grooms and porters on the bridge,
To watch the three tall spires; and there I shaped
The city's ancient legend into tliAs: —
Not only we, the latest seed of Time,
New men, that in the flying of a wheel
Cry down the past, not only we, that prate
Of rights and wrongs, have loved the people well.
And loathed to see them overtax'd ; but she
Did more, and underwent, and overcame.
The woman of a thousand summers back,
Godiva, wife to that grim Earl, who ruled
In Coventry ; for when he laid a tax
Upon his town, and all the mothers brought
Their children, clamoring, "If we pay, we
starve ! "
She sought her lord, and found him, where he
About the hall, among his dogs, alone,
His beard a foot before him, and his hair
A yard behind. She told him of their tears.
And pray'd him, " If they pay this tax, they
Whereat he stared, replying, half-amazed,
" You would not let your little finger ache
64 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
For sucli as these? " — " But I would die," said
He laugh'd, and swore by Peter and by Paul,
Then filip'd at the diamond in her ear :
" Oh, ay, ay, ay, you talk ! " — " Alas ! " she said,
" But prove me what it is I would not do."
And from a heart as rough as Esau's hand,
He answer'd, " Ride you naked thro' the town.
And I repeal it ; " and nodding, as in scorn.
He parted, with great strides among his dogs.
So left alone, the passions of her mind,
As winds from all the compass shift and blow,
Made war upon each other for an hour.
Till pity won. She sent a herald forth.
And bade him cry, with sound of trumpet, all
The hard condition, but that she would loose
The people ; therefore, as they loved her well.
From then till noon no foot should pace the
No eye look down, she passing, but that all
Should keep within, door shut, and window
Then fled she to her inmost bower, and there
Unclasp'd the wedded eagles of her belt.
The grim Earl's gift ; but ever at a breath
She linger'd, looking like a summer moon
Half -dipt in cloud. Anon she shook her head.
And shower'd the rippled ringlets to her knee;
Unclad herself in haste ; adown the stair
Stole on ; and like a creeping sunbeam slid
From pillar unto pillar, until she reach'd
The gateway ; there she found her palfrey trapt
In purple blazon'd with armorial gold.
Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity.
The deep air listened round her as she rode,
And all the low wind hardly breathed for fear.
The little wide-mouth"d heads upon the spout
Had cunning eyes to see ; the barking cur
Made her cheek flame ; her palfrey's footfall shot
Light horrors thro' her pulses ; the blind walls
Were full of chinks and holes ; and overhead
Fantastic gables, crowding, stared ; but she
Not less thro' all bore up, till, last, she saw
The white-flower'd elder-thicket from the field
Gleam thro' the Gothic archway in the wall.
Then she rode back, clothed on with chastity.
And one low churl, compact of thankless earth.
The fatal byword of all years to come,
Boring a little auger-hole in fear,
Peep'd — but his eyes, before they had their will.
Were shrivell'd into darkness in his head.
And dropt before him. So the Powers, who wait
On noble deeds, cancell'd a sense misused ;
And she, that knew not, pass'd ; and all at once,
With twelve great shocks of sound, the shameless
Was clash'd and hammer'd from a hundred
One after one ; but even then she gain'd
Her bower, whence reissuing, robed and crown'd,
To meet her lord, she took the tax away
And built herself an everlasting name.
THE ENGLISH MERCHANT AND THE
In the reign of Henry the First, of England,
called Beauclerc, or Fine Scholar (for he was ac-
tually so learned that he could write his own name
— a great attainment for a king, in those days),
there lived in London a rich young merchant,
named Gilbert a Becket.
In that simple old time, the wonders of science
and art, among which we walk and live just as if
they had always been — like the trees, the flowers,
the sky, and the stars — were never thought of, or
dreamed of, except by the great poets, who, maybe,
with their prophet-eyes, looked away into the far
future, and saw them looming up above the coming
ages, like mountain-peaks in the distance of a land-
scape. Then the great oceans could heave and swell
and roar and rage and toss their mad frothing
waves up at the sky, as if to defy the great God;
and then, obedient to his will, grow quiet and
smooth again — ^year after year, without one single
ship venturing over their vast expanse, to be made
afraid by their violence or flattered by their calm,
— and all the commerce of the world was scarcely
equal to that of the smallest and poorest kingdoms
of our times. Then going to sea was considered
THE ENGLISH MERCHANT 67
more perilous than going into battle; voyagers
never failed to make their wills, and set their
worldly affairs in order, before they weighed
anchor and set sail for foreign parts.
But to return to Gilbert k Becket. He was
thought a brave and adventurous man, when he left
his comfortable English home, and sailed for the
Holy Land, to trade with the rich Syrians for
satins, velvet, and gems, which he meant to bring
to England and sell at a great profit. He probably
calculated by this speculation to double his for-
tune, and perhaps be able to buy a title, and so
become one of the nobles of the land, and live in a
brave castle, where he would receive the king and
court, and entertain them in princely style. But,
alas ! titles and royal guests were not for him, and
all the castle he was ever to lay claim to, was such
" a castle in the air " as any one of us may build.
He was taken prisoner by the Turks, robbed of his
ship, sold as a slave, fettered, and set at work in
the palace gardens of Mahmoud, a terrible, fierce-
eyed, black-bearded, big-turbaned Saracen chief.
It was a very hard fortune, that of poor Gilbert.
He was obliged to toil from morning till night,
digging and spading, planting and weeding ; and all
the while, with the disadvantage of not knowing
much about the gardening business, and of having
a hea^7■ chain dragging and clanking at his ankles.
You may depend that he felt if he could get safe
back to England he would never more aspire to
castles and titles, nor trouble himself if the king
68 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
and the court never should eat a good dinner, or
shake their heels at a ball again.
But often out of our greatest misfortune come
our best good and happiness; and hope and joy
often follow times of fear and sorrow, as beautiful
rainbows are made out of storms that have just
darkened the sky, and beaten down the floAvers.
One evening, just as the muezzin from the minarets
was calling all pious Mussulmans to prayers, Gil-
bert k Becket stood leaning against a palm-tree,
resting a little from his daily toil, and thinking
longingly of his country and home. Just then, a
noble young Saracen lady, of marvelous beauty,
called Zarina, chanced that way, on her evening
walk, and was very much struck by the appearance
of the stranger. In truth, as Gilbert stood there,
leaning so gracefully against the palm, with his
pale face cast down, and his soft auburn hair, half
veiling his sad eyes, to say nothing of his long
golden eyelashes and his curling, silken moustache,
he was a very handsome and interesting young
man ; and, in spite of that coarse gardener's dress,
and that slavish chain, looked as proud and noble
as a prince.
Zarina thought so, and, though very modest and
timid, drew near to speak a few kind words to him.
He looked up, at the sound of her light step, and,
for the first time in many months, he smiled, glad-
dened by the sight of her beautiful, innocent face.
They soon grew to be excellent friends and man-
aged to meet often, and have long walks and talks
THE ENGLISH MEKCHANT 69
in the sliaded alleys and bowers of Mahmoud's gar-
dens. They first talked of the birds and flowers;
then of the stars and the moonlight; then of love,
and then of God. Gilbert told Zarina of the Chris-
tian's blessed faith, and related all the beautiful
and marvelous stories of our Lord Jesus; and
Zarina wondered, and wept, and believed.
Gilbert had learned the Saracen language and
spoke it very well ; but Zarina did not understand
the English at all. The first word of it that ever
she spoke was " yes" which Gilbert taught her to
say when he asked her if she would be his wife,
whenever he could gain his freedom. But month
after month — a whole year — went by, and Gilbert
was still a captive.
One day, when Zarina met her lover in a shady
garden- walk, she said, in a low, gentle voice, and
with her tender eyes cast down, " I am a Christian
now, dear Gilbert; — I pray to thy God morning
and night. Thou knowest I am an orphan. I love
no one in all the world but thee ; then why should
I stay here? Why shouldst thou linger longer in
bondage? Let us both fly to England. God will
gTiide us safely over the wide, dark waters ; for we
are Christians, and need not fear anything. I will
meet thee to-night, on the seashore, and bring gold
and jewels enough to purchase a vessel and hire a
skilful crew. And when, O my Gilbert, we are
afloat on the broad blue sea, sailing toward thy
home, thou wilt bless me, and love me; wilt thou
70 HEEOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
The mercliant kissed tlie maiden's hand, and
promised tx) meet her on the strand, at the ap-
pointed hour. And he did not fail; but long he
walked the lonely shore, and no light-footed Zarina
came flitting through the deep night-shadows, and
stealing to his side. North, south, east and west he
looked; but all in vain. The night was clear, the
winds whispered low, the little waves slid up the
shining shore, and seemed to invite him to sail away
over them, to the great sea beyond; but the stars
overhead twinkled so merrily, and winked so know-
ingly, that he almost fancied they had betrayed the
story of his and Zarina's love and intended flight.
At length he heard a quick, light step, and sprang
forward with a joyful cry. Alas ! it was not Zarina,
but her faithful nurse, Safie, who came to tell him
that Zarina's love had been discovered, that her
kinsmen had confined her in a strong, guarded
tower, and that he must escape alone. She sent
him a casket of gold and gems, with a promise that
as soon as possible she would make her escape and
come to him in London.
There really was nothing for Gilbert k Becket to
do but to accept Zarina's casket of jewels, and fol-
low her advice. So, after sending her many loving
farewell messages by Safi^, he went.
He had a prosperous voyage, and reached Lon-
don in safety, where he gave his friends a joyful
surprise ; for they had given him up for dead.
Year after year went by, and still he saw nothing,
heard nothing, of his noble Saracen love, Zarina;
THE ENGLISH MERCHANT 11
and at last he grew to think of her very sorrow-
fully and tenderly, as of one dead. But Zarina
lived, and lived for him whom she loved, and who
had taught her to love God. For years she was
kept imprisoned in that lonely, guarded tower, near
the sea, where she could only put her sorrow into
mournful songs, and sigh her love out on the winds
that blew toward England, and gaze up at the
bright, kindly stars, and pray for Gilbert. But
one night, while the guard slept, the brave maiden
stole out on to the parapet, and leaped down many
feet, to the ground below. She soon sprang up,
unharmed, and made her way to the strand, when
she took passage on a foreign vessel for Stamboul.
Now, all the English that this poor girl remembered
were the words ^^ Gilbert " and " London" These
she repeated, in sad, pleading, inquiring tones, to
every one she met ; but nobody understood what she
meant by them.
From Stamboul she went on her weary, wander-
ing way, from port to port and city to city, till she
had journeyed through many strange countries, re-
peating, everywhere, those two words of English;
but all in vain; for, though everybody had heard
of London, none knew Gilbert. Yet the people were
very kind, and gave her food and shelter, out of
pity for her sad face, and in return for the sweet
songs which she sung.
At length, after many months of lonely and toil-
some wandering, she reached England, and found
herself amidst the busy, hurrying throngs of Lon-
72 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
don. She gazed about her bewildered, and almost
despairing, at finding it so large a place ; — it would
be so much the harder to find him. Yet still, pa-
tiently and steadily, up and down the long streets,
she went — through market-place and square — past
churches and palaces — singing her mournful songs
— speaking softly, and more and more sadly, the one
beloved word, '" Gilbert! "
One evening, as Gilbert k Becket, the rich mer-
chant, sat at the banquet table in his splendid
London house, entertaining a gay company of rich
and noble guests, a servant brought him word that
a beautiful Saracen maiden, pale and sorrowful-
looking, stood in the square without, singing sad
songs, and repeating his name over and over. In
a moment Gilbert thought of his beloved Zarina,
and, springing up from the table, he rushed out of
his brilliant hall, into the street, where poor Zarina
stood, with her long, dark hair glistening with the
chill night-dew, and her sweet face looking very
white and tearful in the moonlight.
He knew her at a glance, though she was sadly
changed from the fair young girl he had left in the
gardens of Mahmoud, as gay-hearted as the birds,
and as blooming as the flowers. He called her
name, he caught her in his arms, and the next time
that she spoke the dear word " Gilbert ! " she mur-
mured it against his heart, while his lips pressed
her cheeks, and his eyes dropped happy, loving
tears upon her brow. He took her into his princely
house, and it became her home from that hour.
THE ENGLISH MERCHANT 73
She was baptized, and took the Christian name of
Matilda ; but Gilbert always called her Zarina ; for
he said he loved that best.
The faithful lovers were married, and lived to-
gether for many years, happy, honored, and be-
loved. Their eldest son, Thomas k Becket, was a
powerful and renowned archbishop in the reign of
Henry the Second.
And so ends the true story of the " English Mer-
chant and the Saracen Lady."
THE WOMEN OF WEINSBERG
Adelbert von Chamisso
It was the good King Konracl with all his army
Before the town of Weinsberg full many a weary
The Guelph at last was vanquished, but still the
town held out;
The bold and fearless burghers they fought with
But then came hunger ! hunger, that was a griev-
They went to ask for favor, but anger met their
" Through you the dust hath bitten full many a
And if your gates you open, the sword shall you
requite ! "
Then came the women, praying : " Lot be as thou
Yet give us women quarter, for we no blood have
At sight of these poor wretches the hero's anger
And soft compassion entered and in his heart
THE WOMEN OF WEINSBERG 16
" Tlie women shall be pardoned, and each, with her
As much as she can carry of her most precious
The women with their burdens unhindered forth
Such is our royal judgment — we swear it shall
be so ! "
At early dawn next morning, ere yet the east was
The soldiers saw advancing a strange and won-
The gates swung slowly open, and from the van-
Forth swayed a long procession of women
weighted down ;
For perched upon her shoulders each did her hus-
band bear —
That was the thing most precious of all her house-
" We'll stop the treacherous women ! " cried all
with one intent ;
The chancellor he shouted : " This was not what
we meant ! "
But when they told King Konrad, the good Xing
" If this was not our meaning, they've made it so,"
76 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" A promise is a promise, our loyal word was
It stands, and no Lord Chancellor may quibble
or may hedge."
Thus was the royal scutcheon kept free from
stain or blot !
The story has descended from days now half for-
'Twas eleven hundred and forty this happened, as
The flower of German princes thought shame to
break his word.
THE BRAVE WOMEN OP TANN
William James Linton
Sate the heavy burghers
In their gloomy hall,
Pondering all the dangers
Likelj^ to befall, —
Ward they yet or yield the strangers
Their beleaguer'd wall.
*' All our trade is ruin'd :
Saw I this afar, —
Said I not — our markets
Month-long siege will mar?
Let not our good town embark its
Fortunes on this war.
" Now our folly takes us :
War first hath his share,
Famine now; who dreameth
Bankrupts can repair
Double loss? or likely seemeth
Victors should despair?
" And our trade is ruin'd :
Little that remains
Let us save, to hearse us
78 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
From these bloody pains,
Ere the wrathful foe amerce us
Of our farthest gains ! "
Up and speaks young Hermann
With the flushing cheek —
" Shame were it to render :
Though the wall be weak " —
Say the old men — " Let us end or
Certain death we seek ! "
In their gloomy chamber
Thus their councils wend: —
" Five of our most trusted
With the morn descend;
Say — So peace may be adjusted
Chained lives we'll spend.
" Now home to our women !
They'll be glad to learn
We have weigh'd so gravely
' Peace ' hath flll'd the urn :
Though in truth they've born them
In this weary turn."
Home unto their women ;
But each burgher found
Scorn in place of smiling ;
For each good-wife frown'd
On this coward reconciling,
Peace with honour bound.
THE BRAVE WOMEN OF TANN 79
In their morrow's council
Woman voices rise ;
" Count ye babes and women
But as merchandise,
To be traffick'd Avith the foemen, —
Things of such a price?
" We will man your ramparts;
Ye, who are not men,
Go hide in your coffers !
W^e will call you when " —
Slid home 'mid the crowd of scoffers
Those five heralds then.
In the morrow's danger
Women take their share ;
Many a sad grey morning
Found them watching there :
Till we learn'd from their high scornmg
To make light of care.
Chief with our gaunt warders
Hermann's young Betrothed
Pass'd like Victory's Splendour, —
In bright courage clothed :
Fear hid, fearful to offend her.
Knowing himself loathed.
Blinding red the sunset!
In that hopeful breast
Stay'd the foeman's arrow.
80 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
So 'twas won. The rest —
How Despair in strait most narrow
Smote the Conqueror's crest —
Matters not. Our women
Drove him to his den.
'Twas his last invasion;
We've had peace since then. —
This is why on State occasion
They precede our men.
WiLUAM Wetmore Story
From the private gateway stealing,
Timidly, with cautious care,
In her hood her face concealing.
Glancing round her everywhere,
Where the narrow pathway leadeth
To the wood beyond the heath,
On her pious errand speedeth
In her mantle she hath hidden
Bread to carry to the poor ;
Yet her mission is forbidden,
And she cannot feel secure, —
Trembling lest the hunt be over,
And returning with his band,
Full of wrath, her lord discover
She hath broken his command.
Only yesterday he swore it, —
Should she dare to disobey.
She should bitterly deplore it
Ere the closing of the day.
Yet one thought her bosom saddens.
Till it makes her heart to bleed,
And the flower that sunshine gladdens
Pities the neglected weed.
82 HEROINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
Pity for the starving pleadeth
Ever in her gentle heart,
From the table luxury spreadeth
She would give to them a part ;
Vain and wicked seems the splendor
That she daily round her sees,
If to them she may not tender
Even life's necessities.
Not a single eye hath seen her
Since she left the postern gate,
None but his whose hand can screen her
From the barbed shaft of fate.
On she goes, — a thoughtful beauty
Sleeps within her serious face.
And the inward sense of duty
Lends her an angelic grace.
Suddenly she stops and listens,
For a rustling step is near.
And the glancing sunlight glistens
On a hunter's brandished spear.
As in trembling fear she pauses,
Like a ship before it strands,
Suddenly her path he crosses,
And her lord before her stands.
Fiercely then his dark eyes lowered.
And her very heart grew weak,
As before his glance she cowered,
Daring not a word to speak ;
SAINT ELIZABETH 88
As the hawk upon the heron,
Ere he stoopeth down the air,
On the lady gazed the Baron,
And he said, " What have you there? "
Then she stood, all unresistant,
Knowing hope from earth was vain,
And the heavens to her seemed distant
In that hour of bitter pain.
For a moment, bowed with sadness,
Prayed she to herself alone.
Then a smile of holy gladness
Over all her features shone.
Passed the pain of her endurance.
But it left a pensive grace.
And a look of sweet assurance
Through it gleamed upon her face,
As the twilight's serious splendor
Looks through fading summer showers,
And she said, in accents tender,
" Pardon — they are only flowers."
" Silly lie ! " he muttered, sneering,
As with sudden grasp he tore
From her hands the mantle, bearing
All its charitable store, —
When, in fragrant showers escaping,
Roses strewed the greensward there.
And the curse his lip was shaping
Changed into a silent prayer.
84 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Down before her then he bended,
And the miracle confessed,
And the hand that she extended
Humbly to his lips he pressed.
Saying, " 'Tis the will of Heaven,
And I can oppose no more, —
Half my wealth henceforth be given
To relieve the sick and poor."
BLACK AGNES OF DUNBAR
Sir Walter Scott
Among the warlike exploits of this period, we
must not forget the defense of the castle of Dunbar
by the celebrated Countess of March. Her lord
had embraced the side of David Bruce and had
taken the field with the Regent. The countess, who
from her complexion was termed Black Agnes, by
which name she is still familiarly remembered, was
a high-spirited and courageous woman, the daugh-
ter of Thomas Randolph, Earl of Murray, and the
heiress of his valor and patriotism. The castle of
Dunbar itself was very strong, being built upon a
chain of rocks stretching into the sea, and having
only one passage to the mainland, which was well
fortified. It was besieged by Montague, Earl of
Salisbury, who employed to destroy its walls great
military engines, constructed to throw huge stones,
with which machines fortifications were attacked
before the use of cannon.
Black Agnes set all his attempts at defiance,
and showed herself with her maids on the walls of
the castle, wiping the places where the huge stones
fell with a clean towel, as if they could do no ill to
her castle, save raising a little dust, which a napkin
could wipe away.
86 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
The Earl of Salisbury then commanded his en-
gineers to bring forward to the assault an engine
of another kind, being a sort of wooden shed, or
house, rolled forward on wheels, with a roof of
peculiar strength, which, from resembling the
ridge of a hog's bacli, occasioned the machine to be
called a sow. This, according to the old mode of
warfare, was thrust close up to the walls of a be-
sieged castle or city, and served to protect from
the arrows and stones of the besieged a party of
soldiers placed within the sow, who, being thus de-
fended, were in the meanwhile employed in under-
mining the wall, or breaking an entrance through it
with pickaxes and mining tools. When the Countess
of March saw this engine advanced to the walls of
the castle, she called out to the Earl of Salisbury
in derision and making a kind of rhyme :
For farrow shall thy sow. ' '
At the same time she made a signal, and a huge
fragment of rock which hung prepared for the pur-
pose, was dropped down from the wall upon the
sow, whose roof was thus dashed to pieces. As the
English soldiers, who had been within it, were
running as fast as they could to get out of the way
of the arrows and stones which were discharged on
them from the wall, Black Agnes called out, " Be-
hold the litter of English pigs ! "
The Earl of Salisbury could jest also on such
serious occasions. One day he rode near the walls
BLACK AGNES OF DUNBAR 87
with a knight dressed in armor of proof, having
three folds of mail over an acton, or leathern
jacket ; notwithstanding which, one William Spens
shot an arrow from the battlements of the castle
with such force, that it penetrated all these de-
fenses, and reached the heart of the wearer. " That
is one of my lady's love-tokens," said the Earl, as
he saw the knight fall dead from his horse.
" Black Agnes's love-shafts pierce to the heart."
Upon another occasion the Countess of March
had well-nigh made the Earl of Salisbury her pris-
oner. She caused one of her people to enter into
treaty with the besiegers, pretending to betray the
castle. Trusting to this agreement, the earl came
at midnight before the gate, which he found open,
and the portcullis drawn up. As Salisbury was
about to enter, one John Copland, a squire of
Northumberland, pressed on before him, and as
soon as he passed the threshold, the portcullis was
dropped, and thus the Scots missed their principal
prey, and made prisoner only a person of inferior
At length the castle of Dunbar was relieved by
Alexander Ramsay of Dalwolsy, who brought the
countess supplies by sea both of men and provi-
sions. The Earl of Salisbury, learning this, de-
spaired of success, and raised the siege, which had
lasted nineteen weeks. The minstrels made songs
in praise of the perseverance and courage of Black
Agnes. The following lines are nearly the sense of
what is preserved :
88 HEKOINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
* ' She kept a stir in tower and trench,
That brawling boisterous Scottish wench ;
Came I early, came I late,
I found Agnes at the gate."
THE SOUL OF THE GREAT BELL
The water-clock marks tlie hour in tlie Ta-chung
sz' — in the Tower of the Great Bell : now the mallet
is lifted to smite the lips of the metal monster — the
vast lips inscribed with Buddhist texts from the
sacred " Fa-hwa-King," from the chapters of the
holy " Ling-yen-Iving " ! Hear the great bell re-
sponding! — how mighty her voice, though tongue-
less ! — Ko-Ngai ! All the little dragons on the high-
tilted eaves of the green roofs shiver to the tips of
their gilded tails under that deep wave of sound;
all the porcelain gargoyles tremble on their carven
perches ; all the hundred little bells of the pagodas
quiver with desire to speak. Ko-Ngai! — all the
green-and-gold tiles of the temple are vibrating;
the wooden gold-fish above them are writhing
against the slvy; the uplifted finger of Fo shakes
high over the heads of the worshippers through the
blue fog of incense! Ko-Ngai! — What a thunder
tone was that! All the lacquered goblins on the
palace cornices wriggle their fire-colored tongues!
And after each huge shock, how wondrous the mul-
tiple echo and the great golden moan and, at last,
the sudden sibilant sobbing in the ears when the
90 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
immense tone faints away in broken whispers of
silver — as tkough. a woman should whisper,
" Hiai! " Even so the great bell hath sounded every
day for well-nigh five hundred years — Ko-l^gai:
first with stupendous clang, then with immeasur-
able moan of gold, then with silver murmuring of
'' Hiai! " And there is not a child in all the many-
colored ways of the old Chinese city who does not
know the story of the great bell — ^who cannot tell
you why t*he great bell says Ko-Ngai and Hiai!
Now, this is the story of the great bell in the
Ta-chung sz% as the same is related in the " Pe-
Hiao-Tou-Choue," written by the learned Yu-Pao-
Tchen, of the city of Kwang-tchau-fu.
Nearly five hundred years ago the Celestially
August, the Son of Heaven, Yong-Lo, of the " Il-
lustrious," or Ming, dynasty, commanded the
worthy official Kouan-Yu that he should have a
bell made of such size that the sound thereof might
be heard for one hundred U. And he further or-
dained that the voice of the bell should be strength-
ened with brass, and deepened with gold, and sweet-
ened with silver ; and that the face and the great lips
of it should be graven with blessed sayings from
the sacred books, and that it should be suspended
in the center of the imperial capital, to sound
through all the many-colored ways of the city of
Therefore the worthy mandarin Kouan-Yu as-
sembled the master-moulders and the renowned bell-
THE SOUL OF THE GREAT BELL 91
smiths of the empire, and all men of great repute
and cunning in foundry work ; and they measured
the materials for the alloy, and treated them skil-
fully, and prepared the moulds, the fires, the instru-
ments, and the monstrous melting-pot for fusing
the metal. And they labored exceedingly, like
giants, neglecting only rest and sleep and the
comforts of life; toiling both night and day in
obedience to Kouan-Yu, and striving in all things
to do the behest of the Son of Heaven.
But when the metal had been cast, and the
earthen mould separated from the glowing casting,
it was discovered that, despite their great labor and
ceaseless care, the result was void of worth ; for the
metals had rebelled one against the other — the gold
had scorned alliance with the brass, the silver
would not mingle with the molten iron. Therefore
the moulds had to be once more prepared, and the
fires rekindled, and the metal remelted, and all the
work tediously and toilsomely repeated. The Son
of Heaven heard, and was angry, but spake nothing.
A second time the bell was cast, and the result
was even worse. Still the metals obstinately re-
fused to blend one with the other; and there was
no uniformity in the bell, and the sides of it were
cracked and fissured, and the lips of it were slagged
and split asunder ; so that all the labor had to be
repeated even a third time, to the great dismay of
Kouan-Yu. And when the Son of Heaven heard
these things, he was angrier than before ; and sent
his messenger to Xouan-Yu with a letter, written
92 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
upon lemon-colored silk, and sealed with the seal of
the Dragon, containing these words :
"From the Mighty Yong-Lo, the Sublime Tait-
Sung, the Celestial and August — whose reign is
called 'Ming' — to Kouan-Yu the Fuh-yin: Twice
thou hast betrayed the trust we have deigned gra-
ciously to place in thee; if thou fail a third time in
fulfilling our command, thy head shall be severed
from thy neck. Tremble and obey! "
Now, Kouan-Yu had a daughter of dazzling love-
liness, whose name — ^Ko-Ngai — was ever in the
mouths of poets, and whose heart was even more
beautiful than her face. Ko-Ngai loved her father
with such love that she had refused a hundred
worthy suitors rather than make his home desolate
by her absence; and when she had seen the awful
yellow missive, sealed with the Dragon-Seal, she
fainted away with fear for her father's sake. And
when her senses and her strength returned to her,
she could not rest or sleep for thinking of her par-
ent's danger, until she had secretly sold some of
her jewels, and with the money so obtained had has-
tened to an astrologer, and paid him a great price
to advise her by what means her father might be
saved from the peril impending over him. So the
astrologer made observations of the heavens, and
marked the aspect of the Silver Stream (which we
call the Milky Way), and examined the signs of
the Zodiac — the Hwang-tao, or Yellow Road — and
THE SOUL OF THE GREAT BELL 93
consult€d the table of tlie five Hin, or Principles of
the Universe, and the mystical books of the alche-
mists. And after a long silence, he made answer to
her, saying, " Gold and brass will never meet in
wedlock, silver and iron never will embrace, until
the flesh of a maiden be melted in the crucible ; un-
til the blood of a virgin be mixed with the metals in
their fusion." So Ko-Ngai returned home sorrow-
ful at heart; but she kept secret all that she had
heard, and told no one what she had done.
At last came the awful day when the third and
last effort to cast the great bell was to be made ; and
Ko-Ngai, together with her waiting-woman, accom-
panied her father to the foundry, and they took
their places upon a platform overlooking the toil-
ing of the moulders and the lava of liquefied metal.
All the workmen wrought their tasks in silence;
there was no sound heard but the muttering of the
fires. And the muttering deepened into a roar like
the roar of typhoons approaching, and the blood-
red lake of metal slowly brightened like the ver-
milion of a sunrise, and the vermilion was trans-
muted into a radiant glow of gold, and the gold
whitened blindingly, like the silver face of a full
moon. Then the workers ceased to feed the raving
flame, and all fixed their eyes upon the eyes of
Kouan-Yu; and Kouan-Yu prepared to give the
signal to cast.
But ere ever he lifted his finger, a. cry caused him
to turn his head ; and all heard the voice of Ko-Ngai
94 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
sounding sharply sweet as a bird's song above the
great thunder of the fires — "For thy sake, my
father! " And even as she cried, she leaped into
the white flood of metal ; and the lava of the fur-
nace roared to receive her, and spattered monstrous
flakes of flame to the roof, and burst over the verge
of the earthen crater, and cast up a whirling foun-
tain of many-colored fires, and subsided quakingly,
with lightnings and with thunders and with mut-
Then the father of Ko-Ngai, wild with his grief,
would have leaped in after her, but that strong men
held him back, and kept firm grasp upon him until
he had fainted away and they could bear him like
one dead to his home. And the serving-woman of
Ko-Ngai, dizzy and speechless for pain, stood before
the furnace, still holding in her hands a shoe, a tiny,
dainty shoe, with embroidery of pearls and flowers
— the shoe of her beautiful mistress that was. For
she had sought to grasp Ko-Ngai by the foot as she
leaped, but had only been able to clutch the shoe,
and the pretty shoe came off in her hand ; and she
continued to stare at it like one gone mad.
But in spite of all these things, the command of
the Celestial and August had to be obeyed, and the
work of the moulders to be finished, hopeless as the
result might be. Yet the glow of the metal seemed
purer and whiter than before; and there was no
sign of the beautiful body that had been entombed
therein. So the ponderous casting was made ; and
THE SOUL OF THE GREAT BELL 95
lo! when tlie metal had become cool, it was found
that the bell was beautiful to look upon, and perfect
in form, and wonderful in color above all other
bells. Nor was there any trace found of the body
of Ko-Xgai ; for it had been totally absorbed by the
precious alloy, and blended with the well-blended
brass and gold, with the intermingling of the silver
and the iron. And when they sounded the bell, its
tones were found to be deeper and mellower and
mightier than the tones of any other bell — reaching
even beyond the distance of one hundred lij like a
pealing of summer thunder ; and yet also like some
vast voice uttering a name, a woman's name — the
name of Ko-Ngai !
And still, between each mighty stroke, there is a
long low moaning heard; and ever the moaning
ends with a sound of sobbing and of complaining,
as though a weeping woman should murmur
"Him! " And still, when the people hear that
great golden moan they keep silence ; but when the
sharp, sweet, shuddering comes in the air, and the
sobbing of "Hkii! " then, indeed, do all the Chinese
mothers in all the many-colored ways of Pe-king
whisper to their little ones: ''Listen! that is Ko-
Ngai crying for her shoe! That is Ko-Ngai calling
for her shoe! "
A LEGEND OF BREGEKZ
Adelaide A. Proctor
Girt round with rugged mountains
The fair Lake Constance lies ;
In her Jblue heart reflected
Shine back the starry skies ;
And, watching each white cloudlet
Float silently and slow,
You think a piece of Heaven
Lies on our earth below !
Midnight is there ; and Silence,
Enthroned in Heaven, looks down
Upon her own calm mirror,
Upon a sleeping town :
For Bregenz, that quaint city
Upon the Tyrol shore.
Has stood above Lake Constance
A thousand years and more.
Her battlements and towers,
From off their rocky steep,
Have cast their trembling shadow
For ages on the deep :
Mountain, and lake, and valley,
A sacred legend know.
Of how the town was saved, one night,
Three hundred years ago.
A LEGEND OF BKEGENZ 97
Far from her home and kindred
A Tyrol maid had fled,
To serve in the Swiss valleys,
And toil for daily bread ;
And every year that fleeted
So silently and fast,
Seemed to bear farther from her
The memory of the Past.
She served kind, gentle masters,
Nor asked for rest or change ;
Her friends seemed no more new ones,
Their speech seemed no more strange ;
And when she led her cattle
To pasture every day,
She ceased to look and wonder
On which side Bregenz lay.
She spoke no more of Bregenz,
With longing and with tears ;
Her Tyrol home seemed faded
In a deep mist of years ;
She heeded not the rumors
Of Austrian war and strife,
Each day she rose, contented,
To the calm toils of life.
Yet, when her master's children
Would clustering round her stand
She sang them ancient ballads
Of her own native land :
98 HEKOINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
And when at morn and evening
She knelt before God's throne,
The accents of her childhood
Rose to her lips alone.
And so she dwelt ; the valley
More peaceful year by year ;
When suddenly strange portents
Of some great deed seemed near.
The golden corn was bending
Upon its fragile stock,
WMle farmers, heedless of their fields,
Paced up and down in talk.
The men seemed stern and altered,
With looks cast on the ground ;
With anxious faces, one by one,
The women gathered round ;
All talk of flax, or spinning.
Or work, was put away.
The very children seemed afraid
To go alone to play.
One day, out in the meadow
With strangers from the town,
Some secret plan discussing,
The men walked up and down.
Yet now and then seemed watching
A strange uncertain gleam.
That looked like lances 'mid the trees
That stood below the stream.
A LEGEND OF BREGENZ 99
At eve they all assembled,
Tlien care and doubt were fled ;
With jovial laugh they feasted ;
The board was nobly spread.
The elder of the village
Rose up, his glass in hand,
And cried, " We drink the downfall
Of an accursed land !
" The night is growing darker,
Ere one more day is flown,
Bregenz, our foemen's stronghold,
Bregenz shall be our own ! "
The women shrank in terror,
(Yet Pride, too, had her part,)
But one poor Tyrol maiden
Felt death within her heart.
Before her stood fair Bregenz ;
Once more her towers arose ;
What were the friends beside her?
Only her country's foes !
The faces of her kinsfolk,
The days of childhood flown.
The echoes of her mountains,
Reclaimed her as their own !
Nothing she heard around her,
(Though shouts rang forth again,)
Gone were the green Swiss valleys,
The pasture, and the plain ;
100 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Before lier eyes one vision,
And in her heart one cry,
That said, *' G-o forth, save Bregenz,
And then, if need be, die ! "
With trembling haste and breathless,
With noiseless step, she sped ;
Horses and weary cattle
Were standing in the shed ;
She loosed the strong, white charger,
That fed from out her hand,
She mounted, and she turned his head
Towards her native land.
Out — out into the darkness —
Faster, and still more fast ;
The smooth grass flies behind her,
The chestnut wood is past ;
She looks up ; clouds are heavy :
Why is her steed so slow? —
Scarcely the wind beside them
Can pass them as they go.
" Faster ! " she cries, " O faster ! "
Eleven the church-bells chime:
" O God," she cries, " help Bregenz,
And bring me there in time ! "
But louder than bells' ringing.
Or lowing of the kine,
Grows nearer in the midnight
The rushing: of the Rhine.
A LEGEND OF BREGENZ 101
Sliall not tlie roaring waters
Their headlong gallop check?
The steed draws back in terror,
She leans upon his neck
To watch the flowing darkness ;
The bank is high and steep ;
One pause — ^he staggers forward,
And plunges in the deep.
She strives to pierce the blackness,
And looser throws the rein ;
Her steed must breast the waters
That dash above his mane.
How gallantly, how nobly,
He struggles through the foam,
And see — in the far distance
Shine out the lights of home !
Up the steep banks he bears her,
And now, they rush again
Towards the heights of Bregenz,
That tower above the plain.
They reach the gate of Bregenz,
Just as the midnight rings,
And out come serf and soldier
To meet the news she brings.
Bregenz is saved ! ere daylight
Her battlements are manned ;
Defiance greets the army
That marches on the land.
102 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
And if to deeds heroic
Should endless fame be paid,
Bregenz does well to honor
The noble Tyrol maid.
Three hundred years are vanished.
And yet upon the hill
An old stone gateway rises,
To do her honor still.
And there, when Bregenz women
Sit spinning in the shade,
They see in quaint old carving
The Charger and the Maid.
And when, to guard old Bregenz,
By gateway, street, and tower.
The warder paces all night long
And calls each passing hour ;
" Nine," " ten," " eleven," he cries aloud.
And then (O crown of Fame!)
When midnight pauses in the skies.
He calls the maiden's name !
THE FAREWELL OF JOAN OF ARC
Faeewbll^ ye mountains, ye beloved glades,
Ye lone and peaceful valleys, fare ye well !
Through you Johanna never more may stray !
For aye, Johanna bids you now farewell.
Ye meads which I have water'd and ye trees
Which I have planted, still in beauty bloom !
Farewell, ye grottos, and ye crystal springs !
Sweet echo, vocal spirit of the vale.
Who sang'st responsive to my simi^le strain,
Johanna goes, and ne'er returns again.
Ye scenes where all my tranquil joys I knew,
Forever now I leave you far behind !
Poor foldless lambs, no shepherd now have you !
O'er the wide heath stray henceforth unconfln'd !
For I to danger's field, of crimson hue.
Am summon'd hence, another flock to find.
Such is to me the Spirit's high behest ;
'No earthly vain ambition fires my breast.
For who in glory did on Horeb's height
Descend to Moses in the bush of flame.
And bade him go and stand in Pharaoh's sight —
Who once to Israel's pious shepherd came,
And sent him forth, his champion in the fight, —
104 HEEOESTES OF HISTOBT A]S"D LEGEND
Who aye hatli loved the lowly shepherd train, —
He, from these leafy boughs, thus spake to me,
" Go forth ! Thou shalt on earth my witness be.
" Thou in rude armor must thy limbs invest,
A plate of steel upon thy bosom wear ;
Vain earthly love may never stir thy breast,
Nor passion's sinful glow be kindled there.
Ne'er with the bride-wreath shall thy locks be
Nor on thy bosom bloom an infant fair ;
But war's triumphant glory shall be thine ;
Thy martial fame all women's shall outshine.
" For when in fight the stoutest hearts despair.
When direful ruin threatens France, forlorn,
Then thou aloft my oriflamme shalt bear,
And swiftly as the reaper mows the corn.
Thou shalt lay low the haughty conqueror ;
His fortune's wheel thou rapidly shalt turn.
To Gaul's heroic sons deliv'rance bring,
Believe beleaguer'd Rheims, and crown thy
king ! "
The heavenly Spirit promised me a sign ;
He sends the helmet, it hath come from him.
Its iron filleth me with strength divine,
I feel the courage of the cherubim ;
As with the rushing of a mighty wind
It drives me forth to join the battle's din ;
The clanging trumpets sound, the chargers rear,
And the loud war-cry thunders in mine ear.
A BALLAD OF ORLEANS
A. Mary F. Robinson
The fray began at tlie middle-gate,
Between the night and the day ;
Before the matin bell was rung
The foe was far away.
No knight in all the land of France
Could gar that foe to flee,
Till up there rose a young maiden,
And drove them to the sea.
Sixty forts around Orleans town,
And sixty forts of stone!
Sixty forts at our gates last night —
To-day there is not one!
Talbot, Suffolk, and Pole are fled
Beyond the Loire, in fear —
Many a captain who would not drink
Hath drunken deeply there —
Many a captain is fallen and drowned.
And many a knight is dead,
And many die in the misty dawn
While the forts are burning red.
Sixty forts around Orleans town,
And siwty forts of stone!
Sixty forts at our gates last night-
To-day there is not one!
106 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
The blood ran off our spears all night
As the rain runs off the roofs —
God rest their souls that fell i' the fight
Among our horses' hoofs !
They came to rob us of our own
With sword and spear and lance,
They fell and clutched the stubborn earth,
And bit the dust of France !
Sixty forts around Orleans town,
And sixty forts of stone!
Sixty forts at our gates last night —
To-day there is not one!
We fought across the moonless dark
Against their unseen hands —
A knight came out of Paradise
And fought among our bands.
Fight on, O maiden knight of God !
Fight on and never tire.
For lo ! the misty break o' the day
Sees all their forts on fire !
Sixty forts around Orleans town,
And sixty forts of stone!
Sixty forts at our gates last night —
To-day there is not one!
Thunder of riotous hoofs over tlie quaking sod ;
Clash of reeking squadrons, steel-capped, iron-
The White Maid and the white horse, and the
flapping banner of God.
Black hearts riding for money; red hearts riding
The Maid who rides for France, and the King
who rides for shame —
Gentlemen, fools, and a saint riding in Christ's
"Dust to dust!" it is written. Wind-scattered
are lance and bow,
Dust, the Cross of St. George ; dust, the banner of
The bones of the King are crumbled, and rotted
the shafts of the foe.
Forgotten, the young knight's valor; forgotten,
the captain's skill ;
Forgotten, the fear and the hate and the mailed
hands raised to kill ;
Forgotten, the shields that clashed and the ar-
rows that cried so shrill.
108 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Like a story from some old book, that battle of
Shadows, the poor French King and the might of
his English foe;
Shadows, the charging nobles, and the archers
kneeling a-row —
But a flame in my heart and my eyes, the Maid
with her banner of snow !
THE KING'S TRAGEDY
James I of Scots, 20th February, 1437
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
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. 'Twas 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 chambere.
Aye, 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.
110 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
For the elder Prince, tlie 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
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
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 111
His Scottish 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 Scottish 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.
'Twas 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.
112 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
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 Scottish 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 louring 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 many a lordly wrong-doer
By the headsman's axe had died.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 113
'Twas then upspoke Sir Robert Graeme,
The bold o'erinastering mau : —
" 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 Scottish 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
Nor doth it avow thy gage.
Let my liege lords hale this traitor hence ! "
The Graeme 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.
114 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
And word there came from Sir Robert Graeme
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 Scottish 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.
THE KING'S TKAGEDY 115
And was it only the tossing f ui'ze
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.
'Twas 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 Scottish 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 Inchkcith Isle
I saw thee pass in the breeze,
With the cerecloth risen above thy feet
And wound about thy knees.
116 HEROESTES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" 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
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.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 117
At last lie 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
And I said, " The Heavens know all."
118 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
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,
Twas in the Charterhouse of Perth
That the King and all his Court
Were met, the Christmas Feast being done,
For solace and disport.
'Twas 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.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 119
Yet the traitor Christoplier Chaumber there
Would fain have told hiin 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 i)oison 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 Scottish ground,
And those Kings are I and you.
120 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" 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 Kiiight laughed, and the Queen, too,
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
'Twas the nightingale that sang.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 121
" 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 hands 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 as her humble creature.
122 HEROmES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Thus fell my blissful aventure
In youth of love that from day to day
Flowereth aye new, and further I say.
« q^Q reckon all the circumstance
As it happed when lessen gan my sore,
Of my rancor and woful chance,
It were too long — / 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/^
" Aye, even from death./' to myself I said ;
For I thouglit of tlie 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 then sang of the pit
That is under Fortune's wheel.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 123
" 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 thouglit called up again
These words of the changeful song : —
Wist thou thy pain and thy travail
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.
124 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
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.
'Twas then a knock came at the outer gate,
And the usher sought the King.
" The woman you met by the Scottish 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 of the courtly train
Was Robert Stuart the chamberlain
Who had sold his sovereign lord.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 125
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 clamored 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.
126 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
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
As for bitter dule to dree;
And all of us knew the woman's voice
Who spoke by the Scottish 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.
THE KING'S TKAGEDY 127
" 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 iu 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 a 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 Graeme.
128 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Yea, from the country of tlie Wild Scots,
O'er mountain, valley, and glen,
He had brought with him in murderous league
Three hundred armed men.
The King knew all in an instant's flash.
And like a King did he stand ;
But there was no armor 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 ! ''
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 129
" For her sake most ! " I cried, aud 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 harboring."
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.
130 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
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 shiji 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 !
'Twas 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.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 131
Behind the door I had falFn and lay,
Yet my sense was wildly 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
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 tell 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 Graeme'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.
132 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
And forth flowed all the throng like a sea,
And 'twas 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 clasping 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.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 133
And tlie 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 splendor of Scotland's
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 nought 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 arm^d 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 Eobert Stuart had come with them
Who knew that chamber well.
And over the space the Graeme strode dark
With his mantle round him flung;
And in his eye was a flaming light
But not a word on his tongue.
134 HEROmES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
And Stuart held a torch to the floor,
And he found the thing he sought ;
And they slashed the plank away with their
And O God ! I fainted not !
And the traitor held his torch in the gap,
All smoking and smouldering ;
And through the vapor 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 shoulder-blades
His foe to his feet he flung.
THE KmG'S TRAGEDY 135
Then tlie traitor's brother, Sir Thomas Hall,
Sprang down to work his worst ;
And the iving caught the second man by the neck
And Hung him above the first.
AJid 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 Scottish lands !
But while the King o'er his foes still raged
With a heart that nought could tame.
Another man sprang down to the crypt ;
And with his sword in his hand hard-gripp'd,
There stood Sir Robert Graeme.
(Now shame on the recreant traitor's heart
Who durst not face his King
Till the body unarmed was wearied out
With two-fold cx)mbating !
Ah ! well might the people sing and say,
As oft ye have heard aright : —
^' O Robert Graeme^ Robert Graeme,
Who slew our King, God give thee shame!"
For he slew him not as a knight. )
136 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
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 succor thine own soul's doom,
Let a priest now shrive my soul ! "
And the traitor looked on the King's spent
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 that pen
Fell on him and stabbed and stabbed him there
Like merciless murderous men.
Yet seemed it now that Sir Robert Graeme,
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.
THE KING'S TEAGEDY 137
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 Scottish 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.
'Twas 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.
138 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
And, girls, 'twas 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 day,
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.
THE KING'S TRAGEDY 139
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 Graeme
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 nought she spake, — she had ceased to
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 ! "
14:0 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Last slie stood up to her queenly heiglit,
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
" Alas for the wof ul thing,
That a poet true and a friend of man,
In desperate days of bale and ban.
Should needs be born a King ! "
A Legend of Kenilworth Castle
It was the evening of tlie day set for Queen Eliza-
beth's visit to Kenilworth. Great multitudes of
people had been for many hours assembled on the
walls, in the chase, and park and gardens, to wit-
ness the splendid sight. But her majesty had been
detained till twilight at Warwick to receive the
homage of her subjects, and now it was announced
that the grand entrance would be made by torch-
light. At length the great bell of the castle tolled,
and a single rocket shot up into the air. Then all
held their breath and listened. At first, they could
only hear a dull, sea-like sound in the direction of
Warwick Castle; but it came nearer and grew
louder, till they could distinguish the tramp of
horses, music and shouting, and the clang of armor.
When the Queen entered the royal chase, hun-
dreds of great rockets were sent blazing and hissing
into the sky ; and such a mighty shout was set up
by the multitude that it was almost a wonder it
didn't jostle the stars out of their places. Yet they
did not seem at all disturbed by the tumult, but
stayed quietly in their orbits, and winked at one
another, as though making fun of the Earl's fire-
works. The whole music of the castle burst forth ;
142 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
then there was a round of artillery and a tremen-
dous discharge of blunderbusses.
The stately f)rocession, illuminated by two hun-
dred great wax torches, borne by armed horsemen,
moved slowly from the gate of the park.
The Queen, who was young at that time, and,
though not handsome, was noble and grand look-
ing, came mounted on a beautiful milk-white horse,
which she managed very well; for she was an ad-
mirable rider. She was dressed in the richest silks,
velvet and lace ; and from head to foot she seemed
almost blazing with costly jewels. Beside the
Queen rode the Earl of Leicester, on a jet-black
steed, one of the handsomest in the world, with
silver bits and trappings of velvet and gold. The
Earl was gorgeously dressed, and glittered all over
with gold and gems. He sat his horse so elegantly,
and was so proud in his bearing, that he might have
been mistaken for a King had he not ridden bare-
headed like the rest of the courtiers. After the
Queen and the Earl followed a train of noblemen
and ladies, guards, pages, knights, gentlemen and
soldiers — a long and splendid cavalcade. On either
side stood a line of people, closely packed together,
all bowing and shouting their loyal welcomes.
As the Queen was approaching the outer tower
she checked her horse to speak to one of her ladies ;
when suddenly there broke, or rather slid, through
the line of soldiers, a little girl, who flung herself
at her majesty's feet and grasped her robe, crying :
" A boon ! Great Queen, a boon ! "
LITTLE EOSAMOND 143
A rude soldier strode forward and lifted liis
broadsword over the head of the child ; when, quick
as a flash, a boy, scarcely larger than the girl,
leaped out of the crowd, and snatched the sword
from the soldier's hand, saying, boldly :
" Thou art a cowardly knave ! "
The man turned upon hiin in rage, caught back
the sword, and might have killed him with it, had
not the Queen cried :
" Hold, villain ! By my faith, I think the lad is
right! Wouldst butcher babes like these? Then
art thou one of King Herod's men, and none of
ours. Stand back ! "
Then, turning her eyes on the little girl, who
stood trembling at her side, she looked at her a mo-
ment in silent surprise. And well she might; for
the child was as beautiful as an angel. She could
scarcely have been more than ten years of age. She
was very fair and delicate, with a tender, appealing
face, and a voice sweet, but mournful, like the
sound of a wind-harp. She had large, dark eyes,
with long heavy lashes; but her eyebrows were a
shade lighter; and her hair, which was soft and
wavy, was of a rich, golden hue. Now tears were
flashing in her eyes; her red lips were quivering;
her cheek was brightly flushed; her hair gently
lifted from her forehead by the evening wind ; and,
in her simple white frock, she looked there, under
the torchlight, so like a radiant little seraph that
the stern Queen spoke softly to her, almost as
though in fear, saying :
144 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
"Who art thou? and what wouldst thou with
" My name is Rosamond Vere," answered the
child ; " and I come to put this petition into your
own hands, and to beseech your majesty to grant
the prayer of a poor motherless little girl, who will
pray to God for you every night and morning as
long as she lives."
The Queen smiled graciously and took the paper,
but said :
" This is no time or place to read petitions, child.
Come to the castle to-morrow, at the hour of twelve,
and we will give thee audience. But tell me, who
is thy brave young champion? By my soul, he hath
a right gallant spirit ! "
" I do not know, your majesty. I never saw him
before," said Rosamond.
The boy of whom they spoke had gone back
among the spectators; but on hearing these words
he stepped modestly forward. He was a handsome
lad, with deep, dark, beaming eyes, and a sort of
grand look about his forehead, which made him
seem, for all his plain, peasant dress, nobler than
any young lord or duke in all that cavalcade.
The Queen smiled on him, and said :
"Well, young rash-head, what art thou
" William Shakespeare, may it please your maj-
" Marry, a good name, and an honest — and thou
art a brave lad. Doubtless we shall hear of thee
LITTLE KOSAMOND 145
when thou art a man. But now away with ye both ;
for it is late for such chicks to be abroad."
Then she loosened the reins of her horse and rode
forward with Leicester; and all the procession
moved on again. They passed through the tower,
over the bridge, and entered the castle, with an-
other peal of music and discharge of artillery, and
such a terrific irruption of rockets that some of the
country-women shrieked with fright, thinking that
the castle and all the great folks in it were being
blown into atoms; some even fancying that they
saw the Queen on her white horse riding straight
up into the air.
Rosamond Vere went away to Warwick with
some friends, and William Shakespeare went home
to Stratford with his father and mother. They
drove in a rough little wagon; for in those days
only kings and nobles had carriages. William sat
on a bag of wool behind his parents. His head was
full of the splendors he had seen, and his heart beat
high and fast with pride because of the Queen's
praise. He was greatly excited; but he was tired
also; and when they reached home, he was found
fast asleep on the wool-bag.
The next day, when little Rosamond presented
herself at the castle, she was at once admitted and
conducted to an anteroom, w^here she had a few
minutes to wait. She met there an elegant young
courtier, one Sir Walter Raleigh, who kindly in-
structed her how to conduct herself before the
Queen. Above all things, he told her she must re-
146 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
member never to turn her back on her majesty ; but,
when she was dismissed, to go out backwards, and
Rosamond promised to do as he bade her.
Just at twelve she was summoned by the Lord
Chamberlain to the great hall, where the Queen was
holding court. She was seated on a throne, under
a canopy of state. She wore her crown, and a dress
of rich velvet, soft blue like the sky. It was cov-
ered with white lace so fine that it looked like light
clouds, and was looped up with great diamonds,
that shone like stars.
After having been conducted to the foot of the
throne, Rosamond knelt there, and looked up tim-
idly into her majesty's face. Alas ! it was clouded
with a frown.
"And so," exclaimed the Queen, "thou art the
daughter of that Walter Vere who lately conspired
with other traitors to set our prisoner, Mary of
Scotland, free ! He hath deserved death ; and death
he shall have ! "
" Oh, have mercy, gracious madam ! " cried Rosa-
mond, " my poor father had a tender heart ; and the
Queen of the Scots moved it by her tears and her
beauty. Oh, she is so beautiful, if your grace would
see her, you would have pity on her also."
Queen Elizabeth blushed deeply, for she knew in
her heart that she was envious of Mary Stuart's
beauty ; and she said, more sternly than before :
"Thy father hath acted traitorously, and must
abide his sentence. Go, child ! "
But Rosamond, instead of rising, took from her
LITTLE ROSAMOND 147
bosom a small package and placed it in the Queen's
hand. It was a paper containing a ring. On the
paper was written the name of Walter Vere, and a
verse of Scripture, signed "Anne R." On the ring
was engraved a crest, the arms of the Boleyns.
Queen Elizabeth turned pale as she examined
these, and hastily asked :
" Where got you this? And this? Speak, girl ! "
" My father," answered Rosamond, " was an of-
ficer in the Tower at the time the Queen, your
mother, was imprisoned there. He was good to
her ; and the night before she was beheaded she gave
him these mementos."
Elizabeth's face softened, and a tear shone for a
moment in her cold, gray eye, but did not fall ; then
she spoke :
" For her memory's sake we grant thy prayer.
We forgive thy father ; but let him see to it how he
again braves our ire."
She then wrote an order for the immediate libera-
tion of Walter Vere, stating that she had granted
him a full pardon. This paper she was about to
give into the hands of an offtcer, to be conveyed to
London ; but Rosamond begged that she might carry
it herself; and the Queen, kindly assenting, placed
her under the charge of the officer, requesting him,
with her own lips, to be kind to the child. She ex-
tended her beautiful hand to Rosamond, who kissed
it fervently, but was too much overcome with joy
and thankfulness to speak a word more. She rose
up so bewildered, and in such haste to set out on
148 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
her journey, tliat she quite forgot Sir Walter Ra-
leigh's injunctions, and, turning her back on the
Queen, actually ran out of the hall, much to the
merriment of the gay court.
The rest of Rosamond's story is soon told. She
went to London and freed her father, who never got
into any trouble of the kind again. She grew to be
a beautiful woman, married a country gentleman,
and lived for many years far from the great world,
but happy and beloved, because always good and
HELEN OF KIRKCONNELL
I WISH I were where Helen lies !
Night and day on me she cries ;
O that I were where Helen lies,
On fair Kirkconnell lee !
Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot.
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,
And died to succor me !
think ye na my heart was sair,
When my love dropt down and spake nae mair !
There did she swoon wi' meikle care,
On fair Kirkconnell lee.
As I went down the water side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
On fair Kirkconnell lee —
1 lighted down, my sword did draw,
I hacked him in pieces sma',
I hacked him in pieces sma\
For her sake that died for me.
150 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
O Helen fair, beyond compare !
I'll weave a garland of thj hair
Shall bind my heart for evermair,
Until the day I dee !
O that I were where Helen lies !
Night and day on me she cries ;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,
Says, " Haste, and come to me ! "
Helen fair ! O Helen chaste !
Were I with thee I would be blest,
Where thou lies low and takes thy rest,
On fair Kirkconnell lee.
1 wish my grave were growing green ;
A winding-sheet drawn o'er my e'en,
And I in Helen's arms lying
On fair Kirkconnell lee.
I would I were where Helen lies !
Night and day on me she cries.
And I am weary of the skies,
For her sake that died for me !
When captains coui'ageous, whom deatli could
Did marcli to the siege of the city of Gaunt,
They muster'd their soldiers by two and by three,
And the foremost in battle was Mary Ambree.
WTien the brave sergeant-major was slain in her
Who was her true lover, her joy and delight,
Because he was slain most treacherouslie,
Then vowed to revenge him Mary Ambree.
She clothed herself from the top to the toe
In buff of the bravest, most seemly to show ;
A fair shirt of mail then slipped on she ;
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
A helmet of proof she straight did provide,
A strong arming sword she girt by her side ;
On her hand a goodly fair gauntlet put she :
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
Then took she her sword and her target in hand,
Bidding all such, as would, to be of her band ;
To wait on her person came thousand and three :
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
152 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" My soldiers," she saith, " so valiant and bold,
Now follow your captain, whom you do behold ;
Still foremost in battle myself will I be : "
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
Then cried out her soldiers, and loud they did
" So well thou becomest this gallant array,
Thy heart and thy weapons so well do agree,
No maiden was ever like Mary Ambree."
She cheered her soldiers, that foughten for life,
With ancient and standard, with drum and with
With brave clanging trumpets, that sounded so
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
" Before I will see the worst of you all
To come into danger of death or of thrall.
This hand and this life I will venture so free : "
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
She led up her soldiers in battle array,
Gainst three times their number by break of the
Seven hours in skirmish continued she :
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
She filled the skies with the smoke of her shot,
And her enemies' bodies with bullets so hot ;
For one of hor own men a score killed she :
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
MARY AMBREE 153
And when her false gunner, to spoil her intent,
Away all her pellets and powder had sent,
Straight with her keen weapon she slasht him in
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
Being falsely betrayed for lucre of hire,
At length she was forced to make a retire ;
Then her soldiers into a strong castle drew she :
Was not this a brave bonny lass, Mary Ambree?
Her foes they beset her on every side.
As thinking close siege she could never abide ;
To beat down the walls they all did decree :
But stoutly defied them brave Mary Ambree.
Then took she her sword and her target in hand,
And mounting the walls all undaunted did stand.
There daring their captains to match any three :
O what a brave captain was Mary Ambree !
"Now say, English captain, what wouldest thou
To ransom thyself, which else must not live?
Come yield thyself quickly, or slain thou must
Then smiled sweetly brave Mary Ambree.
" Ye captains courageous, of valor so bold,
Whom think you before you now you do behold? "
" A knight, sir, of England, and captain so free.
Who shortly with us a prisoner must be."
154 HEROmES OF HISTORY ANT> LEGEND
" No captain of England : behold in your sight
Two breasts in my bosom, and therefore no
No knight, sir, of England, nor captain you see,
But a poor simple maiden called Mary Ambree."
" But art thou a woman, as thou dost declare.
Whose valor hath proved so undaunted in war?
If England doth yield such brave maidens as thee,
Full well may they conquer, fair Mary Ambree."
The Prince of Great Parma heard of her renown,
Who long had advanced for England's fair crown ;
He wooed her and sued her his mistress to be.
And offered rich presents to Mary Ambree.
But this virtuous maiden despised them all :
" I'll ne'er sell my honor for pur^^le nor paU ;
A maiden of England, sir, never will be
The wench of a monarch," quoth Mary Ambree.
Then to her own country she back did return,
Still holding the foes of fair England in scorn;
Therefore English captains of every degree
Sing forth the brave valors of Mary Ambree.
William Makepeace Thackeray
Wearied arm and broken sword
Wage in vain the desperate fight:
Round him press a countless horde ;
He is but a single knight.
Hark ! a cry of triumph shrill
Through the wilderness resounds,
As, with twenty bleeding wounds.
Sinks the warrior, fighting still.
Now they heap the fatal pyre.
And the torch of death they light ;
Ah! 'tis hard to die of fire !
Who will shield the captive knight?
Round the stake with fiendish cry
Wheel and dance the savage crowd.
Cold the victim's mien, and proud.
And his breast is bared to die.
Who will shield the fearless heart?
Who avert the murderous blade?
From the throng, with sudden start,
See there springs an Indian maid.
Quick she stands before the Imight :
" Loose the chain, unbind the ring ;
I am daughter of the King,
And I claim the Indian right! "
156 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Daimtlessly aside she flings
Lifted axe and thirsty knife ;
Fondly to his heart she clings,
And her bosom guards his life!
In the woods of Powhatan,
Still 'tis told by Indian fires,
How a daughter of their sires
Saved the captive Englishman.
HOW THE MOHAWKS SET OUT FOR
A Melicite Legend
Charles G. D. Roberts
Grows the great deed, though none
Shout to behold it done !
To the brave deed done by night
Heaven testifies in the light.
Stealthy and swift as a dream,
Crowding the breast of the stream,
In their paint and plumes of war
And their war-canoes four score,
They are threading the Oolastook,
Where his cradling hills o'erlook.
The branchy thickets hide them ;
The unstartled waters guide them.
Comes night to the quiet hills
Where the Madawaska spills, —
To his slumbering huts no warning,
Nor mirth of another morning !
158 HEROINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
No more shall the children wake
As the dawns through the hut-door break ;
But the dogs, a trembling pack,
With wistful eyes steal back.
And, to pilot the noiseless foe
Through the perilous passes, go
Two women who could not die —
Whom the knife in the dark passed by.
Where the shoaling waters froth,
Churned thick like devils' broth, —
Where the rocky shark-jaw waits,
Never a bark that grates.
And the tearless captives' skill
Contents them. Onward still!
And the low-voiced captives tell
The tidings that cheer them well :
How a clear stream leads them down
Well-nigh to Medoctec town,
Ere to the great Falls' thunder
The long wall yawns asunder.
The clear stream glimmers before them ;
The faint night falters o'er them ;
Lashed lightly bark to bark.
They glide the windless dark.
THE MOHAWKS 159
Late grows the night. No fear
While the skilful captives steer !
Sleeps the tired warrior, sleeps
The chief ; and the river creeps.
In the town of the Melicite
The unjarred peace is sweet,
Green grows the corn and great,
And the hunt is fortunate.
This many a heedless year
The Mohawks come not near.
The lodge-gate stands unbarred;
Scarce even a dog keeps guard.
No mother shrieks from a dream
Of blood on the threshold stream, —
But the thought of those mute guides
Is where the sleeper bides !
Gets forth those caverned walls
No roar from the giant Falls,
Whose mountainous foam treads under
The abyss of awful thunder.
But the river's sudden speed !
How the ghost-grey shores recede !
And the tearless pilots hear
A muttering voice creep near.
160 HEEOmES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
A tremor ! The blanched waves leap.
The warriors start from sleep.
Faints in the sudden blare
The cry of their swift despair,
And the captives' death-chant shrills.
But afar, remote from ills,
Quiet under the quiet skies
The Melicite village lies.
A Legend of Nottingham Castle
Old Nottingliam Castle, a famous stronghold of
the early kings of England, was built on a high
rock, overlooking the beautiful vale of Belvoir, the
hills of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire wolds and
the silvery windings of the river Trent. At the
base of the great rock glides the little river Leen.
Little is left now of the old castle, but the rock
underneath is curiously perforated in every direc-
tion by winding passages and small caverns,
some formed by Nature, but most, it is supposed,
hewn out of the solid stone by an ancient heathen
priesthood of Britain called Druids. They sacri-
ficed hiunan victims to their deity, and made use of
these caves as vaults for dead bodies of those they
had murdered in a pious way, or as prisons for such
refractory men and women as objected to their par-
ticular part in the bloody religious ceremony; at
least, so we are told by antiquarians.
King John, the bad brother of Richard the Lion-
hearted, frequently held his court at Nottingham;
and it was the chosen abode of the beautiful Queen
Isabella, wife of Edward the Second. The unfor-
tunate Charles the First, in his war with Oliver
162 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Cromwell and the Parliament, hoisted his banner
on the highest turret of the castle and with his own
hand set up his royal standard on a hill near by.
A great storm arose and blew it down that very
night, which was taken by the superstitious people
for a fearful omen ; and when, a few years after, the
poor King was brought to Nottingham Castle, on
his way to Holmby, in Northamptonshire, a power-
less prisoner, everybody said, " I told you so."
For several years during the period of the great
civil war between the Royalists and Republicans,
one Colonel John Hutchinson was Governor of Not-
tingham Castle, holding it for Cromwell and the
Parliament. It was a very important fortress and
the Royalists tried every means in their power to
get possession of it. The Earl of Newcastle offered
a bribe of ten thousand pounds to Colonel Hutchin-
son to betray it into his hands; but the gallant
Colonel repelled the offer with manly indignation.
When Colonel Hutchinson went to take command
of the fortress at Nottingham, he took with him his
young wife, a very clever and spirited woman.
During the last year of her stay in the castle Mrs.
Hutchinson had under her care a little orphan niece
by the name of Alice Vane, a beautiful, dark-eyed,
sad and silent child.
Alice was but a baby, too young to grieve, when
her gentle mother died; but within this year she
had lost her father and her only brother, both of
whom had been killed at the bloody battle of
Naseby. She had dearly loved her noble father,
ALICE VANE 163
who, stern as lie was among men, was always mild
and tender toward her; but she had utterly idol-
ized her brave brother Walter, so beautiful, so
young; for he was only seventeen the day of the
battle in which he fell.
Alice grieved so bitterly for the loss of these dear
ones that her health suffered. She grew very pale
and thin ; and, when she was brought to her aunt at
Nottingham, it was said that she looked more like
a sorroAvful little spirit than like a flesh-and-blood
child. She was a strange, shy, melancholy girl,
who in the midst of her grief was seldom seen to
weep, but always sought some lonely and silent
place in which to indulge her sorrow. She was a
true Puritan, plain in speech and manner, but
always brave and truthful in heart.
One day, soon after she came to Nottingham, she
was allowed to descend with the warden into those
curious caves and passages underneath the castle.
These she explored with much interest, as she had
an adventurous, inquiring spirit; and she fixed
upon one little cave, feebly lit by a fissure in the
rock, opening out to the day, for her own. She per-
suaded her kind friends to allow her to spend an
hour or two every day here, taking with her some of
her books and playthings.
She loved to escape to this quiet spot, from the
sound of endless praying and psalm-singing and re-
ligious discussions, which she could not understand,
from the clang of muskets and the noise of rude sol-
diers, to read her little Bible, to repeat her hymns
164 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
and the simple prayers lier father had taught her,
to think of him and her darling brother, and to
weep for them, without being told that it was sinf id
rebellion against Grod to mourn for those He had
taken to Himself.
One sunny day, when the light in her cave was
unusually clear, Alice noticed that the wall in one
corner did not seem of solid rock, but was formed
of stones piled one upon another.
Little girls were as curious two hundred years
ago as they are nowadays. So Alice went to work
at once, pulling and heaving with all her might;
and at last the stones gave way, one after another,
and she saw that they had hid a small, low passage,
leading directly down to the river Leen.
All was dark at first; but after a moment there
was a little gleaming of sunlight and green leaves
at the farther end of the passage. This was charm-
ing, after being so long confined to the courtyard of
a castle, to be able to sit under the shade of the
thick shrubbery, on the banks of that pretty stream,
to gather flowers and put her feet in the water, and
remember pleasant old times! So she lost not a
moment; but, gathering her frock about her, and
crouching low, she groped her way carefully down-
ward and stole out into the sunshine. She found
that the mouth of the passage was completely hid
on the outside by bushes, and that she, as she sat
herself down on a bank, sweet with violets and
bright with cowslips, could not be seen from the
plain below, or the castle above.
ALICE VANE 165
As she sat there, listening to the birds and won-
dering why it was that they never seemed to be sing-
ing solemn songs like the Puritans, never seemed to
be preaching or rebuking, but always trying to cheer
her heart with notes of joy and little melodious
laughters — so sweet, so tender, as though they were
loving aloud, — her eye caught something gleaming
through the foliage near by, which she took for a
bunch of scarlet poppies. But, going nearer, she
found that it was the end of a silken scarf; and,
putting aside some bushes, she saw that this was a
part of the dress of a young man, who was lying
asleep close against the rock.
He was a Cavalier. Alice knew it at once by his
rich velvet doublet, his plumed and jeweled hat and
his long curls. The scarlet scarf she had first no-
ticed was bound about his right arm; and Alice
now saw that it and the lace ruffles at his wrist
were deeply stained with blood. He was a very
handsome, gallant-looking young man, but so
deathly pale, and with so much suffering in his
face, that Alice pitied him ; and, like the good, brave
girl she was, she laid her hand on his shoulder, and
shook him gently, to waken him. He sprang up
instantly and half drew his sword. Alice did not
scream; she scarcely moved, but said very calmly,
" It is only I, a little girl. What can I do for you,
Sir Cavalier? "
The young man looked at her doubtfully at first
and questioned her closely ; but when he found that
she was quite alone, and that she gave frank,
166 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
straightforward answers, lie confided in her and
begged her to help him. He was a nobleman, Lord
Villiers, in the service of the King. He had been
wounded the night before, in a skirmish, near the
castle, by a deep sword-cut in the arm, and stunned
by a fall from his horse. His men, who were de-
feated, had left him for dead; but he had revived,
and in the early morning had dragged himself to
this spot, where he had hid, hoping to be able to
escape that night to some place of safety. But now,
he said, he found himself so weak from pain, loss of
blood, and want of food, that he doubted whether
he could walk at all. Alice advised him to yield
himself up as a prisoner of war at the castle; but
he swore an oath, that made her shudder, that he
would sooner die where he was.
" Then," said she, quietly, " I must do my best to
conceal you, and nurse and feed you, till you are
well enough to go on your way. Trust in me, and
The Cavalier did as he was bid ; but, before enter-
ing the narrow, dark passage, he held up the cross
of his sword-handle and bade Alice swear she would
not betray him into her uncle's hands. But the
little lady put it away with a great deal of dignity,
and said, " I have promised. We Republicans do
not need oaths to hold us to cur word."
Alice took back with her an armful of leafy
branches, and, when they reached her little cave,
spread them down for Lord Villiers to lie upon.
She gave him for a pillow the cushion she had used
ALICE VANE 167
to kneel on for her devotions and laid over Mm her
own little mantle. She then stole up into the castle
and got some refreshment for him, and a roll of old
linen to bandage his arm. This she dressed as well
as she knew how ; then smoothed his pillow, tucked
her mantle closer about him, advised him to say his
prayers like a good Christian, bade him good-night,
and left him to his rest.
Alice had watched her aunt nursing wounded sol-
diers ; and the next morning, thinking it very prob-
able that Lord Villiers's arm would be inflamed, she
took down suitable medicines and dressings. She
found her patient tossing and moaning with fever,
and for two or three days he suffered a great deal;
then she had the happiness to see him get better and
stronger, till he began to talk and lay plans about
leaving her. The young noble was gentle and
grateful and Alice grew really fond of him, though
it grieved her that he was a Papist and a Royalist.
He was very familiar and confiding with his little
friend and told her of his beautiful sister, who was
a great Duchess, and showed her a miniature, which
he wore next his heart, of a still lovelier and dearer
lady ; and Alice one day told him her sad story, in
a low, mournful voice, struggling hard to keep the
tears back, while her friend laid his hand on her
head in a soft, pitying way.
At last little Alice brought the joyful news that a
considerable body of Royalist troops were en-
camped in the neighborhood ; and Lord Villiers re-
solved to escape and join them that very night.
168 HEROmES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
In preparation for this escape, he proceeded to
buckle on his sword-belt, which he had laid aside
during his illness. As Alice sat watching him, her
eye fell, for the first time, on a jewel-hilted dagger,
which he wore under his doublet.
Giving a quick, sharp cry, she sprang forward,
caught this from its sheath, and, holding it up, ex-
claimed, "Where did you get this? Tell me! O,
tell me ! "
The Cavalier was a good deal startled; but he
replied, very directly, "Why, to tell the truth, I
took it from the body of a young Roundhead whom
I killed at Naseby. I did not take it as a trophy of
war, but as a memento of him ; for, though a mere
boy, he was as brave as a lion."
" You killed our Walter ! — You? " cried Alice, in
a tone of heart-breaking reproach; then, sinking
back, she clasped the dagger against her breast,
and, bowing her head, rocked back and forth, mur-
muring, " O brother ! brother ! "
The careless young nobleman was shocked and
grieved for Alice. He laid his hand on her head in
the old caressing way; but she flung it off, with a
shudder. Then, a little frightened, he exclaimed,
" Now, Alice, you hate me, an.d perhaps you will
But Alice, lifting her head proudly, replied, " Do
you Royalists have such notions of honor? We
Republicans do not know how to break our word or
betray a trust. You are safe ; and you would have
been safe had you killed my father and every-
ALICE VANE 169
body I loved in the world; for you trusted in
They parted, not as enemies, but hardly as
friends; for Alice could not again shake cordially
the hand that had cut down her beloved, only
brother. She kept Walter's dagger and treasured
it sorrowfully all her life.
Lord Villiers escaped that night and joined the
Royalist troops in safety. He continued to fight
for the King till there was no more hope ; then went
over to France, where he remained imtil after the
Restoration, when he was appointed an officer in
the court of Charles the Second.
One of the first things he did was to inquire for
the family of Colonel Hutchinson; for he had al-
ways gratefully remembered his young protectress.
He found that the colonel was imprisoned in the
Tower, in very ill health, and that his wife and
niece, now a young woman grown, were faithfully
attending him. So he wrote to Alice, telling her
how grateful he had ever been for her goodness and
care and brave protection, which had surely saved
his life, and how he hoped she bore no malice to-
ward him in her heart for the death of her brother.
He went on to say that he could not rest till he had
done something to repay her for her great kindness ;
that he had it in his power through his wife (for he
was now married), and his sister, the beautiful
Duchess, to obtain for her the envied situation of
Maid of Honor to the Queen. He said that, among
the many beauties of that gay court, there was not
170 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
one so lovely in Ms eyes as his dear little protect-
ress had promised to be; and that, should she ac-
cept the offered place, a life of luxury and pleas-
ure would be before her; for everybody, from the
King and Queen down to the pages and falconers
of the court, would admire and love her for the
beauty of her face and the nobleness of her char-
Alice Vane replied to Lord Villiers in a frank,
" Dear Friend : It has given me joy to hear by
thy letter that thou art living and wedded to the
maiden thy heart hath cleaved unto so long ; but I
am grieved that thou art exposing her and thyself
to the temptations of a most ungodly court.
" I have long ago forgiven thee that cruel sword-
thrust which made untimely end of my comely
young brother's life, and of the best joy of mine,
and I have prayed that the Lord in His exceeding
mercy will hold thee guiltless of his blood. Ye did
meet in fair fight ; and verily, hadst thou borne thy-
self less manfully, thou wouldst have lain in poor
" Thou dost owe me naught for the little service I
did thee. I would have done the same for the poor-
est man in the realm, had he so needed.
" Thy gay court is no place for a lowly Christian
maiden like me. Thine offer was made in kind-
ness ; but forbear to urge it, lest thou wouldst have
me come to stand before the man, Charles Stuart,
and warn him to repent of his waste and wicked-
ness, and turn unto the Lord while it is yet time.
" We have been sorely tried by persecutions, loss
and imprisonment ; but the God of Israel hath been
ALICE YANE 171
with us in His spirit and His word, and we have
not been dismayed.
" I shall tarry with my kinsfolk as long as they
have such earnest need of me ; but when I have re-
lease from this dear duty, with a beloved and godly
friend, whom the Lord hath raised up for me, I
shall depart from this unhappy country, which hath
backslidden from liberty and the true faith, to a
land where we may worship in freedom and in
peace. We shall cross the great deep, to where, in
the heathen wilderness of America, God hath pre-
pared a refuge for His people.
" The Lord be with thee and preserve thee amid
all the temptations that beset thee, and bring thee
home, if even by sore chastening, to thy Father's
house at last.
" I rest thy friend,
A SHORT time before the death of Charles the
Second there was an enterprise formed by several
eminent English and Scottish lords and gentlemen,
to prevent the Duke of York, afterwards James the
Second, of England, from ascending the throne.
Through treachery and rashness this enterprise
failed, and many of those engaged in it were ar-
rested and put to death. Among the few leaders
who escaped the vengeance of the government was
the good and brave Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth.
It happened that the party of soldiers sent to arrest
him stopped for refreshment at the house of a noble-
man known to be loyal. Here they inquired the
way to Polwarth Castle, and their hostess, being a
friend to Sir Patrick, resolved to give him warning.
She did not dare to write, nor even to trust one of
her servants to carry a plain message to her neigh-
bor ; but, being very ingenious, she took an eagle's
feather, and wrapping it in a piece of blank paper,
sent it by a fleet-footed Highland boy across the
hills to Polwarth. She then put wines and rich
meats before her guests and made them so ex-
tremely comfortable that they lingered at her house
as long as possible.
GKIZEL HUME 173
Sir Patrick understood at once, from the token
she sent, that he was in danger and must fly or se-
crete himself. He resolved upon the latter course
as the least hazardous, and could think of no safer
hiding-place than a vault in Polwarth churchyard,
where his ancestors Avere buried.
It was a dismal place enough — damp, dark and
cold — with dead men and women and children lying
all about in mouldering cofftns, covered with tat-
tered black palls ; but it was better than a prison
cell, chains and a scaffold.
Scarcely had he secreted himself before the sol-
diers arrived. They searched for him high and
low, far and wide — everywhere but in the old vault.
Then they separated and went off in various direc-
tions, still searching, inquiring and swearing at
their ill luck. At night, a faithful domestic carried
a bed and some blankets to the churchyard, flung
them down into the vault, and then ran home, his
heart beating loud and his teeth chattering for fear
of ghosts and hobgoblins.
But there was one who was not frightened from
her duty by any such wild fancies, so full was her
heart of that " perfect love which casteth out fear."
This was Sir Patrick's daughter, Grizel, a betiutiful
young lady, only eighteen, but thoughtful, coura-
geous and prudent beyond her years. She Avas
the only one who could be trusted to carry her
father his food, which must always be taken to him
at midnight. Her mother, who was rather afflicted
with cowardice — " nervousness " she called it —
1Y4 HEEOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
waited for her return in dreadful anxiety and when
she came, took her in her arms, blessed her and re-
joiced over her as though she had risen from the
dead. " But did it no fright you, lassie, to pass
through the kirk-yard at such an awful time o'
night? " she asked.
" No, no. Mother," said Grizel, smiling ; " I knew
God could take care of me as well at midnight as at
noonday, and I felt that every star above was a kind
angel's face, watching over me. I feared nothing.
Mother, but the minister's dogs, lest their barking
should rouse the people at the manse and dear
Father's hiding-place be discovered."
The next day Lady Hume sent for the minister
and, complaining of a fear of mad dogs, persuaded
him to shut up his dogs for a time.
Grizel had a good deal of trouble in obtaining
food for her father without the knowledge of the
servants ; for it was not thought best to trust them
with her secret. She used to watch her chance and
take pieces of meat and bread from the table, when
the family were at dinner. One day, when they
had sheep's head, a good old Scotch dish, Grizel
took a larger portion than usual off the platter and
hid it in her napkin. Scarcely had she done so
when one of her brothers, a little boy, and apt to
blunder out the wrong thing at the wrong time and
place, cried out indignantly, "O Mother, see Grizzy!
while we were supping the broth, she has eaten up
almost all the sheep's head." The poor girl feared
that her secret would be discovered then, but the
GKIZEL HUME 175
servants present only wondered what had come
over Miss Grizel to be so greedy.
Sir Patrick remained in the funeral vault with
no light by day but what came through a little hole
at one end, and no amusement but reading and re-
citing psalms for several weeks ; then he ventured
to return for a little while to his house and from
there he made his escape in safety to Holland,
where he remained till after the death of Charles
THE TWO MARGARETS
In May, 1685, during the reign of James tlie
Seventh, two women, one named Margaret Mac-
laughlin, and the other Margaret Wilson, were ar-
rested for attending a field-meeting, and, refusing
to conform, were sentenced to death. The first was
an aged woman, weary of a world in which she had
seen a great deal of trouble, and longing to depart
and be with Christ. But the other, Margaret Wil-
son, was young — only eighteen and very fair. She
had many to love her, for she loved many, and to
her this earth seemed very beautiful. Yet she loved
God better than life and went bravely, even cheer-
fully, to death for His sake.
The form of execution fixed upon for these two
was singular, as well as very cruel. They were
sentenced to be bound to stakes, driven down into
the sea beach, when the tide was coming in — there
to stand until the waters should overwhelm and
The morning when the people and the troops as-
sembled on the seashore to see this sentence carried
into execution was very bright and balmy. The
blackbirds and thrushes, in the dark fir-trees, sang
as gaily as ever ; and the wild sea-birds, whirling in
THE TWO MARGAKETS 177
the pleasant air, screamed out their shrill delight,
while God's beautiful sunlight fell, as His rain and
dew descend, " on the just, and on the unjust.''
The tw^o Margarets came down to the beach, es-
corted by a troop of rude soldiers, and followed by
a crowd of weeping friends. They both walked
firmly and were very calm, though their faces were
deadly pale, and their lips moved in prayer. Be-
fore they were fastened to the stakes, they were told
that their lives would be spared if they would, even
then, renounce the Covenant. But again they
firmly refused. Then they took a last leave of their
Margaret Maclaughlin had children and grand-
children present. She kissed them and blessed
them all, very tenderly and solemnly. One little
grandson she took in her aged arms, and pressed to
her bosom. He twined his chubby arms around
her neck and cried, though he did not know why,
only that he saw tears on her dear old cheeks.
When she was led away to the stake, he struggled in
his father's arms, and cried out : " Come back,
grandmither ! Dinna gang awa' into the black sea
— come back to Johnny ! " This drew tears from
many eyes in the crowd and even touched the hard
hearts of such of the soldiers as had children or
grandchildren of their own.
Margaret Wilson had to part with a father and
mother, brothers and sisters. She was the calmest
of them all, though she wept very much, especially
when she parted from her mother, who was a sickly
178 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
woman and needed her help. This poor mother
fainted in her husband's arms when their beloved
daughter was led away by the soldiers. One of
Margaret's brothers, a little boy, clung longest to
her, sobbing and shrieking with passionate grief.
" Hush ! hush ! Jamie," said the young martyr ;
" it breaks my heart to hear you ; and if you fill my
ears wi' yer loud greeting, I canna hear the whis-
pers o' the angels wha come to strengthen me ! "
Then Jamie grew still, let go her dress, and
turned his face away. But when he saw her bound
to the stake and the waves rising around her, his
wild grief broke out afresh and he rushed into the
water, crying : " I am a Covenanter, too ; I will go
drown wi' my dear sister Maggie." He had to be
brought back by force, and the incident so affected
the spectators that many shouted, "Rescue the
women ! Save them ! save them ! "
The military force was too strong for a rescue;
but the people had hopes that they might be saved,
for the magistrate seemed to relent for a moment,
and said that if the women would say, " God save
the King ! " they might go free.
Then the people shouted to them to yield this
much. " Consider," they said, " it is your duty to
pray even for the greatest sinner ! " "Ay, but not
at the bidding of every profligate," replied brave
old Margaret Maclaughlin. But as sweet Mar-
garet Wilson said that she "wished not that any
should perish, but that all should have everlasting
life," they cried out that she had prayed for the
THE TWO MAEGARETS 179
king, and rushing into the water, brought her
Then the magistrate, growing hard again, asked
her sternly if she was ready now to renounce the
Covenant. " ISTo," she answered, with gentle firm-
ness, " I have signed the Covenant, and I will abide
by it for aye, wi' the help o' the God o' the Cove-
nant." Then the magistrate grew very angry and
commanded that " the obstinate lass " should be
taken back to the stake.
Then the two Margarets spoke cheering words to
one another, and for a while looked . toward the
shore, smiling and waving their hands in loving
farewell; but as the tide came in strong and
stronger, they clasped their hands on their breasts,
raised their eyes, and gave themselves up wholly to
The foaming waves rose to Margaret Wilson's
slender waist, over her gentle, noble heart, above her
white praying hands ; and they rose above Margaret
Maclaughlin's strong, faithful heart, over her shriv-
elled, praying hands, trembling with cold; then,
only two faces were seen — one, young and fair, the
other old and wrinkled — but both beaming with
saintly glory ; and last, two heads of long hair — one
gray, and the other golden — floated for a moment
on the crest of a wave, and then sunk out of sight.
The golden hair remained visible a little longer than
the other ; for, to the last, Margaret Wilson kept her
face turned toward Heaven, as though to welcome
the angels coming to receive her soul ; but old Mar-
180 HEROmES OF HISTOEY AND LEGENB
garet MaclaugMin closed her eyes and let her head
sink on her breast, as though she wished to be car-
ried sleeping to her Father's mansion, in the arms
of angels, like a wearied child.
When all was over, it happened that a little wave
brought to Jamie Wilson's feet the snood, or white
ribbon, which had confined his sister's beautiful
hair. He caught it up, kissed it, wept over it, hid
it next his heart, and ever after treasured it as the
relic of a saint.
GKIZEL COCHRANE'S RIDE
Elia W. Peattie
In tlie midsimimei' of 1G85, the hearts of the
people of old Edinburgh were filled with trouble
and excitement. King Charles the Second, of Eng-
land, was dead, and his brother, the Duke of York,
reigned in his stead to the dissatisfaction of a great
number of the people.
The hopes of this class lay with the young Duke
of Monmouth, the ambitious and disinherited son
of Charles the Second, who, on account of the
King's displeasure, had been living for some time at
foreign courts. On hearing of the accession of his
uncle, the Duke of York, to the throne, Monmouth
yielded to the plans of the English and Scottish
lords who favored his own pretensions, and pre-
pared to invade England with a small but enthusi-
astic force of men.
The Duke of Argyle, the noblest lord of Scotland,
who also was an exile, undertook to conduct the
invasion at the north, while Monmouth should en-
ter England at the west, gather the yeomanry about
him and form a triumphant conjunction with Ar-
gyle in London, and force the " usurper," as they
called King James the Second, from his throne.
Both landings were duly made. The power oY
Monmouth's name and rank rallied to his banner at
182 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEITD
first a large number of adherents ; but tbeir defeat
at Sedgemoor put an end to bis invasion. And tbe
Duke of Argyle, a few days after bis landing in
Scotland, was met by a superior force of tbe King's
troops. Retreating into a morass, bis soldiers were
scattered and disj^ersed. Many of bis officers de-
serted bim in a panic of fear. Tbe brave old noble-
man bimself was taken prisoner, and bebeaded at
Edinburgb, wbile all tbe people secretly mourned.
He died witbout betraying bis friends, tbougb tbe
relentless King of England tbreatened to compel
bim to do so, by tbe torture of tbe tbumb-screw and
Many of bis officers and followers underwent tbe
same fate; and among tbose imprisoned to await
execution was a certain nobleman, Sir John Coch-
rane, who bad been made famous by other political
intrigues. His friends used all the influence that
their high position accorded them to procure his
pardon, but witbout success; and the unfortunate
baronet, a moody and impulsive man by nature, felt
that there was no escape from the terrible destiny,
and prepared to meet it in a manner worthy of a
follower of tbe brave old duke. But be had one
friend on whose help he had not counted.
In an upper chamber of an irregular, many-
storied mansion far down the Canongate, Grizel
Cochrane, the imprisoned man's daughter, sat
through the dread hours waiting to learn her
father's sentence. There was too little doubt as to
GEIZEL COCHRANE'S RIDE 183
what it would be. The King and his generals
meant to make merciless examples of the leaders of
the rebellion. Even the royal blood that flowed in
the veins of Monmouth had not saved his head from
the block. This proud prince, fleeing from the de-
feat of Sedgemoor, had been found hiding in a
ditch, covered over with the ferns that flourished at
the bottom. Grizel wept as she thought of the
young duke's horrible fate. She remembered when
she had last seen him about the court at Holland,
where she had shared her father's exile. Gay, gen-
erous, and handsome, he seemed a creature born to
live and rule. What a contrast was the abject,
weeping coward covered with mud and slime, who
had been carried in triumph to the grim Tower of
London to meet his doom !
The girl had been taught to believe in Mon-
mouth's rights, and she walked the floor trembling
with shame and impatience as she thought of his
bitter defeat. She walked to the little dormer win-
dow and leaned out to look at the gray castle, far
up the street, with its dull and lichen-covered walls.
She knew that her father looked down from the
barred windows of one of the upper apartments ac-
corded to prisoners of state. She wondered if a
thought of his little daughter crept in his mind
amid his ruined hopes. The grim castle frowning
at her from its rocky height filled her with dread ;
and shuddering, she turned from it toward the
street below to let her eyes follow absently the
passers-by. They whispered together as they
184 HEKOINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
passed tlie house, and when now and then some
person caught a glimpse of her face in the ivy-shel-
tered window, she only met a look of commisera-
tion. No one offered her a happy greeting.
" They all think him doomed," she cried to her-
self. " No one hath the grace to feign hope." Bit-
ter tears filled her eyes, until suddenly through the
mist she was conscious that some one below was
lifting a plumed hat to her. It was a stately gen-
tleman with a girdled vest and gorgeous coat and
"Mistress Cochrane," said he, in that hushed
voice we use when we wish to direct a remark to one
person, which no one else shall overhear, " I have
that to tell thee which is most important."
" Is it secret? " asked Grizel, in the same guarded
tone that he had used.
" Yes," he replied, without looking up, and con-
tinuing slowly in his walk, as if he had merely ex-
changed a morning salutation.
" Then," she returned, hastily, " I will tell
Mother; and we will meet thee in the twilight, at
the side door under the balcony." She continued
to look from the window, and the man sauntered on
as if he had no care in the world but to keep the
scarlet heels of his shoes from the dust. After a
time Grizel arose, changed her loose robe for a more
ceremonious dress, bound her brown braids into a
prim gilded net, and descended into the drawing-
Her mother sat in mournful state at the end of
GKIZEL COCHRANE'S RIDE 185
the lofty apartment. About her were two ladies
and several gentlemen, all conversing in low tones
such as they might use, Grizel thought to herself, if
her father were dead in the house. They all
stopped talking as she entered, and looked at her in
surprise. In those days it was thought very im-
proper and forward for a young girl to enter a
drawing-room uninvited, if guests were present.
Grizel's eyes fell before the embarrassing scrutiny,
and she dropped a timid courtesy, lifting her green
silken skirts daintily, like a high-born little maiden,
as she was. Lady Cochrane made a dignified apol-
ogj to her guests and then turned to Grizel.
"Well, my daughter?" she said, question-
" I pray thy pardon, Mother," said Grizel, in a
trembling voice, speaking low, that only her mother
might hear; "but within a few moments Sir
Thomas Hanford will be secretly below the balcony
with news for us."
The lady half rose from her seat, trembling.
" Is he commissioned by the governor? " she
" I cannot tell," said the little girl ; but here her
voice broke, and regardless of the strangers, she
flung herself into her mother's lap, weeping ; " I am
sure it is bad news of Father ! "
Lady Cochrane wound her arm about her daugh-
ter's waist, and, with a gesture of apology, led her
from the room. Half an hour later she reentered it
hurriedly, followed by Grizel, who sank unnoticed
186 HEROESTES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
in tlie deep embrasure of a window, and shivered
there behind the heavy folds of the velvet hangings.
" I have just received terrible intelligence, my
friends," announced Lady Cochrane, standing, tall
and pale, in the midst of her guests. " The gov-
ernor has been informally notified that the next
post from London will bring Sir John's sentence.
He is to be hanged at the Cross."
There was a perfect silence in the dim room ; then
one of the ladies broke into loud sobbing, and a gen-
tleman led Lady Cochrane to a chair, while the
others talked apart in earnest whispers.
" Who brought the information? " asked one of
the gentlemen, at length. " Is there not hope that
it is a false report? "
" I am not at liberty," said Lady Cochrane, " to
tell who brought me this terrible news ; but it was
a friend of the governor, from whom I would not
have expected a service. Oh, is it too late," she
cried, rising from her chair and pacing the room,
" to make another attempt at intercession? Surely
something can be done ! "
The gentleman who had stood by her chair — a
gray-headed, sober-visaged man — returned answer :
" Do not count on any remedy now, dear Lady
Cochrane. I know this new King. He will be re-
lentless toward any one who has questioned his
right to reign. Besides, the post has already left
London several days, and will doubtless be here by
" I am sure," said a gentleman who had not yet
GEIZEL COCHRANE'S RIDE 187
spoken, " that if we had a few days more he might
be saved. They say King James will do anything
for money, and the wars have emptied his treasury.
Might we not delay the post? " he suggested, in a
" No," said the gray-headed gentleman ; " that is
Grizel, shivering behind the curtain, listened
with eager ears. Then she saw her mother throw
herself into the arms of one of the ladies and break
into ungoverned sobs. The jioor girl could stand
no more, but glided from the room unnoticed and
crept up to her dark chamber, where she sat, repeat-
ing aimlessly to herself the words that by chance
had fixed themselves strongest in her memory:
" Delay the post — delay the post ! "
The moon arose and shone in through the panes,
making a wavering mosaic on the floor as it glim-
mered through the wind-blown ivy at the window.
Like a flash, a definite resolution sprang into
Grizel's mind. If, by delaying the post, time for
intercession with the King could be gained, and her
father's life so saved, then the post must be de-
layed! But how? She had heard the gentleman
say that it would be impossible. She knew that the
postboy went heavily armed, to guard against the
highwaymen who frequented the roads in search of
plunder. This made her think of the wild stories
of masked men who sprung from some secluded spot
upon the postboys, and carried off the letters and
money with which they were intrusted.
188 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Suddenly she bounded from her seat, stood still
a moment with her hands pressed to her head,
ran from her room and up the stairs which led to
the servants' sleeping apartments. She listened at
a door, and then, satisfied that the room was empty,
entered, and went straight to the oaken wardrobe.
By the light of the moon she selected a jacket and a
pair of trousers. She looked about her for a hat
and found one hanging on a peg near the window ;
then she searched for some time before she foimd a
pair of boots. They were worn and coated with
" They are all the better," she said to herself, and
hurried on tiptoe down the corridor. She went
next to the anteroom of her father's chamber. It
was full of fond associations, and the hot tears
sprung into her eyes as she looked about it. She
took up a brace of pistols, examined them awk-
wardly, her hands trembling under their weight as
she found at once to her delight and her terror that
they were loaded. Then she hurried with them to
Half an hour later the butler saw a figure which
he took to be that of Allen, the stable-boy, creeping
down the back stairs, boots in hand.
" Whaur noo, me laddie? " ho asked. " It's gey
late for ye to gang oot the niclit."
" I hae forgot to bar the stable-door," replied
Grizel in a low and trembling voice, imitating
as well as she could the broad dialect of the
GRIZEL COCHRANE'S RIDE 189
" Hech ! " said the butler. '^ I ne'er hear ye mak
sae little hammer in a' yer days."
She fled on. The great kitchen was deserted.
She gathered up all the keys from their pegs by the
door, let herself quietly out, and sped across the
yard to the stable. With trembling hands she fitted
first one key and then another to the door until she
found the right one. Once inside the stable, she
stood irresolute. She patted Bay Bess, her own
" Thou wouldst never do, Bess," she said. " Thou
art such a lazy little creature." The round, fat
carriage-horses stood there. " You are just holi-
day horses, too," said Grizel to them, " and would
be winded after an hour of the work I want you for
to-night." But in the shadow of the high stall
stood Black Ronald, Sir John Cochrane's great,
dark battle-horse, that riderless, covered with dust
and foam, had dashed down the Canongate after the
terrible rout of Argyle in the bogs of Leven-side,
while all the people stood and stared at the familiar
steed, carrying, as he did, the first silent mes-
sage of disaster. Him Grizel unfastened and led
" Thou art a true hero," she said, rubbing his
nose with the experienced touch of a horsewoman ;
" and I'll give thee a chance to-night to show that
thou art as loyal as ever." Her hands were cold
with excitement, but she managed to buckle the
saddle and bridle upon him, while the huge animal
stood in restless expectancy, anxious to be gone.
190 HEROINES OF HISTORY AJSTD LEGEND
She drew on the boots without any trouble, and
slipped the pistols into the holsters.
" I believe thou knowest what I would have of
thee," said Grizel as she led the horse out into
the yard and on toward the gateway. Frightened,
as he half circled about her in his impatience,
she undid the fastening of the great gates, but
her strength was not sufficient to swing them
" Ronald," she said in despair, " I cannot open
the gates ! " Ronald turned his head about and
looked at her with his beautiful eyes. He seemed
to be trying to say, " I can."
"All right," said Grizel, as if he had spoken. She
mounted the black steed, laughed nervously as she
climbed into the saddle. "Now," she said, "go
on ! " The horse made a dash at the gates, burst
them open, and leaped out into the road. He cur-
veted about for a moment, his hoofs striking fire
from the cobble-stones. Then Grizel turned his
head down the Canongate, away from the castle.
She knew the point at which she intended to leave
the city, and toward that point she headed Black
Ronald. The horse seemed to know he was doing
his old master a service, as he tx)ok his monstrous
strides forward. Only once did Grizel look back-
ward, and then a little shudder, half terror, half
remorse, struck her, for she saw her home ablaze
with light, and heard cries of excitement borne
faintly to her on the rushing night wind. They
had discovered her flight. Once she thought she
GKIZEL COCHEANE'S RIDE 191
heard hoof-beats behind her, but she knew she could
not be overtaken.
Through the streets, now narrow, now broad,
now straight, now crooked, dashed Black Konald
and his mistress. Once he nearly ran down a
drowsy watchman who stood nodding at a sharp
corner, but horse and rider were three hundred
yards away before the frightened guardian re-
gained his composure and sprang his discordant
Now the houses grew scarcer, and presently the
battlements of the town wall loomed up ahead, and
Grizel's heart sank, for there were lights in the
road. She heard shouts, and knew she was to be
challenged. She firmly set her teeth, said a little
prayer, and leaned far forward upon Black Ron-
ald's neck. The horse gave a snort of defiance,
shied violently away from a soldier who stood by
the way, and then went through the gateway like a
shot. Grizel clung tightly to her saddle-bow, and
urged her steed on. On, on they went down the
firm roadway lined on either side by rows of noble
oaks — on, on, out into the countryside, where the
sweet odor of the heather arose gracious and fra-
grant to the trembling girl. There was little
chance of her taking a wrong path. The road over
which the postboy came was the King's highway,
always kept in a state of repair.
She gave herself no time to notice the green up-
land farms, or the stately residences which stood
out on either hand in the moonlight. She concen-
192 HEROINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
trated her strength and mind on urging her horse
forward. She was too excited to form a definite
plan, and her only clear idea was to meet the post-
boy before daylight, for she knew it would not be
safe to trust too much to her disguise. Now and
then a feeling of terror flashed over her, and she
turned sick with dread; but her firm purpose up-
It was almost four in the morning, and the wind
was blowing chill from the sea, when she entered
the rolling woodlands about the Tweed. Grizel was
shivering with the cold, and was so tired that she
with diffl.culty kept her place in the saddle.
" We cannot hold out much longer, Ronald," she
said; "and if we fail, w^e can never hold up our
heads again." Ronald, the sure-footed, stumbled
and nearly fell. " It is no use," sighed Grizel ; " we
She dismounted, but it was some moments before
her tired limbs could obey her will. Beside the
roadway was a ditch filled with running water, and
Grizel managed to lead Ronald down the incline to
its brink, and let him drink. She scooped up a lit-
tle in her hand and moistened her tongue; then,
realizing that Ronald must not be allowed to stand
still, she, with great diificulty, mounted upon his
back again, and, heartsick, fearful, yet not daring
to turn back, coaxed him gently forward.
The moon had set long before this, and in the
misty east the sky began to blanch with the first
gleam of morning. Suddenly, around the curve of
GKIZEL COCHRANE'S RIDE 193
the road where it leaves the banks of the Tweed,
came a dark object. Grizel's heart leaped wildly.
Thirty seconds later she saw that it was indeed a
horseman. He broke into a song :
"The Lord o' Argyle cam' wi' plumes and wi' spears,
And Monmouth he landed wi' gay cavaliers!
The pibroch has eaa'd every tartan thegither,
B'thoosans their footsteps a'pressin' the heather;
Th' North and the South sent their bravest ones out,
But a joust wi' Kirke's Lambs put them all to the
By this time the horseman was so close that
Grizel could distinguish objects hanging upon the
horse in front of the rider. They were the mail-
bags ! For the first time she realized her weakness
and saw how unlikely it was that she would be able
to cope with an armed man. The blood rushed to
her head, and a courage that was the inspiration of
the moment took possession of her. She struck
Black Ronald a lash with her whip.
" Go ! " she said to him shrilly, while her heart-
beats hammered in her ears, " Go ! "
The astonished and excited horse leaped down
the road. As she met the postboy, she drew Black
Ronald, with a sudden strength that was born of
the danger, back upon his haunches. His huge
body blocked the way.
" Dismount ! " she cried to the other rider. Her
voice was hoarse from fright and sounded
strangely in her own ears. But a wild courage
194 HEKOIIS^ES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
nerved her, and the hand that drew and held the
pistol was as firm as a man's. Black Eonald was
rearing wildly, and in grasping the reins tighter,
her other hand mechanically altered its position
about the pistol.
She had not meant to fire, she had only thought
to aim and threaten, but suddenly there was a flash
of light in the gray atmosphere, a dull reverbera-
tion, and to the girl's horrified amazement she saw
the horse in front of her stagger and fall heavily to
the ground. The rider, thrown from his saddle,
was pinned to the earth by his horse and stunned by
the fall. Dizzy with pain and confused by the
rapidity of the assault, he made no effort to draw
The mail-bags had swung by their own momen-
tum quite clear of the horse in its fall, and now lay
loosely over its back, joined by the heavy strap.
It was a painful task for the exhausted girl to
dismount, but she did so, and, lifting the cumber-
some leathern bags, she threw them over Black
Ronald's neck. It was yet more painful to her ten-
der heart to leave the poor fellow she had injured
lying in so pitiable a condition, but her father's life
was in danger, and that, to her, was of more mo-
ment than the postboy's hurts.
" Heaven forgive me," she said, bending over him.
"I pray this may not be his death!" She clam-
bered over the fallen horse and mounted Ronald,
who was calm again. Then she turned his head to-
ward Edinboro' Town and hurriedly urged him for-
GKIZEL COCHKANE'S RIDE 195
ward. But as she sped away from the scene of the
encounter she kept looking back, with an awe-
struck face, to the fallen postboy. In the excite-
ment of the meeting and in her one great resolve to
obtain her father's death-warrant, she had lost all
thought of the risks she ran or of the injuries she
might inflict; and it was with unspeakable relief,
therefore, that she at last saw the postboy struggle
to his feet and stand gazing after her.
" Thank Heaven, he is not killed ! " she exclaimed
again and again, as she now joyfully pressed Ron-
ald into a gallop. Throughout the homeward jour-
ney Grizel made it a point to urge him to greater
speed when nearing a farmhouse, so that there
would be less risk of discovery. Once or twice she
was accosted by laborers in the field, and once by
the driver of a cart, but their remarks were lost
upon the wind as the faithful Ronald thundered on.
She did not feel the need of sleep, for she had for-
gotten it in all her excitement, but she was greatly
exhausted and suffering from the effects of her
Soon the smoke in the distance showed Grizel
that her native town lay an hour's journey ahead.
She set her teeth and said an encouraging word to
the horse. He seemed to understand, for he re-
doubled his energies. Now the roofs became vis-
ible, and now, grim and sullen, the turrets of the
castle loomed up. Grizel felt a great lump in her
throat as she thought of her father in his lonely
196 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
She turned Ronald from the road again and cut
through a clump of elms. She came out in a few
minutes and rode more slowly toAvard a smaller
gate than the one by which she had left the city. A
stout soldier looked at her carelessly and then
turned to his tankard of ale, after he had noticed
the mail-bags. Grizel turned into a crooked, nar-
row street lined on each side with toppling, frown-
ing buildings. She drew rein before a humble
house, and slipped wearily from her saddle and
knocked at the door. An old woman opened the
heavy oaken door and Grizel fell into her arms.
" The bags — the mail," she gasj)ed, and fainted.
When she recovered consciousness, she found her-
self on a low, rough bed. The old woman was
bending over her.
" Losh keep me ! " said the dame. " I did na ken.
ye! Ma puir bairnie! Hoo cam' ye by these?"
and she pointed to the clothes of Allen.
" The bags? " said Grizel, sitting bolt upright.
" Are under the hearth," said the old woman.
"And Ronald?" continued Grizel.
" Is in the byre wi' the coos," said the other with
a knowing leer. "Not a soul kens it. Ne'er a
body saw ye come."
Breathlessly Grizel explained all to her old
nurse, and then sprung off the bed. At her request
the old dame locked the door and brought her the
bags. By the aid of a sharp knife the pair slashed
open the leathern covering, and the inclosed packets
fell upon the floor. With trembling hands Grizel
GRIZEL COCHPwANE'S RIDE 197
fumbled them all over, tossing one after another
impatiently aside as she read the addresses. At
last she came upon a large one addressed to the
governor. With beating heart she hesitated a mo-
ment, and then tore the packet open with shaking
fingers. She easily read the bold handwriting.
Suddenly everything swam before her, and again
she nearly fell into her companion's arms.
It was too true. What she read was a formal
warrant of the King, signed by his majesty, and
stamped and sealed with red wax. It ordered the
governor to hang Sir John Cochrane of Ochiltree
at the Cross in Edinburgh at ten o'clock in the
morning, on the third day of the following week.
She clutched the paper and hid it in her dress.
The disposition of the rest of the mail was soon
decided upon. The old lady's son Jock — a wild
fellow — was to put the sacks on the back of a
donkey and turn it loose outside the gates, at his
earliest opportunity. And then Grizel, clad in
some rough garments the old lady procured, slipped
out of the house, and painfully made her way to-
ward the Canongate.
It was four o'clock in the afternoon when she
reached her home. The porter at the gate could
scarcely be made to understand that the uncouth
figure before him was his young mistress. But a
moment later her mother was embracing her, with
tears of joy.
All the male friends of Sir John were hastily
summoned, and Grizel related her adventure, and
198 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
displayed tlie death-warrant of her father. The
hated document was consigned to the flames, a
consultation was held, and that night three of the
gentlemen left for London.
The next day, the donkey, and the mail-sacks
were found by a sentry, and some little excitement
was occasioned ; but when the postboy came in later,
and related how he had been attacked by six
stalwart robbers, and how he had slain two of
them and was then overpowered and forced to sur-
render the bags, all wonderment was set at rest.
The Cochrane family passed a week of great
anxiety, but when it was ended, the three friends
returned from London with joyful news. The King
had listened to their petition, and had ordered the
removal of Sir John to the Tower of London, until
his case could be reconsidered. So to London Sir
John went; and after a time the payment of five
thousand pounds to some of the King's advisers
secured an absolute pardon. His lands, which had
been confiscated, were restored to him; and on his
arrival at his Scottish home, he was warmly wel-
comed by a great concourse of his friends. He
thanked them in a speech, taking care, however, not
to tell who was so greatly instrumental in making
his liberation possible. But we may be sure that
he was secretly proud of the pluck and devotion of
his daughter Grizel.
THE HEROINE OF VERCHERES
Many incidents of [the Iroquois inroads in New
France] are preserved, but none of them are so well
worth the record as the defense of the fort at
Vercheres by the young daughter of the seignior.
Many years later, the Marquis de Beauharnois, gov-
ernor of Canada, caused the story to be written
doTVTi from the recital of the heroine herself.
Vercheres was on the south shore of the St.
Lawrence about twenty miles below Montreal. A
strong blockhouse stood outside the fort, and was
connected with it by a covered way. On the morn-
ing of the twenty-second of October  the in-
habitants were at work in the fields, and nobody
was left in the place but two soldiers, two boys, an
old man of eighty, and a number of women and
children. The seignior, formerly an officer of the
regiment of Carignan, was on duty at Quebec ; his
wife was at Montreal; and their daughter Made-
leine, fourteen years of age, was at the landing-
place not far from the gate of the fort, with a hired
man named Laviolette.
Suddenly she heard firing from the direction
where the settlers were at work, and an instant
after Laviolette cried out, " Run, Mademoiselle,
run ! here come the Iroquois ! "
200 HEROmES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
She turned and saw forty or fifty of them at the
distance of a pistol-shot. " I ran for the fort, com-
mending myself to the Holy Virgin. The Iroquois
who chased after me, seeing that they could not
catch me alive before I reached the gate, stopped
and fired at me. The bullets whistled about my
ears, and made the time seem very long. As soon
as I was near enough to be heard, I cried out, ' To
arms ! to arms ! ' hoping that somebody would come
out and help me; but it was of no use. The two
soldiers in the fort were so scared that they had
hidden in the blockhouse. At the gate, I found two
women crying for their husbands, who had just
been killed. I made them go in, and then shut
" I next thought what I could do to save myself
and the few people with me. I went to inspect the
fort, and found that several palisades had fallen
down, and left openings by which the enemy could
easily get in. I ordered them to be set up again
and helped to carry them myself. When the
breaches were stopped, I went to the blockhouse
where the ammunition is kept, and here I found the
two soldiers — one hiding in a corner, and the other
with a lighted match in his hand.
" * What are you going to do with that match? '
I asked. He answered, 'Light the powder and
blow us all up.' ' You are a miserable coward,'
said I, * go out of this place.' I spoke so resolutely
that he obeyed.
" I then threw off my bonnet ; and after putting
THE HEROINE OF YERCHERES 201
on a hat and taking a gun, I said to my two broth-
ers : ^ Let us fight to the death. We are fighting
for our country and our religion. Remember that
our father has taught you that gentlemen are born
to shed their blood for the service of God and the
The boys, who were twelve and ten years old,
aided by the soldiers, whom her words had inspired
with some little courage, began to fire from the
loopholes upon the Iroquois, who, ignorant of the
weakness of the garrison, showed their usual re-
luctance to attack a fortified place, and occupied
themselves with chasing and butchering the people
in the neighboring fields. Madeleine ordered a
cannon to be fired, partly to deter the enemy from
an assault, and partly to warn some of the soldiers,
who were hunting at a distance. The women and
children in the fort cried and screamed without
ceasing. She ordered them to stop, lest their terror
should encourage the Indians.
A canoe was presently seen approaching the
landing-place. It was a settler named Fontaine,
trying to reach the fort with his family. The Iro-
quois were still near; and Madeleine feared that
the newcomers would be killed, if something were
not done to aid them. She appealed to the soldiers,
but their courage was not equal to the attempt;
on which, as she declares, after leaving Laviolette
to keep watch at the gate, she herself went alone
to the landing-place.
" I thought that the savages would suppose it to
202 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
be a ruse to draw them toward the fort, in order
to make a sortie upon them. They did suppose
so, and thus I was able to save the Fontaine family.
When they were all landed, I made them march
before me in full sight of the enemy. We put so
bold a face on it, that they thought they had more
to fear than we. Strengthened by this reinforce-
ment, I ordered that the enemy should be fired on
whenever they showed themselves.
" After sunset, a violent northeast wind began
to blow, accompanied with snow and hail, which
told us that we should have a terrible night. The
Iroquois were all this time lurking about us ; and I
judged by their movements that, instead of being
deterred by the storm, they would climb into the
fort under cover of the darkness.
" I assembled all my troops, that is to say, six
persons, and spoke to them thus : ^ God has saved
us to-day from the hands of our enemies, but we
must take care not to fall into their snares to-night.
As for me, I want you to see that I am not afraid.
I will take charge of the fort with an old man of
eighty and another who never fired a gun ; and you,
Pierre Fontaine, with La Bonte and Gachet (our
two soldiers), will go to the blockhouse with the
women and children, because that is the strongest
place; and if I am taken, don't surrender, even if
I am cut to pieces and burned before your eyes.
The enemy cannot hurt you in the blockhouse, if
you make the least show of fight.'
" I placed my young brothers on two of the bas-
THE HEROINE OF VERCH:^RES 203
tions, the old man on the third, and I took the
fourth; and all night, in spite of wind, snow, and
hail, the cries of * All's well ' were kept up from
the blockhouse to the fort, and from the fort to the
bloclihouse. One would have thought that the
place was full of soldiers. The Iroquois thought
so, and were completely deceived — as they con-
fessed afterwards to Monsieur de Calli^res, whom
they told that they had held a council to make a
plan for capturing the fort in the night, but had
done nothing because such a constant watch was
" About one in the morning, the sentinel on the
bastion by the gate called out, ' Mademoiselle, I
hear something.' I went to him to find what it was ;
and by the help of the snow, which covered the
ground, I could see through the darkness a number
of cattle, the miserable remnant that the Iroquois
had left us. The others wanted to open the gate
and let them in, but I answered : ^ God forbid !
You don't know all the tricks of the savages. They
are no doubt following the cattle, covered with
skins of beasts, so as to get into the fort, if we are
simple enough to open the gate for them.' Never-
theless, after taking every precaution, I thought
that we might open it without risk. I made my two
brothers stand ready with thoir guns cocked in case
of surprise, and so we let in the cattle.
" At last, the daylight came again ; and, as the
darkness disappeared, our anxieties seemed to dis-
appear with it. Everybody took courage except
204 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Mademoiselle Marguerite, wife of tlie Sieur Fon-
taine, who, being extremely timid, as all Parisian
women are, asked her husband to carry her to an-
other fort. . . . He said, ' I will never abandon
this fort while Mademoiselle Madeleine is here.' I
answered him that I would never abandon it; that
I would rather die than give it up to the enemy;
and that it was of the greatest importance that
they should never get possession of any French
fort, because if they got one they would think they
could get others, and would grow more bold and
presumptuous than ever.
" I may say with truth that I did not eat or sleep
for twice twenty-four hours. I did not go once
into my father's house, but kept always on the bas-
tion, or went to the blockhouse to see how the peo-
ple there were behaving. I always kept a cheerful
and smiling face, and encouraged my little com-
pany with the hope of speedy succor.
" We were a week in constant alarm, with the
enemy always about us. At last Monsieur de la
Monnerie, a lieutenant sent by Monsieur de Cal-
li^res, arrived in the night with forty men. As he
did not know whether the fort was taken or not, he
approached as silently as possible. One of our
sentinels, hearing a slight sound, cried, ' Qui vive? *
" I was at the time dozing, with my head on a
table and my gun lying across my arms. The senti-
nel told me that he heard a voice from the river. I
went up at once to the bastion to see whether it
was Indians or Frenchmen. I asked, *Who are
THE HEROINE OF VERCH:^RES 205
you?' One of them answered, *We are French-
men: it is La Monnerie, who comes to bring you
" I caused the gate to be opened, placed a sentinel
there, and went down to the river to meet them.
As soon as I saw Monsieur de la Monnerie, I sa-
luted him, and said, ' Monsieur, I surrender my
arms to you.' He answered gallantly, ' Mademoi-
selle, they are in good hands.' ' Better than you
think,' I returned. He inspected the fort and found
everything in order, and a sentinel on each bastion.
^ It is time to relieve them, Monsieur,' said I ; ' we
have not been off our bastions for a week.' "
A band of converts from the Saut St. Louis ar-
rived soon after, followed the trail of their heathen
countrymen, overtook them on Lake Champlain,
and recovered twenty or more French prisoners.
Madeleine de Vercheres was not the only heroine
of her family. Her father's fort was the Castle
Dangerous of Canada; and it was but two years
before that her mother, left with three or four
armed men, and beset by the Iroquois, threw her-
self with her followers into the blockhouse, and
held the assailants two days at bay, till the Marquis
de Crisasy came with troops to her relief.
William Henry Drummond
I've told you many a tale, my childj of the old
Of Indian wars and massacre, of villages ablaze
With savage torch, from Ville Marie to the Mis-
sion of Trois Rivieres
But never have I told you yet, of Madeleine Ver-
Summer had come with its blossoms, and gaily
the robin sang
And deep in the forest arches the axe of the wood-
Again in the waving meadows, the sun-browned
And out on the green St. Lawrence, the fisher-
man spread his net.
And so through the pleasant season, till the days
of October came
When children wrought with their parents, and
even the old and lame
With tottering frames and footsteps, their feeble
At the gathering of the harvest le bon Dieu him-
self had sent.
MADELEINE VERCHEKES 207
For news there was none of battle, from the forts
on the Richelieu
To the gates of the ancient city, where the flag
of King Louis flew ;
All peaceful the skies hung over the seigneurie
Like the calm that so often cometh, ere the hurri-
cane rends the air.
And never a thought of danger had the Seigneur
To join the soldiers of Carignan, where down at
Quebec they lay,
But smiled on his little daughter, the maiden
And a necklet of jewels promised her, when home
he should come again.
And ever the days passed swiftly, and careless
the worlmien grew
For the months they seemed a hundred, since the
last war-bugle blew.
Ah ! little they dreamt on their pillows, the farm-
ers of Vercheres,
That the wolves of the southern forest had
scented the harvest fair.
Like ravens they quickly gather, like tigers they
watch their prey.
Poor people ! with hearts so happy, they sang as
they toiled away,
208 HEROINES OF HISTOKY AND LEGEND
Till tlie murderous eyeballs glistened, and the
tomahawk leaped out
And the banks of the green St. Lawrence echoed
the savage shout.
" Oh mother of Christ have pity," shrieked the
women in despair,
" This is no time for praying," cried the young
" Aux armes ! aux armes ! les Iroquois ! quick to
your arms and guns !
Fight for your God and country and the lives of
the innocent ones."
And she sped like a deer of the mountain, when
beagles press close behind,
And the feet that would follow after, must be
swift as the prairie wind.
Alas ! for the men and women, and little ones that
For the road it was long and weary, and the fort
it was far away.
But the fawn had outstripped the hunters, and
the palisades drew near.
And soon from the inner gateway the war-bugle
rang out clear ;
Gallant and clear it sounded, with never a note
'Twas a soldier of France's challenge, from the
young Madeleine Vercheres.
MADELEINE VERCHERES 209
" And this is my little garrison, my brothers, Louis
With soldiers two — and a cripple? may the
Virgin pray for us all.
But we've powder and guns in plenty, and we'll
fight to the latest breath,
And if need be for God and country, die a brave
" Load all the carabines quickly, and whenever you
sight the foe
Fire from the upper turret, and the loopholes
Keep up the fire, brave soldiers, though the fight
may be fierce and long,
And they'll think our little garrison is more than
a hundred strong."
So spake the maiden Madeleine, and she roused
the Norman blood
That seemed for a moment sleeping, and sent it
like a flood
Through every heart around her, and they fought
the red Iroquois
As fought in the old-time battles, the soldiers of
And they say the black clouds gathered, and a
tempest swept the sky
And the roar of the thunder mingled with the
forest tiger's cry ;
210 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
But still the garrison fought on, while the light-
ning's jagged spear
Tore a hole in the night's dark curtain, and
showed them a foeman near.
And the sun rose up in the morning, and the
color of blood was he,
Gazing down from the heavens on the little com-
" Behold ! my friends ! " cried the maiden, " 'tis a
warning lest we forget ;
Though the night saw us do our duty, our work
is not finished yet."
And six days followed each other, and feeble her
Yet the maid never sought her pillow, and the
flash of the carabines' flame
Illumined the powder-smoked faces, aye, even
when hope seemed gone.
And she only smiled on her comrades, and told
them to fight, fight on.
And she blew a blast on the bugle, and lo ! from
the forest black
Merrily, merrily ringing, an answer came pealing
Oh ! pleasant and sweet it sounded, borne on the
For it heralded fifty soldiers, with gallant De la
MADELEINE VERCHEKES 211
And when he beheld the maiden, the soldier of
And looked on the little garrison that fought the
And held their own in the battle, for six long
He stood for a moment speechless, and marveled
at woman's ways.
Then he beckoned the men behind him and stead-
ily they advance,
And with carabines uplifted, the veterans of
Saluted the brave young Captain so timidly
And they fired a volley in honor of Madeleine
And this, my dear, is the story of the maiden
God grant that we in Canada may never see again
Such cruel wars and massacres, in waking or in
As our fathers and mothers saw, my child, in the
days of the old regime.
In Ipswich town, not far from the sea,
Rises a hill which the people call
Heartbreak Hill, and its history
Is an old, old legend, known to all.
The selfsame dreary, worn-out tale
Told by all peoples in every clime,
Still to be told till the ages fail,
And there comes a pause in the march of
It was a sailor who won the heart
Of an Indian maiden, lithe and young;
And she saw him over the sea depart.
While sweet in her ear his promise rung ;
For he cried, as he kissed her wet eyes dry,
" I'll come back, sweetheart ; keep your
faith ! "
She said, " I will watch while the moons go
Her love was stronger than life or death.
HEARTBREAK HILL 213
So this poor dusk Ariadne kept
Her watcli from tke hilltop rugged and
Slowly the empty moments crept
While she studied the changing face of the
Fastening her eyes upon every speck
That crossed the ocean within her ken ;
Might not her lover be walking the deck,
Surely and swiftly retiu-ning again?
The Isles of Shoals loomed, lonely and dim,
In the northeast distance far and gray,
And on the horizon's uttermost rim
The low rock heap of Boon Island lay.
And north and south and west and east
Stretched sea and land in the blinding light,
Till evening fell, and her vigil ceased.
And many a hearth-glow lit the night,
To mock those set and glittering eyes
Fast growing wild as her hope went out.
Hateful seemed earth, and the hollow skies,
Like her own heart, empty of aught but
Oh, but the weary, merciless days.
With the sun above, with the sea afar,—
No change in her fixed and wistful gaze
From the morning-red to the evening star!
214 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Oh, the winds that blew, and the birds that
The calms that smiled, and the storms that
The bells from the town beneath, that rang
Through the summer's heat and the winter's
The flash of the plunging surges white,
The soaring gull's wild, boding cry, —
She was weary of all ; there was no delight
In heaven or earth, and she longed to die.
What was it to her though the Dawn should
With delicate beauty skies and seas?
But the sweet, sad sunset splendors faint
Made her soul sick with memories :
Drowning in sorrowful purple a sail
In the distant east, where shadows grew,
Till the twilight shrouded it, cold and pale.
And the tide of her anguish rose anew.
Like a slender statue carved of stone
She sat, with hardly motion or breath.
She wept no tears and she made no moan,
But her love was stronger than life or death.
HEARTBKEAK HILL 215
He never came back ! Yet faithful still,
She watched from the hilltop her life away.
And the townsfolk christened it Heartbreak
And it bears the name to this very day.
WELCOME TO SKYE
A Jacobite Song
There are twa bonny maidens,
And three bonny maidens,
Come over the Minch,
And come over the main,
Wi' the wind for their way,
And the corrie for their hame :
Let us welcome them bravely
Unto Skye again.
Come along, come along,
Wi' your boatie and your song,
You twa bonny maidens,
And three bonny maidens ;
For the night it is dark,
And the red-coat is gone,
And you're bravely welcome
To Skye again.
There is Flora, my honey.
So dear and so bonny.
And one that is tall.
And comely withal ;
Put the one as my king,
And the other as my queen,
They're welcome unto
The Isle of Slije again.
WELCOME TO SKYE 217
Come along, come along,
Wi' your boatie and your song.
You twa bonny maidens,
And three bonny maidens ;
For the lady of Macoulain
She lieth her lane.
And you're bravely welcome
To Skye again.
Her arm it is strong.
And her petticoat is long.
My one bonny maiden,
And twa bonny maidens;
But their bed shall be clean,
On the heather mast crain ;
And they're welcome unto
The Isle of Skye again.
Come along, come along,
Wi' your boatie and your song,
You one bonny maiden.
And twa bonny maidens.
By the sea-moullit's nest
I will watch o'er the main;
And you're dearly welcome
To Skye again.
There's a wind on the tree,
And a ship on the sea,
My twa bonny maidens,
My three bonny maidens :
218 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
On the lea of the rock
Your cradle I shall rock ;
And you're welcome unto
The Isle of Skye again.
Come along, come along,
Wi' your boatie and your song,
My twa bonny maidens.
And three bonny maidens :
More sound shall you sleep,
Wlien you rock on the deep ;
And you'll aye be welcome
To Skye again.
FLORA MACDONALD, THE HEROItTE OF
THE " FORTY-FIVE "
Charles Edwaed Stuart, the " Bonnie Prince
Charlie " of song and story, known in history as the
" Young Pretender," endeavored in 1745 to win
back the throne which his forefathers had lost.
Though victorious at Prestonpans and at Falkirk,
Charles was driven northwards by the royal troops,
and falling back on Inverness he made his last
stand at Culloden, where the hopes of the Stuarts
were forever shattered. After his defeat, the Prince
was hurried from the field of battle by several of
his ofS-cers, and spent the night in an empty house
without covering or food.
On the following day, with three companions,
and carefully disguised, Charles entered Lochiel's
country, and proceeded on foot over mountain and
moor on his way to the Western Isles, where he
hoped to be able to get on board a vessel for France.
By this time a reward of thirty thousand pounds
had been set on the Prince's head, and therefore it
was of the utmost importance to conceal his iden-
tity from every one whose loyalty was suspected.
He could hardly hope to escape, for warships were
220 HEKOlKES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
cruising along the coast, militia were scouring the
hills, and Government spies were spread in all di-
rections. The fidelity of his followers was tested
to the utmost, but, though the reward offered would
have been to any of them an immense fortune, there
was not one found base enough to betray the fugi-
At length the islands of the west coast were
reached, and in a wild spot in South Uist the Prince
lay concealed for a month. Scouts, at the risk of
their lives, surrounded the place of his retreat, and
were ready at a moment's notice to guide him by
secret paths to a new hiding-place on the first ap-
pearance of danger.
At length the Prince was so hemmed in, both by
land and sea, that it was necessary to make a bold
attempt to get him out of the country, and, as a
last resource, a young lady named Flora Macdonald
was applied to for her assistance. She was the
stepdaughter of Hugh Macdonald, an officer in the
King's army, but secretly a friend of the Stuarts.
Miss Macdonald was at that time twenty-four years
of age, of middle stature, a pretty, agreeable young
woman, of great sprightliness, modesty, and good-
The first interview between the Prince and Flora
took place on the island of Benbocula, where it was
arranged that Charles should dress as a woman,
and be passed off as Betty Burke, maid to Miss
Macdonald. Before they started, Flora was made
prisoner by the militia because she had no passport.
From Pn'uiting by Allan Ramsay.
FLORA MACDONALD 221
It so happened, however, that the commanding
of&cer was her stei)father, who furnished her with
a passport for herself, her man, named Neil Make-
chan, and her maid Betty Burke.
On the 28th of June, about eight o'clock in the
evening, they embarked in a small boat, but on ap-
proaching the island of Skye they found the place
where they intended to land in possession of the
militia. Shots were fired on the boat and an alarm
was given, but the little party got safe into a creek,
where they rested for a time. Then they succeeded
in landing on another point of the island. Here
the Prince was left in the boat while Flora called
on Lady Macdonald, who, in an agony of terror, in-
sisted on their immediate departure, as there were
soldiers in the neighborhood.
Fortunately, Macdonald of Kingsburgh, Lady
Macdonald's factor, offered to assist in conveying
the Prince to Portree, and for this purpose accom-
panied Miss Macdonald to the shore. A servant
who was with him said to Miss Macdonald that she
had never seen such an impudent-looking woman
as Betty Burke, who she thought must be a man in
woman's clothes. " See," she said, " what long
strides the jade takes, and how awkwardly she
manages her petticoats."
It was near midnight when the little party ar-
rived at Macdonald of Kingsburgh's house, and,
not expecting her husband at so late an hour, Mrs.
Macdonald had retired for the night. Unwilling
to rise, the lady sent her compliments to Flora
222 HEROmES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Macdonald, whom she knew; and desired her to
make free with anything in the house; as for her-
self she was too sleepy and tired to see her that
night. Directly afterwards her little daughter ran
into the room, crying out, " Mamma ! mamma ! my
father has brought hither a very odd, muckle, ill-
shaken-up wife as ever I saw."
Kingsburgh himself then entered the room, and
desired his wife to rise at once and prepare the best
supper she could. In reply to her question about
his guests, he told her that she should know in good
time who they were. Mi^. Macdonald at once com-
plied with her husband's request, but when she saw
her visitor she " was so frightened," as she said,
" at seeing sic a muckle trollop of a carlin make
sic lang strides through the hall, ^iiat she did not
like her appearance."
When the strange figure bent down and kissed
her, she saw it was a man, and in a whisper asked
her husband if their visitor was one of the unfor-
tunate gentlemen escaped from Culloden. On hear-
ing that such was the case, she wished to know if
he could tell them anything about the Prince.
" My dear, it is the Prince," said her husband.
" The Prince ! " cried she ; " then we are all
ruined, we shall all be hanged."
" Hout," cried he, " we shall die but once ; and
if we are hanged for this, we die in a good cause,
doing only an act of humanity and charity. But
go, make haste with supper. Bring us eggs, butter,
cheese, and whatever else is ready."
FLOKA MACDONALD 223
" Eggs, butter, cheese ! " was the reply. " What
a supper is that for a Prince? "
" Oh, wife," said her husband, " you little know
how this good Prince has lived of late. This will
be a feast to hiin. Besides, to make a formal sup-
per would cause the servants to suspect something.
The less ceremony, therefore, the better."
At supper the Prince placed Miss Flora Mac-
donald at his right hand, always paying her the
greatest respect wherever she was, and Mrs. Mac-
donald at his left. The plentiful meal, so different
from his late hard fare, and the cheerful surround-
ings, caused the Prince, for a brief period, to forget
his miserable condition and the dangers by which
he was surrounded.
In the meantime the boatmen who had brought
the party to the island had gone back to South Uist,
where they were at once seized by the militia, and,
being threatened with torture or death, revealed
all they loiew. They gave a description of the
gown, with purple sprigs thickly stamped, and the
white apron worn by the disguised Prince. It was
therefore very fortunate that on the following day
the Prince changed his clothes for a man's dress.
Not having slept in a bed for some time before,
the Prince could scarcely be awakened in the morn-
ing; but, as everything was ready to continue the
journey, Kingsburgh was obliged to call him up.
When he was dressed, the ladies went into his room,
and Mrs. Macdonald asked for a lock of his hair.
He at once complied with her request, and the lock
224 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
so given was divided between the ladies. Kings-
burgh, gave the Prince a new pair of shoes, and re-
ligiously kept the worn ones. They were after-
wards cut into small pieces and distributed among
Jacobite friends. The sheets of the bed in which
the Prince had slept were preserved by the two
ladies, and at death they served them as shrouds —
" pathetic memoirs of a devotion that was sweeter
than life and stronger than death."
After breakfast Kingsburgh went with his guest
for a short distance on the way, and when they
parted the Prince embraced his host, and bade him
a long and happy adieu. Thanking him for his
services in a most affectionate manner, the Prince
assured Kingsburgh that he would never forget
A guide led Charles by secret paths to Portree,
while Miss Macdonald went on horseback another
road; thereby the better to gain intelligence and
to prevent discovery. Another person had also
been sent forward to have a boat in readiness. Half
a mile from the shore the Prince met Flora and
bade her farewell. Taking her hand in his "he
gazed down for a minute on the fair young face, and
the eyes dimmed with tears but bright with the
expression of profound fidelity of her race, then he
reverently bared his head, and, bending down,
kissed her twice on the forehead. *For all that
has happened,' he said, ^ I hope, madam, we shall
meet in St. James' yet.' " Then they parted, ne^er
to meet again.
THE LAMENT OF FLORA MACDONALD
Far over yon hills of the heather so green,
And down by the corrie that sings to the sea,
The bonny young Flora sat sighing her lane,
The dew on her plaid and the tear in her e'e.
She looked at a boat with the breezes that swung
Away on the wave, like a bird of the main ;
And aye as it lessened, she sighed and she sung,
" Fareweel to the lad I shall ne'er see again !
Fareweel to my hero, the gallant and young !
Fareweel to the lad I shall ne'er see again !
" The moorcock that craws on the brow of Ben-
He kens o' his bed in a sweet mossy hame ;
The eagle that soars o'er the cliffs o' Clan-Ronald,
Unawed and unhunted, his eyrie can claim ;
The solan can sleep on his shelve of the shore ;
The cormorant roost on his rock of the sea :
But, ah ! there is one whose hard fate I deplore ;
Nor house, ha', nor hame, in his country has he.
The conflict is past, and our name is no more:
There's nought left but sorrow for Scotland
226 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" The target is torn from the arms of the just,
The helmet is cleft on the brow of the brave,
The claymore for ever in darkness must rust,
But red is the sword of the stranger and slave :
The hoof of the horse, and the foot of the proud.
Have trod o'er the plumes on the bonnets of
Why slept the red bolt in the breast of the cloud.
When tyranny revelled in blood of the true?
Fareweel, my young hero, the gallant and good !
The crown of thy fathers is torn from thy
CAPTAIN MOLLY AT MONMOUTH
On the bloody field of Monmouth.
Flashed the guns of Greene and Wayne ;
Fiercely roared the tide of battle,
Thick the sward was heaped with slain.
Foremost, facing death and danger,
Hessian horse, and grenadier,
In the vanguard, fiercely fighting,
Stood an Irish cannoneer.
Loudly roared his iron cannon,
Mingling ever in the strife.
And beside him, firm and daring.
Stood his faithful Irish wife.
Of her bold contempt of danger
Greene and Lee's Brigades could teU,
Every one knew " Captain Molly,"
And the army loved her well.
Surged the roar of battle round them,
Swiftly flew the iron hail,
Forward dashed a thousand bayonets.
That lone battery to assail.
From the foeman's foremost columns
Swept a furious fusillade.
Mowing down the massed battalions
In the ranks of Greene's Brigade.
228 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Fast and faster worked the gunner,
Soiled with powder, blood, and dust,
English bayonets shone before him.
Shot and shell around him burst ;
Still he fought with reckless daring,
Stood and manned her long and well,
Till at last the gallant fellow
Dead — beside his cannon fell.
With a bitter cry of sorrow.
And a dark and angry frown,
Looked that band of gallant patriots
At their gunner stricken down.
" Fall back, comrades ! It is folly
Thus to strive against the foe."
" No ! not so," cried Irish Molly ;
" We can strike another blow ! "
Quicldy leaped she to the cannon,
In her fallen husband's place.
Sponged and rammed it fast and steady,
Fired it in the foeman's face.
Flashed another ringing volley,
Roared another from the gun ;
" Boys, hurrah ! " cried gallant Molly,
" For the flag of Washington ! "
Greene's Brigade, though shorn and shat-
Slain and bleeding half their men,
"V^Hien they heard that Irish slogan,
Turned and charged the foe again.
CAPTAIN MOLLY AT MONMOUTH 229
Knox and Wayne and Morgan rally,
To the front they forward wheel,
And before their rushing onset
Clinton's English columns reel.
Still the cannon's voice in anger
Rolled and rattled o'er the plain,
Till there lay in swarms around it
Mangled heaps of Hessian slain.
*' Forward ! charge them with the bayonet ! "
'Twas the voice of Washington ;
And there burst a fiery greeting
From the Irish woman's gun.
Monckton falls ; against his columns
Leap the troops of Wayne and Lee,
And before their reeking bayonets
Clinton's red battalions flee.
Morgan's rifles, flercely flashing.
Thin the foe's retreating ranks.
And behind them, onward dashing,
Ogden hovers on their flanks.
Fast they fly, these boasting Britons,
Who in all their glory came,
With their brutal Hessian hirelings
To wipe out our country's name.
Proudly floats the starry banner ;
Monmouth's glorious fleld is won;
And in triumph Irish Molly
Stands beside her smoking gun.
AGOSTINA OF ZARAGOZA
Charlotte M. Yonge
One of the most unjustifiable acts of ^Napoleon's
grasping policy was the manner in which he en-
trapped the poor, foolish, weak Spanish royal fam-
ily into his power, and then kept them in captivity,
and gave their kingdom to his brother Joseph. The
whole Spanish people were roused to resistance by
this atrocious transfer, and the whole of the peas-
antry rose, as one man, to repel this shameful ag-
gression. A long course of bad government had done
much to destroy the vigor of the nation, and as
soldiers in the open field they were utterly worth-
less ; but still there were high qualities of patience
and perseverance among them, and these were
never more fully shown than in their defense of
Zaragoza, the ancient capital of the kingdom of
This city stands in an open plain, covered with
olive grounds, and closed in by high mountains.
About a mile to the southwest of the city was some
high ground called the Torrero, upon which stood
a convent, and close beside the city flowed the Ebro,
crossed by two bridges, one of which was made of
wood, and said to be the most beautiful specimen
of the kind of fabric in Europe. The water is of a
AGOSTINA OF ZAKAGOZA 231
dirty red, but grows clear when it has stood long
enough and is then excellent to drink.
There were no regular fortifications, only a brick
wall, ten or twelve feet high, and three feet thick,
and often encroached upon by houses. Part of it
was, however, of old Eoman workmanship, hav-
ing been built under Augustus, by whom the town
was called Csesarea Augusta, a name since cor-
rupted into Zaragoza. Four of the twelve gates
were in this old wall, which was so well built as to
put to shame all the modern buildings and their
bad bricks. These were the material of even the
churches and convents, all alike with the houses,
and so bad was the construction that there were
cracks in most of the buildings from top to bottom.
The houses were generally three stories high, the
streets very narrow and crooked, except one wide
and long one, called sometimes the Calle Santa,
sometimes the Cozo.
Zaragoza was highly esteemed as the first seat
of Christianity in Spain; indeed, legend declared
that St. James the Great had preached there, and
had beheld a vision of the blessed Virgin, standing
upon a marble pillar, and bidding him there build
a church in honor of her. The pillar was the great
object of veneration in Aragon, and there was a
double cathedral, with service performed alter-
nately in the two parts. So much venerated was
our Lady of the Pillar, that Pilar became a girl's
name in the surrounding country, and this was the
center of pilgrimages to the Aragonese, as St.
232 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
James's shrine at Compostella was to the Castil-
As is well said by Southey, in the fiery trial of
the Zaragozans, " the dross and tinsel of their faith
disappeared, and its pure gold remained." The
inhabitants appeared, like most Spaniards since
the blight of Philip II's policy had fallen on them,
dull, apathetic beings, too proud and indolent for
exertion — ^the men smoking cigaritos at their doors,
the women only coming out with black silk mantil-
las over their heads to go to church. The French,
on first seizing it, with the rest of Spain, thought
it the dullest place they had ever yet entered, and
greatly despised the inhabitants.
General Lefebvre Desnouettes was sent to quiet
the insurrection against the French in Aragon ; and
on the 13th and 14th of June, 1808, he easily routed
the bodies of Spaniards who tried to oppose him.
The flying Spanish troops were pursued into Zara-
goza by the French cavalry, but here the inhabit-
ants were able from their houses to drive back the
enemy. Don Jose Palafox, a Spanish nobleman,
who had been equerry to the Xing, took the com-
mand of the garrison, who were only two hundred
and twenty soldiers, and endeavored to arm the
inhabitants, about sixty thousand in number, and
all full of the most determined spirit of resistance
to the invaders. He had only sixteen cannon and
a few muskets, but fowling-pieces were collected,
and pikes were forged by all the smiths in the
AGOSTINA OF ZARAGOZA 233
The siege began on the 27th of June. The French
army was in considerable force, and had a great
supply of mortars and battering cannon; such as
could by their shells and shot rend the jDOor brick
city from end to end. The Torrero quickly fell
into their hands, and from that height there was
a constant discharge of those terrible shells and
grenades that burst in pieces where they fall, and
carry destruction everywhere. Not one building
within the city could withstand them, and they
were fired, not at the walls, but into the town. All
that could be done was to place beams slanting
against the houses, so that there might be a shelter
under them from the shells. The awnings that
sheltered the windows from the summer sun were
taken down, sewn up into sacks, and filled with
earth, then piled up before the gates, with a deep
trench dug before them; the houses on the walls
were pulled down, and every effort made to
strengthen the defenses — the whole of the lately
quiet, lazy population toiling earnestly together, in
the midst of the deadly shower that was always
falling from the Torrero and striking down num-
bers as they worked.
The same spirit animated every one. The
Countess Burita, a beautiful young lady, formed
the women into an organized company for carrying
wine, water, and food to the soldiers on guard, and
relieving the wounded, and throughout the whole
siege her courage and perseverance never failed;
she was continually seen in the places most exposed
234 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
to the enemy's fire, bringing help and refreshment
wherever she appeared among the hard-pressed
warriors. The nuns became nurses to the sick and
wounded, and made cartridges, which were carried
to the defenders by the children of the place. The
monks attended the sick and dying, or else bore
arms, feeling that this — the cause of their country,
their king and their faith — ^had become to them a
Thus men, women and children alike seemed full
of the same loyal spirit; but some traitor must
have been among them, for on the night of the
twenty-eighth, the powder magazine in the center of
the town was blown up, destroying fourteen houses
and killing two hundred people. At the same time,
evidently prepared to profit by the confusion thus
caused, the French appeared before three of the
gates, and a dreadful fire began from the Torrero,
shells bursting everywhere among the citizens, who
were striving in the dark to dig their friends out
of the ruined houses.
The worst of the attack was at the gate called
Portillo and lasted the whole day. The sand-bag
defense was frequently destroyed by the fire, and
as often renewed under this dreadful shot by the
undaunted Spaniards. So dreadful was the car-
nage, that at one moment every man of the defend-
ers lay dead. At that moment one of the women
who were carrying refreshments came up. Her
name was Agostina Zaragoza ; she was a fine-look-
ing woman of two-and-twenty, and was full of a
AGOSTINA OF ZAEAGOZA 235
determined sx)irit. She saw the citizens hesitate to
step forward to man the defenses where certain
death awaited them. Springing forward, she
caught the match from the hand of a dead gunner,
fired his twenty-six pounder, and seating herself on
it, declared it her charge for the rest of the siege.
And she kept her word. She was the heroine of the
siege where all were heroines.
She is generally called the Maid of Zaragoza, but
she seems to have been the widow of one of the
artillerymen, who was here killed, and that she
continued to serve his gun, not solely as a patriot,
but because she thus obtained a right to provisions
for her little children, who otherwise might have
starved in the famine that began to prevail. If this
lessens the romance, it seems to us to add to the
beauty and womanliness of Agostiua's character,
that for the sake of her children she should have
run into the hottest of the peril, and taken up the
task in which her husband had died.
Her readiness in that critical moment saved the
Portillo for that time, but the attacks were renewed
again and again with equal fury and fearful blood-
shed. The French general had fancied that he
could easily take such an unfortified place, and
finding it so difdcult, had lost his temper, and was
thus throwing away his men's lives ; but after sev-
eral such failures, he began to invest the city regu-
larly. Gunpowder was failing the besieged until
they supplied its place by wonderful ingenuity.
All the sulphur in the place was collected, nitre
236 HEROINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
was obtained by washing it out of tlie soil of the
streets, and charcoal by charring the stalks of the
very large variety of hemp that grows in that part
of Spain. At the end of forty-six days the city was
entirely surrounded, provisions were falling short,
and there was not a single place safe from the shot
and shell. On the 2d of August, a hospital caught
fire, and the courage of the women was again
shown by their exertions in carrying out the sick
and wounded from the flames in spite of the con-
tinued shot from the enemy's batteries; indeed,
throughout the siege the number of women and boys
who were killed was quite as great in proportion as
that of men; the only difftculty was to keep them
from running needlessly into danger.
On the 4th of August, the French opened a bat-
tery within pistol-shot of the gate called after the
great convent of St. Engracia. The mud walls
were leveled at the first discharge and after a deadly
struggle the besiegers forced their way into the
convent, and before the end of the day had gained
all that side of the city, up to the main central
street, the Cozo. General Lefebvre thought all was
now over with his enemies, and summoned Palafox
to surrender, in a note containing only these words :
" Headquarters, St. Engracia. Capitulation."
The answer he received was equally brief:
"Headquarters, Zaragoza. War to the knife."
There they were ! A street about as wide as Pall-
Mall was all that lay between besiegers and be-
sieged, to whom every frail brick house had become
AGOSTINA OF ZAKAGOZA 237
a fortress, while the openings of the narrow cross
streets were piled up with sand-bags to form bat-
teries. Soon the space was heaped with dead
bodies, either killed on the spot or thrown from
the windows, and this was enough to breed a pesti-
lence among the survivors. The French let them
lie, knowing that such a disease would be the surest
destruction to the garrison, and they fired on the
Spaniards whenever they ventured out to bury
them. Upon this Palafox devised tying ropes to
his French prisoners, and driving them out to bring
in the corpses for burial. The enemy would not
fire on their own countrymen and thus this danger
was lessened, although not entirely removed, and
sickness as well as famine was added to the misery
of the brave Aragonese.
The manufacture of powder, too, could no longer
be carried on, but happily Don Francisco, the
brother of Palafox, was able to make his way into
the city with three thousand men and a convoy of
arms and ammunition.
Padre Santiago Sass, the curate of one of the
parishes of Zaragoza showed himself one of the
bravest of all the brave, fighting at every hazardous
point, and at other times moving about among the
sick and dying to give them the last rites of the
church. No one's heart failed in that eleven days
of one continual battle from house to house, from
room to room, when the nights were times of more
dreadful conflict than the days. Often, under cover
of the darkness, a party would rush across to seize
238 HEEOINES OF HISTOKY AND LEGEND
a battery ; and once a Spaniard made his way under
cover of the corpses, which filled the whole space
between the combatants, and fastened a rope to
one of the French guns. It had almost been
dragged across the street and was only lost by the
breaking of the rope.
On the 8th of August the Spaniards agreed that
if they could not hold their ground in the city, they
must retire acrosife the Ebro, break down the bridge,
and defend the suburbs as they had defended the
streets. Only an eighth part of their city now re-
mained to them ; and on the night of the thirteenth
the enemy's fire was more destructive and constant
than ever. The great convent of St. Engracia was
blown up, the whole of the French part of the city
glared with flaming houses, the climax of the hor-
rors of the siege seemed to be come! But the re-
ports of the batteries gradually ceased, and with
the early morning light the garrison beheld the road
to Pamplona filled with French troops in full re-
In effect, intelligence had been received of re-
verses to the invaders, and of extended movements
among the Spaniards, which had led the French to
decide on quitting Zaragoza ere these desperate
defenders should be reinforced by the army which
was collecting to relieve them.
Their fortitude had won the day. The carnage
had ended, and it remained for them to clear their
streets from the remains of the deadly strife, and
to give thanks for their deliverance. Agostina, in
AGOSTINA OF ZARAGOZA 239
testimony of lier courage, was to receive for life
the pay of an artilleryman, and to wear a little
shield of honor embroidered on her sleeve.
So ended the wonderful siege of Zaragoza. It
is sad to know that when the French forces came
in full numbers into Spain, the brave town shared
the fate of the rest of the country. But the re-
sistance had not been in vain ; it had raised a feel-
ing for the gallant Spaniards throughout Europe,
and inspired a trust in their constancy which con-
tributed to bring them that aid from England by
which their country was, after six years, finally
freed from the French usurpation.
THE MAID OF SARAGOZA
And must they fall? the young, the proud, the
To swell one bloated Chief's unwholesome
No stei3 between submission and a grave?
The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain?
And doth the Power that man adores ordain
Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal?
Is all that desperate Valour acts in vain?
And Counsel sage, and patriotic Zeal,
The Veteran's skill, Youth's fire, and Manhood's
heart of steel?
Is it for this the Spanish maid, aroused.
Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar.
And, all unsex'd, the anlace hath espoused,
Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war?
And she, whom once the semblance of a scar
Appall'd, an owlet's larum chill'd with dread,
I^ow views the column-scattering bay'net jar.
The falchion flash, and o'er the yet warm dead
Stalks with Minerva's step where Mars might quake
THE MAID OF SARAGOZA 241
Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale,
Oh ! had you known her in her softer hour,
Marked her black eye that mocks her coal-black
Heard her light, lively tones in Lady's bower.
Seen her long locks that foil the painter's
Her fairy form, with more than female grace,
Scarce would you dream that Saragoza's tower
Beheld her smile in Danger's Gorgon face,
Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful
Her lover sinks — she sheds no ill-timed tear ;
Her chief is slain — sh? fills his fatal post ;
Her fellows flee — she checks their base career ;
The foe retires — she heads the sallying host.
Who can appease like her a lover's ghost?
Who can avenge so well a leader's fall?
What maid retrieve when man's flush'd hope
Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,
Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall?
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR
Grace Dean McLeod
On the southern coast of the Bay of Fundy, about
ten miles down the shore from the lofty promontory
of Cape Split, there is a sudden slope of the mural
cliffs of trap. In this declivity is a narrow vault-
like opening extending, with but slight interrup-
tion, from the shore of the bay, through the moun-
tain range, to the fertile valley at the south. Mid-
way up this vault a brook, fed by perennial springs,
flows down a rocky channel to the waters of the
bay. As it nears the seaward end of the gorge its
bed becomes more nearly level and the water widens
into a creek up which the tide flows, making at
high water a safe shelter for small craft.
In the early morning of May 30, 1813, there was
anchored at the entrance of this creek a small
vessel, and on an escarpment of the cliff that
banked the brook on the west side stood seven men.
They were not fishermen, nor was the vessel a fish-
The lonely boundless beauty of the blue bay, the
purple mystery of the opposite heights, the rugged
peaks of Chignecto and D'Or lifting their crests
above the gleaming wave, and flashing ruddy tints
along their sun-bathed slopes, was no new or won-
THE PRIYATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 243
derful sight to these men who were the captain and
crew of the triiu cutter-like craft. Three times in
the previous year had they moored the cutter out-
side the little creek. Three times had they slept
on the escarpment of the cliff, and each time had
they threaded that rocky vault through the wooded
mountain and reached the fertile valley beyond.
They were in no haste this spring morning. The
longest trail to the valley could be covered in four
hours, and they had no wish to reach it until night-
Six of these men were middle-aged, strong and
burly of build. The other was a youth of about
eighteen, slight, and tall, and dark of face. With-
out bidding, this lad started a fire among some
smoke-stained stones in a sheltered slope of the
cliff. When he had done this, he spoke for a mo-
ment with the captain, and then descended the
rocky slope to the creek where a boat was hauled
up on the shore. This boat he launched, and rowed
down the brook and out to the cutter, boarded her,
and returned with a pail and some empty bags.
The pail he filled with fresh water from the foam-
ing mountain stream, then, going to where the men
were, threw the bags on the ground.
" They light easy," said one of the men.
"And they carry easier than they'll carry this
time to-morrow," said the youth with a laugh.
" Get the water heated, and be off on your hunt
before the sun gets higher," interrupted the cap-
244 HEEOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" Aye, I'll be off in time," said tlie lad, lacing to
his anldes a pair of stout buskins he had brought
from the vessel.
" No fear but he'll be willing to be off," said an-
other of the men. " His heart will outrun them
buskined legs, I'll be bound. The table-land holds
a prize he is anxious to capture."
The youth's brown face flushed red, but he made
" Aye, he'll find the land all right," said the cap-
tain. " Six months make little change in a piece of
ground ; but girls and table-lands are not alike that
way, lad, so don't set your heart too strong on see-
ing her as you left her last."
The lad was busy about the food and took little
notice of the jesting. In half an hour the breakfast
was over, and he started away.
" It's the straightest road we want, youngster,"
called the captain, as the boy rounded the bend of
the vault; "the straightest road and the fullest
barns and shops. Don't venture farther down than
the table-land, and remember to promise the red-
skins half the booty — a half promised is a quarter
given, and that Marff Jane of ours can sail away
from a hundred promises if her cabin be full of
It was a few hours past mid-day when the youth
returned. He found the men anxiously waiting his
" The way is clear," he said ; " we are favored
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 245
as we always have been. The houses are left un-
protected to-night, most of the men are at the river
mending the dykes, and they are going to camp on
the spot. The Indians are as easy to buy as tobacco.
There are only three camps where there were a
dozen last year, and but three grown men and some
boys about them."
" Go on," said the men ; " tell us about the
maiden. Are her eyes as yellow and her teeth as
white as last year, or was she smiling on a brave of
her own tribe?"
" She was not there," replied the youth. " She
was off to the valley, they said."
" Did you leave your trinket? " asked one of the
The lad looked angrily at him. " What trinket
do you mean? " he asked.
" Tush, lad ! " said the captain, " a jest is but a
jest ; and we have been young ourselves not so many
years ago. We saw you buy the trinket last week ;
and you sleep so sound you did not know it slipped
from your waistcoat. I dare say the sight of it
brought the Indians round so easy; last trip they
were hard enough to coax. But never mind the girl
now, we have our hours counted and need to be
alert. How many did you say there were in the,
camps, lad? "
" Three, and the boys ; they will go with you and
lead you to the richest plunder — ^they say there are
fifty hams in the Squire's smoke-house."
The youth was to be left behind to guard the
246 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
vessel and the boat. He preferred being left,
though he did not say so. It was not more than a
year since he had joined the crew of the Mary Jane.
He did his part bravely and heartily when required,
but at each trip to the creek he had been left to
guard the vessel. The rest of the men wondered a
little that he should be kept from all four raids.
The captain had his reasons for this treatment;
there were people in the valley the lad did not care
to meet, even in the night. Captain Hall knew this
— and knew, too, more of the fertile valley than the
Indians who, under pretext of guides, had been
secured as allies ; but he did not speak of it.
" Keep more than half you Imow to yourself," he
said, when he engaged the youth, " and don't let
what's left of the other half slip out of your reach.
These are times of war, and words are sometimes
more dangerous than swords."
There was a weightier reason for staying this
time than there had ever been before. In the cabin
of the cutter was a strong box. Their last sea-
prize had been a rich one, and in the strong box
were two thousand dollars.
Just before they started up the vault the captain
rowed across to the cutter and brought back with
him the treasure.
" Here, lad," he said, " Mary Jane thinks it's too
much risk for her, considering the sudden squalls
that haunt this bay. Put it in some kind of a hole
in the ledge till we are back, and once we're safe in
port again there'll be some dividing as will make
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 247
your eyes bulge — tliink of that for company while
we're off ! "
The youth had not been gone two hours from the
encampment on the table-land, when the Indian
girl returned. This table-land was a shelf -like pro-
jection that made out from the mountain on the
valley side, closed from sight toward the valley,
but open toward the mountain. For years there
had been a considerable encampment of Indians at
the place ; the little brook at the foot of the moun-
tain furnished them fish, the stretches of beech
woods game and nuts. But late years both game
and fish were failing, and most of their number had
moved farther up the valley. The others were go-
ing soon, but for one reason and another the mov-
ing had been delayed.
The Indian girl was glad of the delay. On each
occasion of the other raids of the robbers, the youth
had visited the table-land, and each time he had
smiled on and talked with the girl. The last trip
he had given her a bright coin and told her to wait
until spring and he would bring her a chain to hang
it on. In her wild, untaught way she remembered
and kept faith in the promise.
When she returned this day from her valley
tramp, she was met with the news of the white
man's coming ; and less welcome news than that she
unwillingly heard. Her people had turned traitor
to the robbers. On each of the other expeditions
they had guided and assisted them, and for each
248 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
service had received a reward. But the white
settlers of the valley offered larger rewards.
Thrice had their houses and stores been broken into,
and not a night but they lived in terror of another
raid. By some means they discovered that the
Indians at the encampment had been allies and
guides, and not daring to threaten, they coaxed and
bribed the redskins to acquaint them of the ap-
proach of the robbers should they again visit the
valley. Promises of corn and flour in abundance
prevailed. Meantime a company had been formed
and armed to fight, and preparations made so that
with an hour's notice the men could be gathered
and ready for duty.
The girl had not been acquainted with the turn
of affairs, and knew nothing of it until her return
from the valley this spring day. They gave her the
trinket the youth had left — a shell necklet of East
India make. When she had clasped it about her
dusky throat and hung upon it the glittering coin,
they told her of their plans and of the promise they
had made the settlers, and that she must retrace
her steps to the nearest house to warn them. They
must be warned in time, for they had planned not
to attack the robbers in the valley, but to allow
them to secure their plunder unmolested and re-
turn with it to the shore. Meanwhile the armed
men were to march up the mountain and follow the
trail to the cove, where they would lie in ambush
and wait their return. They would be weary, and
careless of attack, and easily captured, and the
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 249
settlers could tlien search the vessel and take from
it whatever booty might be of most value to them.
All this the Indians made known to the girl and
ordered her on her errand.
Quietly, but sullenly, she started away from the
camps, her heart beating a protest to the treachery.
The robbers were coarse hard men, she cared noth-
ing for them; but the red-cheeked youth would be
in their number and killed with the others.
From two places on her journey she could be seen
from the camps, and she wx'll knew her unwilling-
ness to go had been noticed, and that keen eyes
would be strained for a sight of her in these cleared
spots. More than that, they had timed her, and set
her return to an hour after sundown. Powerless
to evade the errand the dark-skinned messenger
pursued with unwilling feet the well-worn trail to
the white men's habitations.
At the first cleared spot she looked back; she saw
no one of her people, but knew she was seen by
them. On she went again, down now on the edge
of the fertile valley, across the little brook in the
meadow, and out again to the second clearing. On
from that, and but half a mile to the house of the
Once there her errand was soon told, and a mes-
senger started away for the dykes. A new thought
entered the heart of the agile girl. If she reached
the camp before the robbers came, she might in
some way let them know of the treachery of her
people. The thought was like wings to her feet, and
250 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
she took the trail back with double the speed of
her coming, and long before she was expected,
reached the table-land. The robbers had not yet ar-
An hour or more after sundown they came. The
Indians welcomed them as they had always done;
and for a while they rested and talked of the prob-
abilities of the booty and the share that would fall
to their allies. No suspicion of the treachery was
in the taciturn faces of the Indians, and no thought
of it entered the minds of the robbers. Three times
had their raids been successful, and again fortune
and night seemed in their favor. The men were
away from the houses, the night would be dark un-
til twelve, and after that the moon would rise and
light their return journey to the shore.
The girl supposed the lad would be with the men
and that she could speak with hiin ; but as she lis-
tened to their talk she heard them tell that he had
been left behind to guard the vessel. She had been
with the settlers much of her time and understood
English readily, so could follow the men as they
told of the way they took ; now down in the vault,
now up on the mountainside, down again by the
brink of the brook, and straight from that to the
slope of the cliff where the youth kept watch. She
knew that by early dawn there would meet him
men, armed, and ready to torture and slay. She
slipped away from the opening where she had been
listening, and back into her camp, and with one
hand clasping the necklet lay down with the chil-
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 251
dren who were already asleep. Her quick brain
liad formed a purpose.
When the waning moon shone above the beech
grove to the east, the girl arose and crept from the
camp. The robbers and their treacherous allies had
long been gone. The squaws and children were
sleeping. There were no lights in the valley below.
The robbers must be through their plundering and
soon would be starting on the return tramp.
By another trail the armed men must now be
creeping up and over the mountainside. There
was a trail on the east and one on the west side
the gulch ; which way they had taken the girl did
not know; but she knew they must be an hour
ahead of her, and if she was to reach the cove be-
fore them her feet must make no tarrying. Already
she was weary from her long tramp to the settle-
ment, but lithe of limb and persistent of purpose
she started forth, entered the beech woods, crossed
the head of the gorge, and took the western trail.
Ahead of her, ascending the brow of the moun-
tain, was the company of armed men. The way
was new to them, they were slow in making it, they
lost time. It was new to the girl ; but she was not
slow and she lost no time. The moon was un-
clouded; native instinct guided her moccasined
feet over the rough ground, and with her heart full
of the purpose to save the life of the white lad who
kept watch on the cliff by the shore of the Great
Water, she pressed forward.
252 HEROmES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
On went the armed men. Fast behind came the
fleet feet of the maiden. Behind her the rough
robbers laden with plunder, and behind them the
treacherous Indians, intent on getting a double
share of booty. All journeying to the same point,
each inspired with a different purpose.
On through the forest in the quiet night went
this strange procession — the armed men ahead and
descending the vault, gaining rapidly upon them
the brave girl, and following fast on her steps the
On hastened the armed men. They did not know
their blunder; the youth, the Indian maiden and
the robbers were on the west side the gorge; they
had taken the east. And as it neared the shore the
vault became deeper and the mountain stream grew
wide and washed high against its steep rocky
When morning began to dawn, a low belt of fog
skirted the bay. The lofty promontories assumed
fantastic shapes. The islands presented a delusive
appearance. The white mist parted them, banked
them, tipped them, blent their jagged peaks with
the sky. Slowly, the grayness thickened into a dull
fog; the opposite shore, the bold headlands, the
islands and finally the blue waters of the vast bay
were lost to view.
At the first gleam of daylight the young man had
rowed down the creek and boarded the vessel. A
light breeze was springing up from the east ; it was
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 253
the breeze they needed to take them down the bay.
Knowing this, and that the captain wonld sail as
soon as he could get his plunder on board, the lad
loosened the sails, and as far as could be done made
ready to weigh anchor.
The ever-lurking bay fog was fast gathering over
the shore and by the time he had reached his out-
look on the cliff, it had penetrated the woods and
wrapped its gray drapery about the tall green
pines, and lay like a great bank over the creek and
against the steep sides of the rocky gorge.
Not a rod could his sight pierce its damp density.
Walled in on every side he waited the return of the
robbers. Soon the sound of voices at a distance
fell upon his quick ear and he sent a shrill whistle
into the dull mist. It was not answered. The
voices sounded nearer and seemed to come from the
oast side of the gorge. He was puzzled — the rob-
bers never went or came by that trail; but again
he gave the signal whistle and listened for reply.
Directly there came through the mediumistic
mist the sharp click-click of the cocldng of guns.
At the same instant, out of the gray obscurity above
him, rushed the Indian maiden, with her long black
hair tangled about her round neck and brown oval
face. Panting for breath, and nearly exhausted,
she did not speak, but pointed across the creek
whence the sounds had come, and down to the boat
on the little beach.
Vaguely the lad interpreted her wild gestures,
and seizing the mute girl in his strong arms de-
254 HEKOINES OF HISTOEY AIN'D LEGEND
scencled the cliff, and placing her in the boat,
shoved off from the shore. The report of a musket
came from the direction of the voices and the bullet
struck the water near them.
Believing now that the girl was for some reason
being hunted, and fearing to locate the boat by any
noise, he allowed it to drift with the outgoing tide.
The fog was their only i^rotection ; each understood
this, and neither ventured a word till the rushing
waves had borne them out of range of the guns.
Then the girl brokenly told the lad who the men
were on the east bank and why they were there.
Quickly he comprehended the situation, and with
the impetuosity of boyhood seized the oars and
rowed rapidly toward a rocky point at the entrance
to the creek. It was in that bank he had laid the
strong box and he must secure it at any peril. The
noise of the rowing located the boat, and shot after
shot from the bank of fog rang out upon the still-
ness of the mist-laden air, and bullets skipped on
the water around them. But these were sounds and
sights not unfamiliar to the youth, and in a few
minutes the boat touched the shore.
At the same instant the robbers burst out of the
fog-shrouded forest and hastened toward the boat.
Hearing the firing, they had run the last two miles
of the trail.
" Valley men — Indian traitors," said the lad, and
a volley of musketry from the invisible shooters
echoed his words.
" Never mind the box," cried the captain, as he
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 255
returned the fire. " We will come back for it if we
live, and if we don't the devil will guard it forever."
Then placing his gun in the boat and ordering the
men aboard, he took the terrified girl in his arms
and carried her to a safe place behind a great rock,
pulled from his pocket a well-filled leather purse,
gave it to her and bade her stay there till the fog
Hardly had he reached the boat and the boat
gone thrice her length from the shore, when the girl
rushed toward the water with a wild scream. A
look in her direction discovered the treacherous In-
dians, cautiously descending the gorge.
" They will kill me," she cried piteously. Mad-
dened at sight of his faithless allies the captain or-
dered the boat back to the point. He was too late ;
again the roar of musketry echoed among the hills,
and as they touched the shore, the Indian maiden's
life-blood soaked into the salt sand, and the lad who
had sprung forward to rescue her sank with a cry
upon the boat's bottom, dead.
Taking quick aim the captain fired, and laid low
the foremost of the skulking savages, then seizing
the tiller ordered the boat to the cutter.
From the cliff, into the immensity of the fog went
volley after volley. From over the water came only
the mufded sound of oars in the row-locks, the rat-
tling of chains, and the dull flapping sound of sails.
The breeze freshened. The dun-dripping vapor
lifted— from the tree-tops — from the cliff — from
the blue swishing water of the great bay. And
256 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
bearing toward the ruddy headland of D'Or
gleamed the white sails of the bold privateer, filled
with the wind that blows always good to some one.
Many who tell the story claim that the vessel
went down in a gale that very night, and all her
crew were lost. Others say she was wrecked, but
some of the men were saved, and that these men
came back to search for the strong box. The first
settlers at the Harbor found holes dug in the banks
of the brook. The holes have since been thrice mul-
tiplied — with what success is not positively known
— but it is a general belief that the treasure has
never yet been found. They who have searched for
it tell that the Mary Jane haunts the creek; that
when they begin to dig a wliite sail gleams off the
rocky point, the sound of oars is heard, and six
bearded men and a smooth-faced youth come up
from the water and surround the place where they
are digging. None have dared to pursue the search
after sight of that phantom crew.
The Indian girl was buried beneath a great pine-
tree that still stands near the table-land, its ever-
green foliage bright as in the days so long ago.
It is years since. But the creek still cuts into
the mural cliff, the gorge still rends the w^ooded
mountain, the purple mystery still hangs over the
In " 34 " settlers built under the shadow of the
THE PRIVATEER OF HALL'S HARBOR 257
lofty cliff, and a road winds now down either head-
land bank. The place is known as Hall's Harbor,
called after the man who more than a hundred
years ago moored the Mary Jane in the little creek,
and under guise of sanctioned warfare made a high-
way of the mountain gorge to plunder his native
land of Acadia.
THE HEROISM OF MADAME LAV ALETTE
The Count de Lavalette was born at Paris in
1769. He was the son of a shopkeeper, but he re-
ceived a liberal education and studied law. When
the great Revolution broke out he joined the Na-
tional Guard ; yet at the storming of the Tuileries
he nobly risked his life in defending Louis the Six-
teenth and his family from the fury of the mob.
He was filled with horror and disgust at the atroci-
ties of the revolutionists, left France and joined
the army abroad.
After the battle of Areola, Napoleon, then Gen-
eral Bonaparte, made him his aide-de-camp, and
from that time manifested toward him the utmost
affection and confidence. In this instance he
showed great good sense and taste in selecting an
officer and a friend ; for Lavalette was a man of su-
perior talents, remarkable sagacity, a generous
spirit, and rare elegance of manners.
He accompanied Napoleon on his expedition to
Egypt ; but a few days before his departure he was
married to Mademoiselle Emilie de Beauharnais, a
niece of Josephine, Madame Bonaparte. This mar-
riage was planned, almost commanded by Napo-
THE HEKOISM OF MADAME LAV ALETTE 259
leou, but it proved a very happy one. The bride
was young, beautiful, good, and very noble; while
Lavalette was amiable, affectionate and faithful;
loving and admiring his wife with all his heart.
Lavalette encountered many dangers in Egypt,
in battle and from the plague, but he finally re-
turned to his country and his home in safety.
When Napoleon became Emperor, he made Lava-
lette a count of the empire, and his wife mistress of
the robes to the Empress ; but when her aunt was
divorced, Emilie left the court and retired to pri-
On the abdication and first exile of Napoleon,
Lavalette submitted and promised allegiance to
Louis the Eighteenth. He would have remained
faithful, had not this king proved himself a stupid
tyrant and a coward, unfit to reign. When Napo-
leon returned from Elba and Louis fled from
France, Lavalette gladly went back to the service of
his beloved Emperor.
After the battle of Waterloo and the restoration
of Louis the Eighteenth Lavalette was advised to
fly from his country ; but his wife was ill at the time
and he could not believe Louis base and cruel
enough to punish him for his attachment to his old
master. However, he was arrested and imprisoned
in the Conciergerie, the gloomy, terrible prison in
which Marie Antoinette, Madame Roland and many
other noble victims of the Revolution had been con-
fined. Here, in a wretched apartment, dark, cold
and damp, he sighed away his weaiy days from
260 HEEOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
July to November, when lie was brought to trial
and condemned to die by the guillotine, on the 21st
As soon as she heard of this sentence, Madame
Lavalette went to the King, flung herself at his
feet, and implored him to spare the life of her hus-
band. So beautiful was her face, so noble and
graceful her manner, such sweetness was in her
voice, such pathos in her words, that only a very
hard-hearted, revengeful man could have resisted
her. The King, however, refused to grant her
prayer, though he cruelly encouraged her at first.
She went a second time ; but was repulsed from his
presence, and actually sat for more than an hour
alone, on the stone steps of the palace, in utter grief
But as she sat there, weeping, shunned and aban-
doned by all the world, suddenly a strong, comfort-
ing angel seemed to whisper to her soul a brave
plan for saving her beloved husband, and she rose
up with a noble purpose in her heart and a prayer
on her lips for heavenly help and strength.
She was in the habit of dining with Lavalette
daily, sometimes accompanied by her daughter, a
lovely young girl, and sometimes by a faithful old
nurse. On the last day but one preceding that fixed
on for the Count's execution, Emilie said to him,
" There no longer remains for us any hope but in
one plan; you must leave here at eight o'clock, in
my clothes, and go in my sedan-chair to where
Monsieur Baudus will have a cabriolet waiting to
THE HEROISM OF MADAME LAVALETTE 261
conduct you to a place of safety, where you will re-
main till you can quit the country."
Lavalette was astounded ; he thought the plan of
his wife a mad and hopeless one, and so he told her.
But she was calm and firm, and replied : " No objec-
tions ; your death will be mine ; so do not reject my
proposal. My conviction of its success is deep, for
I feel that God sustains me."
It was in vain that Lavalette represented how
difficult it would be for him to disguise himself so
as to deceive the sharp eyes of the turnkeys and sol-
diers, whom she was obliged to pass every night on
leaving the prison ; and the probability that, should
he escape, they would ill-treat, perhaps kill her, in
their rage. She turned very pale, but she was firm,
and at last wrung from him a promise to attempt to
execute her plan on the following day, his last day
of life, if it should fail.
When Madame Lavalette came for her last visit
she was accompanied by her daughter Josephine
and the old nurse. She wore over her dress a
merino pelisse, lined with fur, and brought with
her a black silk petticoat. She said to her husband,
" These will disguise you perfectly. Before going
into the outer room, be sure to draw on your gloves,
and put my handkerchief to your face. Walk very
slowly, leaning on Josephine, and take care to
stoop, as you pass through these low doors, for if
they should catch the feathers of your bonnet all
would be lost. The jailers will be in the anteroom,
and remember the turnkey always hands me out.
262 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
The cliair ■will be near the staircase. Monsieur
Baudus will meet you soon and point out your hid-
ing-place. Mind my directions — keep calm. God
guide you and protect you, my dearest husband."
She also gave some directions to her daughter,
which the child promised to follow carefully. After
dinner the prisoner retired behind a large screen
where his wife dressed him in the petticoat and
pelisse she had brought, and put her bonnet on his
head, all the while repeating, " Mind you stoop at
the doors — be sure you walk through the hall
slowly, like a person worn out with suffering. What
do you think of your father," she said to Josephine,
"will he do?"
" Not very badly," said the child, trying to smile
bravely, but feeling a great deal of doubt.
As they heard the turnkey approaching, Laval-
ette said, " He looks in every evening, as soon as he
has seen you off. Remain behind the screen, and
make a noise by moving something, so that he will
think all is right, and not discover my escape till
I am clear away."
Then they took a solemn, loving leave of each
other, and as the door opened, Emilie sprang be-
hind the screen. Lavalette went out with his
daughter and the nurse. He followed the directions
of his wife and passed safely jailers, turnkeys and
soldiers to the sedan-chair, and was soon carried in
it beyond the black shadow of the prison, and found
himself breathing the delicious air of freedom once
more. Monsieur Baudus and the Count de Chas-
THE HEROISM OF MADAME LAVALETTE 263
senon met him at the appointed place, with a
cabriolet which he entered with Baudus and was
driven away by the Count. The last look he had
of Josephine she was standing on the quay, with her
hands joined, her sweet face uplifted in the starry
night, praying for the safety of her dear father.
In the carriage was a groom's livery which
Lavalette put on and assumed the character of a
servant to Baudus, who conducted him to the house
of one of the king's ministers, — about the last jilace
in all Paris to be suspected and searched. Here
he was received by Madame Brisson, wife of an
offilcer of government, who, at the risk of her life,
concealed him, and kindly cared for him ; because,
her husband having once been a hunted fugitive,
she had made a vow to help, and, if possible, save
any one in similar circumstances.
Here Lavalette remained concealed about a fort-
night while a rigorous search was made for him.
He was obliged to keep his window^s closely shut
all day, and when at night he ventured to open
them, he often heard proclamations of reward for
his discovery, or threats of vengeance on those who
were harboring him, cried in the street below ; the
voices sounding to him like the howling of wolves,
thirsting for his blood. But he had the joy of
hearing, also, from Madame Brisson, that the
heroic devotion of his wife was everywhere praised
— that she w?cS almost worshiped by the people.
Lavalette finally owed his escape to some gener-
ous Englishmen, who conveyed him out of the
264 HEEOINES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
country in the disguise of an English of9.cer of the
Guards. After an exile of six years he was allowed
to return to France and rejoin his beloved wife and
daughter once more.
When it was discovered that Madame Lavalette
had set her husband free, she was treated very
cruelly by the jailers and the government author-
ities. She was closely confined like the worst of
criminals, forbidden to see or hear from a friend
and denied almost every comfort. In delicate
health, worn with grief and anxiety, she sunk under
her lonely suffering, and, when she was liberated,
after six weeks' imprisomnent (for her enemies
dared not condemn her), her noble mind was shat-
tered ; she had become as a child, only sadder than
any child ever was. She remained in this melan-
choly state throughout her life, only when her
husband returned from exile she seemed to find a
sweet content in Jiis presence, and to love him the
better for all she had suffered for him. And so
she continued, "ever good and gentle," but not
all herself, till she passed from under the cloud of
her mortal life into the light of God's peace.
THE CHIEFTAINESS AND THE VOLCANO
Charlotte M. Yonge
Few regions in the world are moi-e beautiful tlian
those islands far away in the Pacific which we have
been used to call the Sandwich Isles. They are in
great part formed by the busy little coral worms,
but in the midst of them are lofty mountains,
thrown up by the wonderful ])ower that we call
volcanic. In sailing up to the islands the first thing
that becomes visible are two lofty peaks, each two
miles and a half high. One is white with perpetual
snow, the other is dark — dark with lava and
cinders, on which the inward heat will not permit
the snow to cast a white mantle. The first of these
has been tranquil for many years, the other is the
largest and most terrible active volcano in the
world, and is named Kilauea.
The enormous crater is a lake of liquid fire, from
six to nine miles in circumference. Over it plays
a continual vapor, which hangs by day like a silvery
cloud, but at dusk is red and glowing like the
Aurora Borealis, and in the night is as a forest
in flames. Rising into this lurid atmosphere are
two black cones, in the midst of a sea of fused lava,
in which black and pink rocks are tossed wildly
about as in a seething caldron. The edge of this
266 HEKOIKES OF HISTOEY AND LEGEND
huge basin of burning matter is a ledge of hard
lava, above which rises a mighty wall of scoria or
cinder; in one place forming an abrupt precipice,
four thousand feet high, but in others capable of
being descended, by perilous paths, by those who
desire to have a closer view of the lake of flame
within. Upon the bushes that grow on the moun-
tain top is found a curious fibrous substance formed
by the action of the air upon the vapor rising from
the molten minerals beneath ; it is like cobwebs of
spun glass. Tremendous is the scene at all times,
but at the periods of eruption the terrific majesty
is beyond all imagination, when rivers of boiling
lava, blood-red with heat, rush down the mountain-
side, forming cascades of living fire, or spreading
destruction over the plains, and when reaching the
sea, struggling and thundering, in bubbling flames
and dense smoke for the mastery with the other
Heathen nations living among such wonderful
appearances of nature cannot fail to connect them
with divine beings. The very name of volcano testi-
fies to the old classical fancy that the burning hills
of the Mediterranean were the workshops of the
armorer god Vulcan and his Cyclops; and in the
Sandwich Islands, the terrible Kilauea was sup-
posed to be the home of the goddess Pele, whose
bath was in the mighty crater, and whose hair was
supposed to be the glassy threads that covered the
hills. Iierce goddess as she was, she permitted no
woman m touch the verge of her mountain, and her
THE CHIEFTAINESS AND THE VOLCANO 267
wrath miglit involve the whole island in fiery de-
At length, however, the islanders were delivered
from their bondage of terror into a clearer light.
Missionaries came among them, and intercourse
with Europeans made them ashamed of their own
superstitious fancies. Very gradually the faith of
the people detached itself from the savage deities
they had worshiped and they began to revere the
One True Maker of heaven and earth. But still
their superstitions hung round Kilauea. There the
fiery goddess still reveled in her fearful gambols,
there the terrible sights and sounds and the desolat-
ing streams that might at any moment burst from
her reservoir of flame were as tokens of anger that
the nation feared to provoke. And after the young
King Liholiho, with all his court, had made up their
minds to abandon their idols, give up their super-
stitious practices, and seek instruction from Chris-
tian teachers, still the priests of Pele, on her flam-
ing mountain, kept their stronghold of heathenism,
and threatened her wrath upon those who should
forsake the ancient worship.
Then it was that a brave Christian woman,
strong in faith and courage, resolved to defy the
goddess in her fastness, and break the spell that
bound the trembling people to her worship. Her
name was Kapiolani, wife of Naihe, the public
orator of Hawaii. There was no common trust and
resolution needed to enable her to carry out her
undertaking. Not only was she outraging the old
268 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
notions that fearful consequences must follow the
transgression of the tahUy or setting apart. Not
only was the ascent toilsome, and leading into cold
regions, which were dreadful to a delicate Hawai-
ian, but the actual danger of the ascent was great.
Wild crags and slippery sheets of lava, or slopes of
crumbling cinders, were strangers to the feet of the
tender coast-bred woman. And the heated soil, the
groanings, the lurid atmosphere, the vapor that
oozed up from the crevices of the half-cooled lava
must have filled any mind with awe and terror;
above all, one that had been bred up in the faith
that these were the tokens of the fury of a vindic-
tive and powerful deity, whose precincts she was
transgressing. Very recently a large body of men
had been suffocated on the mountainside by the
mephitic gases of the volcano — struck dead, as it
must have seemed, by the breath of the goddess.
But Kapiolani, strong in the faith that He, as
whose champion she came, was all-sufficient to
guard her from the perils she confronted, climbed
resolutely on, bearing in her hand the sacred berries
which it was sacrilege for one of her sex to touch.
The enraged priests of Pele came forth from their
sanctuary among the crags, and endeavored to bar
her way with threats of the rage of their mistress ;
but she heeded them not.
She made her way to the summit and gazed into
the fiery gulf below ; then descended the side of the
terrible crater, even to the margin of the boiling sea
of fire, and hurling into it the sacred berries, ex-
THE CHIEFTAINESS AND THE VOLCANO 269
claimed : " If I perish by the anger of Pele, then
dread her power ; but, behold, I defy her wrath. I
have broken her tabus; I live and am safe, for
Jehovah the Almighty is my God. His was the
breath that kindled these flames; His is the hand
which restrains their fury. O, all ye people, be-
hold how vain are the gods of Hawaii, and turn
and serve the Lord ! "
Safely the brave woman descended the mountain,
having won her cause, the cause of Faith.
In classic times the philosopher Einj^edocles had
leapt into the burning crater of Mount Etna,
thereby to obtain an imperishable name. How
much more noble is the name that Kapiolani gained
for herself, by the deed that showed forth at whose
command alone it is that the mountains quake and
flow down and the hills melt like wax !
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Whene'er a noble deed is wrought,
Wliene'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.
Honor 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.
SANTA FILOMENA 271
Lo ! in tliat 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 portals of the past.
A Lady with a Lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land,
A noble type of good,
Nor even shall be wanting here
The vi^Jm, the lily, and the spear,
The symbols that of yore
Saint Filomena bore.
THE BELIEF OF LUCKNOW
Robert Traill Spence Lowell
Oh^ that last day in Lucknow fort !
We knew that it was the last ;
That the enemy's lines crept surely on,
And the end was coming fast.
To yield to that foe meant worse than death ;
And the men and we all worked on ;
It was one day more of smoke and roar,
And then it would all be done.
There was one of us, a corporal's wife,
A fair, young, gentle thing.
Wasted with fever in the siege.
And her mind was wandering.
She lay on the ground, in her Scottish plaid,
And I took her head on my knee ;
"When my father comes hame frae the pleugh,"
" Oh, then please waken me."
She slept like a child on her father's floor,
In the flecking of woodbine shade,
When the house-dog sprawls by the open door,
And the mother's wheel is stayed.
THE RELIEF OF LUCKNOW 273
It was smoke and roar and powder-stench,
And hopeless waiting for death ;
And the soldier's wife, like a full-tired child,
Seemed scarce to draw her breath.
I sank to sleep, and I had my dream
Of an English village-lane,
And wall and garden ; — but one wild scream
Brought me back to the roar again.
There Jessie Brown stood listening
Till a sudden gladness broke
All over her face ; and she caught my hand
And drew me near as she spoke : —
" The Hielanders ! Oh, dinna ye hear
The slogan far awa'?
The McGregor's. Oh ! I ken it weel ;
It's the grandest o' them a' !
" God bless the bonny Hielanders !
We're saved ! we're saved ! " she cried ;
And fell on her knees ; and thanks to God
Flowed forth like a full flood-tide.
Along the battery line her cry
Had fallen among the men.
And they started back ; — they were there to die ;
But was life so near them, then?
274 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
They listened for life ; the rattling fire
Far off, and that far-off roar,
Were all, and the colonel shook his head,
And they turned to their guns once more.
But Jessie said, " The slogan's done ;
But winna ye hear it noo?
' The Campbells are comin' '? It's no a dream;
Our succors hae broken through ! "
We heard the roar and the rattle afar,
But the pipes we could not hear ;
So the men plied their work of hopeless war,
And laiew that the end was near.
It was not long ere it made its way, —
A thrilling, ceaseless sound :
It was no noise from the strife afar,
Or the sappers under ground.
It was the pipes of the Highlanders !
And now they played "Auld Lang Syne."
It came to our men like the voice of God,
And they shouted along the line.
And they wept, and shook one another's hands,
And the women sobbed in a crowd ;
And every one knelt down where he stood.
And we all thanked God aloud.
^T ^- ^-
■ , F ^ ^
^^L /.rr^^^^">' 0»ai 1
THE RELIEF OF LUCKNOW 275
That happy time, when we welcomed them,
Our men put Jessie first ;
And the general gave her his hand, and cheers
Like a storm from the soldiers burst.
And the pipers' ribbons and tartan streamed.
Marching round and round our line;
And our joyful cheers were broken with tears
As the pipes played "Auld Lang Syne."
John Greenleaf Whittier
Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,
The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,
Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,
On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall ;
Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars.
Flapped in the morning wind : the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten ;
BARBARA FRIETCHIE 277
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down ;
In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.
Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced ; the old flag met his sight.
" Halt ! " — the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
" Fire ! " — out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.
She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.
" Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame.
Over the face of the leader came ;
The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word :
2Y8 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
" Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog ! March on ! " he said.
All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet :
All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well ;
And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.
Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.
Honor to her ! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier.
Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave !
Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law ;
And ever the stars above look down
On thv stars below in Frederick town !
A Ballad of 'Sixty-Three
Helen Gray Cone
Oh,, Greencastle streets were a stream of steel
Witli tlie slanted muskets the soldiers bore,
And the scared earth muttered and shook to feel
The tramp and the rumble of Longstreet's corps ;
The bands were blaring " The Bonny Blue Flag,"
And the banners borne were a motley many ;
And watching the gray column wind and drag
Was a slip of a girl — we'll call her Jenny.
A slip of a girl — ^what needs her name? —
With her cheeks aflame and her lips aquiver.
As she leaned and looked with a loyal shame
At the steady flow of the steely river :
Till a storm grew black in the hazel eyes
Time had not tamed, nor a lover sighed for ;
And she ran and she girded her, apron-wise,
With the flag she loved and her brothers died for.
Out of the doorway they saw her start
(Pickett's Virginians were marching through),
The hot little foolish hero-heart
Armored with stars and the sacred blue.
Clutching the folds of red and white
Stood she and bearded those ranks of theirs,
Shouting shrilly with all her might,
" Come and take it, the man that dares ! "
280 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Pickett's Virginians were passing through ;
Supple as steel and brown as leather,
Rusty and dusty of hat and shoe,
Wonted to hunger and war and weather ;
Peerless, fearless, an army's flower !
Sterner soldiers the world saw never,
Marching lightly, that summer hour.
To death and failure and fame forever.
Rose from the rippling ranks a cheer ;
Pickett saluted, with bold eyes beaming.
Sweeping his hat like a cavalier,
With his lion locks in the warm wind streaming.
Fierce little Jenny! her courage fell.
As the firm lines flickered with friendly laughter,
And Greencastle streets gave back the yell
That Gettysburg slopes gave back soon after.
So they cheered for the flag they fought
With the generous glow of the stubborn fighter,
Loving the brave as the brave man ought,
And never a finger was raised to fright her :
So they marched, though they knew it not.
Through the fresh green June to the shock in-
To the hell of the shell and the plunging shot,
And the charge that has won them a name
And she felt at last, as she hid her face,
There had lain at the root of her childish daring
A trust in the men of her own brave race.
And a secret faith in the foe's forbearing.
GKEENCASTLE JENNY 281
And she sobbed, till the roll of the rumbling gun
And the swinging tramp of the marching men
Were a memory only, and day was done.
And the stars in the fold of the blue again.
[Thanh God that the day of the sword is done,
And the stars in the fold of the blue again!)
Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
Said Brier-Rose's mother to the naughty Brier-
"What will become of you, my child, the Lord
You will not scrub the kettles, and you will not
touch the broom ;
You never sit a minute still at spinning-wheel or
Thus grumbled in the morning, and grumbled
late at eve,
The good-wife as she bustled with pot and tray
But Brier-Rose, she laughed and she cocked her
dainty head :
" Why, I shall many, Mother dear," full merrily
" You marry, saucy Brier-Rose ! The man, he is
To marry such a worthless wench, these seven
But Brier-Eose, she laughed, and she trilled a
" Perhaps he'll come, my Mother dear, from eight
The good-wife with a " humph " and a sigh for-
sook the battle,
And flung her pots and pails about with much
" O Lord, what sin did I commit in youthful days,
That thou hast punished me in age with such a
wayward child? "
Up stole the girl on tiptoe, so that none her step
And laughing pressed an airy kiss behind the
And she, as e'er relenting, sighed : " Oh, Heaven
Whatever will become of you, my naughty Brier-
Rose ! "
The sun was high and summer sounds were teem-
ing in the air ;
The clank of scythes, the cricket's whir, and
swelling wood-notes rare.
From field and copse and meadow; and through
the open door
Sweet, fragrant whiffs of new-mown hay the idle
284 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Then Brier-Rose grew pensive, like a bird of
Whose little life has problems among the
She heard the river brawling where the tide was
swift and strong,
She heard the summer singing its strange allur-
And out she skipped the meadows o'er and gazed
into the sky ;
Her heart o'erbrimmed with gladness, she scarce
herself knew why.
And to a merry tune she hummed, " Oh, Heaven
Whatever will become of the naughty Brier-
Rose ! "
Whene'er a thrifty matron this idle maid espied,
She shook her head in warning, and scarce her
wrath could hide ;
For girls were made for housewives, for spin-
ning-wheel and loom,
And not to drink the sunshine and wild-flower's
And oft the maidens cried, when the Brier-Rose
went by :
" You cannot knit a stocking, and you cannot make
But Brier-Rose, as was her wont, she cocked her
" But I can sing a pretty song," full merrily she
And oft the young lads shouted, when they saw
the maid at play :
" Ho, good-for-nothing Brier-Rose, how do you do
Then she shook her tiny fist; to her cheeks the
color flew :
<^ However much you coax me, I'll 7iever dance
with you ! "
Thus flew the years light-winged over Brier-
Till she was twenty summers old and yet re-
And all the parish wondered: "The Lord Al-
Whatever will become of that naughty Brier-
And while they wondered came the Spring
a-dancing o'er the hills ;
Her breath was warmer than of yore, and all the
286 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
With, their tinkling and their rippling and their
rushing, filled the air,
And the misty sounds of water forth-welling
And in the valley's depth, like a lusty beast of
The river leaped and roared aloud and tossed its
mane of spray;
Then hushed again its voice to a softly plashing
As dark it rolled beneath the sun and white be-
neath the moon.
It was a merry sight to see the lumber as it
Adovni the tawny eddies that hissed and seethed
Now shooting through the rapids and, with a
Into the foam-crests diving like an animated
But in the narrows of the rocks, where o'er a
The waters plunged and wreathed in foam the
boughs of birch and pine,
The lads kept watch with shout and song, and
sent each straggling beam
A-spinning down the rapids, lest it should lock
And yet — methinks I hear it now — wild voices
in tlie night,
A rush of feet, a dog's harsh bark, a torch's flar-
And wandering gusts of dampness, and 'round us
far and nigh,
A throbbing boom of water like a pulse-beat in
The dawn just pierced the pallid east with spears
of gold and red,
As we, with boat-hooks in our hands, toward the
And terror smote us: for we heard the mighty
And thunder, as of chariots, and hissing showers
" Now, lads," the sheriff shouted, " you are strong,
like Norway's rock :
A hundred crowns I give to him who breaks the
For if another hour go by, the angry waters' spoil
Our homes will be, and fields, and our weary
years of toil."
We looked each at the other; each hoped his
Brave death and danger for his home, as valiant
288 HEROINES OF HISTORY AKD LEGEND
But at our feet the brawling tide expanded like a
And whirling beams came shooting on, and made
the firm rock quake.
" Two hundred crowns ! " the sheriff cried, and
breathless stood the crowd.
" Two hundred crowns, my bonny lads ! " in anx-
ious tones and loud.
But not a man came forward, and no one spoke
And nothing save the thunder of the cataract was
But as with trembling hands and with fainting
hearts we stood.
We spied a little curly head emerging from the
We heard a little snatch of a merry little song.
And we saw the dainty Brier-Rose come dancing
through the throng.
An angry murmur rose from the people 'round
" Fling her into the river ! " we heard the matrons
" Chase her away, the silly thing ; for God Himself
Why ever He created that worthless Brier-Rose,"
Sweet Brier-Rose, she heard their cries ; a little
Across her visage flitted that might a stone be-
And then she gave her pretty head a roguish
" Hand me a boat-hook, lads," she said ; " I think
I'll break the lock."
Derisive shouts of laughter broke from throats of
young and old :
" Ho ! good-for-nothing Brier-Rose, youi' tongue
was ever bold."
And, mockingly, a boat-hook into her hands was
When, lo ! into the river's midst with daring leaps
she sprung !
We saw her dimly through a mist of dense and
From beam to beam she skipped, like a water-
sprite at play.
And now and then faint gleams we caught of
color through the mist :
A crimson waist, a golden head, a little dainty
In terror pressed the people to the margin of the
A hundred breaths were bated, a hundred hearts
290 HEKOINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
For, hark! from out the rapids came a strange
and creaking sound,
And then a crash of thunder which shook the
The waters hurled the lumber mass down o'er the
We heard a mufflLed rumbling and a rolling in the
We saw a tiny form which the torrent swiftly
And flung into the wild abyss, where it was seen
Ah, little naughty Brier-Rose, thou couldst nor
weave nor spin ;
Yet thou couldst do a nobler deed than all thy
For thou hadst courage e'en to die, and by thy
death to save
A thousand farms and lives from the fury of the
And yet the adage lives, in the valley of thy birth,
When wayward children spend their days in
heedless play and mirth,
Their mothers say, half smiling, half sighing,
" Heaven knows
Whatever will become of the naughty Brier-
BELGIUM, THE BAE-LASS
A. Mary F. Robinson
The night was still. The King sat with the
She sang. Her maidens spun. A peaceful scene.
Sudden, wild echoes shake the castle wall.
Their foes come crashing through the outer hall.
They rush like thunder down the gallery
floor. . . .
. . Someone has stolen the bolt that bars
the door !
No pin to hold the loops, no stick, no stave,
Nothing ! An open door, an open grave !
Then Catherine Bar-lass thrust her naked arm
(A girl's arm, white as milk, alive and warm)
Right through the loops from which the bolt was
"'Twill hold (said she) until they break the
" My King, you have one instant to prepare ! "
She said no more, because the thrust was there.
292 HEROINES OF HISTORY AND LEGEND
Oft have I heard that tale of Scotland's King,
The Poet, and Kate the Bar-lass. ( Men will sing
For aye the deed one moment brings to birth —
Such moments are the ransom of the earth. )
Brave Belgium, Bar-lass of our western world,
Who, when the treacherous Prussian tyrant
His hordes against our peace, thrust a slight
So firm, to bolt our portals and withstand.
Whatever prove the glory of our affray,
Thine arm, thy heart, thine act have won the day !
NUESE EDITH CAVELL
Two o'clock, the morning £>/. October 12th, 1915.
To her accustomed eyes
The midnight-morning brought not such a dread
As thrills the chance-awakened head that lies
In trivial sleep on the habitual bed.
'Twas yet some hours ere light ;
And many, many, many a break of day
Had she outwatched the dying ; but this night
Shorter her vigil was, briefer the way.
By dial of the clock
'Twas day in the dark above her lonely head.
" This day thou shalt be with Me." Ere the cock
Announced that day she met the Immortal Dead. ^
Savttri's Choice. Page 13.
"How Savitri loved and suffered, how she strove and
conquered Fate" is one of the legendary tales included
in the Mahabharata, one of the great epic poems of
ancient India. It may well be called the Iliad of the
Hindus, because the principal subject is a great war
believed to have been fought in the 13th or 14th century
B. c. ; but it is immensely long, about seven times as long
as the two poems of Homer taken together, and contains
a great mass of other myths, legends and traditions.
The story of Savitri "is known by Hindu women, high
and low, rich and poor, in all parts of India; and on a
certain night in the year millions of Hindu women cele-
brate a rite in honor of the woman whose love was not
conquered by death." (Romesh Dutt.) And whoso-
ever, we are told,
" shall read with heart intent
Savitri's holy story, will wax glad,
And know that all fares well, and suffer nought."
Read also the beautiful Greek story of Alcestis who
died "to save her lord." It may be found in "Stories
from the Greek Tragedians," by A. J. Church.
Page 23. "According to Hindu theology the soul of a
dead man is about the size of the human thumb. At
death a hole should be dug northeastward of the fire,
where the soul can wait until the gross body is burned,
and then emerging be carried with the smoke to heaven."
(E. A. Eeed.)
Jephthah's Daughter. Page 30.
Jephthah, the Gileadite, a mighty man of valor, being
about to lead the Israelites in war against the Ammon-
ites "vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou
shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into
Then it shall be, that wjiatsoever cometh forth of the
doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace
from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's,
and I will offer it up for a burnt offering."
And, behold, on his return from the defeat of his
enemies *' his daughter came out to meet him with
timbrels and with dances; and she was his only child."
And her father "did with her according to his vow
which he had vowed." (Judges 11.)
Among the women of Israel it became, henceforth, a
custom to commemorate the sad fate of Jephthah's
daughter by four days' mourning every year. Her
willing self-surrender, her courageous resignation are
expressed in Lord Byron's short poem and also in the
extract from Tennyson's "Dream of Fair Women."
Read also "The Story of Iphigenia in Aulis" in
"Stories from the Greek Tragedians."
Two Immortal Names. Page 33.
Primarily a hero story, but the traitor Ephialtes is
here contrasted not only with the great patriot, Leonidas,
but also with the brave and fleet-footed maiden who
warned the king of the impending treachery. It was
in 480 B. c. that Leonidas and his Spartans thus made
their supreme sacrifice at the pass of Thermopylae that
their country might be saved, and still, though centuries
have come and gone,
" Their tomb an altar is, their name
A mighty heritage of fame."
BoADiCEA. Page 48.
Period of the Roman conquest. Boadieea was the wife
of Prasutagus, king of the Iceni. After the death of
their king, the Britons were brutally ill-treated by their
conquerors, and Boadieea, indignant at the wrongs in-
flicted upon her people and herself, led a revolt against
the Roman legions. The first successes were but tem-
porary and the native army was completely overwhelmed.
Seeing that all hope was gone and unwilling to live a
slave or grace a Roman triumph, Boadieea in despair
Golden Apples and Roses Red. Page 50,
Another story of Dorothea, telling how she ministered
to the saint Waldo, may be read in '*A Child's Book
of Saints" by William Canton.
MuLAN, THE Maiden Chief. Page 61.
Disguised in her father's armor, Mulan, the Chinese
heroine, leads his troops to the conflict. The poem was
written between 502 and 556 a. d. by an unknown author.
Godiva. Page 63.
This heroine, a ' ' most princely dame, ' ' was a real per-
son who lived in the 11th century and by her good deeds
and holy life ''built herself an everlasting name." The
poem is based on the legendary story told of old by
mediaeval chroniclers. The ''Godiva procession'* which
commemorates her famous ride has been a feature of
Coventry fair since the time of Charles the Second.
Landor saw one of these festivals when a boy and after-
ward wrote an *' Imaginary Conversation" between
Leofric and Godiva. The name means "Gift of God."
The Women of Weinsberg. Page 74.
In 1138, Konrad III, of the house of Hohenstaufen,
became king of Germany. The rival candidate, Henry
the Proud, duke of Saxony and Bavaria, refused to
acknowledge Konrad as his sovereign and took up arms
against him. During the war which followed, Weins-
berg was besieged by the king's troops for many weeks,
and the army of Count Welf, the brother of Henry, was
defeated in a great battle near the town. It was in this
battle that the war-cries ''Welf" and ' ' Waiblingen, " or,
in the Italian spelling generally followed, "Guelph" and
*'Ghibelline" were first used. Welf was the family
name of Henry the Proud and Waiblingen, a castle of
the Hohenstaufens. For a long period in Germany and
Italy these names were used to designate the opposing
parties; the Welfs being those who took the part of the
popes and the Waiblingens those who sided with the
How the siege of Weinsberg ended is told in the poem,
and thenceforth, it is said, the castle mount was no more
called Vine Hill but the hill of Weibertreue. There is
a humorous poem, ' ' The Wives of Weinsberg, ' ' by Gott-
fried Biirger, relating the same story, and a prose ver-
sion may be found in Charlotte Yonge's *'Book of
Golden Deeds"; together with an account of the con-
stancy of the burgher dames of Lowenburg, a story of
the Thirty Years' war.
Saint Elizabeth. Page 81.
It was on a summer evening in 1207 that Klingsor,
"master of all song-craft," gazing at the mysterious
stars, saw a vision of things to come; and this was the
prophecy which he made to the princes, courtiers and
minstrel knights gathered about him: " 'Be it knoAvn to
you that a daughter has been born to-night to the king
of Hungary. Her name shall be Elizabeth. Holy shall
she be. She shall be given in marriage to the son of
this prince' — raising his eyes to the dusky heights of
the Wartburg — 'and all the earth shall rejoice and
be exalted in the renown of her sanctity.' "
"The Story of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary," by Wil-
liam Canton, follows the medieval records of her lifej
and tells how the prophecy came true — how the little
princess was taken from her royal home when only four
years old; how she grew to girlhood in the gray hill
castle of the Wartburg; how her name came to be en-
rolled in the calendar of saints.
Black Agnes of Dunbar. Page 85.
After the death of Robert the Bruce, civil war again
broke out in Scotland and among those who fought for
their country and king at this time was the Countess of
March. She is especially celebrated in history for her
defense of Dunbar Castle which was besieged by the
English in 1338. This account is taken from Scott's
"Tales of a Grandfather."
The Soul of the Great Bell. Page 89.
This story of Ko-Ngai is from a collection entitled
"Pe-Hiao-Tou-Chouej" or "A Hundred Examples of
The Ta-chung sz' is literally ''Temple of the Bell."
It is in Peking and the bell is probably the largest sus-
pended bell in the world. It was cast about 1406 and
weighs about 120,000 pounds. Fo is a Chinese name for
Buddha. Kwang-tehau-fu is Canton, "The Broad
City." The position of a Fuh-yin is somewhat similar
to that of a mayor. (Condensed from notes by Lafeadio
A Legend of Bregenz. Page 96.
The poem is probably founded on the traditional story
of a girl who saved the country folk of the Bregenz
district from an attack of the Appenzellers some time
during the early part of the 15th century.
Joan of Arc. Page 103.
"I come," says Joan of Arc, ''on behalf of our Lord
God ... to save the kingdom of France. . . .
It is for this I was born. ' ' The full story of her devo-
tion to her king and her country is told in Mark Twain 's
''Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc." "Jeanne
d'Arc," by Ethel M. Wilmot-Buxton, is a good biog-
raphy, and Boutet de Monvel's "Joan of Arc" a won-
drous picture-book, depicting religious processions, bat-
tle scenes and courtly ceremonial. It has the mysticism
of the Middle Ages and is all aglow with color.
' ' The Farewell ' ' is taken from Schiller 's drama, ' ' The
Maid of Orleans." In the play a helmet brought from
the market-town by a countryman and given to Joan is
accepted by her as the promised sign that the time for
her appointed mission has come.
The King's Tragedy. Page 109.
According to tradition, Catherine Douglas, in honor
of her heroic act when she barred the door with her arm
against the murderers of James the First of Scots, re-
ceived popularly the name of "Barlass." This name
remains to her descendants, the Barlas family in Scot-
land, who bear for their crest a broken arm.
" Such deeds can woman's spirit do,
O Catherine Douglas, brave and true!
Let Scotland keep thy holy name
Still first upon her ranks of fame."
King James was a reformer and during the thirteen
years of his reign he earnestly tried to bring order into
the unhappy realm of Scotland. He is known also as
a poet-king and his lovely poem, called the "King's
Quair, ' ' tells the romantic story of his captivity, his love
and courtship. A few stanzas are quoted in Rossetti's
The story of Catherine Douglas is told in prose in Miss
Yonge's "Book of Golden Deeds" under the title "The
Carnival of Perth."
Little Rosamond. Page 141.
Scott's "Kenilworth" is another and longer story tell-
ing of Queen Elizabeth's visit to the castle of her favor-
ite, Robert, Earl of Leicester. The heroine is the un-
fortunate Amy Robsart.
Helen of Kjekconnell. Page 149.
A Scottish ballad founded on a traditionary event,
though the exact date is uncertain. The graves of Helen
and her lover are still pointed out in Kirkconnell,
Dumfriesshire. Wordsworth's "Ellen Irwin; or, The
Braes of Kirtle" is another version of the same story.
Mary Ambree. Page 151.
Though, the chronicles make no mention of Mary
Ambree, the ballad records a traditional incident of the
siege of Ghent in Flanders in 1584.
Pocahontas. Page 155.
This poem is from "The Virginians" and is supposed
to be written by one of the two heroes of the story.
How THE Mohawks Set Out for Medoctec. Page 157.
''When the invading Mohawks captured the outlying
Melicite village of Madawaska, they spared two squaws
to guide them down stream to the main Melicite town of
Medoctec, below Grand Falls. The squaws steered them-
selves and their captors over the Falls." (C. G. D.
The Two Margarets. Page 176.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth, James the Sixth
of Scotland, succeeded to the throne of England as James
the First, and so, after long centuries of warfare, the
two countries were joined by this union of crowns in one
government. But the king wished to unite the religions
of the two kingdoms as well as the governments, and for
the rest of his life his great aim was to force the Scottish
people to become Episcopalians. To that end he caused
laws to be passed introducing some of the rites and cere-
monies of the English service into the Scottish church.
The Presbyterians feared these laws indicated a return
to Popery and so the "Articles of Perth" remained for
the most part dead letters. Charles the First, continu-
ing his father's policy, attempted to introduce a Prayer
Book even more like that of the Roman Catholic Church
than the one used in England, but the people refused
to accept the new forms of worship and in 1638 drew
up and signed the great National Covenant by which
they bound themselves to defend their religion with their
lives. And thus the Protestants of Scotland came to be
known as Covenanters. When their ministers were ban-
ished the people followed them to their hidden retreats
among the hills and glens. No longer allowed to wor-
ship in their churches, they met in private houses, in
bams or in the open air ; these unlawful assemblies being
known as conventicles or field-meetings. For nearly a
century the Covenanters were cruelly oppressed and
persecuted and it was not until William of Orange and
Mary, the daughter of James the Second, were called to
the throne that religious liberty was finally established
Grizel Cochrane 's Ride. Page 181.
The story is founded on an incident of the Monmouth
rebellion, 1685. Grace Greenwood who tells the story of
Grizel Cochrane in her "Bonnie Scotland" remarks,
* ' This is the only instance I remember ever to have heard
of, where robbing the mail was justifiable. Yet I hardly
think it a piece of heroism which would bear repeating. ' '
Heartbreak Hill. Page 212.
Ipswich is a quaint old town of Massachusetts situated
at the mouth of the Ipswich River. Near by is the hill
where, according to the traditional story told in the
poem, an Indian maiden kept tryst with her lover, a
white sailor drowned at sea.
Flora Macdonald. Page 219.
For five months after the decisive defeat at CuUoden
in 1746, "Prince Charlie" was a hunted fugitive, endur-
ing great privations and in constant danger of capture.
At great risk to herself. Flora Macdonald aided in his
escape, and her name, said Dr. Johnson, "will be men-
tioned in history, and if courage and fidelity are virtues,
mentioned with honor."
For her part in the escape Miss Macdonald was made
prisoner and taken to London, but she was released in
1747 and married the son of Macdonald of Kingsburgh.
It is interesting to know that at a later time they
emigrated to North Carolina. Shortly afterward the
war of the Revolution broke out and her husband entered
the army on the British side. In 1779, when Flora
Macdonald was returning to Scotland, the ship was
attacked by a French privateer and she was injured.
Referring to the accident later, she remarked that she
had now suffered a little for both the houses of Stuart
and Hanover. After the war her husband, who had
been taken prisoner, also returned and they settled at
Kingsburgh where she lived for the rest of her life.
The loyal devotion of Flora Macdonald has been cele-
brated in Scottish poem and song. In the "Welcome to
Skye" the "twa bonny maidens" are Flora and the
"Young Pretender" who was disguised as her maid-
servant. In "The Lament," she is pictured sitting
lonely on the shore after the parting with the unfortu-
Captain Molly at Monmouth, Page 227.
The battle of Monmouth was fought on the 28th of
June, 1778. Washington was in command of the Ameri-
can army and General Clinton of the British forces.
The victory of the Americans was not decisive, but the
British retreated and remained inactive for the rest of
the suninier. An account of the battle, with a map
showing the position of the troops, will be found in
Fiske's "American Revolution."
The heroine of the poem, whose true name was Mollie
Hays, had accompanied her husband to the field of battle
in order to carry water to the soldiers and to care for
the wounded. The soldiers called her "Molly with the
Pitcher;" hence "Molly Pitcher," by which name she
is known in history. She was personally commended
by Washington for her conduct and placed upon half-
pay for life as a sergeant. Later the state of Penn-
sylvania granted her an annuity. A song by Kate
Brownlee Sherwood and a poem by Mrs. Richards also
commemorate her brave deed at Monmouth.
Agostina of Zaragoza. Page 230.
In his "History of the Peninsular War," Southey
says, * * There is not, either in the annals of ancient or of
modern times, a single event recorded more worthy to
be held in admiration, now and for evermore, than the
siege of Zaragoza. . . . Will it be said that this
devoted people obtained for themselves, by all this hero-
ism and all these sacrifices, nothing more than a short
respite from their fate? . . . They purchased for
themselves an everlasting remembrance upon earth, — a
place in the memory and love of all good men in all ages
that are yet to come."
When Byron visited Seville the famous Maid was still
living and he saw her walking daily on the Prado,
decorated with medals and orders by command of the
Junta. According to his version of the story it was her
lover who fell. This selection is from "Childe Harold**
but in his "Age of Bronze" Byron again refers to the
" the desperate wall
Of Saragossa, mightiest in her fall;
The man nerved to a spirit, and the maid
Waving her more than Amazonian blade."
In English the name of the town is generally spelled
Saragossa. Zaragoza is the Spanish form.
Santa Filomena. Page 270.
The reference is to Florence Nightingale, the English
nurse, to whose devotion and self-sacrifice hundreds of
soldiers in the Crimean war owed their lives. It is
said that the men in the hospital used to kiss the shadow
cast by her lamp on the wall as she made her rounds at
night. "Florence Nightingale, the Angel of the
Crimea," by Mrs. Richards, gives an interesting account
of her life and of her heroic and patriotic service during
St. Filomena is a popular saint in Italy. In a church
at Pisa is a picture by Sabatelli which represents her
**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." (Jame-
son's *' Sacred and Legendary Art.")
The Relief op Lucknow. Page 272.
An incident of the Sepoy rebellion in India, 1857.
The feeble garrison at Lucknow held out for many weeks
against the besiegers before an army of relief came to
their rescue. In his "Pipes of Lucknow," Whittier also
tells the story of the Scottish girl who first heard the
bagpipes of Havelock's relieving force. Another good
poem of the siege is Tennyson's "Defence of Luck-
now ' ' —
'"Hold it for fifteen days! ' we have held it for eighty-seven!
And ever aloft on the palace roof the old banner of
Barbara Frietchie. Page 276.
A romantic ballad written in 1863 and based on an
account of the incident received from supposedly reliable
sources. It is known that Barbara Frietchie was a gen-
tlewoman, intensely loyal, ' ' holding her Union flag sacred
and keeping it with her Bible," The substantial accu-
racy of the story has been established and whether she
did all that the poem ascribes to her or not she was, as
Whittier says, ''a brave and true woman." The heroic
tone and patriotic spirit of the poem have made it
deservedly popular and the name of Barbara Frietchie
will long be remembered.
Greencastle Jenny. Page 279.
The author says, ' ' You may like to know that the story
is a true one; at least it was related by a Confederate
officer at a great reunion of Northern and Southern
veterans on the field of Gettysburg. . . . The name
of the girl was not mentioned, and was probably un-
known. She may also have been older than I have im-
agined her as being."
Greencastle is in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
The date of the incident was June 25, 1863.
Edith Ca\^ll. Page 293.
One of the tragedies of the European war was the
unjust and cruel execution of Edith Cavell, an English
nurse, head of a hospital in Brussels. She had cared for
the German as well as the Belgian wounded; but she
was accused of aiding in the escape of soldiers from the
territory occupied by the Germans, was condemned by a
military court and summarily put to death. So far as is
known her last words were : ' ' Patriotism is not enough ;
I must have no hatred and no bitterness toward any
one." She lived a noble life, devoted to the service
of humanity ; she died like a heroine.
CHRISTMAS m LEGEIST) AND STOR\
A Book for Boys and Girls
Compaed by ELVA S. SMITH
Catalogxier of Children's Books, Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh,
and ALICE I. HAZELTINE
Supervisor of Children's Work, St. Louis Public Library
Illustrated from Famous Paintings '
A A 4^> 4 4
A 4 TT 4 ♦
!4 4- 4> 4 4
4 4- 4 4 J. 4
TIT their experience in providing reading for
children, these trained and efficient li-
brarians saw the need of a book that should
group the des( of real literature regarding
Christmas. With wide research and great
pains they have gathered the noblest, grand-
est, sweetest, and most reverent of all that
eminent writers in varying lands and in
different times have told us in prose and
verse of the origin and sentiment of this
"gracious time." The style and decoration
of the book are in keeping with its contents.
" C)ad in g^ieen, red and g'lld, the C'hristmas colors, comis this collection of
all the sweetest aid noblest stones and legends that have gathered round the
birthday of the Son of Slan. this is an interesting volume, full of the spirit
of Christmas." — 7'.'ie Chart, 'iwui:.
" It is a superb boo!:, beautifully printed, illas'rated from famous paintings
and splendidly bound. It is as well adapted lo the adult as to the < hildren,
and wiil be read witli interest, enjoyment and dslight by many cji oldei one." —
The Brooklyn Citizen.
" The literarj' standard of all these tales is exceptionally high, and the two
editors of the volume a'e t<> De congratulated on tlieir choice of selections for
it." — The Christian Register.
" It is redolent of Christ. nas cheer and reverence. The Yuletide spirit
breathes from every page. The illustrations, taken for the most part from old
paintings, are an invaluable embellishment of the attractive text. — Columbus
" Perhaps the best and most comprehensive collection of good literature
published regarding the birth of Christ and the celebration of^His birthday
is this well illustrated, clearly-written and pUinly-printed book by two experts
in children's reading. It will help to keep the spirit of Christmas alive through-
out the year." — The Continent.
For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt
of price by tiio publishers
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co. Boston
BRAVE HEART SERIES
By Adeig E. Tnompson
Illustiiated i2mo Cloth Net $i.so each
Betty Seidon, Patriot
A BOOK that is at the same time fascinating apd noble. Historical
■* * events are accurately traced leading up to the surrender cf Com*
wallis at Yorktown, with reunion and happiness for all who deserve it-
Brave Heart Elizabeth
IT is a story of the making of the Ohio frontier, moch of it taken from
life, and thz heroine one of the famous Zane family after which Zanes-
ville, C, takes its name. An accurate, pleasing, and yet at times intensely
thrilling picture of the stirring period of border settlement.
A Lassie of the IsJes
THIS is the romantic story of Flora MacdoDald, the lassie of Skye, who
aided in the escape of Charles Stuart, otherwise known as the
'* Young Pretender."
Polly of the Pines
THE events of the story occur in the years 1 775-82. Polly was an
orphan living with her mother's family, who were Scotch High-
landers, and for the most part intensely loyal to the Crown. Polly finds
the glamor of royal adherence hard to resist, but her heart turns towardu
ths patriots and she does much to aid and encourage them.
A Story of 1813
pATTY is a brave, winsome girl of sixteen
*• whose family have settled across the Cana-
dian border and are living in peace and
prosperity, and on the best of terms with the
neighbors and friendly Indians. Ail this is
suddenly and entirely changed by the breaking
out of war, and unwillingness on the part of
her father and brother to serve against their
native land brings distress and deadly peril.
Jn»r saU ^/ all dooksellers, cr sent postpaid on receipt
of price dy the publishers
LOTHROP. LEE & SHEPARD CO.r BOSTON
HANDICRAFT FOR HANDY GIRLS
By A. NEELY HALL
Aii^orof "The Boy Craftsman, ""Handicraft for Handy Boys," "The HandyBoy*
AND DOROTHY PERKINS
Illustrated with photographs and more than 700 diagrams
and working drawings
8vo Cloth Price, $2.50
Tl 7ITH the aid of an experienced
^ ^ craftswoman, A. Neely Hall, who is
in a class by himself as a thoroughly re-
liable teacher of handicraft, every opera-
tion that he describes being first practically
worked out by himself, and every working
drawing presented being original, new,
and actual, has opened the door for the
great and constantly increasing number of
girls who like to "make things." Such
girls see no reason why the joy of mechanical work should be
restricted to their brothers, and with this book it need no longer
be. The first part of the book is devoted to a great variety of in-
door craft that can be followed in autumn and winter, while the
second part, " Spring and Summer Handicraft," deals with many
attractive forms of outdoor life, including an entire chapter on
the activities of " Camp Fire Girls."
" This book will be hailed with delight by all girls who have a mechan-
ical turn." — Watchman- Examiner.
*' Girls will love just such a book and will find interest for every day of
the year in it." — St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
"Triumphs of ingenuity never dreamed of are to be found in this volume
of handicraft that girls can make, but its chief charm is to be found in the
practical value of most of the things to be made." — Lexington Herald.
For sale by all booksellers or seat postpaid oa receipt
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The Young Folks' Book of Ideals
By DR. WILLIAM BYRON FORBUSH
Fully illustrated 8vo Cloth 500 pages
npHIS is intended to be the funda.
* mental book in the library of boys
and girls between twelve and eighteen,
and it deserves its place in kiterest, full-
ness, and worth. The great educator,
G. Stanley Hall, has demanded "a s-^cu-
lar Bible," and it is not too much to say
that >,his meets the demand. One may
go farther, and say that no other modem
writer has so wisely, so safely, and at the
same time so entertainingly provided what young people long
to be told if only it be done capably and pleasingly. Dr,
Forbush is a sincere man, and in both writing and speaking
combines keen wit and great learning with a rich store o^
personal experience in a way that entitles him to rank as the
leading authority on making the best of youthful life. The
book is produced in a style worthy of its really great contents,
"A book of general culture for young people which deserves a funda-
mental place in the library of boys and girls between twelve and eighteen,
because of its interest, fullness and worth. The invaluable knowledge for
young people imparted, is presented in a style so pleasing and entertaining
that young readers will find it not only convincing, but intensely interesting.
It is an ideal book to place in the hands of young people." — Zion^ s Herald.
" It is a book of unusual inspiration. It will help teachers and parents
and will prove a stable balance for the young mind in forming its habits
of thought and living." — Buffalo News.
"There is a combination of keen wit and great learning with a rich
store of personal experience that entitles the author to rank among the
leading writers of youthful life." — Atlanta Constitution,
For sals by ail booksellers or sen t postpaid oa receipt
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A Little Maid of Boston Town
By MARGARET SIDNEY
12mo Cloth Illustrated by F. T. MERRILL
T^HE opening chapters introduce us to
■*■ old Boston in England. Margaret
Sidney want there in 1907 anc absorbed
the atmosphere of Cotton Mather's " St,
Botoiph's Town," gathering for herseU
facts and traditions. Then *'St. Bo.olph'j
Town" yields its scenic effects, and tne
setting of tiie story is changed to Boston
Town of New England.
The story is absorbing, graphic, and
truly delightful, carrying one along till it
seems as if actual participation in the
events had betn the lot of the reader. The oame naturalness
that is so conspicuous in her famous "Pepper Books" marks
this latest story of Margaret Sidney's. She makes characters
live and speak for themselves.
It is an inspiring, patriotic story for the young, and contains strildng
and realistic pictures of the times with wMcb it deals. — Sunday ScfuiM
Tttp. author presents a story, but she gives a veracious picture of con«
ditions in the (own of Boston during the Revolution. Parents who are
seeking wholesome books can place this in the front rank with entire
siSeXy. ^-Boston Glebe.
Surely Margaret Sidney deserver the gratitude of many a child, and
grown-ups, too, for that matter, in te fling in so charming, yet, withal, so
simple a manner, of these early days in this country. — Utica Cbserver,
A really thrilling tale of the American Revolution. Interesting foa
both old and young. — Minneapolis Journal.
Por Mai* by alt bookaellen or seat postpaid on mcelpt ot
price by the publhbtra
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Girls of the Morning-Glory Camp Fire
By ISABEL HORNIBROOK
Author of " Camp and Trail "
Illustrated in two colors by John Goss
'T'HE sensibly helpful and patriotic
^ organization called the Camp Fire
Girls is spreading with wonderfiil
rapidity because it is based on the
right elements to appeal both to girls
and their parents. Though having a
basis of Camp Fire work, which the
author thoroughly understands, this
book can be enjoyed by any one.
The "Morning-Glory Camp Fire"
finds its summer home on one of the most picturesque por-
tions of the New England Coast, and the author's exceptional
knowledge of matters connected with the sea adds much
interest to the story. A sparkling style, rich humor, and
wealth of incident are conspicuous.
"This is a book to be welcomed by those who find much truth in the
off-hand statement that it is 'hard to find good reading for growing
girls . ' ' ' — Bee, Omaha .
"The story is entertaining, the characters drawn with naturalness, the
incidents both amusing and pertinent. Good reading for girls of the
secondary school age." — Columbus Despatch.
For sale by all booksellers or seat postpaid on receipt
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American Heroes and Heroines
PIUUKE ORRlMiTOK BOUVl
By Pauline Carrington Bouve Illustrated
izmo Cloth $1.50
THIS book, which will tend directly toward
the making of patriotism in young Americans,
contains some twenty brief, clever and attractive
sketches of famous men and women in American
history, among them Father Marquette, Anne
Hutchinson, Israel Putnam, Molly Pitcher, Paul
Jones, Dolly Madison, Daniel Boone, etc, Mrs.
Bouv^ is well known as a writer both of fiction and
history, and her work in this case is admirable,!
"The style of the book for simplicity and cleamesg
of expression could hardly be excelled."— Boston
The Scarlet Patch
jtory of a Patriot Boy in the Mohawk Valley
By Mary E, Q. Brush Illustrated
'"T^HE Scarlet Patch'' was the badge of a Tory organization, and a
j X loyal patriot boy, Donald Bastien, is dismayed at learning that his
uncle, with whom he is a "bound boy," is secretly connected with this
treacherous band. Thrilling scenes follow in which a faithful Indian
figures prominently, and there is a vivid presentation of the school and
home life as well as the public affairs of those times.
" A book that will be most valuable to the library of the young boy." — Prtnii
Stories of Brave Old Times
Some Pen Pictures of Scenes Which
Took Place Previous to, or Connected
With, the American Revolution
By Helen M. Cleveland Profusely illustra-
ted Large i2mo Cloth $1.50
IT is a book for every library, a book for
adults, and a book for the young. Per-
haps no other book yet written sets the great
cost of freedom so clearly before the young,
consequently is such a spur to patriotism.
' " It can unqualifiedly be commended as a book for
youthful readers ; its great wealth of illustrations
adding to its value." — Chicago JVe-a/s.
For sale by all booksellers or sent postpaid on receipt of price
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BOOKS BY RENA I. HALSEY
BLUE ROBIN, THE GIRL PIONEER
NATHALIE PAGE is just such a girl of sixteen as one likes to
read about. Obliged to exchange affluence in a large city for
a modest home in a small one, she develops into capable young
womanhood by becoming a member of The Girl Pioneers of
"Any girl of a dozen years or more, or even less, will enjoy this thoroughly, and any-
one, young or old, will be the better for having read it. " — Pittsburgh Times-Gasette.
THIS is an interesting and inspiring story of
girls in a select school in Brooklyn who
organize a club called "Daughters of Amer-
ica," and under the care of a weU-liked
teacher take a trip to points on the New
England coast made famous in our history.
One of the girls has been brought up without
knowledge of her own family, and so is called
''America's Daughter." In the course of
the trip she unravels the mystery of her
birth and all ends happUy and profitably.
"It is an inspiring story, well told and will be appreciated by girls who love an active,
out of doors life." — Daily Press, Portland, Me.
THE LIBERTY GIRL
NATHALIE PAGE, seventeen, bright and popular with aU
her mates, forms a club called the "Liberty Girls" and en-
thusiastically does her bit to help win the war. A surprising
invitation to the White Mountains takes her from organized
activity with her companions, but a girl like Nathalie will not be
idle wherever she goes, and in carrying out the principles of
patriotic service she wins great and deserved credit.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.
BOOKS X7 \ :
By ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS.
Tff:E POPULAR ''TRUE STORY" SERIES.
Seven 4to volumes of from 200 to 250 pages each, profusely
illustrated and attractively bound in cloth.
" A series which is worthy of hearty commendation. Every grown-up
person who has read one of them will wish to buy the whole series for tne
young folks at home.'' — Th« Christian AdvecaU.
This series contains :
THE TRUE STORY OF CHRISTOPHER
COLUMBUS, called the Admiral.
THE TRUE STORY OF GEORGE
WASHINGTON, called the Father of
THE TRUE STORY OF ABRAHAM LIN-
COLN, the American.
THE TRUE STORY ^^ U. S. GRANT,
the American Soldier.
THE TRUE STORY OF BENJAMIN
FRANKLIN, the American Statesman.
THE TRUE STORY OF LAFAYETTE,
the Friend of America.
THE TRUE STORY OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA. From 1492
to I goo.
Also, recently published :
IN BLUE AND WHITE. A Story of the
American Revolution. 8vo, illustrated.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.,
ge FEDERAL 8TRBBT BOSTON
By NINA RHOADES
Illustrated by Elizabeth Withington
THIS is considerably longer than the othei
books by this favorite writer, and with a
more elaborate plot, but it has the same win-
some quality throughout. It introduces the
heroine in New York as a little girl of eight,
but soon passes over six years and finds her at
a select family boarding school in Connecticut.
An important part of the story also takes place
at the Profile House in the White Mountains.
Th5 charm of school-girl friendship is finely
brought out, and the kindness of heart, good
sense and good taste which find constant ex-
pression in the books by Miss Rhoades do not
lack for characters to show these best of
qualities by their lives. Ciher less admirable
persons of course appear to furnish the alluring mystery, which is not
all cleared up until the very last.
"There will be no better book than this to put into the hands of a girl in
her teens and none that will be better appreciated by her." — Kennebec Journnl
By NINA RHOADES
Illustrated by Bertha G. Davidson 1 2mo
'T'HIS book is for the older girls, Marion
* being thirteen. She has for ten years
enjoyed a luxurious home in New York with
the kind lady who feels that the time has now
come for this aristocratic though lovable little
miss to know her own nearest kindred, who
are humble but most excellent farming people
in a pretty Vermont village. Thither Marion
is sent for a summer, which proves to be a
most important one to her in all its lessons.
" More wholesome reading for half grown girls
It would be hard to find ; some of the same lessons
that proved so helpful in that classic of the last
generation 'An Old Fashioned Girl' are brought
home to the youthful readers of this sweet and
sensible story." — Miltuaukte Free Press.
For sale by all booksellers, or seat postpaid 0(0 receipt ot
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY
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