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t Y PES 










* The vorld's large tongue prodaimi joo." 



90, 92 & U GILVXD STREET. 

17 ^^0~- 



Entered, according to Act of Cloagress, in the year 1857, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Conrt of the United States for the Southern District of 

New York. . 


pRESENTDfo togctlier in a collected form of analytical disquisition, and 
pictorial illostration, several of tlie women most noted in the world's an- 
nals, it is interesting to consider the individuality marking each ; and the 
cnrious variety of respective distinction, wliicli has set these personages 
apart, as either renowned or notorious, above the ordinary range of their 
sisterhood. In thus considering them, I have taken leave to judge excep- 
tional characters by exceptional ndcs ; and, since this selection was made 
I for me, — not chosen by myself, — I have wntten upon them with large 
(not 60 nnich alloicayice, as) construction. 

I have treated the subjects appointed for me to discuss, witJi my utmost 
candour, and with as much of discrimination and jiidgment as in me lay. 
I have endeavoured to look upon them with unprejudiced eyes; and to 
ihrow myself as much as possible into tlie periods in which diey lived, 
and tlie events among which they moved. I have tried to judge them 
according to the complexion of the eras in which they figured, and the 
incidents which coloured their opinions, their words, and their actions. 
Lord Bacon, — that great authority in judgment, critical, philosophical, and 
legal, — ^lias told us, that "it is the part of a just judge to take into consid- 
eration not only facts but the times and circumstances of facts ; " so, in 
weighing the facts connected with the "Women's characters assembled in 
this book, I have done my best to render them justice in consonance with 
this Yendam rule. 

In regarding tJieso World-noted Women, who have severally created 
60 much interest, and awakened so much emotion in the different spheres 
wherein they existed, it were idle to view them otherwise than as isolated 
exemplars of special qualities ; they are not so much types of a class of 
women, as types of particular womanly attributes; and, far from their all 
being looked upon as models, they are, in ^ome instances, to bo belield as 
beacons of warning. With this home in mind, it affords a fascinating 
study to contemplate a woman like Cleopatra, — that " Serpent of old 
Nile," — she, who held Mark Antony's heart in tlirall, and " caught him in 

her strong toil of gi-ace;" or a woman like Isabella of Castile, who 
virtnoiia as she was wise, modest as she was illnslrious. 

It is also interesting to notico tlic links of historic association which 
connect such widely varions women a6 Valentina, Joan of Arc, Margaret 
of Anjou, Lady Jane Grey, Isabella of Castile, Maria Theresa, and Cath- 
erine II., through the long series of years, and separate lands in which 
they rcBpcctively lived. As thus: — *' lo bean Dunois" bore a part ir 
both Yalentina'e and Joan of Arc's history; Margaret was niece td 
tlie French king, Cluu-Ics YII., who, as Dauphin, was tlie object of 
Joan's loyul championship; Lady Jane Grey was grand-daughter to 
Charles Brandon, who manied the widow-queen of Louis XIL, grandson 
to Valentina ; and so forth, along the chain of circumstance. Leigh Hunt, 
in a deliglitful essay entitled ** Social Genealogy," shows how the present 
generation may have shaken hands with Shakespeare himself, by this 
"linked Bweetncss long drawn out" of cordially interchanged palm-clasp- 
b)g. And by similar pleasant tricks of the imagination we may trace the 
connection between the strangely difl'ering World-noted Women who ap- 
pear side by side in thcec pages. 

It may be well hero to observe that I have ventured to annex ti;jinsla- 
imns (so cloBc as to be almost literal) of quoted passages for the behoof 
of thoBO who may not be conversant with the language in which the oiig • 
inaljj are written. 

I gladly avail myself, also, of the oitportunlty now i^rescnted, to offer 
my thanks to those friends, — some, of very recent date, and who therefore 
<Icecrvo the greater acknowledgment, since they assisted one comparative- 
ly a stranger to tliem, — who, with kindest promptitude, helped mo in pro- 
curing such literary sources for reseai'ch as my distance fi*om old familiar 
native book-haunts prevented my readily obtaining. 

I must not omit, likewise, to assign the credit of tlie "Joan of Arc " 
where it is due, in stating that it has been contributed by another hand 
than mine ; a lady of Philadelphia, widely known in the ranks of litera- 
ture as Grace Greenwood, having supplied the memoir of that glorious 
but misprized heroine. 

Especially pleasant to me is it, to recognize tho debt of gratitude I 
ow(J to my generous friend, ^trs. Balmanno, of Kcav York, who iias writ- 
ten thciiccouiit of " Pocaliontas " for me in tliis work. 

Mary Cowdek Cla^e:. 


SAPPHO,. . . . . •. Greece, b.c. 612, 

LUCRETIA, . . . . Rome, « 509, 

ASPASIA, Greece, ' « 480, 

CLEOPATRA, .;^. . . . Bgi/pt, " 69,- 

ST. CECILIA, .... Borne, a.d. . 230, 

HELOISE, .... Frdnce, « 1101, 

LAURA, Frcince, " 1308, 

VALENTINE DE MILAN, . . Italy, « 1370, 

JOAN D'AROi .... France, « 1410, 

MARGARET OF ANJOU, . France, " 1429, 

ISABELLA OF CASTILE, . Spain, « 1450, 

LADY JANE GREY, . . England, « 1537, 

POCAHONTAS, .... AmeHca, .« 1595, 

LA VALLlllRE, . . . France, " 1644, 

MARIA THERESA, . . . Austria, " 1717, 

CATHERINE! IL . . . JRiissia, " 1729, 

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE, . England, " 1823, 
















B. BYLE8, . 

. 33 


(( ' 

F. nOLL, 





. 61 



COOK, . 





. 113 

LAURA, .... 







. 171 



W. n. MOTE, . 




* " 

. 205 







F. HOLL, . 

. 263 



B. ETLES, . 


LA VALLlfeRE, . 


W. HOLL, . 

. 309 








. 345 



W. H. MOTE, . 



The name of Sappho is almost identical in the mind with the word 
Poetess. Hundi'eds of women have written verse ; but of the very 
few women who have attairfed the renown of living to posterity 
as worthy to bear the honoured title of poetess, Sappho ranks pre- 
eminent. She stands at the head of that select sisterhood privi- 
leged to take place, among those upon whom Wordsworth invokes 
divine favour: 

" Blessings bo with them — and eternal praise, 
Who gave us nobler loves and nobler cares, 

The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs 
Of tmth and pure delight, by heavenly lays I" 

Kaphael, prince of painters, has given Sappho a conspicuous posi- 
tion in his picture of " Mount Parnassus ;" — She is seated on the left- 
^d front ; her beautiful plain face looking up in eager intelli- 
gence towards a group of Earth's greatest poets. It was a piece 
of fine taste in Raphael, thus placing the woman-poet as it were 
at the foot of those grand men, with her eyes turned in sympa- 
thetic spirit up among them. 

To Sappho was awarded the exalted distinction of being called 


siAPP no. 

the " Tenth Muse/' as wortliy toVank with her wliom Dan Clian 
cer thus apostrophises : 

" Be favoiiraWe eke thou, Polynmia, 
On Parnassus that with thy sifitcrs glad 
* By Helicon, and not far from Cirrha, 

Singest with voice memorial in the shade, 
Under the borel, which that may not fiide.'- 

The praises of the Lesbian Poetess have heen hymned by ba 
of all ages. The classic writers of antiquity, cited her as foremc 
in the power of expressing tender and amatory emotions, Ovid 
not only in his "Art of Love," but in his "Heroides," and "! 
Trlstibus," makes allusion to her; dnd* Horace records her pathet 
strjuns, where, in the ode relating his accident from the fall of 
tree, he says how near he was to hearing 

" Mollis lidibua quercntcm 
Sappho puellis de popularibus ;" 

[" Sappho plaining on jEoUan lute 
Of neighbour maidona mouruf uUy . "] 

Plutarch quotes, as infallible authority, her description of 
tokens by which a passionate lover may be recognized: "th( 
signs which Sappho writeth to bo in lovers ; to wit : that his wo; 
and speech did fail him, his colour became red, his eyes still rolli 
to and fro, and ^ then a sudden sweat would take him, his p 
would beat fast and rise high ; and in Ihe end, that after the fo: 
and power of his hcai-t hath failed him, and showed all these si, 
he became like a man in an ecstasy and trance, and as white as 
kerchief." • 

That Sappho should have been misunderstood by the vulgar, i 
only natural ; and the later recognition of her excellence hj thi 
more discriminating, is in accordance with that law which prohibi 
immediate appreciation of the finest genius. Shelley discernmgh 



RYS : — " Poetry is ever accompanied witli pleasure : all spirits od 
hicli it falls open themselves to receive the wisdom which is^ 
ingled with it3 delight. In the iufancy of the world^ neither 
ets themselves nor their auditors are fully aware of the excel- 
[ence of poetiy : for it acts in a divine and unapprehended manner, 
yond and above consciousness; and it is reserved for future 
erations to contemplate and measure the mighty cause and 
(ct in all the strength and splendour of their union. Even in 
modern times, no living poet ever aiiived at the fulness of his 
fame ; the jury which sit^ in judgment upon a poet, belonging, as 
he does, to all time, must be composed of his peers : it must be 
impannelled by Time from the selectest of the wise of many gener- 
ations. A poet is a nightingale, who sits in dai'kuess, and sings to 
sheer its own solitude with sweet sounds ; his auditors are as men 
ntranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that 
liey are moved and softened, yet know not whenae or why." 
So meagre, and so contrailictory are the accounts of Sappho her- 
If, that we can only collect the varying cii'cumstances, and gather 
from them those most likely to be the truth : but with the one 
great fact of ^hat she was in spirit, — and which she has bequeathed 
to the world in the form of undoubted poetic repute,— -we can rest 
content in gi'ateful credence and admiration. One of the chief 
caoses why so little is known with certainty regarding Sappho, is, 
tliat there were two women born in the Me of Lesbos, both named 
alike. The native place of Sappho, the poetess, was Mitylene ; 
vliile that of Sappho, the courtesan, was Eresos. The fome of the 
^me, and the infamy of the other, became blended in history, from 
tbe identity of name, and from the circumstance of Mitylene and 
Eresos being towns in the same island. " Sappho, the Lesbian," 
might ap])ly to either the lady noted for intellectual pursuits, or to 
tie damsel notorious for dissolute pm'suits. Moreover, from Sappho 



of Mitylene'a verse being peculiarly powerful in tLe ex]')res5ion 
amoroTis sentiment, it might naturally lead to lier cliai'acter 
coming mixed, in common report, with that of Sappho of Eresos;" 
for a passionate and poetic temperament is apt to be mi'5lmde^ 
Btood by vnlgor and prosaic minds, and to be confounded by thm 
with depravity- 

This has probably given rise to popular floating traditions of* 
'Sappho's desperate attachment to a youth called Phaon ; a 
which docs not occur in any of her poems that are extant, 
, which, being one of the appellatives given to Venus's favourit 
Adonis, might well have been used by the poetess in parages de 
scribing the goddoss of Love's addressed to the reluctant object oj 
her flame. Another of the ordinarily received legends re^pectii 
Sappho, — and which has been so closely interwoven with her ide 
that it is almost impossible to think of her without associating th^ 
incident, — ^is, hei having sought extinction for her hapless passion, ' 
by throwing herself from the Leecadian rock into the sea. But 
accumulated evidence, — both positive and negative, — from ancient 
writers, tends to prove beyond a rational doubt, that Sappho never 
took the leap from the promontory of Leucadia, which was held 
to be a sovereign remedy for despairing lovei-s. They who relate 
this story of her fail to state whether Sappho lost her life, or su^ 
dved, after precipitating hei^self from the rock ; and they who 
omit to relate the incident, have entered into other particulars 
concernbg her, with too much minuteness of detail, not to mak^ 
their very omission of this one, a tacit e\ddence of its being untme 
For instance : " Herodotus (who, as Voltaire wittily says, " doesn'l 
always lie ") goes into a long account of Sappho's addressing 
remonstrance to her brother Charaxus, for having given a la 
sum in the purchase of a female slave called Ehodopis, from 
master at Naucratis in E^ypt; and speaks of other family 



tnmstances conneotecl with Sappho : but mentions nothing of the 

inretnrned affection she is supposed to have conceived for Phaon, 

Eior of the leap from the Leucadian rock, wliich is imagined to have 

jded her passion and her life. This silence of the " Father of 

istory" respecting two events, which from their importance 

red commemoration, in a recital where he dwells upon much 

ighter points, seems conclusive that they did not occur to the 

?appho of whom he treats, — Sapj^ho of MifyJene. Yet the Leucar 

lian leap, with its attributed mystical power of curing hopeless 

[)ve, was just one of those incidents which Herodotus would have 

>een sure to seize upon, — either for the pp'pose of making the 

lost of it, or for searching Luto its oi-igin, — had it occurred to her 

' whom lie speaks. In an elegy written by Hermesianax upon 

le partialities of celebrated poets, he cites as an example Sappho^s 

king for Anacreon ; but says nothing of her fondness for Phaon. 

To^r, so fatal a prepossession as her supposed fancy for the latter has 

Ben represented, together with its catastrophe, would have fui'- 

isbed the most fitting theme possible for elegiac verse, had they 

ally formed part of the poetesses career. Antipater, of Sidou, 

jmpased an epigram relative to Sappho's tomb ; yet he not only 

everts nowise to her tragical fate at Leucadia, but according to 

her death was a natural one, and a monument was erected to 

memoiy in the place of her birth, where she was buried. The 

at Meuander positively assei-ts that Sappho was. the fii-st who 

ok the Leucadian leap ; but Menander lived at the close of the 

t)arth, and the commencement of' the third century before the 

iristian era, This makes the period of the Sappho*s existence, who 

BW herself from the Leucadian rock, reach as far back as more 

three centuries before Christ, but not so far back as five ; 

i^lifle the fact that Herodotus, who was in the fifth century, did 

recoi'd this disastrous end happening to Sappho of ]Mitylene, 



leaves the dednction to be drawn, that in all probability it vaa 
Sappho of Eresos who took the Lencadian leap, she not being born 
when Herodotns wrote. 

The facts to be gathered respecting Sappho the poetess, tie 
these. She was bom in Mitylene, about 612 B. C. Her father's 
name has been varionsly stated to have been Scamandronymus, 
Symon, Semns, or Etarchns ; and her mother's was generally held 
to be Cleis. Early in life she became the wife of Cercolns, a 
wealthy and distinguished gentleman of Andros, by whom she 
had one child, called, — ^probably in honour of her mother, — Clek 
A few years after har marriage, Sappho l>ecame a widow; and 
it was then that she dedicated herself to the cultivation of her 
poetic gift. She also strove to distract her sorrow by travelling; 
and journeyed through continental Greece, where she was mucb 
admired and sought after by persons of intelligence. Returning 
to her native island, she instituted a school of poetry and phCo 
sophy : and endeavored to inspire the Lesbian ladies with a taste 
for intellectual pursuits. Imaginative and ardent natures throw a 
voluptuous beauty into whatever they undertake ; and enter en- 
thusiastically into plans formed with a generous view to improve 
and refine. Fervour of chai'acter is almost always mistaken or mis- 
represented. The generalit}' do not understand it, and either take 
it for absurdity or vice : — the envious comprehend it better, but 
are indignant at it, aud represent it as selfishness under the guise 
of noble feeling. Sappho's wai-mth of disposition made her ei 
in all that she did ; and eagerness is resented by the ordini 
gi'ade of people, who like smooth, commonplace, and easy conve; 
tionality. Besides, her attempts to introduce a higher state 
cultivation among her people was crowned with a cei-tain amouni 
of success ; and success is sure to excite animosity. She numl>e: 
among her disciples several illustrious names ; and this was not t< 


be borne tamely by those -who smarted beneath a sense of her 
Bnpcnor attainments and gi'aces. Sappho, although not handsome, 
was attracti\^, as well as gifted, — a perilous combination for a 
woman, whose consciousness of grace and genius, together with 
ardour of nature, will not suffer her to remain in obscurity. It is 
a moral necessity with such heings as Sappho to exercise the quali- 
ties with which Heaven has endowed them. They" instinctively 
feel the force of Shakespeare's grand axiom : — 

" If our virtues 
Did not go. forth of us, 'twere all alike 
As if we had them not. Spirits arc not finely touched, 
But to fine issues : nor nature never lends 
The smallest scruple of her excellence, ^ 

But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines 
Herself the glory of a creditor, 
Both thanks and use." 

Sappho gratefully used Nature's gifts in the noblest way, when 
dedicated them to the endeavour of advancing the mental cul- 
ture of her native Lesbians; and those among them who were 
most capable of profiting l>y her efibrts, estimated her duly, honour- 
ing her as an inspired teacher, an alluring guide, whose feminine 
charm aided her admirable faculties in leading them to higher 
elevation and accomplishment. But by the gross-minded, the 
Kttle-minded, and the grudging-minded, Sappho's attempts to 
ameliorate the condition of those around her, and to introduce 
greater refinement in their social pursuits, were consti'ued into 
vOest meaning, and made the ground of the most odious im- 
putations. Her luxurious enjoyment of Art, her exquisite appre- 
ciation of the passion of Love in its matchless beatitude, her 
intense perception of the loveliness and bliss existing in Poesy and 
Mtisic as recreations to the spirit, drew upon her Ihe charge of 
milJfv • and she who strove to exalt her associates, was 


a<rcu-f'l of ftfrokiDg to dcliase them. Eitlier wounded by these « 
iijjiiriou-» calumnies, or, — as some accounts say,— owing to political 
caij-j'^-H, (hoing. accu-sed Ly her enemies of complicity with Alcsras 
ill a conspiracy again»t Pittacus, the gorernor of Alitylene,) she 
nrtirod for a time into SicDy. Here the fiiendahip between 
Ij'rr-elf and Anacreon, alluded to by Ilermesianax, was supposed to 
li.'tvo \>t.(:n formed ; but Athena-us maintains that the elegiast was 
iiii.-tak<;n in l^^lieving that Sappho entertained any preference for 
An;i':r':on, rin^e, as ha asseits, Sappho lived during the time when 
AlyatJ'f', \\i\\i('T to Cra*sa?, reigned; and Anacreon during that 
of (lyvMA and Polycrate-?. The well-known rivalry in poetical 
t'.ttu\\HtA\\i>n vvliich subsisted between Alcaeus and Sappho, each 
\ttit\y[ lj<'M hy their r(;.spective i>ai-tisans to excel the other in 
nj<riil, rii'.uiw to prc'clude the idea of her being engaged with him 
in M\y (:onf<rd<-racy or ]>lot. Indeed, so much malice mingles with 
/iio;:f, iliril is nrordcd of Sappho, and so much confusion has arisen 
lioni Ji<rr Ixraring the name name with a woman of entirely 
oj»]*o^it<f rhanicler, that it is difficult to ai'rive at a con*ect account 
ol' Ik-j- lir<f. I'nfoilunately, too, her poems, which obtained her so 
vvid'! a riMiov/n, an; little better known to us. Few of them have 
n-.-uriu'd our time;; though the majority of her compositions were 
i'\\ ant iii tin; age of Horace. They are said to have consisted of nine 
boiikn, fojiiaining a variety of odes, hymns, epithalamia, elegies, 
o]>igraniM, and other poems. A hymn to Venus, an ode to a fnend, 
and Hundry brief fragments, are all that now remain to prove how 
tjuly H«i]>l>ho tleserved the admii'ation bestowed' upon her by her 
conteniporaricH, and by the writers of antiquity. But these few 
prochictions afford sufficient proof of excellence to justify the 
award of judges who were acquainted with the rest of her works. 
J?'eeling, warmth of expression, elegance of diction, felicity of 
mensuro, are to be traced in such excellence as to warrant her 

s Appno. 


ing ranked high among lyric poets; and the specimens that 
exist of her compositioD, awaken keen regi'et that the whole should 
not have hecn preserved, — ^not only for tlieir own sake, but 
becanse of the insight they would have aftbrded into particulars of 
Greek sentiment, as exemplified in the heart-efinsions of such 
a woman as Sappho. 

A poetess, who wrote at the opening of the fifteenth century, 
left a translated fragment from one of Sappho*s compositions, — and 
in the Sapphic Strophe. The antiquated French, gives it a 
remote air, in accordance with the original antique ; and the 
warmth of Clotilde de Surville's style in expression, assimilates 
completely with that of the Greek poetess. 

"Qu'a mon gre cestc-li^ va priinnut sur lea dleux I 
Qu'enyrre ton Boubriz, but qui ton ceil repoze, 
Qu'encliarment, r^sonnant de ta boucbe de roze, 
Les sons mclodieux ! 

Je t'ai vu — dans mon seyn, Venus, qu'ay toute en Pame, 
Qai, snr levre ciubrascc, cstoaffoit mea acc^iats, 
Tenoa a. feox subtils, maia jus qu'ez o^er^ants, 

Court en fleuves do flame — 

S'ennuajgent mea yculx ; n'oy plua qu'enmy rumeurs ; 
Je brufile, je languis \ chauds frissons dana ma rayue 
Circolont : je paalis, je palpite, Tlialcine 

Me manque ; je me meurs. — 

["How she, above the rest of Gods, shines beauteous I 
How glows thy amile, on whom thine eye reposes ; 
How charm, in flowing from thy mouth of roses, 
The sounds melodious ! 

IVe felt thee, Venus, in my heart, — to soul it came,— • 
Stifling my accents on my Ups that burn'd, 
Vena*, with subtle fire, to my very bones return'd 
Swift in waves of flame. 


Cloud my moist eyes; I bear but murmured sigb; 
I melt, I languish ; bot tbrillings in my veins 
Fleet through; I pale, I throb, my breathing p&ins 
And fails me ; — I die.**] 

Clotildo lie Siirville may justly be called the Prencli Sappho, 
for tliat intonso glow and passionate earnestness which pervade 
hvv Leant il'iil verses. The poem to her husband, Berenger, — a 
youn^' kni^^lit who fought under Charles VIT, in the wars against 
England and Burgundy, — breathes the very soul of conjugal 
fiTvour ; and the stanzas to her first-bom, are instinct with the 
ra]>tur()us delight of a young and proudly happy mother. A 
lit<l(? roundel, graced by the most playful and womanly spirit, — 
half coy, half tender, and wholly charming, — ^may well be cited 
here, in an aeeoiuit of Sappho, the love-j>oet^s. The roundel ia 
addressi'd to Clotildo's favourite friend, Rocca, and tells of a 
c(»rtain stolen kiss. It is headed : — 


(>ur cc que VI net ung soir le hel amy hayzer ine dcsrober d lafontaine, 

iinini cler do luno ay deduict, so me voy 
Sculotto ez bords d'ung crystal dc fontaine ! 
Ui)g poir y vint nion espoulx et mon roy; 
]Jayzer m'y prist : no lo scntys qu.' a payne, 
I'U sy pourtaut fus-jc toute en cs moy. 

]\le eourrouciay : n'avoit encor ma foy, 

(Si bieu mon coour, car Teust dc prime aubaine ;) 

Oncques n'ozions nous dire Tu ny Toy, 

Qu'au cler de lune. 

■Done mo faschay ; puys, comme il se tint coy, 
Luy pardonnay ; sur ce diet : " ma rayne ! 
" N'on coustoit plus d'cn prendre une vingtaine, 
" Se I'avoy gceu I" — Fayz done, amy : pourquoy 
M'aa veu de nuict ; n'est tant la faute k moy, 
Qu'au cler de lune. 

SAPPHO. . 19 


On the handsome lover coming one evening and stealing a kiss from me at the 



How gladly, by moonlight, I fini me alone 

By the brink of a fountain's bright crystalline glass ! 

One eve came my husband, my king, and my own ; — 
A soft kiss he snatch'd ; I felt it scarce pass, 

Yet it flntter'd me, ere it was gone. 

I pretended to pout : — ^he wasn't then mine ; 
(Yet my heart was f4st his, from the very first dawn ;) 
Nor then did we venture to say, " Thou and Thine,'* 
But by light of the moon. 

So, I pouted ! tncn as he kept still 

I forgave him — ^he said : " my queen ! 

" I might have ta'en twenty — and twenty I will, — 

" Had I known !" — Take them sweetheart ; thou'st seen 

Me by night time ; — ^the fault's not my ill, 

But the light of the moon.] 

A short poem, attributed to Sappho, lias "been rendered into 
Englisli verse by one who is worthy to be called a sister poetess. 
She who (if it were only for those exquisite forty-three sonnets of 
Shakesperian style ; — ^for the tender pathos of her " Caterina and 
Camoens;" and for the condensed passion of that grand little 
poem, " A yeai-'s spinning," — a world of emotion in seven stanzas — ) 
richly deserves the title of our modem Sappho, — Elizabeth Bar- 
rett Browning, has given us the opportunity of reading this grace- 
ftl l}'ric, believed to have been written by the famed Lesbian. 
There is a Grecian zest, and flush of beauty in the lines, which 
^aakes us feel it properly ascribed to Sappho. 





" If Zeiu cboee wi a King of the flovers in his mirtk, 

He would call to the roae, and would rojally crown it ; — 
For the TOW, ho, the rosse I b the grace of the 'earth, 

Is the light of the phuita that are growing upon it 1 
For the rose, ho^ the rooe f is the eje of the flowers, 

Ib the blu£h of the meadows that feel themselTea iair^— 
Ia the lightning of beantj, that strikes through the bowers 

On pale lovers who sit in the glow unaware. 
Ho, the rose breathes of love ! ho, the rose lifts the cup 

To the red lipa of Cypris invoked for a guest 1 
Ho, the rose having eurl'd it's sweet leaves for the world 

Takes delight in the motion its petals keep up, 
Aa they laugh to the Wind as it laughs from the west** 

Sappiio possessed tlmt rare ^ft, — ^genins. She merited thl 
ti$mm bartowed upon her, of " Tenth Muse," and " Divind 
PoeteiB;'' not merely because she was accomplished in writii 
poetry, but because she was endowed with creative faculty. SI 
had invention, and originality of resource. Her love of Poesj 
inMjiired her with power to add fresh beauty to the anthology 
Greece ; composing in metres of her own design, and devising 
peculiar versification, named after her, the Sapphic Strophe ; a 
trical construction which has been frequently imitated in ancier 
and modem times. Horace has many Odes in the Sapphi^ 
Htrophe, the ode to Augustus Caesar (the second in the first Book) 
bi'ing one. It consists of three verses, and a fourth (of two feet) 
termed the Adonic verse. 

Hnppho's ear in rhythmical construction, and her passion fo 
numii', c-iiubled her to carry her creative genius into that art also^ 
for Ari^toxenus aiHrms, that to Sappho must be assigned thehonoi 
ot* having invented Mixolydian harmony, so well adapted for th^ 
expression of tragic and serious feeling. She is abo said to hav€ 

8APPH 0. 

been the inventor of more tlian one new instruineiit, and of the plec- 
trum, or quill witli wLicli l}Tes were struck, in sounding their strings. 

In Sappho, Milton's 

" Sphere-born harmonious sifiters, Voice and Verse, 
Wed their divine sounds ;" 

And, "to OUT hjgh-rais'd phantasy present" an image of blended 

Art dedicated to pseans in honour of Love, that deity whose own 

utterance is 

'* Sweet and musical 

As bright ApoUo^B lute, strung with his hair." 

After her death, divine honours were paid her; altars and 
temples were raised to her memory, and her fame spread far and 
wide. Sicily erected a statue to her ; and the inhabitants of her 
native Mtylene stamped Sappho's image on their coin. This 
tardy tribute from those who had maligned her, savoured of 
anxiety to claim reflected honour from her having been bom among 
them, although they could not properly estimate her while she 
lived among them; but posthmnoug appreciation brought credit 
on themselves, where value dm*ing her existence, swelled her 
triumphs only. Dead excellence and prosperity are more readily 
forgiven and acknowledged, than while iom'iiihing in health, 
strength and beauty. Sappho's fair name was blackened at a 
period when her heart still beat with power to feel proud of eulo- 
giom, or hurt by opprobrium ; but when cold to repute or injury 
alike, popularity crowned her ashes, and Envy joined in heaping 
garlands upon one whom it had vilified. Great spirits must be 
content to draw breath amid vulgar detraction, and to have plau- 
dits clamoured over their grave. 

Sappho is a shining exemplar of glowing womanhood, and high 
genius moulded into that " bright particular star " of humanity — 


LiJCEETiA is a world-renowned type of conjugal faith and cliastity. 
She impei-sonates Eoman matron purity, unable to survive out- 
raged self-respect. Lucretia was the daughter of Spurious Lucre- 
tius Tricipitinus ; and was married to Lucius Collatinus, a member 
of the reigning royal family in Rome. Collatinus's relationshiii to 
the Tar quins could not preserve him frdm the injuries of one of 
its scions ; while it ultimately caused his own downfal. Through 
Ms wife, Lucretia, he was the victim of Tarquin treachery; in his 
own person he became a sufferer from Tarquin hatred, — the hatred 
lK>me by the people towards the Tai'quin race. This wicked 
l>rood were signal in ciime. Tullia, utterly devoid of woman- 
hood, had taken her sister's husband in marriage, after mm-dering 
her own ; had instigated the assassination of her father for the at- 
taining of his crown ; and had summed her iilid infamy by driving 
lier chariot wheels over her parent's scaice-dead body. Tai'quin, 
Bumamed Superbus, — from his insolence of pride, — wielded the 
sceptre he had gained by blood with tyranny and injustice. To 
stifle the murmurs of the people at his extravagant and reckless 
expenditure of the public treasury, he engaged his subjects in 
^■■rt. Sextus Tarquin combined those qualities that the son of 
^^^ 3i a father might naturally inherit. Self-willed, sensual, treach- 



erons, and cruel, he hesitated at no deed that might secuT 
gratification of his own evil passions. Tlie history of the period, ! 
as related by Livy, — and poetically told Ly Ovid, — forcibly poa^ I 
trays the character of all those connected with the sad tale of Lu- 
cretia's wrongs besides recording the black event which forma tlie I 
small but fatal amount of what we know concerning herself. 

Tarquinius Superbus, being at war upon Gabii, a Vokdanl 
city, the youngest of his three sons, Sextus, made his way into the 
enemy's camp ; and when their swords were raised to destroy him, 
bade them strike, saying that it would obtain them favour with his I 
barbarous father, who had maltreated and discarded him. He 
stri]>ped his back to show them evidences of his father's ill-usage, 
in the lacerations which he himself with crafty device, had pur^l 
posely inflicted there. The foes, seeing the young man's condition 
(Ovid, here, has a beautiful picturesque touch of its being inoon-j 
light in the camp^ and rejrealing the scars), returned their swordal 
to the scaljljard, conmiiserated him, bade him stay with them, 
and take arms in then* ranks. The impostor, rejoicing in their 
Bimplicity, accepted the offer ; and when he found his credit] 
among them confirmed, he despatched a trusty messenger to Im ' 
father, inquiring liow he might best place Gabii within his power. 
The message waa delivered to the king, who returned no answer, 
but walked up and down his garden, as if iu reveiie, striking oiF| 
the heads of the tallest flowers (Li\'y says "poppies," — Ovid, 
"lilies") with a switch he held in his hand. The man went back, 
recounting that the king had spoken no word, and repeating what i 
he had seen. The wily son perceived the meaning" of the wily 
father. He iramediately put to death the prmcipal men in Gabii ; 
and the city, deprived of its chiefs, opened its gates to the Ro- 

King Tarquin proceeded with his extravagant outlay m Eome. 



But in the midst of these costly works, an ominous event occurred 
which inspired universal fear. A serpent, issuing from a column 
of wood, spread consternation amongst the inhabitants of the pa- 
lace, and put them to flight. The king, at first but little alarmed, 
conceived nevertheless serious uneasiness respecting the future. 
The Etruscan soothsayers were usually consulted with regard to 
those presages which thi*eatened public welfare; but this one, 
seeming to menace his own family, Tarquinius Superbus resolved 
to consult the oracle of Delphos, celebrated throughout the world. 
At the same time, doubtful what might be the answer of the god, 
he dared not confide to strangers the charge of going to receive 
ifc ; he therefore sent two of his sons into Greece, across lands then 
unknown, and over seas even more unknown. Tlie princes, Titus 
and -^Vruns, set forth, accompanied by the son of Tai'quinia, sister 
to the king, — Lucius Junius Brutus, — who was of a very diflerent 
character, in reality, to what he professed to be in public. Aware 
that the leading men in the state, — ^his own near relatives among 
others, — ^had fallen victims to the sanguinary oppression of Tar- 
qmnius Superbus, this young man adopted the course, thenceforth, 
of allowing nothing to appear either in his character or fortune which 
might give umbrage to the tyrant, or excite his cupidity ; in a 
word, he sought from the contempt of those around him that 
Heiinty which justice afibrded not. He feigned to be half-witted, 
suflerbg himself to become the laughing-stock of the king, al^^on- 
doning aU his possessions to his disposal, and accepting the ojipro- 
-J[)rioua surname of Brutus. It was under favor of this title, indi- 
cative of brutish incapacity, that the future liberator of Rome 
awaited the accomplishment of his destmy. Taken to Delphos by 
the young Tarquins, — of whom he was rather the plaything than 
the companion, — ^he carried with hint a staff of camel-wood, made 
lioUow, and enclosing a wand of gold, which he presented as his 


offering at tlie slirine of the god. This offeriDg mysteriously < 
blemed liis own cliaracter ; at tlie same time that it served his puj 
pose of Bhroudiog the richness of the gift from curions eyes, am 
concealing his homage to the oracle under the guise of a sensel 
deed. Arrived at the Delphic goal, the young princes, after fn 
filling then* father's behest, had the curiosity to endeavour to aficei 
tain which among them was destined to succeed to the throne o 
Home. It is asserted that a voice replied from the depths of thi 
sanctuary : ^' He among you, O young men, wdll attain to sovereigl 
power, who fii'st shall kiss his mother." Titus and Aruns, anxio 
lest their brother Sextus should anticipate them, agreed to kee 
the ans^v'er of the oracle a secret, and prepared to hasten back 
but Brutus, interpreting otherwise the words of the Pythian sei 
tence, pretended to stumble, and kissed the Earth, — commoi 
mother of all mankind. 

On theii' return to Eome, they found great preparations goin 
on for war against the Rutuli. The capital of the dominions of th 
Rutoli was the city of Ai'dea ; and theii* nation was both rich an< 
powerful. War was declared against this people on account o1 
the financial exhaustion occasioned by the costly works undertake! 
by king Tarquin, who sought to supply the deficiency in th( 
public treasury, and at the same time to gain, through their lo\ 
of booty, tlie liking of his subjects. For the Romans, fretting b^ 
nefith his arrogance and despotism, resented his having held thei 
so long in labours of artisans and slaves. At first, an attempt wt 
made to carry Ardea by assault ; but the endeavour was unsuccessful 
The siege took the form of a blockade ; and the enemy was drivel 
within the walls. During this blockade, as frequently happens il 
the course of a war, less fierce than prolonged, furloughs were readil; 
granted — although rather to the officei*s than to the soldiers. FroE 

time to time, tlie yotmg princes relieved the tedium of idleness by 
banquets, and parties of festive debauclieiy. 

One day, when tliey were all supping with Sextos Tarqnin — 
Lucius Collatinus being among the guests,— the convei^sation chanced 
to fall upon their wives ; and each of the company pronounced an 
eulogium upon his own wife, as deserving the palm of excellence. 
The discussion growing warmer, Collatiuus said there was no occa- 
sion for so many words, as in a few hours they might prove how 
completely his wife, Lucretia, surpassed all others. " K wo l>e 
young and vigorous," added he, " let us mount on horseback, and 
go and assnre ourselves of the merits of our wives. As they do 
not expect ns, we can judge them by the occupations in which we 
find them engaged, when we take them by surprise." 

Well may Shakespeare observe, at this portion of the story : — 

'* Collatine unwisely did not let * 
To praise the clear unrantcLcd red and whlto, 
Which triumph"'d in that sky of his delight; 
Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's beauties, 
With pure aspects did him peculiar duties. 

For he the night before in Tar<[uin's tent, 
Unlock'd the treasure of his happy state ; 
What priceless wcaltli the heavens had him lent 
la the possession of his beauteous mate ; 
Bockoning his fortune at such high proud rate, 
That kings might bo espoused to more fame, 
But king nor peer to such a peerless dame. 

Beauty itself doth of itself persuade 
The eyes of men without an orator ; 
What needeth, then, apologies be made 
To set forth that which is so singular ? 
Or "why is Collatine the publisher 
Of that rich jewel ho ehoul J keep unknown 
From thievish cars, because it is his own ?" 

♦ forbear. 


The historT goes on to rekce tbst, boded by wine, tbeir yoi 
bloods fennenting with mingled escesB and excitement, the companj 
accepted tlw hoshand's neh cba]la^;e. *" Let na go T they ex- 
datmed with one accord; and away they rode at foil speed 
Bom«. They arrived there about nightfalL From thence theyj 
went on to CoUatk; where they found the kings daughters-in-k 
with their young companions deep in the enjoyment of a sum 
oua repast Lucretia^ on the contrary, was discovered in h< 
private apartment, spinning wool, and employed amidst her women, 
at a late hour of the night Lncretia was awarded all the honoi 
of the challenged comparison. She received with courtesy 
yomig Tarquins and her husband ; who, proud of his victory, invil 
the princes to remain with him. Then it was, that 
Tarqnin conceived the infamous desire to obtain possession of 
cretia, even were it at the price of crime. Besides her mod< 
beauty, which kindled his unholy flame, her reputation for s 
leas virtue excited his vanity, and inspired him with double ince; 
tive to attempt the triumph over this admirable woman ; and it i 
to be observed, — as a proof of Lucretia's character for invincible 
purity, — that Tarquin never once entertained any other idea than^ 
tliat of prevailing by force. He knew that persuasion or seductioi 
were hopeless. After finishing the night in diversions befitting 
their age, the young men returned to the camp. 

Some few days afterwards, Sextus, unknown to Collatinus, 
rotunic<l to Collatia, accompanied by a single attendant As hlfli 
doflfigns were Buspected by no one, he was welcomed with kind 
nuj« ; !)oth on account of his royal rank, and as being a kiiiRrn an 
of Collatinus, the master of the house. After supper, he was coi 
du<!t/(Ml to the apartment prepared for Mm; where, burning wiUi 
illicit j)aM8ion, he impatiently awaited the retirement of the house- 
hold to rent. At k-ngth, judging by the silence which prevailed, 



tliat all were asleep, he drew Lis sword, and crept to the bedside 
of Lncretia, whom he foiind in a deep slumber. Placing his hand 
heavily upon her bosom to prevent her stin*ing, he hoarsely whis- 
pered : — " Silence, Lucretia ! I am Sextus, My sword is in my 
hand ; and yon die if you breathe one word." Lucretia, awakened 
abruptly out of sleep, dumb with terror, defenceless beholds death 
impending over her, and heai"s Tarquin pouring forth his insults 
of passionate declaration ; pressing, beseeching, threatening, by 
tnms, and conjuiing her by all he deems most capable of moving 
a woman's heart. 

But finding that she only became the more confirmed in reso- 
lution and resistance, and that even the fear of death could not 
shake her constancy, he tried to alarm her fears for her reputation. 
He protested, that after having killed her, he would place beside 
her dead body that of a murdered slave, in order to make it 
believed that she had been stabbed in the act of adulterous sin. 
Vanquished by this horrible dread, the inflexible chastity of Lu- 
cretia yielded to the brutality of Tarquin ; and he, proud of his 
ignominious triumph, departed back to the camp. Lucretia, over- 
whelmed by the magnitude of her misfortune, sent a messenger to 
Rome and to Ardea, to entreat her father and her husband would 
n to her, each accompanied by a sure friend, as a fearful 
'ent had occurred which demanded their immediate presence. 

Spurius Lucretius came with Publius Valerius ; and Collatinus, 

ith Brutus. The two latter were returning to Rome in company, 

'hen they were met by Lueretia's messenger. They found her 

ited in her apartment, attired in mourning weeds, and plunged 

the profoundest grief. On the appearance of her friends, she 

mrst into tears ; and upon her husband's eager questioning as to 

e cause of her agitation, she brokenly recounted the irreparable 

and misery that had befallen them both. 



Befuslug all oomfart, and all attempt to.peisiuide 
was virtually innocent^ since her wiH had taken no part in iLe fodr 
deed oommitte^l, she drew a da^er fromheneath her robe, stabbed 
it to her hearty and dropped expiring at the feet of her hnsbond 
and father. 

AMiile they, stricken with ilismay, abandoned themselrea to 
their grief, Brutos drew forth from her bleeding bosom the reek 
ing dagger, and holding it aloft, exclaimed : — '* Hear me swear, 
ye gods I — and yon, friends^ bear me witness I — ^I swear by thk 
innocent blood, — do pure before the outrage it received from this 
hateful son of kings ! I swear, to parsae with fire and with steel, 
with all means in my |X)wer, the haughty Tarquin, his guilty 
wife, his infamous son, hi§ whole hateful race, and to endnre no 
kings in Rome — ^neither these, nor any other T He then gave the 
dagger into the hands of Collatinus, of Lucretius, and of Valerius; 
all of them amazed at this marrellons change in a man hitherto 
r^arded among them as half-witted. They repeated the prescribed 
vow to extirpate the accursed Tarquin race ; and, passing at once 
from grief to thoughts of vengeance, they followed Brutus, who 
called them forth to the immediate destruction of royalty in Rome. 
They bore the dead boily of Lucretia with them into the public 
place of the city ; where, — as they expected, — this eloquent spec- 
tacle, in its bleeding evidence of the ruthless violence and outrage 
of the king's son, excited universal horror and indignation. 

" To see sad sights moves more llutn hear them told • 
For then the eje interprets to the ear 
The heavy motion that it doth behold, 
When every part a part of woe doth bear." 

Lucretia'si hapless fate sealed the fate of the Tarquins, and with < 
it, that of the i-egal dynasty. The expulsion of the reigning t^imily 
was followed by the election of Brutus and Collatinus to consxdar 

L U C R E T I A . 

|)ower ; and an annual consuIsMp was substituted for monarcLical 

MTien Lucius Junius Bruttis died, funeral honors were pul> 
licly paid liim. The senators, whom Brutus had raised in 
number to three hundi'ed, came to receive his body at the gates 
of the city, it being brought to Rome from the field of battle ; and 
the Eoman matrons wore a year's mourning for liim, as the avenger 
of Lucre tia. His statue was erected in the Capitol, bearing in the 
Land a dagger. 

Sextus Tarquin was not long subject either to the stings of 
remorse, or to the reproaches of his family for beiug the cause of 
their do^-nfal. lie retired to the city of Gabii, where he held 
command ; and perished there soon after. 

Lucre tla's death took place in the year 244 of the Roman era, 
—509 B. C. 

This narrative of Lucretia, has, of course, closely adhered to 
the historical account ; but it is interesting to trace the different 
representations of her speech and demeanour — at the point in her 
sad story where her husband and friends come to her on the 
morning after the outrage — as variously given by those who have 
depicted the scene. Livy, with the staidness of a historian, and 
the patriotic bent of a Romau, records the address of the Roman 
matron, Lucretia, to her husband, in words which convey the idea 
that she seeks to urge his indignation to take the shape of revenge 
upon her undoer, to turn her wrongs into a means of redressing 
those of Rome; and while pleading her cause with her injured 
fiiends, inciting them to make it one with that of the oppressed 
Romans, groaning beneath Tarquin tyranny. She seems, in 
this writer's pagesi, less occupied with the horror and pain of the 
revelation she has to make, than solicitous to convert it into a 
BourcG of future avenging retribution. She brings forward — • 



almost with imfeminine coolness — the circumstances that may be 
pleaded in extenuation of her unhappy fall ; and receives the con 
soling assurances of her husband 'and Mends, — that as her will 
had no part in the foul deed, she cannot be accounted culpable, — 
more like arguments that require answering, than soothings of her 
affliction. Ui>on their telling her that when the spirit is innocent, 
the body is guiltless, and that there can be no fault committed 
where the intention remains pure, she replies, " It is for you to 
decide upon the doom of Sextus. For myself if I absolve m3rself 
from crime, I cannot exempt myself from the penalty. Hence- 
forth, no woman surviving her shame, shall venture to cite the 
example of Lucretia !" And she forthwith plunges the steel into 
her bosom, and dies. 

Ovid has told the whole story, in the second book of his 
" Ffisti," with gi-eat beauty and tenderness. At the point in ques- 
tion, he describes her silence, her confusion, her troubled aspect ; 
her hidden face, her streaming tears, her hesitatioa and distress in 
having to relate the circumstances which she has summoned her 
husband and father to hear. Ho has given to their words a 
manly belief in the goodness of her they love, a noble coufidence 
in her faith and virtue. " Thou hast not failed in truth or 
purity l" they exclaim ; " thou yieldedst to violence !" And to 
her speech he has imparted a womanly tenderness, very character- 
istic of her modest worth, — gentle, yet firm and constant to her 
own conviction of right : " You pardon me P she returns, " but 
I, — ^I cannot pardon myself 1'^ And she ftdls, self-struck, at theii* 

Chaucer has a similai* touch, here, ^vith the Latin poet ; indeed 
his " Legend of Lucrece," is, all through, almost a paraphrase of 
many of the passages in Ovid. The touch adverted to, is stnctly 
in keeping with the character of the chaste Lucretia, marking her 



scnipulons modesty in the very last act of her dying moments. 
The old Saxon poet tells it in his own quaintly simple style : — 

" But privily she oanghten forth a knife, 
And therewithal she reft herself of life, 
And as she fell adown, she cast her look, 
And of her clothes yet good heed she took ; 
For in her falling, yet she had*a care, 
Lest that her feet or such6 things lay bare ; — 
So well she lov6d cleanness, and eke truth." 

Chaucer's description of her manner when faltering out the 
terrible revelation she has to make to her husband and friends, 
forms also a graceful parallel with Ovid's diction ; but, as usual, 
Shakespeare transcends them all, in his wording of the circum- 
stance. The pathos, the delicacy, the bashful reluctance, the wifely 
and impassioned regret /<?r Ms saJce, which Shakespeare has thrown 
into Lucretia's speech to Collatinus are completely his own. 

" And now this pale swan in her watery nest 
Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending : 
(Few words), quoth she, shall fit the tre:»pass best, 
Where no excuse can give the fault amending : 
In me more woes than words are now depending , 
And my laments would be drawn out too long, 
To tell them all with one poor tired tongue. 

Then, bo this all the task it hath to say : 
Dear husband, in the interest of thy bed 
A stranger came, and on that pillow lay 
Where thou wast wont to rest thy weary head ; 
And what wrong else may be imagined 
By foul enforcement might be done to me, 
From that, alas ! thy Lucrece is not free." 

In this early poem of the great di-amatist, he faintly antici- 
pated some of those exquisite touches which afterwards shone forth 
with such refulgence in his glorious play of ^ymbeline. We ai'e 

'-.v' wii't'luMMl, in Luoictia- 

.widii ill Soxni.^ Taripiin's 

pDvts Ovi<l aiivl C'liiiuc'.r. 

••;!1u'Lm.1 iK-autyinul lU'lioacy 

^ul'tli' point, ^vliiv'li p«.'rli:i|-'^ 

ilii>ui;lit ul* ad'lini:-. Vriis.-u 


.'s liiiTii iiaiiio. 


.t' victory : 

f -r lii-. Muxv.-.-." 

.' in tend I'd vi«.>lator to inak«^ 
.T lin>l)an»rs praises, i-i piv- 

Sliakc'<p(*aiv*> ]<(vn i)('iv<']>- 
•a's silent (li-inlsini: in of xhr 
. trnt' Ini(»;j:'fn. .Vttcrwni-i]-, 
vtvall'; luT lu'auti'uu^ look-; 
\' inn«>(.-{^nt niit-nn-cion-iU'-s 
".iwiiil lire tliat ilanjrs in lil- 

ro'^t. a-< slu' til inks, lor Lini 

■0 liriu.l, 
•.Ilk"' laii'l, 


The two stanzas pourtraying Lucretia as she lies asleep, so 
beautifully prefigure the similar passage describing Imogen, that 
the poet himself seems reminded of his own former-written picture ; 
for he makes the Italian lachimo commence the lovely speech 
with these words : — 

" Our Tarquin thu 
Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken'd 
The chastity he wounded. — Cytnerea, 
How bravely thou becom'st thy bed I fresh lily, 
And whiter than the sheets 1 That I might touch I 
But kiss ; one kiss ! — Rubies unparagon'd 
How dearly they do't ! — 'Tis her breathing that 
Perfumes the chamber thus : the flame o' the taper 
Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids 
To see the enclosed lights, now canopied 
Under these windows ; white and azure, lao'd 
"With blue of heaven's own tinct." 

And here is Lucretia : — 

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under, 
Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss, 
Who, therefore angry, seems to part in sunder 
Swelling on either side to want his bliss. 
Between whose hills her head intombed is ; 
Where, like a virtuous monument, she lies, 
To be admir'd of lewd unhallowed eyes. 

Without the bed her other fair hand was, 
On the green coverlet ; whose perfect white 
Showed like an April daisy on the grass, 
With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night. 
Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light. 
And canopied in darkness sweetly lay. 
Till they might open to adorn the day. 

The subject has inspired Ovid with a delicacy of description 
unusual to him. Those passages in which he describes Lucretia's 
personal demeanour, are signalized by refined beauty and grace of 

. . C U E T I A . 

■ :- instance, wliere CoUatinus brings the 

. MiA fiiuls the Avife among lier Tromen, 

X ^. Muike a garment for her absent husband. 

V. ir work, askhig news of the war, and 

i. i I iiiVs bravery, which ever leads him into 

:,^ r. ^Vt the thought of his peril, her heart 

..iv-i ofV, Avecpiug at the image her own feara 

.. . ^iu.i>, iiitcntaque fila remiiiot. 
..: um ili-posuitque suum. 
Mill : hicrymoc decuere puJicam ; 
. u > vli^uat{ae panjuc fuit. 
,, \«.uio, coiijuxait : ilia revixit ; 
. Av, vlulcc pepcnJitouu?.-' 

.V a '.nay be thus vontureJ : — 

... ,1 111' cxtoiulotl threads lie slack ; 
.',•11 her bosom droops; 
. ; laiv: those witVly tears 
;i lui»k, her lofty sonl. 
I «oin<! !' the huiihand cried : — 
X '.< iiMis' neck 
1 .« M't't of love aud welcome.] 

.'I Uvv cahimity, Ovid thus depicts her 

. X .-.^-ui, vire<*j[ue kvpendi 
.X ..'ulis habct. 
. .. . •Vulis depron:ria rellctis 
.,. ., N I i\\\\\a. lupo : 

, . ,N^«v t'emina puguet : 
., ..,. ii,NVt,iMHis adest : 
...vM.ii j-^vt^^inpHlniis, 

L U C R E T I A . 

[She, mute : nor voice, nor power to speak one word ; 
No conscious force throughout her soul prevails : 
But trembling lay, as lambkin atray'd from fold, 
That fulls beneath tiic fangs of ravening wolf. 
What do ? Contend ? A woman fails in strife. 
Cry out ? The sword is there at hand to slay. 
Escape ? Her bosom's held by ruffian clutch j 
That bosom now first soil'd by alien hand.] 

Lucretia is one of tliose women of wliom little is known ; 
and of wliom notliing 'would ho known, were it not for tlie Bingle 
point in lier fate — its catastrophe. But io that solitary fact, how 
much is revealed. It shows forth the lustrous chastity, which, but 
for that remorseless assault, would have been content, like all 
modest virtue, to remain unassei-ted, — claiming no merit for its 
existence, satisfied with its simple possession as a part of woman- 
hood. Sir Thomas Browne says :— " Vilio knows whether the 
best of men be known ? And among women, such distinction is 
even more doubtful ; since it is the peculiar privilege of the best 
womanly virtue to remain untrumpeted.'" Lucretia's chary regard 
for honor is no more than that which exists in every woman's 
heart ; and she, like the rest of her sex worthy the name of 
women, would gladly have treasured it secretly, instead of being 
compelled to declai*e it openly, had her destiny so permitted. The 
writer just quoted, remarks : — " irap]>y arc they whom privacy 
makes innocent ; and Lucretia would have been happy, had she 
been able to preserve her innocence privately and quietly. But, 
indignation that the ideal of virtue enthroned T\ithin her soul 
should be desecrated, resentment that her husband's honor should 
be defiled in her person, and abhorrence of herself when she 
deemed her purity impaired, di'ove her from her peaceful silence, 
and she felt compelled to vindicate her reverence for conjugal 
chastity, by an act that at once immoi*talized her wrongs, and her 
own keen sense of them. 


WLen vre consider the age in wLicli Lncretia lived, — five 
centui'ies before Christianity had shed it3 elevating influence upon 
the world, — the delicacy of her character, and the refinement of lier 
conduct, stnke tis as pre-eminently beautiful. In times when 
rapine and violence of all kinds were mercilessly enacted, when 
the forcible and treacherous seizm*e of the Sabine women formed 
but one si^al instance among many a similar act of outrage 

iommitted during incessant wars and sackings of cities, — the nohle 
rrespect of Lucretia wears an aspect of singular dignity. The 
sense she entertained of her injury, the mode in which she sent for 
her husband and father to reveal it to them, and the self-immola- 
tion vnth which she expiated the dishonour they had sustained, all 
bespeak a sentiment and refined course of action rare indeed in 
those periods. And yet, the way in which Lucretia's memory has 
been more than once dealt with, affords a lamentable instance of 
the strange misconception, and unjust misconstruction from which 
the fairest and purest of humanity have not been exempt. It 
might be thought that the chaste rectitude of this virtuous-hearted 
woman, must have ensured its own clear comprehension, and honest 

ipresentation ; but on the contraiy, her conduct has been bath 
tnisinterpreted and mis-stated. St. Augustin, and othei-s, have 
not scrupled to assail Lucretia with indecent sneers; making 
her a butt for the shafts they level at paganism, in her person. 
Well may Bayle indignantly observe: — "The reflections cast upon 
Lucretia by some writers, are not only tasteless jests, but frivolous 
quibbles of sophistry. Her yielding to Tai'quin, when he threat- 
ened to kill the slave and place him beside her dead body, has 
been twisted into an accusation that she preferred maintaining the 
semblance of virtue, to preserving virtue, that she sacrificed honor 
for the sake of keeping reputation, and that good name was dearer 
to her than chastity itself. Her self-inflicted death, too, has been 


treated as a crime, — juclgiiig it by quite other Btanclards of religion 
and morality than those whicli regulated men's belief in the time 
of Lucretia. It seems impossible that such distorted views of her 
character and behaviour could be other than wilful misappre- 
hension. Surely, for the terrible fear that took possession of 
Lucretia, when no dread of immediate death to hei'self could 
eubdue her firmness of resistance, there might be found a far more 
powerful motive than the merely selfish anxiety for reputation. It 
■was her pang of conviction that she must live dishonom'ed in her 
husband^s belief, — that he would have no chance of leai-ning 
the ti'uth, — that he would never know in what unbroken 
f^th and love to him she had died, that she would be found in 
in Boch plight as left no possibility of Collatinus thinking her 
innocent, — which deprived her of all power longer to resist. She 
conld not — no chaste wife could — afford to dwell in a husband's 
remembrance a tiling so fallen. Rather trust to his generous 
confidence in the unswer\ing fidelity of her spirit, while revealing 
to him the loathed subjugation of her too-weak frame ; and 
avenge for him, by her ot\ti death, the destruction of his peac^ and 
honor. The way in which her father and husband both received 
the account of the cruel event she had to relate, shows the esteem 
in which her single-minded character was held by them, and the 
thorough reliance they had upon her known unspotted truth. 
They were the first to assure her that she was innocent in their 
eyes; they knew her pure heait, and firm faith. Upon her 
avowal, they felt at once — knowing her virtue and strong love for 
them — ^that she could not have voluntarily yielded; and that she 
must have been a mere passive victim of brute violence. They 
had no unworthy suspicions of the integrity of her motives ; they 
knew it was honour, — ^honour itself, — and reputation as part of hon- 
our, that were dear to her, for their sakes even more than for her 


own ; and posterity has no right to judge this noble-spirited woman 
less candidly than those manly hearts who knew, loved, trusted, 
and lost her. 

To sully the glory of Lucretia with scurril insinuations, is to act 
the Tarquin by her memoiy. Lucretia ought not to be despoiled 
of the radiant crown of chastity which encircles her white broTT 
in the thoughts of succeeding generations. 



The great characteristic of Aspasia was intellect. Her powers of 
mind permitted lier to take rank among men ; and she used her 
qualities of womanhood but as a means to bring her into men^s 
companionship. She lived among men, she thought with men; 
she was a man herself, in every particular but those attractions of 
her sex which gave her additional influence in winning men to 
share their intellect, their confidence, and their liking with her. 

At a time when much social license prevailed in the ties ai> 
pointed to sanctify the intercourse between men and women, and 
when, also, much social injustice prevailed in the legal disabilities 
to which foreign-bom women were .subject in Athens, it is hardly 
to be wondered at. if considerable latitude in morals ol^tained 
among the women of that period. A native of Ionia, Aspasia par- 
took of the soft Asiatic temperament ; which, blended with her 
virile mind, made her view with masculine indifference those re- 
straints of inclination which generally form an integral part of 
womanhood. Her youth was as devoid of strictness as that of 
the many young men, whose early conduct is leniently spoken of 
;'•■ tV»lly, indiscreet fondness for pleasure, and *' sowing wild oats." 

.V^jK^^ui was born in the city of Miletus ; and was the daugh- 
ter of ^Vxiochus. The year of her buth is not recorded, but it 

may be placed eomewliere about 480 B. C. Slie adopted t\s Ler 
model, a certain Thargelia, a celebrated courtezan, wliose political 
and literaiy talents, combined with personal beauty, had enabled 
her to obtain a position of considerable influence in the state. 
This TbiU'gelia confined her favours to the highest personages, and 
chief rulers of her time ; and being not only extremely handsome 
but ix)ssessing the art of allurement in a sui'passing degree, she 
succeeded in establishing an intimacy with the gi'eatest men in 
Greece, wliich she converted into a means of winning them to the 
interests of the king of Persia, Aspasia, with her commanding 
intellect, and that defective moral discipHue which arose out of 
the circumstances stated, came to Athens with the intention of 
cultivating the friendship of those Grecians pre-eminent in genius 
and intelligence, and associating with them on terms of freedom 
and equality. The Athenian ai'ticles of faith in the philosophy of 
existence made it almost a duty to luxuriate in life to intoxication. 
With them, indeed, " to enjoy is to obey," formed a tenet of their 
social creed ; and fully did they yield it observance. The volup- 
tuous ease of their repasts, — reclining on couches as they fed ; the 
cost, the lavishness, and the esquisiteness of their viands ; the raro-i 
ness of their wines, and the immoderate quantities in which they 
indulged ; the profusion of flowers and gai'lands with which they 
heaped their goblets and themselves at their feasts ; the sensaous 
appreciation of Art ; and the sensual avidity of pleasure, all mark 
the Greek desire to taste of life to inebriation. Alcibiades, reel- 
ing in at the banquet of Plato, attended by flute-players, '^crowned 
witli a thick crown of ivy and violets, and having a quantity of 
fillets on his head, led forwai'd, and placed against the door-post, 
excessively drunk, and roaring out," excites no disgust in his 
friends, but is welcomed among them with laughter and delight. 
Finding no goblet large enough, he takes a wine-cooler, holdino* 

A S P A S I A , 


c^t eopsi has it filled ; drinks it oft'; lias itre-fiUcd; nnd piwses 
to Socrates, ttLo empties the draught ; and anotlier of the com- 
pttny obeerves: — "Shall wo then Lavo no convemition or slngmg 
rer onr cups, bnt drink down Btnpidly, jiwt jw if wo wero 
til* " This gusto of debancheiy, mixing intcUigonoo with 
Sb« \ and blending sense with gratification of the sense**, w 

peculiarly Greek, imd belongs to that Athenian society in which 
Agpiffln figured. Excess, so far from being a reproticli, wa«! an 
aooompliskment. It was an evidence of constitiitionnl strength 
and refinement in taste. At this very Platonic banquet, tho major- 
ity of the reveUera remain till cock-crow ; some sleeping on tliuir 
conches as they lay ; others deep-engaged in tliscussion. Aii«4to- 
phaiies, Agathon, and Socrates "sat it out, and were still drinking 
out of a great goblet, which they passed round and round ; Socra- 
t» dispating between them, on the foundations of the tragic and 
comic Arts being essentially the same." 

The Cynic and the Stoic philosophers had their t-eachers and 
tbeir disciples ; but the Epicurean philosophy nded in that soci^ 
^^b>liige where Aspasia was the centre of attraction. Her 
ftroog natural capacity, and her liigh acquiremenlM, joined t«» a fan** 
GmatiDg manner, mode her the admired of all who saw her ; and 
Ler house soon became the resort of all the men of note iu 
AthotiflL Socrates, with his friend*;, visited her ; and it is said that 
be was ber pupil in the art of eloquence, wliich she taught. The 
elegiac poet^ Hcrmcsianax, represents Socrates as cnomouretl of 
Agpoai& ; and says, that, " Venus, avenging herself for hb sago 
austerity, inflamed him with a passion for the gifted Ionian ; »o 
that his profound wisclom occupied itself thenceforth in the frivo- 
loos carei* and anxieties of love. He pcq)etually invented fresh 
pretexta for rfjwuring to A^pasia's house ; and he, who hml imrav* 
«D*h1 tb.;- truth from the mo^ tortuous sophisms, could not find 

44 ^^V ASP ASIA. 

the clue to the windmgs of his own heart." That Socrates wm 
one of her admii'ers, there is no doubt ; he, in common with the 
host of discerning men who flourished at that period, courted her 
notice. iVlcibiades ako was among her gue;sts ; and it is a signifr 
it ciKHmistance, as illustrative of the social code with regard to 
lorals and mannei*9 then prevailing in theii* city, that the Athe- 
nians who frequented her house l>rought their wives with them to 
hear her discourse. She was an accomplished mistress of oratory ; 
her usual talk was distinguished by noble expressions, and an orig- 
inal turn of thought. Grand ideas clothed in harmonious lan- 
guage, was a faculty pertaining to Greek utterance. The conve^ 
sation at Aspasia's was instinct with intelligential beauty ; fine in 
sentiment, flowing in speech, earnest in opinion, graceful and elo- 
quent in diction. The ease, combined with refinement, perspica- 
city, and artistic charm, of the friendly intellectual meetings at 
her house, were such as to render access to them a coveted privi- 

# Among those who were foremost in availing themselves of thia 
desired gratification was Pericles. He, like the rest, was struck 
with AspasiaV brilliant mental endowments. Himself a fine orator, 
he peifected his style under her auspices. Himself a governor, Ik 
studied government, aided by her enlightened views, and acu: 
penetration. He was one of those men, not afraid to believe th; 
his own manly strength of understanding could be yet farther in- 
vigorated by womanly, assistance, Pericles had just one of those 
naturci? wliieli, — liau2:lity and reserved with fellow-men, can unbend 
if it discover a congenial-minded woman ; and which, with large 
lil)erality, not only generously receives this feminine sympathy, 
but generously yields it full measm'e of acknowledgment. Pericleai 
eagerly sought the support which lie felt that his vigorous intellecb 
attained in the opinions and counsels of iVspasia ; he gladly availed 

A S P A s r A . 

himself of tte energetic firmness wliicli her womau^s spirit added 
to his robust judgment. Tlie female mind has frequently a keen- 
ness in perception, and an almost instinctive quidvness of foresight, 
TvLich, consociated with masculine calmness and staidness of ^vis- 
dom, forms an all-potent combination of intellectual might. Peri- 
cles, from perceiving tlus point of reliance afforded him by Aapasia'a 
;ental capacity, grew to lean upon it with that pleasant feeling of 
security, which, in such a man's breast, produces increased liking. 
A merely clever man, upon discoveiing that a woman assists his 
judgment, resents her ability, and dislikes herself ;*a man of high 
mind and true genius, becomes attached in proportion as he finds 
corresjx>nding qualities in the woman he prefers. 

Pericles,-^while seeking the society of Aspasia, as a brilliant 
and accomplished person who could enliven his social hours with 
her wit and informatiou, improve his intellectual hours *by her 
powers of oratory and knowledge of governmental and state affidrs, 
and beguile his hours of recreation by her taste in Art, and per- 
sonal fascination, — learned to love her for herself. His love 
became confinned and genuine ; it became that higher kind of 
attachment, founded on esteem for indj\idual qualities, and in- 
creased into passionate and exclusive preference, which is not 
content with mere casual connection, but which desires the bonds 
of wedded union to ensure its permanence. Plato says: — "They 
who are inspired by this divinity (the Uranian Venus) seek the 
affections of those who are endowed by nature with greater excel- 
lence and vigour both of body and mind. And it is easy to distin- 
gtiish those who especially exist under the influence of this power, by 
their choosing in early youth, as the objects of their love, those in 
whom the intellectual faculties have begun to develope. For they 
who begin to love in this manner, seem to me to be prei)aring to 
pass their whole hfe together in community of good and evil, and 

A S P A 8 I A . 

not ever liglitly deceiving those who love them to be faithless to 
their vows." 

The love of Pericles for Aspasia, springing from this blended 
lU'edUection for her accomplished intellect, and affection for hx 
attractive graces, could no longer be satisfied with possessing her 
as the occasional companion of his lighter moments ; he wished to 
make her his own for life, — to have her constantly by his ade, 
during the remainder of his existence, lie had been married to & 
kinswoman, a widow, formerly the wife of Hipponicus, by whom 
she had one ' child, named CalHas ; but neither Pericles nor 
she caring for each other, they mutually agreed to be divorced, and 
they were thus set free. Pericles gave her, by her own wish, to 
another husband ; and he himself immediately 'espoused tlw 
woman of his choice, Aspasia. Plutarch records, in his " life ol 
Pericles," that, so dearly loved was Aspasia by^ Pericles, that he 
never went out, or returned home, without saluting her with a 
kiss. The biogi-aplier adds, that this conjugal caress brought many, 
sneers from the comedy-writei's of the time, who were mighty 
facetious, and even scuriilous, upon it. But Pericles, like all great 
men, had many enemies, and they would not let slip any occasioa 
of wounding one, whom they dared not attack directly, through the 
person of those dear to him. 

This recorded act of the husband, attesting the continuance 
and quiet fulness of his joy in her whom he had made his wedde( 
partner, is a comprehensive answer to the malignant attacks upon 
Aspasia's character, which the comic-writers of the time tool 
delight in showering upon her. There is not the slightest groun< 
for believing that she failed in the most perfect truth and faith -to 
Pericles, when once she became his. And, moreover, there is npo] 
record a sentence of here (quoted as related by ^schines, a discipl 
of Socrates), which givea evidence of her possessing a true iosigh 



into wliat constitutes tlie fit "basis for married iiuion. On an occa- 
sion when Aspasia was seeking to effect a reconciliation between 
Xenoplion and Lis wife, slie wound np ter exordium hj this argu- 
ment : — " From the moment that you have answered to yourself 
this question, that there is not uj^on earth a better man or more 
loveable woman, learn to recognize and enjoy this happiness which 
is mutually allotted yom-s, — ^you, to be husband to the best of 
women, you, to be wife to the best of men " 

Had Aspasia been a gross, or depraved woman, she could never 
hayc inspired the reliant fondness, — even the tenderly calm and 
confiding attachment, of which Pericles' behaviour to her gives 
evidence. But his own character was precisely one to provoke the 
hostile feeling of inferior natures. Ilk commanding abilities cre- 
ated envy even while they inspired resj)ect ; and his proud spliit 
awakened resentment while compelling involuntary alleghince. 
The whole man is visible to us, in Plutarch's animated account of 
bim. The description of his manner is precisely that of a haugh- 
tily self-concentrated disposition — exteriorly sedate from inward 
elevation. Thus : " He grew not only to have a gi*eat mind and 
an eloquent tongue, without any affectation, or gross country 
terms ; but to a certain modest countenance that scantly smiled, 
Tery sober in his gait, having a kind of sound in his voice that he 
never lost nor altered ; and was of very honest behaviour ; never 
troubled in his talk for any thing that crossed him, and mimy 
other such like things, as all that saw in him, and considered them, 
could but wonder at him." 

The anecdotes related of Pericles are equally characteristic. 
We are told how, once, some idle fellow took it into his head to 
rail at Pericles in the market-place, reviling him to his foce, and 
following him up and down during the whole day with the most 
villainous words he could use. Pericles took all quietly, answered 



liim no word, dospatolied sucli mattei*3 of business as lie 
Land, until nightfall; when he went composedly home, showing I 
no appearance of being disturbed in the least, though the fellovr 
Btill followed at his heels, with abuse and open defamation. "When I 
he came to his own door, it was quite daik ; and his people q>>| 
pcaring, he commanded one of them to take a torch, and attend 
the man home to his house. This mute sarc^osm, so cool 
contemptuous in its dignified calm, is completely the haughty spirit I 
His reply too, when the people complained that he consumed too 
much of the public treasure in works of art ; he said : — " Well 
then, the charges shall be mine, if you think fit, and none of youre;! 
provided, however, that no man's name be written upon tbe worlcil 
but mine alone." 

Pericles in his lofty scorn of the commonalty while providing! 
for their advantage, is like Coriolanus's superb disdain of what he] 
calls "our musty superfluity;" while, the way in which Pericles I 
showed himself superior to greed, venality, and corruption, recalls 
Bnitus's indignant remonstrance against Cassius's having betraye 
the mercenariness of " an itching palm." 

" What I sliall one of us, 
That struck the foremost man of all tliis world, 
But for supportlog robbers; shall we now 
Contamimite our fingers with base bribes? 
And sell the mighty space of our large honours 
For BO much trash, as may be grasped thus ? — 
I'd rather bo a dog, and hay the moon. 
Than such a Roman," 

Not only was Pericles inaccessible to bribery, but he never 

creased his own patrimony by so mucli as a single groat ; although ' 
he em'iched the city by his excellent management, and brought it 
to a high state of wealth and greatness. In the economy of his, 
OMU estate and household, he practised admirable thrift -- " ^ 

"bandry ; so tliat, although his prudence brought upon him the 
imputation of being illiberal in outlay, from those who were ever 
on the watch to malign his acts, yet it ensured him a well-ordered 
establishment, with easy, and even affluent circumstances. This 
wise strictness enabled him to be beneficently charitable to the 
poor, and munificently generous to those less provident than him* 
self; for when his dearest friend, Anaxagoras, having been careless 
in exj^enditure, fell into distress, Pericles hastened to him, and con- 
jured him to accept of help, with an earnestness and delicacy 
of representation, — as if the favour were done to himself and not to 
his friend, — that is in perfect keeping with the character of the 
noble-ephited man. 

Pericles' love of Ail:., and energetic promotion of its cultivation 
among the people, is one of the points which evinces where the 
pympathy and assistance of such a wife as Aspasia would be in- 
valuable to him. He ordered public entei-taimnents for the gratifi- 
cation of the populace ; and instituted games, wherein music had a 
predominant share ; he appointed certain feast-days for their cele- 
bration, presided at them himself, adjudged the rewards to the 
most deserving among the performers, and provided for the future 
continuance of these refining pastimes. He was a patron of the 
renowned sculptor, Phidias ; whom he employed in designing and 
constructing the image of the goddess Minerva, which was cast 
in brass, and covered with gold. He erected magnificent buildings 
on the Acropolis ; thus supplying the artisans with constant work, 
and introducing a higher taste among them. He placed theatrical 
representations within the power of the poorer orders to enjoy, 
and gave them at once a source of instruction, recreation, and en- 
nobling ideas. 

He was like the king of a republic ; and enacted the pai-t of 
a monarch in a commonwealth. He was potent from force of 



enligLtenmcnt, and not from arbitrar}* dictation- He prevailed by 
dint of natural superiority, not by tyranny. He was only a d» | 
pot in so far as a commanding judgment, and a will capable of 
caiTjing out its wise conceptions, its virtuona aims, and its benefi* 1 
cial purposes act despotically ; tliat is, from tlie despotism of ii> 
evitable result, and not from the despotism of irresponable dfy\ 
minion. Sucli judgment and will as those of Pericles, oi)erat* 
upon his country and his age, almost independently of theii* posses ] 
sor's intentions, — out of their own intrinsic necessity to produce , 
important and lasting effects. He was gifted witli a prevision of | 
comprehension greatly in advance of his time, — ^a sure mark of 
original genius. He was singularly free from superstition ; and I 
viewed with the calmness of a superior mind, those portents which 
dismayed the ignorant. He was versed in Natural Philosophy; 
which, as Plutarch nobly says, " yielding a knowledge of the causa 
and reasons of such ominous signs, instead of a fearful superstition, 
brings true religion, with assured hope of goodness." The anec-l 
dote of Pericles and the solur eclipse, is an illustrative case in] 
point. A certain expedition being afoot, his men wer^ sbipped^j 
and the vessel about to sail, when suddenly there was a 
eclipse of the sun ; the' day was very dark, so that the ai'my we 
Bti'icken with a universal panic, dreading some overwhelming tois-' 
chance was about to befal them, from the threatening of this evilj 
token. Pericles, seeing the master of his galley stand amazed, 
if not knowing what to do, cast his cloak over the man's fiice, an^ 
hi'd his eyes, asking him whether he thought that any harm 
not. The master answering that he thought it none, Pericles saidi 
— " There is no difterence between this and that ; saving that 
body which maketh the dai'kness, is greater than my cloak wMc 
hidcth thine eyes," 

Another instance of Pericles' enlightened mind, is his abhor 



rence of the cruelties of war. When he was choseu general of the 
Athenian anu}*, he was much esteemed, because he ever paid 
regai'd to the safety of his soldierB. By his own good-will he 
irould never hazard a hattle, which he saw might have doubtful 
issue^ or incur much loss of life ; and moreover, he never praised, 
as good generalship, those actions, in which \ictory was obtained 
by great peril of the men ; since he often said, that, " if none but 
"himself led them to the shambles, they would be immortal/* 

This aversion fi*om bloodshed caused him comforting reflection • 
in his last moments ; for when those standing about his deatli-bed 
enumerated his noble acts, and counted up the number of victories 
he had won when general of the Athenian armies, amounting to 
nine foughten battles crowned with success to hife country, he told 
the' speakers that he " wondered they should so highly praise him 
for what many other captains had achieved as well, while they for- 
got to mention the best and most note-worthy thing he had done ; 
whicli was, that no Athenian had ever worn a black gown through 
his occasion." This rejoicing of the dying spii-it that it should be 
fi'ee from the stain of Tdood-guiltineas, and the exulting of the con- 
0cieuce at having no such haunting memory to oppress it with a 
acmse of crime, is in accordance with the true essence of Christian- 
ity ; and affords a lesson, from heathen example, that many a pro- 
f^ed Christian might advantageously take home to his bosom. 

The wannth that Pericles showed in his friendshix> is consist- 
ent with that peculiar concentration, — a comljination of fervour 
with reserve — which characterized liim. His attachments were 
i^w and exclusive, but they were intense. The regard which he 
harl for Anaxagoras was strong and steadfast. It was from this 
«arene-he-arted philosopher, that he imbibed those habits of self-^ 
contronl, and sedate demeanour, which enabled him to maintain so 

qnil a countenance in the midst of insult and vexation : — it 



was from him, too, that Pericles drew those lessons in Xatuwl 
Philosophy which rendered him impaadve to the Buperetitions d 
his time. That linaxagoras fully deserved the esteem of Pericles, < 
we know, — if it were but for those two beautiful incidents recorded 
in the life of the philosopher. First ; that when he was informed | 
the Athenians had condemned him to die, his quiet reply was: ' 
— " And Nature them." Second ; that when asked what Iw 
would have done in commemoration of him, he requested that tbe 
children of Athens might have a holiday on the anniversary of hi* I 

The philosophy of Pericles, — a perfectly Greek one, and qnite 
in consonance with the teaching derived from so bland a nature as 
that of Anaxagoras, — was, that hfe is a thing to be enjoyed; and 
death, a thing not to be feai-ed. 

The most powerful sentiments of such natures as that oil 
Pericles are alwajrs jeidously guarded from observation; and the 
firmness with which he bore the majority of trials, — even very 
severe ones, — makes the single occasions Avhen the strong proud j 
heart gave way to uncontroulal>le emotion, only the more pathetic. 
But twice in his life was Pericles known to be betrayed into these I 
gusts of feeling ; and both, were where his most deep-seated affeoJ 
tions lay garnered. The picture of the father advancing to the] 
bier on which lay his dead child, and, in the act of placing the] 
customary funeral wreath on the head, the sight of that innoceuti 
face struck into marble whiteness and stillness melting him into] 
floods of grief, is pjiinted for lis by Plutarch, who after describing] 
some of Pericles' cruellest mortifications, and bitterest trouble 
goes on to say : — " But all this did never pull down his coun^ 
tenance, nor any thing abate the greatness of his mind, what mi^j 
fortune soever he had sustained. Neither saw they him weep at] 
any time, nor mom-n at the fimerals of any of his kinsmen or J 


A 8 P A S T A . 


fwfidiJ, but at the death of Pai'alus, his yoimgest son ; for the loss 
«f iiim alone did melt his heart. Yet he did strive to show hia 
nstnml constancy, and to keep his accustomed modest^\ 

But as he would have put a garland of flowers upon his head, 
somvr did so pierce his heart when he saw his face, that then he 
borst out in tears and cried amain ; which they never saw him do 
before all the days of his life." 

Yet once besides, did the grand, close-held Periclean heart yield 
itself to the keen throe of anguish at thought of losing what it had 
taken to its very centre. When Aspasia was accused of heresy, 
ind in danger of banishment or condemnation to death, Pericles 
pieaded her cause with sucli passionate tears and such eloquence of 
ifnjpressible grief, that she was saved. 

Tlie judges could not resist the spectacle of this firm, manly 
►>ol wrung to so open a betrayal of its secret workings, and they 
''ere moved to acquit her even out of pity and compassion to liim. 
*lie mere sight of the effect which the dread of her loss produced 
fpou a man like Pericles, was, of itselt^ a subtle evidence of her 
•t^rth. To behold 

'* One, whose subda'd eyes, 
Albeit unused to the molting mood 
^ tears ^ fast as the Arabian treea 
ill: it medicinal gum," 

iiua sympathy ; and might well bespeak the value 
the woman, for whose sake tears so rare gushed forth. 
A£pasix^ with her expansive intellect, and her constant associa- 
*^ with a man of such intellectual force as Pericles, was likely to 
f'na very decided individual opinions; and individuality of opin- 
^ constituted heres^y among the Greeks. Orthodox belief meant 
ttoventional belief ;, and persons of strong intellect, like Aspasia, 
tin never be contented with meixj conventionality in creed. She 

Ti-^i i.x->7 1 : i:: " -rlir— Izlt '— :lr ^ ■!>: ^-roacst- she entertained 
ht- . ~~ T->: ilLiT in ■- IL'l-.r -->:—> .: :lrir arrrilimes than vulgar 
' -. ".:• • •: :"? - -- - - "_tc>>- ? i: :li Itrl r^>r^-: peculiarity in faith, 
:-? ,. :...:: :::•::" :. :" "r. ::;.i-rilL£z^ and easy subscription 
: :.: - ■. '\ir.-:l. i.!:'- : ;.■-■. :"::• v >:l^-^.i.:L:.r ^l:^::-.^: l-elief as unbelief: 
— :L- :..: ' .l-.lkr -::_'-.:■■:•: ::i:l ^5 r:T.T-.::::i upon their narrow 
-:— > -. ' -■:.-;>:_-.:" :-l c;.y.-.. 1: v. ;::. I coll a more exalted faith, 
--:.:.: : :V-::L. T tlir c;-.:\u: •;.* :.:::■. .1 c:' A^jMisLi. it is probable 
::.;.: :'....- •.-:.M>---.1 :.r:i-.> c: OrtVx -x^-^i^iLip. — the offerings of 
.Vvt-i :: V. -„"s. :lv I".:;::,::* ::- R-.vV-r.?, :i.v saorinees to Jove, the 
i ;v:\s ros: v-:::-j T:\r:;ir::f. tV.v :i.s;vv:::*:: o: ei::r:ul> by augurs, the 
i'^rcrj rvt:;:: :; :'?:.::;? :»::.; v ::uv.s. and :ho prt-siding influence of 
Cv:\>. J: - . r:.y-:->, cr Xoy':::::c- in :heir rtsptx^tivdy assigned 
:-.;:r'.:u-:>. <:^...: : ::.>v.::^to:.:, and jxrhaps r.r.pious. She may 
have :Vlt t;.-:- :livn iwviwd v..^:;v^n< ot* tho Greek divinities to be a>h-. :: vt' wha: sV.o vvr.oi:\\\\ i\-c:\rdinc: true di\Tnity. So- 
cratts s;i!*:V:ol do;.:h :or ;;:>: s.uli -iivra' i^iith in advance of his 
tiinv'. Ill va::. had i:.;^ Orju'.o v^f Oo'pl.v^ j^roiiouuoeil him to be 
the wi<vit «.-: :n:v.:K.i:.vl : » lu :; *: >\ as disvworevl that he dared to 
thiiik dit^Viw.T-y iVv'.n otV.oi's \:'v:i t!;o t>:aV.lished forms of my- 
Tliv'L'-'y. lii-i v.i>^lo:n Avas ailjuilcovl to bo ir.avloi|uaTO for the pui^ 
pu-e ul* irirKUiiir liis oons^'ioiu'o, and a mode of belief for 
him.«?elf. IIo i:iic:ht bo "ilio wi>o>t v'^f mankind :** but he was not 
wise in tlu'ir ^^ay ; and tliat is ipioranoo in tho ovosof the ignorant. 
»So with A<pa.>ia ; lior siuporior intolloot proourod her no claim to 
mould her crood aooonling to her individual porcoptions of right 
and wrcrtig ; although, possibly, it apj^ared to her, offering an 
indignity to what she conceived of true religion, to follow the 
Pagan woi-sliip in its generally-received usages. However this 
may l)e, certain it is that Aspasia was one of those included in the 
charge of holding heterodox opinions ; and when the decree went 


forth tluat " Searcli and enquiiy sliould be made for heretics who 
did not believe in the gods, and who taught certain new doctrine 
and opinion touching the operations of things above in the ele- 
ment," Aspasia was accused at the same time with Anaxagoras. 
She, as we have seen, was rescued ; but the philosopher was com- 
pelled to leave Athens. Tliese arraignments of persons so deai* to 
Pericles^ were the means taken by those among his envious pei*se- 
cutora who dai'ed not assail him more directly, to pierce him 
through those he loved. Not only did these wasps sting ^dth 
their utmost venom; but they befouled the character of her 
whom they could not "vitally injui-e. They spread the blackest 
slanders, and insinuated the \-ilest and most scandalous particulars 
relative to the conduct of Aspasia ; they charged her with being a 
party to the basest acts of turpitude,^— betraying pei^ons of her 
own sex to the power of the other, and ministering to Pericles* 
pleasures by the most abandoned and criminal inveiglement of 
oilier women. The absurdity of such a charge against a wife, 
seems to cany with it its own refutal ; and the cii'cnmstance that 
hia foes fabricated calumnies of a similarly odious nature respecting 
Phidias, whom Pericles greatly admii-ed and fostered, shows how 
completely these aspersions had him for the object of then* covert 

Besides the more rank imputations thrown upon Aspasia, the 
enemies of Pericles accused her of having been instrumental 
in persuading him to engage in two wars, — both prejudicial to the 
interests of the Athenian people. One of these was the war 
against the Samians, on behalf of the Milesians ; in order to secure 
the possession of Priene to IVIiletus, the birth-place of Aspasia. The 
other was the hostility against the Megarians, by which Pericles 
was said to have involved the people in a quarrel, more from 
personal causes, which concerned Aspasia's wrath at the forcible 



cultivated into the Ligliest perfection ; and tlie B^ecli wLicli 
delivered at the close of the first cami>aign of the Peloponnesianj 
war stands renowned a^ the most consummate in excellence ofj 
all the compositions of the kind of antiquity. It was an oratioa 
upon those who had fitllen in the war, as he had delivered 
discoui-se previously at the cl<.>9e of the Saniian war, and aa it was' 
then the custom bo to address the populace on public occasions of j 
the Iviud. From this great sjM^ech may be gathered what 
Pericles considered to be the chai'acter of a good citizen, — the 
instructing his hearers in then* duties ; and how he placed in strongi 
contrast the Spartan, with the Athenian method of bringing upj 
membei*3 of the state, — thus inducing emulation, and excitii 
noble consciousness. It is said to be impossible to do justic 
to this magnificent oration of Pericles, by.any attempt to rendei 
it into a modem hmgu^age ; but that it more completely revc 
the intellectual power and moral character of the man, than 
that the historians and l>iographers have said of him. It 
asserted that the form in which the great orator and statesman has 
here embodied his lofty conceptions, is beauty chastened and 
elevated l>y a noble severity. Athens and Athenians are tl 
ol^jects which his aml)ition seeks to immoiialize, and the whol 
world is the theatre of their glorious exploits. 
^^L In this matchless speech of Pericles, Aspasia's oratoric 

^^ powers shine with reflected glory ; — she having been (as alreadj^ 
I observed) the instructress who instilled the forms of eloquenc 

I and the woman who helped to inspire and develope the thought 

I which combine to render it so transcendently great. But it 

I recorded that her o^vn speeches were remarkable specimens 

^^ oratory. Plato, in his " Menexenus," introduces a funeral oratioi 
^V as Aspasia's ; and it is therefore just to conclude that she excellc 
t iu pronouncing such discourses, Socrates eulogizes Aspasia^ 



funeral oration, wliile declaring lier to liave been his ovni 
instructress in the art of rhetoric. 

Aspa&ia was so famed in fascination, that Cyi'ua gave her 
nanie to his favonrite, the daughter of Ilermotimus of Phocjca ; 
who liad before been called !Milto, — vermilion, — on ^account of the 
beauty of her complexion. The name of Aspasia passed almost 
into a synonyme for accom])lished attraction, and charm of en- 
dowment. It was not so much for personal beauty, as for grace of 
expression, for conversational powers, for sMll in all intellectual 
attainments, that Aspasia was especially noted. In her, in- 
tellect outshone all else ; it seemed to spread around her so 
da22Hng a light, that her moral qualities were obscured by its 
glare. Her affections seemed merged in her mental faculties ; and 
as if she could only feel preference, where they found scope for 
their exercise. 

After the death of Pericles, it is said, — on the authority of 
.^chines, — thai she formed an attachment for Lysicles, a man of 
mean extraction, of low calHng, and of clo^Tosh nature ; and who, 
from being but a grazier, gi*ew to be the chief man in Athens, 
owing to his frequenting the company of Aspasia. That she 
cliose so unpromising an object for her jirecepts, seems only to be 
accounted for, by believing it to have been a caprice of conscious 
inteDect, resolved to test to the utmost its power ; — and which 
must have approached the miraculous, if it succeeded in convert- 
ing a boor into a ruler. 

The combination of moral and mental excellence in a woman, 
— and the fact of her womanhood, generally oi>erates to make the 
moral preponderate, — ^is the prefection of womanly character; 
but it is to be believed, that Aspasia can be cited among the 
"World's-noted Women, only as strictly and exclusively the woman 
of Intellect. 


^EOPATBA. was Jhe grandest coquette that ever lived. Caesars 
ere her fit slaves, for slie had imperial powers of captivation. 
^G was a gorgeous personification of feminine fascination,— of be- 
itching womanhood in regal magnificence. She used her female 
faces as enhancements to her queenly state ; and made her power 
f pleasing, a crown to her royal power. She was bom a princess, 
signed a queen, won an emperor, swayed a hero, and defeated a 
onqueror ; while her personal blandishments live, in the imagina- 
^on of posterity, as far outweighing the facts of her fortune. We 
liiuk of her as the queen of enslavers, more than as queen of 
-gypt. She stands conspicuous to fancy in might of allurement. 

The story of her life tells the tale of her supremacy in the arc 
f subduing. She was bom about the year 69 B. C, and was the 
Slighter of Ptolemy Auletes, king of Egypt, by whose will she 
^d her elder brother were appointed joint successors to the 
'fown. This partnership in reigning led to endless dissensions, 
J^Mch at length resulted in such fraternal tyranny that Cleopatra 
»ield herself aloof until she could effectually make good her claim 
to an equal share of regal power, and establish herself firmly on 
the throne. Hearing that Julius Csesar had come to Alexandiia, 



anil, — si 1100* Pompey was slaio, — intended settling tlie dispute 
between her l.irother and herself, she resolved to gain over tli^ 
arbitrator to her interest beforehand, and so secure a favourabl 
decision. Confident in her seductive powers, if once she coi 
procure access to him, she contrived to compass this by a pi 
bold as it was successful. The incident is quaintly related 
North's Plutarch ; where the antiquated diction wonderfully w* 
suits with the old-world narrative! These arc Su- Thomas North'i 
words : — " She, only taking Apollodorus of all her friends, took 
little boat, and went away with him in it in the night, and caiD( 
and landed hard by the foot of the castle. Then, having no oth 
mean to come into the court without being kn^wn, she laid her- 
self down upon a mattress, or flock-bed, which ApoUodorus, her 
friend, tied find Ijound up together like a bundle with a great 
leather thong ; and so took her upon his back, and brought her < 
thus hampered in this fardel unto Caesar in at the castle gat^. 
This was the first occasion (as it is reported) that made Cwsm* to 
love her ; but afterwards, when he saw her sweet convei*sation ami 
pleasant entertaimnent, he fell then in farther liking with her, and 
did reconcile her again unto her brother the king, with condition 
that they two should jointly reign together.^' 

This decision of Caesar's ill pleased the prince ; who rebell 
against it, and attempted — fii*st by treason, and then by dec 
waiiai'e, — to rid himself of his sister's powerful supporter; 1» 
Julius defeated the plot, vanquished the army, routed the 
(who, some accounts say, was drowned in the Nde,) and constiti 
ted Cleopatra queen of Egypit. She bore a son to Cicsar, nami 
Ceesarion ; and when the father returned to Rome, Cleopatra 
lowed him thither. Julius here received her; 'treating her wil 
such marks of fond adidation — among others, placing her sta 
in gold by the side of that of Venus — ^that it gave umbrage 





when slie was sent unto by divers letters, both from Antomos] 
himself, and also from his friends, she made so light of it, 
mocked Antonius so much, that she disdained to set forwari] 
otherwise, but to take her barge in the river of Cydnns ; the 
whereof was of gold, the sails of purple, and the oars of silverJ 
which kept stroke in rowing after the sound x)f the music of flut 
hautboys, citherns, \dols, and such other instruments as they playe 
upon in the 'barge. And now for the pereon of herself:* she ' 
laid under a pavilion of cloth of gold tissue, attired like the godde 
Venus, commonly drawn in picture ; and hai'd by her, on eithei 
hand of her, pretty, fair boys, appareled as painters do set for 
god Cupid, with little fans in their hands, with the which ihf 
fanned wind upon her. Her ladies and gentlewomen, the fairest i 
them, were appareled like the nymphs, nereids (which are tha 
mermaids of the waters), and graces ; some steering the hehnj 
others tending the tackle and ropes of the barge, out of the whic 
there came a wonderful passing sweet savour of perfumes, 
perfumed the wharf's side, pestered with innumerable multitnda 
of peoj^le. Some of them followed the barge all along the rive 
side ; others also ran out of the city to see her coming in : so 
in the end, there ran such multitudes of people one after anotk 
to see her, that Antonius was left almost alone in the market-place,! 
in his imperial seat to give audience," There was the first step id 
advantage gained by Cleopatra over Antony. The summonii^ 
judge, the intended enquirer into her behaviour, reduced 
solitary state,— left there well-nigh by himself, to alndo B® 
coming. The account goes on to say :^'' When Cleopatra kud(Hl»j 
Antonius sent to invite her to supper with him. But she sent hifl 
word again, he should do better to come and siip with bePJ 
Antonius, therefore, to show himself com'teous unto her at 
arrival, was contented to obey her, and went to supper with hcvA 



tee lie found such passing sumptuous fare, that no tongue can 

iress it." Step tlie second; liis invitation set aside, hera 

jpted, and tlie delincpent, instead of being tlie entertained of 

idge, becoming liia entertainer, " The next niglit, Antonins 

Sag her, contended to pass her in magnificence and fineness ; 

she overcame him In both. So that he himself began to scorn 

ifi gross service of his house, in respect of Cleopatra's sumptuous- 

and fineness. And when Cleopatra found Antonius' feasts 

1)€ but gi'oss and soldier-like, in plain manner, she gave it him 

lely, and "without fear taunted him thorouglily.'' Here was she 

y installed as rater of his conduct, instead of rendering him 

:count of hers; and established upon easy terms of playful 

acy, rallying, jesting, giving rival repasts, — in short, drawing 

Hm completely within the spell of her witchery. 

All the historical traditions of Cleopatra agree m stating 
that she was not surpassingly handsome ; not remarkable for 
beauty, — linear beauty ; and this is borne out by the medals extant 
^her. But every recorded circumstance tends to confirm the fact, 
that she possessed a matchless and inexpressible charm of face and 
P«J^n ; with incomparable grace in manner and discourse. We 
Jire told that she was not so strikingly beautiful as at fii-st view to 
enamour men ; but so sweet was her company and conversation, 
that a man could not possibly but be taken." Her demeanour is 
described as irresistibly engaging; courteous, sweet, sportive, and 
varied. ''Furthermore," says Plutarch, "her voice and words 
^cre marvellous pleasant; for her tongue was an instrument of 
°^^ic, the which she easily tuned into any language that pleased 
«^" She is said to have spoken with few people by interpreter ; 
wing a knowledge of several dialects, besides being perfect 
of her own, — ^which latter was not uniformly the case 
her royal Eg}i)tian progenitoi-s. This command of language 



was one maiu instr anient, in the power she exercised 

minds. Her oriental taste for magnificence, too, combined witi 

tlie refinement and cnltivation she acquired in Ler relations 

Greece, concurred to render her all-|x>tent in seductive ace 

plishment. It was upon occasion of one of the rival repasts abov 

alluded to between herself and Antonv, ^ on the banks of ih 

Cydnus, that Cleopatra committed the well-known piece of lavisl 

wilfulness, — dissolving the pearl in the goblet at a banqo 

Pliny recounts the anecdote; and says that Cleopatra^ 

desirous of proving to her lover that she could surpass him id 

magnificence, layed a wager with him that she would exjiend 

much as ten millions of sesterces at a single feast. Antony thougl 

the thing impossible, and defied her to do it. She unfiistened froi 

her ears two pearls of enormous size, caused a cup filled with vm^ 

gar to be brought, dissolved therein one of these pearls, 

swallowed the draught. She was about to sacrifice the ot 

pearl ; when Plaucus, — ^the umpii^e of the wager, — took possessii] 

of it, declaring that Antony had lost. Tliis second pearl was 

served -vidth eare, and brought to Rome after the death 

Cleopatra; it was then di\ided in two, and placed in the ears of the 

statue of Venus, at the Pantheon. The latter circumstance prove 

both the si^e and worth of the gem ; which probably Di'^^den 

in his mind when,— alluding tc Cleopatra's jewels, — he wrote the 

line : — 

" Each pendant in her ear sliall ho a proviuco." 

Antony, wholly given up to his passion for Cleopat 
forsook his warlike enterprise with the Parthians, neglected 
aftaii'S with Ca?sar at home, left his wife Fulvia to promote as sb^ 
best might their interests abroad, and accompanied the Queen 
Egyjit to Alexandria. Again the story is best told in Plutarch'^ 
words ; which not only depict vividly the facts, but supply curioi 

:dotical partieulai-s, known to him by direct family narration. 

parts a singularly real and emphatic effect, to have the his- 

,n quoting his own relation's description of the occurrence ; and 

ihe familiar style in which the thing is told heightens the pleasant 

BKt* of eye-witness truth we are made to feel in viewing iintony 

and Cleopatra's mode of life together at this period. lie says : — 

Antonius yielded himself to go with Cleopatra unto Alexandria, 

irbere he spent and lost in childish sports and idle pastimes, the 

roost precious thing a man can spend (as Antiphon says), and that , 

«, Time, For they made an order between them, which they 

called Amimetobion (as much as to say, no life comparable and 

oiatchable with it), one feasting each other by turns, and in cost 

exceeding all measure and reason. And for proof hereof, I have 

leard my grandfather, Lampryas, report, .that one Philotas, a 

physician, born in the city of Amphissa, told him, that he was at 

ihat present time in Alexandria, and studied physic ; and that 

ia\'ing acquaintance with one of Antonius' cooks, he took him 

irith him to Antonius' house (being a young man desii'ous to see 

things), to show him the wonderful sumptuous charge and yve-. 

^lavation of one only supper. When he was in the kitchen, and 

SAW a world of diversities of meats, and amongst others, eight 

^ild boars roasted whole, he began to wonder at it, and said : — 

^Sui'e you have a great number of guests to supper.' The cook 

• ffcU a-luughing, and answered him : — ' No,' (quoth he) * not many 

gttest?, nor above twelve in all ; but yet all that is boiled or roiist- 

^ mnst be served in whole, or else it would be maiTcd straight ; 

y Antonius peradventure will sup presently, or it may Ije a 

pJ^tty while hence, or likely enough he will defer it longer, for that 

** lath drunk well to-day, or else hath had some great mattei-s in 

^(i; and therefore we do not dress one supper only, but many 

WJpI^w, because we arc uncertain of the hour he will sup in." 



Geopatra gave Marc ^Vntouy s volnptuous inclinatioiis 
fall bent. She was naturally wMistitoted to sliare them ; aod Ler 
will seconding lier temperament, she ministered to them in their 
utmost extent. Dedicating herself to the task of coiling him s** 
purely within the folds she had flung around him, the '' Ser|>eatof 
Old Xile'* ceased not to fascinate Ids senses and di'owsc his thoiigLts 
by every device within her power, now that she had him to Ler- 
self in Alexandria. Whether in matters of sporty or in affiiire rf 
earnest, she still maintained her influence over his ideas; evrf 
planning fresh delights to have him at her command, never leavi»g 
him night nor day, and scarce letting him go out of her sight 
She watched to prevent reflection from gaining hold of him ; aD< 
the better to ensure this, she promoted liis pleasures aud partoo 
in all his pursuits with the fi-eedom of a man, and the vivacity of 
woman. She made hei*self at once male associate aud female coil 
panion to him, — ^both comrade aud misti'ess, she became his fello' 
reveller. She would play at dice with him, drink with him, hai 
with him, and accompany him in whatever exercise or bodily a< 
tiWty he practised. Sometimes, when he chose to go about th 
city at night, disguised like a slave, peering into people's windo\* 
and shops, brawling with them in their houses, taking and givin 
both abuse aud blows, Cleopatra would be ^nth him in chaa 
bermaid's array, rambling along the streets at his side. Amoq 
the mirthful idlenesses she devised for him, was the one of the 
ling alluded to in Shakespeare with such admirable tb*amatic ar 
in maki ug it conduce to developo appropriate touches of characte 
in the Eg^^Hian queen-coquette, while told with curious fidelity 
the original account in Plutarch. " On a time, he went to ang 
for fish ; and when he could take none, he was as angry as could b 
because Cleopatra stood by. Wherefore he secretly commando 
the fisheimen, that when he cast in his line, they should straigi 

[ cBve under the water, and put a fisli on liis hook wliicli fhey B| 

taken before ; and so snatclied up hh angling-rod, and brought up 

j s fish twice or thrice. Cleopatra found it straight, yet she seemed 

to see it, but wondered at his excellent fishing ; but when she 

alone by herself among her own people, she told them how 

i was, and bade them the next mormug to be on the water to see 

tkfiiihing, Antonius threw in his line, and Cleopatra straight com- 

mamled one of her men to dive under water before Antonius' 

meu, and to put some old salt-fish upon his bait. When he had 

lung the fiish on his hook, Antonius, thinking he had taken a fish 

indeed, snatched up his line presently. Then they all fell a-laugh- 

1^. Cleopatra laughing also, said unto him ; — 'Leave us Egyp- • 

is your angling-rod, my lord. This is not thy profession ; thou 
'JJttst hunt after conqueiing of realms and countries.'" The very 
^<^Uian herself is in that little speech ! Winning him to her by 
P^yfully bidding him go from her ; and smiling a scoff at conquest 
^^ tingdoms as inferior to skill in fishing. The touch, too, of fiud- 
^S out the trick at once, yet feigning not to see it, and praising his 
^Irling, is precisely the wily Cleopatra. 

^ut at length ill news fi'om Rome stuTed Antony from hh 
^nce, and he tore himself from the enchantress's " strong toil of 
S^'^Uie,'' to return to Italy. He is described as " rousing himself 
^tlx much ado, as if he had been wakened out of a deep sleep, and 
^ Coming out of a great di-unkenness." 

Tor some time, Marc Antony withstood the temptation to trust 

"'^tiself again within the circle of the " great fairy's" magic attrac- 

woixs; but after Fulvia's death, having adjusted the difterences 

t^t existed between Octavius Csesar and himself, by an alliance 

"Witli the sister, Octavia, he went to Asia. Arri\aDg iu Syi'ia, it 

warned as if, once more near to the speU of her sorceries, he could 

no longer resist its influence ; for he sent messengei's to bring Cleo- 


] iiitni with them to meet Lim. To welcome her, he heaped gifts 
« >f royal iloininion ; aihling to the territories she already possessed, 
till' proviiict's of Phauieia, ami of lower S}Tia, the Isle of Cyprus, 
a givat pc»rti'.»u (»f Cilicia, anil i^;irt of Arabia. These gifts mncli 
•lispk-a-se*! th^* Itomaus ; Ijut even his profuse donationa to her, did 
1; 't so irreatly ofieml thc-m, as the immeasurahle hououi-s he paid 
l.or. CIc'«.)|':\tra having brought him twins, a son and a daughter, 
^•lnYL' AntL»ny surnanicd them the Sun, and the Moon. Atasuhse- 
« snout jxriod, he caused a silver tribunal to be erected in thepuhlic 
.square, -^viih two chairs of gold for their own children, and for 
C:osarion, lur son l»y Julius Ca^ar; wlule he proclaimed their 
several a]>puiiitLd monarchies. Cleopatra not only wore upon that 
occasion, l»nt on all occasions when she appeared in public, the 
iitiire^ uf the g<.)dde>s Isis, and gave audience to her subjects aslsis 
in person. "When Cleopatra was in Athens, being jealous of tlie 
honours -w liich Octavia had received in that city, shq sought to 
iiiirratiate hei-self with the Athenians, by showering gifts upon 
iliL'm. Tliey, in return, awarded her high distinctions ; and ap* 
p -inting certain embassadors to carry the decree to her, iVntonins, 
as a citizen of Athens, headed the deputation, and made an oratioi^ 
to her on behalf of the city. Antony Avas ever foremost in offering 
her extravagance of homage. Tlie oj^^en court he paid her, — itvc^ 
(ligal as it wa-, — Ibrmed only tlie sincere expression of the feeliiig'== 
he cherished f.>r her. She was the idol of his existence: withhei"*' 
lie was wra})t in joyful fruition ; away from her, he flagged uii--^ 
s:itisfic(l, restless, and but half himself. In Armenia, he is describee^ 
awaiting at a place on the coast Cleopatra's arrival ; — " And be- 
cause she tarried longer than he would have had her, he pined 
away for • love and sorrow ; so that he was at such a strait that 
lie wist not what to do, and therefore to wear it out, he gave liini- 
self to quaffing and feasting. But* he was so drowned v/ith the 

fove of Ler, tLat lie could not aHde to sit at tlie tal>le till the feast 
was ended ; but many limes, wlille others banqueted, lie ran to tLe 
sea-side to see if slie were coming." There is an equally charac- 
teristic detail of Cleopatra's behaviour, when dreadiug that Octa- 
via's merits would prevail at length to draw Antony from her 
society : — *' She subtly seemed to languish for the love of Antonius, 
pining her body for lack of meat. Furthermore, she every way so 
framed her countenance, that when Antonius came to see her, ske 
cast her eyes upon him, like a woman ravished for joy. Strdght 
again when he went from her, she fell a-weeping, looking ruefully 
on the matter, and still found means that Antonius should often- 
times find her weeping ; and then when he came suddenly upon 
ber, she made as though she diied her eyes, and tunied her face 
away, as if she were unwilling that he should see her weejx" Con- 
summate coqueti-y ! 

Among the munificent presents bestowed by Antony upon 

Geopatra, wa^ the iamons library emiched by Eumenes, at per- 

3U8, consisting of above two hundred thousand books. Marc 

Antony caused it to be conveyed to Alexandria, giving thereby 

<>ne of the many causes of offence to the Eomans, which they so 

Uglily resented ; reproaching him •with lavisliing upon his paramour 

'*»ose treasures of conquest which rightfully should have been 

wrought home to his native city. 

At length, Octavius Ciesai*, indignant at the treatment of his 

ep Octa\da by her husband, fomented the people's hatred 

^'Warils Marc ^Jitony ; while Antony, on his side, complained of 

^^JUstice, and mutual recrimination resulted in declared wai* be- 

^^"een them. Cleopatra gave her royal aid, by fui-nishing troops, 

^^^ney, and provisions, to assist Antony in le\'ying his army ; but 

J^Q lent feminine hindrance, by making a point that she should 

company him to the battle, and by counselling that it should 



take place by sea. Antony's land force exceeded in Btreni 
sea power; for liis galleys were Hi-manned, their eqnipage Ijeing] 
insufficient in number^ as well as raw in discipline ; however, so 
enthralled was he by *' great Egypt's" will, that^ he not only 
yielded himself Ijlindly to its dictates in thns conducting the action, 
but when it was lost, he flung himself headlong on her traces, 
flying when she fled, his vessel following hers, as if literally ^*h»| 
heart to her rudder was tied by the strings, and towed after.*] 
Tlie whole account of the expedition strikingly pourtrays the! 
wonted conduct of each. Previously to setting forth, their time 
was spent in revelry and banqueting ; insomuch that the people] 
exclaimed : — ^" AMiat can they do more for joy cif victor}', if theyj 
win the battle, when they already make such sumptuous feasts atl 
the begin uing of the war?" While Antony's ship rode at anchor 
in the narbour, near Actium, awaiting the enemy's approadi, 
Octavius Ctesar, advancing, took Toryne, a small town not far 
distant. Antony's officers were startled, knowing their leaders 
land force was left behind ; but Cleopatra turned it into occasion 
for a joke, as the best means of inducing Antony to take it lightlyJ 
She made a pun upon the word " Toryne," (which, in the languagol 
of the country, signified a hdl^, us well as the name of the place) J 
asking, " What danger there could be, from Toryne falling iut 
Gesar's hands ? " And after the battle, when his galley follower 
her retreating ship, she lifted signals, and waited for him ; but ', 
remained plunged in shame and grief, sitting alone in the prow ofl 
the vessel, his face buried in his hands. Three days he remaine 
thus brooding and silent, speaking no word to any one, lost in pro*' 
foimdest dejection. But she who had originated his cause of, 
despair, found means to win him from its depths; and once mor 
cheered him into hope and spLiit. He rallied his forces, and wen^ 
again to meet Octavius Csesai* ; but sustained reverse upon revei 



% R'tiiniing to Alexandria, Marc Antony fodnd Cleopatzal 
tith a gigantic project by which she hoped to secure a means of 
B5ca|>e from the perik of the pending war. Thb project was no 
other than an attempt to liare her ships transported acrosd the 
klmitts of Suez, so that she might get her treasore and people 
ooureyed away ft-om the Mediterranean sea to the Southern ocean, 
whence she might sail for India. She Boeoeeded in sending some 
of her vessels ; but they were seized and burned by the Arabs, 

For a time, Marc Antony indulged % gloomy misanthropic 

ODod; dwelling apart and alone^ in a house he built himself down 

hy the sea, in the island of PLiros. But Cleopatra ceased not till 

«be lured him from his melancholy. She made him give up his 

♦^ilitfifln. and come to her royal palace; where they once more 

I into the full tide of riotous gayety. They now substituted 

fcir their previous order of existence, " Amimetobion,^ (** no life 

wmj^rable,") another one, which they entitled Synapothanume- 

iiifVing the order and agreement of those who will die 

This new order was nowise inferior in sumptuous 

to the first ; but those who were enrolled, pledged them- 

«t?(» to enjoy life in comptny unto death. The viands had a 

^^rour of the grave in midst of their coetly ex<xuisitene??s ; and 

.6 enjoyment was mingled with a desperate sense of mor- 

**%. This reckless hilarity was as if to cast off the foreshadow- 

■g of coming fate. Cleopatra studied the natures and effects of 

poisom;. She watched the diflferent modes of death re- 

ig from the venom of sundry kinds of snakes and adders, to 

Iter those which caused least pain, and rendered dismissal 

ewy. She built near to the temple of M^ a superb monu- 

or tomb, of great siy^ and beauty ; where she collected all 

and precious objects dmvod from her royal ance«- 

in gold, silver, emeralds, pearls, ebony, ivory, and cinnaraon, 





li yt t MT w|tk % xmr^ wmmhtr ci tar '- 

md, oilr aedk:: .^y she 

near tbe ci^ ; Vst Ab If |>oiJgy defeat oObb cbboiy, wi 
CAnred by kk cm fiul ovvft&icnr* He bdiekl Ids men f o 
Ueb, and go orer to tiie adwnMamg maj; sod, believing 
Cleo|Mtrm bad Ix tny ed Inn, k Imke §ot€tL into fiuy sgainst lie 
■mwnlid tiLiAiij, Sbe^ ia tezror at Jus wratli, took refnge i^ 
bcr mnnwnfiit ; and caoaad tibe report of ber death to be conTO) 
to bim. Muc ABtoQT, overvbdmed vitb gnd at her loas, and' 
nym a rbing bnnadf 'witb want of manhood ^soffising a womani 
pceeede htm in eneovntedBg death, a l t en yte d to stab himself ' 
bis own sword. The voond W9^ BOi immediate mortal, and hi 
prayed those aromid to despatch him; but Cleopatra, sending 
aeeretary, Diomedes, to fetch him to her monnmenty he was 
Tered thither in a dying state. Unwilling to t>pen the gates, 
had Marc Antony drawn np by ropes to the window ; herself 
iag her two women (who were the only persons she had allowc 
to accompany her into the monument) to raise him. This persona 
exertion on her part, b actually described : — ^ It was a hard 
for these women to do, to lift him np ; bnt Cleopatra stooping 
down her head, putting too all her strength to her uUermost 
power, did lift him up with much ado, and never let go her hold." 
She received him in Lcr arms, dried the blood fix)m his face, 
poured forth a passion of caiesses and lamentings ; but Antonj 
besought her to cease, and listen to his last entreaties. He callc 
for wine ; drank, and then earnestly prayed her to endeavour 
save her life, if possible without dishonour, bidding her trust ni 



.n about Csesar but Proculeius. AVltli all the comforting; and 
joui-agiDg words Le could frame to sustain lier, lio continued 
lile breath lasted to speak to lier, and expired, Cleopatra occu- 
pying bis sole thought. 

Alarc Antony was but just dead , when Proculeius arrived, sent by 
Octaviu3 Cffisai' ; who, having heard that Antony had tilled himself, 
van anxious lest Geopatra should destroy hei^self and her treasure 
:her by setting fire to the monument, and so deprive him of 
exj)ected booty, and his hoped-for triumph ofleadiugher as his 
isouer ^ Eome. Cleopatra held parley with Proculeius, but 
would hy no means trust him so far as to admit him into the monu- 
ment. The emissary said all he could to iuspii'C her with confi- 
dence in Octavins ; and she, with her usual tact, made stipulations 
that the kingdom of Egypt should devolve upon her sons. Procu- 
lins assured her that she might securely leave all in Caisar's hands ; 
id, having made accurate iuspection of the place, returned -with 
an account of hia interview. Octffvius sent again ; instructing hia 
enger to hold Cleopatra in talk at the gate of the monmuent, 
while Proculeius, by means of a ladder, made good his entrance 

One of her women, observing his approach, shiieked out to her 
royal mistress ; who dre^^ a dagger she wore about her, and would 
have made away with herself. But Proculdus held her hand ; and 
entreating her to put trust in Caisar, disarmed her. Octavius had 
her etiictly guarded, and watched, that she might not destroy 
lierself; but in all other respects caused her to be treated Tivith 
ntmost com'tesy, while he himself made his entry into Alexandria. 
Majiy princes and commanders sent to entreat for Marc Antony's 
body, that they might give him honourable bm-ial ; but Octavius 
Caisar would not take it from Cleopatra, whom he permitted to use 
reasure she chose in performing the funeral obsequies. She 



sumptuously and royally buned Antony witliher own Lands; an3 
immolated upon Ms ashes heaps of wealth, — that of her beauty in 
eluded, mangling her face and bosom, and abandoning herself tc 
extravagance of grief. 

Ov^ercome with passionate sorrow, she fell into a fever of dis* 
traction ; which she rejoiced at, as affording her a pretext for ab* 
stiuning fi'om food, and so dying without trouble. She had apby- 
eician named Ol^Tupus, to whom she confided tliis intent, in order 
that he might assist to rid her of life, as be himself recorded in a 
book he wrote. But Octavius, conjecturing her pufpose, by 
threatening her children with a shameful death if she persevered 
in starving herself, succeeded in inducing her to take her usual 
diet, and submit to be cured. Shortly after, Octavius Ctesar came 
himself in person to see her and comfort her. Cleopatra received 
him lying upon a little low bed, forlorn and disconsolate ; and 
when she saw him enter, rose up, and cast herself at his feet, JBSb 
as she was, disrobed and disfigifl^ed, her hair in disorder, her face 
pale and lacerated, her eyes sunk in her head with continual weep* 
ing, her bosom bearing the marks she had inflicted in heranguisK 
her voice weak and trembling. In short, her body showed tbe 
condition of her mind ; and yet the natural grace and comeliness 
peculiar to her, gave a charm beyond beauty to the kneeling queen. 

Ctesar raised her from the ground, made her lie down again, an<l 
seated himself by her bedside; while Cleopatra entered upon 
vindication of her conduct, seeking to excuse and clear herself 
from blame. Octa\dus, in his calm cold way, refuted eveiy poini 
she advanced. Then she suddenly ^ altered her speech, aw 
besought his clemency; as though she feai*ed death, and wcrfl 
anxious to live. Next, she gave him a written memorial of al 
the ready money and treasure she had. But there chanced to b« 
present, Seleucus, one of her treasurers ; who, to evince his probity^ 



^ted tliat Geopatra had not inserted all, but had kept many 
Bgs back on purpose. This so enraged Cleopatra, that she flow 
pon liini, seized him by the hair of his head, and soundly boxed 
Caesar was highly amused, and rescued the man. Upon 
ich, Cleopatra took a deprecatory tone ; said it was hard that 
'lien Caesar took .the pains to come to her, and so honoured her, 
Br own servants should accuse her to him ; that she had but re- 
some few jewels and woman's trifles, not for herself, — ^not 
ck her unhappy self withal, — but intending them as presents 
)ctayia and Livia, that they might intercede with Ca?sar for 
ir and mercy. Caesar, pleased to hear her say this, which 

Kd like a desire to save her life, spoke encouragingly to her, 
id her of ^ his protection, and promised to use her more hon- 
jibly and bountifully than she had any idea of, and took leave, 
lining that he had successfully imposed upon her credulity, 
I taught her to trust in his good fliith. But he little knew 
atra. She had deluded him ; not he, her. The passionless 
ydus might be imassaOable by the witchery of Cleopatra ; liut 
not proof against her practised skill in winding men^s judg- 
as she wished. She could not suljjugate his senses ; but she 
led his sense into construing dropped hints as she intended. 
Cleopatra took advantage of the professions Octavius Ca^ar 
k-cl made her, by sending to request that he would allow her to 
I the last oblations of the dead to the soul of Antony ; and 
itly resolved to defeat Octavius's projected triumph, by her 
[death. The naiTative is so eloquently told in Plutarch, that 
be again quoted : — " She was cjirried to the place where 
omb was, and there falling down on her knees, embracing it, 
ears ninning down her cheeks, she said : — ' O my dear lord, 
nmwn, it is not long since I buried thee here, being a free wo- 
1; and now I offer unto thee the fuilerai sprinklings and obla- 



tioiis, being a captive and prisoner ; and yet I am forbidden a\n 
kept from teai-ing and murtlieiing thia captive body of mine witi 
blows, which tliey carefully guard and keep, only to triumpK 
thee. Look therefore henceforth for no other honours, offering! 
nor sacrifices from me ; for these are the last which Cleopatra m 
give thee, since now they carry her away. Whilst we lived tq 
gether, nothing could sever our company ; but now at our death 
I fear me they will make us change our countries. For as thou 
being a Roman, hast been buried in Egypt, even so, wretched cma 
ture, I, an Egj^itian, shall be buried iu Italy, which shall be al 
the good that I have received by thy 'country. If therefore, th 
gods where thou art now have any power and authority, since oa 
gods here have forsaken us, suffer not thy true friend and lover 
be carried away ali^'e, that in me they triura]?!! or thee ; but re 
ceive me with thee, and let me be buried in one self tomb mil 
thee. For though my griefs and miseries be infinite, yet none hatB 
grieved me more, nor that I could less bear withal, than tlifi 
small time which I have been driven to live alone without theft' 
Then, having ended these doleful plaints, and crowned the tomb 
with -garlands and sundry nosegays, and marvellous loviugly eifl- 
braced the same, she commanded they should prepare her batli; 
and when she had bathed and washed herself, she fell to her meat 
and waa sumptuously served. ]N"ow while she was at dinner, there 
came a countiyman, and brought her a l)asket. The soldiers thaifc 
warded at the gates, asked him straight what he had in hi» 
basket. He opened his basket, and took out the leaves that cov- 
ered the figs, and showed them that they were figs he brought. 
They all of them marvelled to see so goodly figs. The country- 
man laughed to hear them, and bade them take some if th<J 
would. Tiiey believed he told them truly; and so bade him carry 
them in. ASter Cleopatra had dined^ she sent a certain table wri^ 



sealed unto Ci^sar, and commanded tliem all to go o^ 
be tomb wLere she was, but the two women ; then she shut the 
1 to her. C:i?sar, when he received this table, and began to 
lier lamentation and petition, requesting him that he would 
let her be Lmied T^-ith Antoni us, found straight what she meant, 
Mid thought to have gone thither himself; howbeit he sent one 
before, in all haste, to see what it was. Ifer death was very sud- 
'ea; for those whom Ca^ar sent unto her, ran thither in all haste 
itttble, and found the soldiers standing at the gate, mistinisting 
^BDg, iior understanding of her death. But when they opened 
Wloore, they found Cleopatra stark dead, laid upon a bed of 
Id, attired and arrayed in her royal robes, and one of her two 

I!p, which was called Iras, dead at her feet ; and her other wo- 
called Chaniiian, half dead and trembling, trimming the dia- 
tvhich Cleopatra wore upon her head. One of the soldiers, 
slug her, angrily said unto her : — ' Is that well done, Charmian ? ' 
^py well,' said she again, 'and meet for a princess descended 
nn the race of so many noble kings.' She said no more ; but 
1 down dead, hard by the ])ed. Some report that this aspic was 
jht unto her in the basket with ligrii, and that she had com- 
led them to hide it under the ^g leaves, that when she should 
to take out the figs, the a.^pic should bite her before she 
^d see it ; howbeit, that -w hen she would have taken away the 
for the figs she perceived it, and said : — * Art thou here, 
' * And so, her arm being naked, she put it to the aspic to 
tten. Others say again, that she kept it in a box ; and that 
lid prick and thrnst it v^ith a spindle of gold, so that the aspic 
angered withal, leajit out with great fory, and bit her in the 
Howbeit, few can tell the truth. For they report also, that 
ad hidden poison in a hollow razor, which she caiuied in the 
her head ; and yet there was no mark seen on her body, 



or any sign discerned that she was poisoned, neither also did they 
find this serpent in her tomb ; bnt it was reported only, that there 
were seen certain fresh tracks where it had gone, on the tomb side 
toward the sea, and especially by the door side. Some say, abo, 
that they foond two little pretty bitings in her arm, scant to he 
dl^emed ; the which it seemeth Csesar himself gave credit unto, 
because in his triumph 'he carried Cleopatra's image, with an aspic 1 
Hting of her arm. Now Gesar, though he was marvellous sorry ' 
for the death of Cleopatra, yet he wondered at hernol)le mind and! 
courage ; and therefore commanded she should be nobly buried, 
and layed by Antonius. Cleopatra died, being eight and thirty 
yeare old ; after she had reigned two and twenty years, and go\^| 
erned about fourteen of them with Antonius," 

Shakespeare, with his fine knowledge that truth to Nature i** ^ 
rao?t powerful for producing effect in Dramatic Art, has adhered 
with singular closeness to the history of Cleopatra ; weaving thei 
incidents of the narrative with extraordinary sldll and fidelity into I 
his poetic play, and drawing her character in strict resemblance! 
with the original portrait of the real woman. The heightening 
touches that he has added, are precisely in keeping; and are just 
such as his genius alone knew how to supply, deducing them firoml 
the broad sketch, and filling them in harmoniously with the 
ing outline. The fact is, we can hardly separate the idea of hU 
Cleopatra from Cleopatra herself; and when we think of her, 
think of her as he has painted her. Who but himself could have] 
so finished the picture — presenting her to our knowledge with] 
more visible completeness than history itself? Plutarch has giveaj 
us the queen and woman, Cleopatni, in curiously particularizec 
detail of person, speech, act, and manner, as she lived ; Shako-] 
speare makes her appear, speak, move, breathe, and live agaii 
\ before us. He has caused us to behold her in all that marked in* 

viduality, in those minute by-betrayals of cliaracter, whicli only 
eitlier personal knowledge, or Shakespeare's page, enables ns to 
witness. Xo poet but himself has drawn Cleopatra in her true 
identity, although she has formed the theme of several. Chaucer 
has depicted her as the ladye-love of chivalry, bewailing "her 
knight, Antonius" (!), and throwing herself into a pit of serpents 
fot Lis sake, like a heroine of old romance. Corneille's Cleopatra 
has scarcely a trait of character in consonance T\^th historic truth. 
The author owns, — in his analysis of the play (Pompce), — that he 
makes her merely anihitlous in love. Faithful to the requirements 
of conventional tragic dignity, he drew her portrait according to 
the pattern of French tragedy-qoeeos ; and left her with hardly a 
touch of individuality. Perhaps the one couplet that may be cited 
as containing any approach to Cleopatrau nature, in its regal con- 
sciousness of power to captivate, is where he makes her say : — 

*' Apprenda qu'utie princesse aimant sa renonmnie, 
Quand die dit qu'elle aime, est aare d'etre aimee." 

[Know, tliat a queen, whose fame's her concern, • 
When she owns that she loves, must be loved in return.] 

Fletcher, in his play of ^' The False One," shows her in her 

early youth, in her first adventui'e, with Julius Caesar; and it 

suffices for her in her " sallet days," although the character is too 

^ed in dignity, too cousisteut in nobility of feeling and dic- 

' tiou, for the wapvard, varialjle Cleopatra. The descriptions given 

of her might suit any other charming heroine :— 

" Bj this light, the woman's a rare woman ; 
A lady of that catching youth and beauty, 
That unmatched sweetness ." 

*' Eyes that are the winning^st orators, 

A youth that opens like perpetual spring, 

And, to all these, a tongue that can deliver 

The oracles of love." 


lu the first interview with Julius Ciesar, wliere she is brought^ 
in the mattress to his chamber, her speech and mamier are ingeni'^ 
ou8ly tinctured with the delicate flattery Ly which she won him; 
while the most characteristic things she uttei^s in the course of tlie 
play are the following passages : — 

" Oh, I could curse rajself, that was so foolish, 
So fondly childish, (o beliore his tongue, 
His promisbg tongue, ere I could catch hU temper.^* 

And: — 

'* I will go study mischief, 

And put a look on, arm'd with all my cnnniDgs, 
* Shall meet him like a basilisk, and strike him ! 

Love, put destroying flames iuto mioo eyes, 

Into my smiles deceits, that I may torture him, 

Thai I may make him love io deaths ajtd laugh at him ! " 

And again : — 

'* I love with us much ambition as a conqueror 
And where I love will triumph \ " 

There is the future Cleopatra in those touches ; but they occur 
as exceptions to the general smooth grace \tith which Fletcher had 
delineated her. 

Diyden, like Shakespeare^ paraphrased Plutarch^s accouut of j 
Cleopatra^s sailing up the river Cyduus to meet Marc Antony; 
and he has paralleled in his play of " All for Love/' several other! 
of the descriptive passages in " iVntony and Cleopatra," with rich ^ 
pRtic beauty. But the dramatic discrimination and develoj 
ment of Cleopatran character, so masterfully achieved by Shake 
Bpeare, is wholly wanting in Dryden. lie has made her a tender, 
impassioned woman, — the fitting heroine for "All for Love, or the 
World well lost;" but not the renowned Egyptian queen,^thatj 
wondrous combination of all that is winning, \nXh so much that 
repidsive, — all that is enchanting, with so much that is despicable, 



— wldcli Shakesj^eare has compounded into one gorgeously vivid 
impersonation. Dryden's most individual bit, is where he makes 
Cleopatra exclaim : — 

' Come to me, come, my BoIJier, to my arms ! 
You Lave been too long away from ray embraces; 
But wlien I Lave you fast, aud all my owDj 
"With broken murmura and wiLb amorous sighs, 
111 say you were unkind, and punish you. 
And mark you red tcitk many an eager kiss.'" 

Leigh Hunt has hit off the spirit of Cleopatra, when he alludes 
to her as : — 

*' That southern beam, 
The laughing queen that caught the world's great hands.' 

And Ilorace sums her magic influence in two words, where he 
calls her " fatal prodigy " [" fiitale monstrum ."] 

But, both by description, aud self-revealment, Shakespeai'e has 
exhibited her character in its true and full nature. Diversified, 
yet complete ; inconsistent, yet in keeping ; whimsical, yet direct 
of purpose ; replete with jarring elements, yet in perfect conso- 
nance with itself. In what is said of her, in what h said to her, in 
what she says herself, he makes us equally behold the actual 
n'oman, Cleopatra. 

Enobarbus speaks of her thus : — 

" Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 
Her infinite variety : Other women * 
Cloy the appetites they feed ^ but she makes hungry 
Where most she satisfies. For vilest things 
Become themselves in her." 

Antony addresses her i^ith • — • 

" Fie, wraugUng queen ! 
Whom every thing becomes, — to chide, to laugh, 
To weep; whose every passion fully strives 
To make itself in thee, fair and admired ! " 



And she, musing of Antony iu his absence, and ■wonderiag 
whether he thinks of her, says, — with a fine daring disparagement 
of her oriental sun-embrowned complexion, secure in its spell upon 
men's warm imaginations : — 

" Tbiuk on me, 
Tliat am with PLcebus' amorous pinches black, 
And wtinklcd deep in time ? Broad-fronted Csesar, 
When thou wast hero above the ground, I was 
A morsel for a monarch : and great Pompey 
Would stand, and make his eyes grow iu ujj brow ; 
There would ho anchor his aspect, and die 
With looking on his life." 

One of the most perfect touches of characteristic individuality 
in all that Cleopatra uttei-s, is that little question ; — " What saya 
the married woman f " when asking Antony of his wife Fulvia, It 
is a fine piece of pungent insolence — exquisitely Cleopatran. 

Shakespeare's epithets for Cleopatra, come into the mind iu-j 
voluntarily when speaking of her. We use his titles for her, iu I 
naming her, while relating her history. The " serpent of old Nile '** 
dwells in our mind as her proper designation ; " this gi'eat fairy^Tl 
" great Egypt," and other of his names, for her, belong to her like 
her own ; but there is one, which he assigns to her, that wonder 
fuUy distinguishes Cleopatra, iu her mingled regality aud famili^ 
arity of womanhood. Agiippa calls her " Royal wench ! " in admiJ 
ration at her sovereignty in attracting men ; and it finely indiJ 
vidualizes her character in its twofold quality of queenly swaj 
with feminine fascination. 

The great secret of Cleopatra's power of winning, was thi 
instinctive insight she j)o*sessed into men's dispositions, and hei 
exquisite tact in discovering their vulnerable points. She wob 
Juhus Caesar by throwing hci'self into his power ; and won Mar 
Antony by exercising her power over him. She flattered Juliua 

C«sar 3 love of dominion by submitting liei'self to it ; slie swayed 
Marc Antony's lieArt by assuming rule there. She caused herself 
to be carried to Julius Casar ; she bade Marc Antony come to her. 
She behaved with humility and deference to Julius ; she treated 
Antony with gay despotism, and waywai'd playfulness. She deriv- 
ed her fortune, and held her crown from Julias Cajsar's bestowal ; 
she outvied Antony in costly display and sumptuous entertain- 

Her iiTCsistible allurement lay in her faculty of adapting her- 
self to men's peculiar tastes and predilections. She followed Julius 
to Kome ; she shared Antony's wildest frolics. The ample way in 
which she at once understood and responded to Mai-c Antony's 
propensities,, explains the unbounded ascendency attained orer 
him. His enjoyment, his gratification, his pleasure, were her 
study ; and to minister to them, her delight. Antony's passion for 
Cleopatra was a luxuiious intoxication ; and she not only pre- 
sented Hm the voluptuous draught, but drained it with him. 

Cleopatra is enthroned enchantress of the world. She cap- 
tivated Julius Cfcsar; entranced the heart and senses of Marc 
Antony, and succeeded in beguiling the wary Octavius, She, of all 
her sex, in her person gave to the unworthy art of coquetry, a 
something of magnificent and lustrous in its so-potent exercise. 
Hers was the poetry of coquetry. 

iXG tlie firm-iieai'ted band wlio suffered persecution and 
deatli for faith's sake, — the early martp's, — one of the most shin- 
iiig examples is Saint Cecilia. To nse Fidler's quaint form of ex- 
pression : — " She lived in an age which we may call the first cock- 
civ>wing after the midnight of ignorance and superstition." 

The events which mark her career are told with heautifol 

-simplicity in the "Golden Legend" ["Legenda Anrea"] ; and 

^'haucer's charming version of the story, in his "Second iXim's 

^ale ," Is almost a literal rhythmical translation of the old Latin 

^^g«i(L The details furnished in the "Acta S. CfecilioB** have been 

"iTanged into nairative order with hagiographical zeal, by Dom 

Prosper Gut^ranger, Abbe do Solesmes ; who has traced the career 

^^ the Saint thi'ough her life, martyrdom, and posthumous glor}* 

^* canonization , in a no less picturesque than reverential form, — and 

**^€it is the only spirit in which to treat a subject of this kind. Ita 

^tnote antiquity, which, while ^miting and obscuring authentic 

P*^Tticularg, tends to throw an air of poetry and idealization over 

^iat few facts are known, demands a certain amount of child like 

^^*edence, when receiving the relation of such historic. The m<5d- 

^^ fashion is too much for questioning " the old flmiiliar faces " 

accepted tradition. We are too fond of (hiilthig ; we are too 


apt to discredit every tiling tbat we cannot prove. As Words- 
wortli, in bis fine sonnet " The World is too mucli with us,'' pro- 
tests against the dimmed perceptions of prosaic getters and spend* 
el's; so it is with prosy de teeters of falsity in antique records; their 
literal accuracy blinds them to the intermixture of larger veracity < 
which may be gathered from the very fables tliey point out m 
wholly fictitious. They caimot discern the spirit of truth tliat 
dwelJa within the dubious letter of legendary lore. The sceptical 
sneerer im'ght find matter for questioning pause, in some of the 
points of St. Cecilia's story as handed down to postenty by vene^ 
rating tradition ; but those who are willing to perceive the lustw 
of purity, — the glory of apostleship, and the courage of holines, 
in this beautiful legend, will take pleasure in perusing it according 
to nan'ated account. 

Under the cmpii'e of Alexander Severus, the persecution 
against Christians, which previously and subsequently was earned 
on with terrific virulence, sustained a temporary' cessation, owing 
to the influence of the young emperor's mother, Julia Mammsa, 
who entertained much regard for the members of the new sect; 
and who, if Eusebius's words may be so interpreted, secretly pro- 
fessed their taith. She was known to send for the learned aud 
saintly Origcn, from Alexandria to Antioch, while she was there; 
and that she held controvei*sial discourses with him, and loaded 
him with gifts and honours. !RIammiBa superintended the educa- 
tion of her son herself; remained at his side through life ; helped 
liim with her counsel in state affaii*s ; followed him to the fiehi in 
all his campaigns ; and even shared his death, when he fell at the 
head of his troops, on the banks of the Rhine, in a war against 
the Germans. Coming to the imperial throne when at so early 
an age as to be in his fomle^nth year only, he might probably 
have embraced the same form of religion as his mother, had not 

appointed liLs creed for him ; but lie nevertheless enter- 
a regard for Christianity and its Divine Founder which 
lever forsook him. * The portion of his palace dedicated to the re- 
srptioD of his Lares, or, household gods, not only contained the 
statues of the gods and of those emperors most worthy of regard ; 
snt ScTcrua had there a statue of Jesus Christ Himself, to which 
ke paid divine honours. Lord Bacon, in his " Advancement of 
learning," mentions a similar circumstance respecting the Emperor 
Adrian : — '^ For having Chiist in veneration, not as a God or 
Saviour, }»ut as a wonder or novelty ; and having his picture in his 
gallery, matched with Apollonius, with whom in his vain imagina- 
tion, he thought he had some conformity ; yet it served the turn 
to flJIay the bitter hatred of those times against the Christian 
uame, 80 as the chui-ch had peace during his time." Alexander Seve- 
ne's aihniration went so far as to induce him to make a proposal 
■III the Fuunder of a religion, so pure in its morality, should 
^Bimitted among the rank of the gods. The senate desired to 
^Hlt the oracles upon tlus extraordinary proposition of the em 
PPr ; and according to Lampridius, a contemporary writer, the 
neuhu* response was, that if this new apotheosis were celebrated, 
le pagan temples would be abandoned, and all men would be- 
Dine Oimtians. 

Other pai-ticulars recorded of this emperor's mild conduct, and 
f hi» enlightened perception of the fine moral influence belong- 
Ig to the new faith, deserve mention. The grandly comprehen- 
ve maxim : — " As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also 
> them likewise," was always in lus mouth, and openly avowed as 
eing adoj)ted from the tenets of the Christians. He caused it to 
e gmven as an inscription in his palace ; and in the principal pul> 
c edifices. By Im order, too, a herald j)ublicly proclaimed it, in 
anishmcnt of criminals. Ilis regard for Christianity extended 



to individual ; and several official posts about his own conrt wei 
filled by Christians who enjoyed his favour. A signal instance 
his wise ordination occurred with regard to a place called " Ta 
me7*if^ria,^^ [" A place for public entertainyient f — "xV Tavern ^^i 
which, becoming dedicated to Christian usage under the pontific 
of Calixtus, as a church, occasioned much umbrage to the origin 
heathen occupants ; who complained to Severus, that a place pr 
viously theirs, had been taken from them and consecrated to i 
service of a religion unrecognized by the laws of the empir 
Severus replied thus nobly : — '* I would rather God were houou 
in this spot, in whatever form of woi*ship, than see it as 
yielded up to sellei*s of wine.'^ 

But, if this emperor himself were thus favourable to the CI 
tians, there was a large body of influential men in the state ' 
beheld with abhorrence and dread all progress of the new sect * 
wards becoming epidemical. An association that held itself fiiinlyj 
impassive to all edicts of suppression, seemed to them a monste 
that could not be too speedily crushed. They had notable exampli 
for persecution ; even for decreeing the massacre of Christians, ^ 
could cite strong precedent. Beneath the fierce autocracy 
Kero, the leniency of Trajan, and the philosophical forbearance < 
Marcus Aurelius, this rising body had alike suffered deadly hostii' 
ity. Domitian Ulpian, who held the office of Pra?fectu3 PiMoria 
under Alexander Severus, was one of the chief of these oppo 
of ChiTstianity ; and as he had considerable ascendency over i 
young emperor's mind, liis animosity against the Christians ac 
in counterbalance to the maternal influence in their favour. Po 
lar prejudice, also, was largely on the side of the prevailing power} 
and Tertullian, — in his " Apologetic Works," written more 
thii*ty years before the period here treated of, — remarks that on 
all occasions of general tumult, the multitude were accustomed t^ 

11 forth tteirliarltir on? cr^ — • Z- zu- L.ii- 
bus, DOtwitLstaii-iJic iii^ t .!i^zl.- ;: -_- 
ards the* opprtrssefl ?-c* — l - j-iT-il.- - — 
lan aftive — j-eTerLl Tiisrrrrl ^zj^ r -^- - :::: ' 
aiing Lis rekrL. l.«:*ii ii. tL^ I. .'7. .r.: .". r. :.■ : 
le names c-f CfcjrT»>ilh2=L. j'i*JZL::r:::i-. ••iij; 1 
laiia.have re-^cLr!! u- it- univLr "r^- ^-'ui:^- ~ 
-and Poj;»r Ciilirr::? — Or c iL* -r:*:l-- "iz: 
uartyr to tir j-ri'^crr'rri ii-n:* 

he Pnttvriiir: : llIi^L -su/l z:!!- • . ' - . ■ 
a-liiii' TO tlr T-i'ir'- :-"•-." " '- -.-" -•- 

n-ii-n-^:: -:--r: - ..--■• 

iiILT:i;Lr-l •.--.- "^."- "~ T " _-: ..L". ".. . . ' 

-the ji^rl'»i ':^1::. ^-li* '.- "._i ..' .---... • 
[ill apprvirlitr. ■ r-:-:il. !i--:-r-. : . . j- ^ 



ocxjurrence. Moreover, this picturesqTie track forms a kind of lis 
between tlic Rome of the Gentiles, and the Rome of the 
tians ; between the eternal city, and the centre of Chrlsteudo 
between ancient Rome, sumamed " Mistress of the Worhl,^ and 1 
nucleus of that Spiritual Kingdom founded on the " Rock a(J 
Ages." It presents a va*?t and sumptuous gallery of pagan sep 
chres dedicated to the entombment of illustrious Roman fan 
while beneath the soil supporting these numberless fine moniit 
ments, the very ruins of which still excite wonder and admlratioi 
there lies a consecrated labyrinth, within whose shade sleep a ; 
tyr legion. The grandeur and solemnity of this reuoT^Tied 
are unequalled; which, — at the epoch when Alexander Seve 
was emperor, and when the city was enclosed on that side by ^ 
walls of Sei'vius Tullius, commenced at the Capenian Gate, 
led out towards the Campagna. Traversing the plain, its 
marked by superb villas, and temples of severe or graceful styli 
in architecture, its principal embellishment consisted in the donbli 
range of tombs extending for more than fourteen miles on 
side of the way. The pavement, formed of large masses of hs 
proclaims the magnificence and solidity of the works of a 
people ; and on it may be traced deep-indented ruts, made by thd 
chariot- wheels of Romans, more than two thousand years sine 
Somewhat narrow, like all the ancient roads, the Appian Way wa 
confined between two foot paths, on the borders of which rose tli 
sepulchres. The form of these funereal monuments was varied ?1 
some appeared like temples, of grave or elegant design ; others 
wore the circular shape of a tower ; many were reared in pyram- 
idal form; and others again were quadrilateral. These sepul- 
chres were in some instances appropriated to individuals, in otheu 
to entire families. In some cases the body reposed in a sarcopha 
gus, while in othei-s the tomb contained only the ashes of the de 



ised, according to the customs mtroduced in Eouie towai'ds tlie 
»e .of tlie RepuLlic. Besides the tombs, tlie Appian Way con- 
ined likewise those pigeon-holed receptacles, [" columbaiia,''] in 
hich a large number of urns were deposited, containing the ashes 
■ several generations. All this assemblage of sepulchres imparted 
I the Way an aspect of mournfulness, which contrasted strikingly 
ith the luxury and richness of the buildings that formed a back- 
round to these avenues of death. The pagans themselves were 
osible of this lesson upon the nothingness of life, afforded by 
loosing a public way as a place for entombment ; while the Chris- 
ins completed the monition, by hollowing beneath the soil of the 
ppian Way itself, whole cities of sepulchral abode, destined not 
ily to recall to mankind the thought of mortality, but to raise 
em to the contemplation of immortal trust. 

One of the poets in the early period of the Roman empire — 
alios — ^in his " Sylvat?," entitles this majestic road " the Queen of 
''ays " [" Regiiia viarum "] ; and thus it appeared, in its general 
pect, at the time he wrote. 

Calixtus, during his pontificate, was unwearied in his zealous 
ire to protect the sacred crypts beneath the Appian Way, and to 
reserve from desecration the saintly and apostolic remains they 
^shrouded. He persevered in his pious work ; and the Christians 
stained as their sanctuary these subterranean burial-places, kno\vn 
ader the name of catacombs. Skirting the Appian Way, at some 
tie distance, there rises a gentle eminence, just above a spot 
hich tradition asserts to be the site of the grotto and fountains 
r Egeria. Here there was a temple erected in the time of the 
iomnn Republic ; and here it was, that Pope Urban found a safe 
Btreat, An oratory excavated beneath the earth, — under the 
'ery pagan temple which has since been consecrated as a chm'ch, 
bearing the name of St. Urban, — and having communication with 


tlie extenate twog^ of saLterranean crypts, afforded a Been 
refoge iloof from pabfie notfee, and allowed of access and iDt 
eoctrse irith the Chrisdans. 

AmoQg tlie flodc of tlie faitlifdl, who revered Urban as 
v^Ue bead, wLo resorted to him for counsel and iustraction, i 
who eqjojed hb pecoliar fiiToor for her piety and innocence, 
the yoathfbl Cedfia. Dai^^hter of a noble Eoman boose (3 
asserting her to be a desc^idant of the same family with that Ce 
lia Metella whoee somptnoas pagan monument adorns the Appa 
Way,— now, even in decay, serving as a notable adornment to 1 
|dace), she had eaily adopted the Christian faith, althougli Lerl 
par»its adhered to the old heathen form of worship. An aocie 
tradition in Rome assigns the Campns Martins as the site whe 
\he bouse stood in which Cecilia was bom, dnring the early ptfti 
of the third centnr}' ; and a church was erected there in the eigb-| 
teenth century, by Pojie Benedict XlU^ bearing the inscription :- 
"This is the house in which Saint Cecilia prayed.** 


Her father and mother appear to have offered no obstructioft" 
to the course of their daughter's religious opinions ; which 
already obtained many followers in Rome, and which counted p^''• 
fessors even in the impernd household itself. Either from indif- 
ference, or from affection, they permitted her to pursue her owfl 
form of doctine, and to attend the assemblages of the Christia 
Cecilia could not only go and pray with the faithful in 
chmx^hes where the mysteries of their creed were celebrated wit 
a certain amount of publicity, during the period when Christianity 
enjoyed a temix>riiry immunity from persecution ; but she was abl 



xequent the crypts of tlie martjTS, for tlie piu'pose of assisting 
liose anniversaiies of such heroic members of the devoted Laud 
had inet death in its caose. The poor, who guai'ded the secret 
Urban's retreat, knew the gentle maiden ; and often conveyed her 
tssages, or conducted her steps to the venerable pontiff himself. 

The Chi-istians at that epoch lived with the idea of possible 
irtyrdom constantly present to them ; it entered, as a necessary 
Bment, into all their visions of the future. But this ftn'midable 
twpect had no power to appal the soul of the young Cecilia. She, 
I the contrary, learned to dwell upon it, as upon a promised rejx)se 
; peace and blisi:. Martp'dom would for ever unite her with 
hrist, who had deigned to select her from a pagan family that he 
Ught reveal himself unt^ her. Awaiting this welcome summons, 
he hved within the depths of her heart in the constant company 
flier Divine Master, ceasing not to commune with him in holy 
^yer and converse, day nor night. Enraptured with this secret 
wnference, she sought Him perpetually in His holy oracle, in His 
volume of Evangels, which she kept hidden beneath the folds of 
ler robe, resting ever in her bosom. [" Absconditum semper 
Evangelium Christi gerebat in pectore.*' Acf'a S, Civcilta\j In 
he ardou5 of her self-dedication to her chosen Heavenly Spouse, 
iie vowed ever to remain immaculate in virgin faith and purity ; 
ind abided in meek hope the period when she should be called to 
^eive her nuptial croTVTi of immoiiality. 

Her guardian spirit was permitted to take visible shape : — an 
Angel alighted beside her in the silent horn's of sedition and con- 
^plation : Uke the winged messenger sent to the first pair in 
I«iradise, " the glorious shape seemVI another morn risen on mid- 
i •- "" so bright, so seraphic he appeared : — 

'* Liko Maia's son he stood, 
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd 
The circuit wide.*' 




Meanwhile Cecilia's parent?, knowing notlilng of her 
oliaso her au earthly Lriilegroom. A young and noble Kom 
namoil Valerian, was the object they selected as a fitting huaba 
for their beaotifal daughter. His rank, his generou.^ qualiti 
dereil him worthy to be the possesgor of the treasure they pro] 
to bestow upon him ; while the maideu^s gentle graces and 
nega made him rejoice in the prospect of calling her his 
Valerian had a brother, TlbnTtius, to whom he was fondly attai 
anil he tmsted that this new tie would be only an addi 
means of strengthening their fraternal bond of happy union. 
iudeed was it to bo: though not in the way that the pagan 
then imagined. They were all three to be united in links of 
than mortal felicity. 

Tlu» day for the celebration of the marriage was appoint^ 

the two jiiitrioitm families prepared with all due magiiifice 

honour the esjxiusjils of two of their scions, whose youth, beauty, i 

tliotinction made them a source of joyful pride to their kindi 

Classical nnd poetical description has handed down to ua 


tunie and environments that marked the nuptial ceremony in 

early times. Catnllus's glowing marriage-eong of "Julia and 

lius," among othei^, affords indication of the picturesi-[ue acco: 

ments that attendeil ancient spousal rites : — 

*' CUustrft pandiU;, janiUB : 
A'irgo adestt. Yidon' ut faces 
Splendidaa quatiunt comas ? " 

'* But tho doors siet opca stride, 
For die comes, — tho bride, tho bride I 
Pou't 3'ou see the torches there, 
How they shake their shining hair ? " 

Leigh ffunfs translation. 

And there is also allusion to the bridal music ; the soi 
Hymen, the glad ejiithalamia^ which crowned the feast with i 




armonious triuiupli ; and whicli form so momentous a feature in 
Jecilia'3 maniage-day : — 

" nymcn, Hymenaetts ; 
Slip thy snovj feet in socts 
Yellow-tinged, and girt tliy locks 
Witb sweet-flowered marjoram, 
And in saffron veil, come ; 

Meet the day with dancing pleasure, 
Singing out a nuptial measure, 
And with fine hand at the air 
Shake the pine-torch with a flare." 


"We are tlius enabled fi-om classic autliority, to image to our- 
selves liow tlie fair bride, Cecilia, was led forth, attired in a tunic 
of soft white wool, simply girdled with a slender cincture, also 
white and woollen; her long and glossy hair braided into six 
tresses, after the manner of the vestal virgins, — ^for so the Eoman 
usage permitted to brides on the day they were wedde<i, as a fare- 
well token of their maiden state ; a veil of flame-coloured hue 
floating around her face and figure, screening her from public gaze, 
while reserving her modest beauty to view of the attendant hover- 
ing angeL Hi 

Like Edmund Spenser's bride, in his own perfect Epithala* 

" Behold, whiles she h^^fore the altar stands, 
Hearing the holy priest that to her speaks 
And blesses her with his two happy hands 
How the red roses flush up in her cheeka f 
And the pure snow with goodly vermil stain, 
Like crimsin died in grain, 
That even the angels, which continually 
About the sacred altar do remain, 
Forget their service, and about her fly, . 
Oft peeping in her face, that seems more fair 
The more they on it stare ; , 



Bat her sad* eyes, 8till ftstend on the ground, 
Arc gorerned with goodly modesty, 
That suffers not one look to gkuncc awry, 
Which may let in a little thought unsound." 

So stood Cecilia, her eyes Lent groundward, submitting to 
lend external participation in the pagan rites going on around ber; 
but inwardly maintaining her isolation of purity and devout wo^ 
ship. In her bodily presence, but spiritual absence of abstracted 
meditation, the heathen observances proceeded ; the offering of wine | 
and milk took place, the ceremoniid of breaking the cake, and the 
final placing of her hand within that of Valerian, all went on &s 
if she took part in the celebration of which she was but passive 

At close of day, according to antique habitude, the newly | 
wedded wife was conducted to the dwelling of her husband. Va- 
lerian's house was situated in the traustiberine quarter of Rome;] 
and it was here that, in after times, the basilica, or church deili- 1 
cated to Saint Cecilia, was erected, to mark the spot of her tri- 
umplj. The nuptial torches lighted the way of the marriage pro] 
cession, as they approached the spousal dwelling. On the thresh- 
old, beneath the portico adorned with white draperies, amid 
which hung garlands of flowers and green foliage. Valerian stc 
awaiting Cecilia. There are two allusions in Shakespeare's Coric 
Innus that illustrate this ancient Roman bridid observance, Au^ 
fidius iays : — " Morft dances my rapt heart, than when I first m} 
wedded mistress saw bestride my threshold." 

^^^ And Coriolanus himself, in the cheerfulness of his conquering 

^^ courage and safety, exclaims : — 

" ! let me clip you 
In armB U sound, as when I woo'd; in heart 
As merrj, as when our nuptial day was done, 
And tapers burn'd to bed ward." — 

♦ Serious — steadfast. 




Cecilia crossed the threshold: tbey Ijiuiiglit her fair water, 
emblem of purity ; they gave her a key, symLol of the household 
duties henceforth to he committed to her charge ; tliey led her to 
a seat ujxjn a fleece of uiispim w(X>l, in token of tlie domestic 
labom^ she woidd have to perform. Then the wedding guests 
passed, with the young couple into the Triclinittm, or apartment 
where the mamage supper was served. During the repast, an 
epithalamium was sung, which celebrated the union of Valerian 
and Cecilia : a choir of musicians filled the hall with theii' melodi- 
ous voices in concord with resounding instruments, and with the 
rich ontpouring of the full-toned organ. Amidst this swelling 
harmony, Cecilia chanted softly to herselt^ lifting her soul to God 
in praise and adoration, and praying him to keep her immaculate, — 
ill heart and body, — evermore. [** Cantantibus organis, Cecilia in 
corde suo soli Domino decautabat, dicens : Fiat cor meum et cor- 
pus meum immaculatum ut non confundar." Acta S. OeeiUcBj\ For 
this pious^act of spiiitnal elevation, shaping itself in musical heart- 
utterance, Cecilia has been ever since regarded as the patron Saint 
of Music. 

The feast ended, a band of matrons conducted the trembling 
steps of the bride to the door of the nuptial-chamber ; where ita 
rich decorations — ^in all tlie beauty of Roman taste and luxury^ — 
shone with a tempered charm ; amid the sOence and darkened light, 
affording delicious contrast with the glare and tumult of the wed- 
ding banquet. The bridegroom followed ; and the matrons retired. 

When Cecilia found herself alone with Valerian, her young hna- 
band, a holy calm fell upon her spirit ; and she said to him, with 
Ler gentle voice soimding sweeter and softer than ever, amid the 
quiet of the night-scene : — " Dear friend, I have a secret to confide 
to thee : swear to me that thou ^dlt respect and preserve it." — 
Valerian swore ^vith ardour to keep her secret, and that nothing 



_._•_-. ..'.::■ - r---il '.-. — -Li^-rz. tLrii,- replied 

. .... ■ .: - ■'_ v.-:L— ---rz-^: — iii me to preserve 

V . . -^ -i'. . - *: '- .- It 1 -r-j L-r. iiil slio'^er on tliee 
-- : L-- ,-..:' ■..:_'L.- :._ L " 7" : J r.i . 1." Thereupon she 
... - _ .. ■ : —,_! v^LTiT/ :lz.I iz_=iJC3Lioy *lie LiJ 

. ^ • ■ - ■ - -.^■\.. - •- • 

V"; J ..... • ■ -• :' ".-.L iZ:?-B-T:f-.l It?:':::!-?: — "Ceci- 

; ■.-:-:■.■.•-■. :r -:ri :- -r '^h-:-:.! this Au- 

'" . ".■-.-.■ - - _: I :--■.■ ,:'J_:.f ' '"- :.r the Angel of 

. " '. > : .".. -' ■_.■: ". i: L: I z.- 1 zjl:.z :h:'ii lovest an- 

■ r .- ■ . .r: ^;:i::-v>.r:e ':.::! Li- anl thvseir 

\ • ■ . . " .. _. -^ ■.'..".:_'_'_-. iii. .;- 11- vrc:?5iveiiess: — 

'".•." ■...".. .- ." ".. " " 1-.;" .■. i.i-.>. i: il.u o.iiientcst to 

..-.', :" . ■ ..:.;•> :' r.r. J. ■ ir:f..;.:i.r, L:' tliou wilt be 

. :..;.."..._. ./ /•.•'.■'_- :::_:i> ./:•.•■'-:- ii. :lie heavens, 

- . . . "'.".."■. :"... -V. _:•.". - "_.: ■ ;.:.'lz5 y-iT me to guarJ, 

■ A- .l ■ ". . > ".., :. .: :■'..,.'.'. 1 1' .".■ :--:. : : :Lv en 1 thii: I may 
-.. '.'..' . -'- ~ ^ " .\^\.-^ v.." v;.. *^..l1.i. r::l:^.l: "Thereisa 
■- .:./.: .^^ :....:* 1 ■_ ..:..-:.:.. t^. :!;..i: :l.:y m^y Vhold tlie 
--:^.^ . :' -• ■"."■ •A".^ ■■.•-: •:..;;.- I r.:: I :Li< .:'! niiin:" said 
''. '.:-.::; " • ; : :.^. .. . .: :'... ,■:;. ' ■.- -'„: Ay::.;ii W,;y." rvtuTiieJ 
C\-i.:.:: --v.-.,.!. u---\ :^. ;: -v.^jLvf: :L; tL-v.l v:ill::irv column. 
T„;:\ :*.. .: ■ ■": -J. .\ > ..-, ••.- ^v..,":::s v.!.:. ;;^k iilms ..-t piis^er?- 
" y. T.'.>. ; . V ' . ; 1." uvo .' j:o:? <: :i:y i:vv;^^:r;::: interest : anJ 
-y >r:j:t: i^ k::.v.:: : :;.;;:;:. A- :1: :: ^;; roiwli^st them, salute 
tuviii ill :-.:y zuimv, i.iv::._; tl'.-.:.i i.:y ' o'^^ouioriori. aii«l say to them: 
' C'l'oilia sen-U mo t> yo;:, th:;: yen may eomluo: me to the holy Ur- 
1 ;i:: : I have a I'livate i:i':<<:ig.? r- • convey to him/ — 'When thou 
come-t iut«.» th.:* prosL-nce ••: the sainted old man, repeat to him 
the \^ord< I have said unto thee : he will purity thee, and ix)be 



fhee in fresh Tvhite gai'inents. At tliy return, thou wilt find me 
still here awaiting thee ; thou wilt Lehold the Angel, then become 
thy fnend also ; and thou wilt obtain fi'om him all that thou shalt 
ask of him." 

With ttie first dawn of day, Valerian set forth towards the re- 
treat of Url>an ; and all fell out acc<:)rduig as Cecilia had pre-de- 
scribed. He hastened back, clothed In the white baptismal gar- 
ment of a new-made Christian ; which however attracted no obser-. 
ration in the streets of Rome, where cloaks and tunics of that hue 
were no rarity. lie went straight to the door of the chamber 
where he had left Cecilia, and softly opened it. On entering, he 
perceived her kneeling in prayer, while near to her stood the An- 
gel of the Lord ; his face radiant with celestial light ; his wings 
with innumerable colours. The spirit of bliss held in his hand two 
coronals of intertwined roses and lilies. One of these he placed on 
the head of Cecilia, the other on that of Valerian, as he said, in 
heavenly accents, to the young couple i — " Deserve to keep these 
crowns by the puiity of your hearts, and the sanctity of your 
bodies : it is from the garden of paratlise that I bring them to you. 
These flowers will never ftule, tlieir perfume will be ever fresh and 
gracious ; but no one will lie able to behold them, save by merit- 
ing the privilege, like yourselves, through purity and implicitness 
to Heaven's wiU. Now, O Valerian, for thine acquiescence with 
the chaste asj^iration of Cecilia, Christ, the Son of God, has sent 
me to thee, to hearken whatever boon thou desii'est that he should 

The young man, full of pious gratitude, feU at the feet of the 
divine messenger, and thus ventured to utter his request : — " No- 
thing in life is more dear to me than the affection of my brother; — 
it would be cruel to me, who am now freed from peril, were this 
Moved brother to be left in danger of destruction. I beseech of 

«AryT CX€IL. 


ht kith dflivered myj 
irr of Him in the coDfi?ssicm| 

; tke ^iriiBof l^BB at the ikh 
hmi asked a Loou < f 

kaa tlioa to re<. ' ' ■■ - 
1 «a Wm tiroask Cecilia, hi^ ^ 
oT thT lirolkcr, thtt botii 
cf TIM iny tfttM d» pdi& of VHtpdooi.'' 

Ike Aagid Tf. MKiiiifti to tke ^akki\ leaving Valeriim and 
Ceq&ito tke pkmlMla of their koiy i^^tmrm They w^re still inj 
beadfe co m e iMtiUB y when Tib«ti» came into the room, impatietf] 
to aee hift wdRidoved h rodi ef Yalemn, to whom Ceiiliii- being 
now eayo Q Bcd , he eafated her afiectioiiately aa hi^ sister. In 
in^ towards her togire her his fraternal kiaa, he smelt the delicic 
fitagfaace that emanated fitaa the maid^^s beantifol hair, m 
odoroiia spriog ilowers; yet it was then the winter season. At 
expresion of ts or pn s e eso^wd him ; and the yonng couple rev< 
to him the wondrooa secret of the heavenly crowxks they woi 
imparting to him the means by which he m^t not only beholt 
but obtain one for himself With the e^er&eaa of the neophyte, 
Valerian poured forth his tale to his brothers ear; while with th< 
confirmed ardour of the long Mthful Christian, Cecilia uttered he 
pen*na*sive exhortations to Tiburtios. 

Their combined arguments produced the desired fruit ; Tibi 

tiu» wjw no le?« desirous than they to fulfil his newly-awakenoc 

ra^piration to l)ecomo a Christian ; and it wtis not long ere the tw( 

irotliern repaii'ctl together to the holy Urbau'd retreat, to seel 

V>a]>ti»«m f«»r the young Koman, from the venerable iK)ntiin 


For a time, j)eacefulnes.s and calm life were theirs ; but on th< 

-- " 

^vefna! months, "war called tHe l^mperor 
Severos away from Rome, and tlie executive legal power w:as vest- 
in tlie hands of deputy rulers during his absence. The man 
fjio filled the office of Prsefectus urLis, — a civil function^ differing 
>m that of Praefectus pi-^etorio, — was Turcius Almacliius, noto- 
pous for the hatred he bore the Chris tianSj. No sooner, there- 
ire, -was the emperor gone, whose leniency to the sect was well 
blown, thah Almachios commenced a series of persecutions of un- 
relenting fuiy. Ills ferocious malignity fii-st attacked the humbler 
^Jasses of Romans who professed the denomiced faith ; and while 
consigned their living bodies to torture and death, he denied to 
leir dead bodies the posthumous qonsolation of ceremonioas 
barial. He knew what importance the association attached to this 
token of respect ; and how fi-equently, in their zeal to render 
the last offices to their martp-ed brethren, they themselves incur- 
red a similar fate. To repose amid that valorous phalanx of 
devotees, who had died for their faith, and who lay beneath tlie 
mould of the crypts in graves bearing the simple, but beautiful in- 
scription of two emphatic words, — ^^ Ifipace^'^ was esteemed a priv- 
ilege well worth risking life for. 

Valerian and Tiburtius were among the most active of those 
who hazarded peril for the sake of giving Christian burial to 
•Clu'istian martyrs ; and it was thus that they came to be denounced 
to Almachius as zealous partisans of the proscribed sect. He had 
the two brothers arrested, and brought before him ; seeking to 
intimidate the young patricians before he proceeded to extremity 
with them. 

But they both, Tsith the nobleness and courage of their re- 
spective natures, scorned to 'avail themselves of the opportunity 
which the venal magistrate gave them for evading confession of their 
fiiith ; they said enough to let it clearly be seen that they belonged 



ther favoar«d ; and AhnirhiiH, nnwiUiiig to pi 
of deatk tgiinst joodis of tliflir rsmk, eondemned tiif 
be feqorged widi rods, Rndiog tbat tlds £uled to salnlae ih 
he senteaeed the bnrtben to be candocted to the foortli mMsrj 
column cm tBe Appian Wsf, near to wbidi there was a temple of 

Here, they were to be asked to bum incense before the idol; 
ad if they retoed to do so, they were to 5ofier decapitatioii. 

Ere Valerian coold return home to say. one word of farewien to 
Cedlia, he and his brother were led awmy to their ordeal ; bat it ii 
said that she foond means to meet them ooce more, on their way to 
the appointed spot, and that she had the eonrage to bid them go 
forth, as soldiers of Christ, and win their laurels of life eternal. 
They met death valorously ; and the vigilance of some devoted 
friends among the Cnthfol, secured to Cecilia the moumixil privi- 
lege of enshrouding the mangled remains of Valerian and Hburtitis, 
and depositing them reverentially in a place of sepulture on the 
left Mq of the Appian Way. 

Kot long was Cecilia in following the two young brothers ifl 
their martyrdom. Soon she was summoned to appear before 
Almachius, in order that she might abjure her suspected faith; so 
far from tliix, however, her recorded colloquy with the tyramious 
praifect, only served to proclaim her steadfast adherence to the 
creed she had adopted, and openly to avow herself that, which, 
secretly, Hhe had long been, — ^a Christian. 

He,— iliwiroiw that her death should be as private as possibla, 
to avoid scantlal and tumult, as well as possible reprehension 
rruni \\iv <»n»peror, should Sevcrus come to learn what had taken 
j)hun» in bin ubnence, — ^gave orders that Cecilia should be con- 
dutitcd liuok to her own mansion, and there shut up in the bath* 
nxuii uiiai^hiMl l<> it, called liy the I^>nians the caldarun/L A fire 



to "be kept up iu tlie liypocaust, or stove ; so that the virgin 
sirtyr thus left without air, beneath the heated roof, would inhale 
itli with the l)m'ning vapour, and obviate the necessity of a lic- 
coming to immolate her. 

But the pncfect's cowardly expedient fiiiled. A miraculous 
losphere seemed to envii'on her ; and, like the three who were 
into the fiery fiirnace, without a hair of their heads being 
the saintly Cecilia remained in the heated bath scathles^, 
Waiting until her Heavenly Spouse should call her to him. 
This prodigy being reported to Almaehius, he beheld his desire 
' avoid shedding the blood of a Eoman lady frustrated ; he 
efore sent a lictor to behead her on the very spot where she 
escaped death. So eagerly did the virgin martyr welcome 
I blow which was to deliver her from earthly bondage, that the 
tttioner's energy was paralyzed, and his ill-assured arm could 
strike with certJlinty at a victim thus submissively ready to 
ounter her fate. Thrice he brandished aloft his ^reapon, and 
thrice it fell wnth ineffectual force on the neck of Cecilia, An ex- 
iting law forbade more than three blows dealt by the headsman ; 
if the third did not kill, the suflferer was left to die. Thus the 
lictor left the virgin, stretched on the bath-room floor, weltering 
itt her blood, mortally wounded, but not yet expinng. 

The doors remaining open after the lictor's departure, a crowd 
^ Christians who had been awaiting the consummation of the 
sacrifice, made their way in, struck with grief and horror. The 
geatle victim smiled faintly on those holy poor whom she had so 
long charitably cared for ; and even in this supreme instant de- 
^oted herself to their cause by addressing kindly words of encour- 
^ment and exhortation to them to be firm in faith : and when 
*fcey brought the venerable Urban to her side, she still showed 
Wiiffection for them, by bequeathing to him her worldly goods 


ior zxKSs ixsLKiL X1IS5 jMj snr ; w lu^ i2^^ exerdng Herself i 

KtHd& Her yom^ and virgmol 
«Ail8i%^ode; her limbs la^dji 
■ecFfvrtiieodier patiently; Leri 
» jidded Itfr last 8^ ; andthoa^- 
I of mil u l td maadlioGd, an Italian ai^st, I 
a naiUe i^gnre o£ Sunt Cecilia, ^Li 

Her iHHHBs wfvr depmited by Fc^ Urban in ihe crypt 
predfiMBOt; OJiita^, ^ad pccpared lor tlie sepnlclire 

, the .^ppian Way ; and it was not 
BX oartmiaft aftcrwardi^ tkat pope E^dial L exhumed tbo 
naityr 8 body, and eanded it to be teneported to her transdl 
banilin On a i b B oq ueBt nnffiiniij when by Pontifical autlioritj 
the fiaint^ tomb wis i^ain opened and examined, it is aver 
thai the body was discovered in the same attitude and Testnre 
had worn 4 the moment of death; and then it was that Madei 
PBCombent statue was eonlptared as an eflSgy for her monumei 
A beantifbl incident is related as att'MfMHng this second homage ' 
Saint Cecilia*s remains ; and it is in the tme poetical spirit 
Catholic reverence for legendary associaticHL TVhile the oeremou 
of opening the virgin martyr's coflin proceeded, the usnal bi 
of incense in the sacred edifice was forborne ; on account, as 
was said, of leaving free to be perceived the delidons odour 
roaes and Itlies that emanated in undying freshness from the si 
in which the saint*s body reposed* 

The legend of Saint Cecilia, is,- throughout, one of the 
lovely that the world's history records. It associates, in one for 
some of the most noble and gracious of humanity's adornmei 
—youth, beauty, purity, harmony, holiness ;— all have their sha 
in this exquisite story. 


[icer, witli liis taste for refined cliai'm in simplicitj, took it 
>f Lis Canterbury Tales ; and lie lias told it with liis wont- 
Tlie two beautiful lines describing Cecilia's singing witli- 
f^ at the maiTiage feast, are well known : — 

" And wliile tliat the organs maden melody, 
To God alone thus in Mre Lert song she." 

it, describing Tibm^tius eoteiing the room where his broth- 
[ new-married sister have just had the interview with the 
told with 'all the exquisite freshness of primitive inuo- 

" And with that word Tiburce Lis brother come ; 
And whan that ho the savour undcrnome • 
AYhich that the roses and the lilies cast : — 
Within Lis heart he gan to wonder fast, 
And said ; — ' I wonder this time of the year 
WLennes that sweet savt>ur eometh so, 
Of rosea and lilies that I smcl here : 
For though I had hem in min hondcs two, 
The saronr might in me no deper go :— 
The gwetos smel that in min herte I find, 
Hath changed me all in another kiud/ — 
Valerian said : * Two corones han we, 
Snow-white and rose-red, that shiuen clear, 
"Which that thine eyen han no might to see : 
And as thoa smcllcat hciu thurgh my praiere, 
So shall thou seen hem, leve brother dear, 
If it so be thou wilt, withouten sloutho 
Beleve aright and know the veray trouthc.' " 

early mmtp-doras of the Christian Church afford beauti- 
^ects for dramatic, as well as poetic treatment ; and it is a 

that they have not more frequently been made themes of 
Corneille has taken for the hero and title of one of his 
-dramas, " Polyeucte," a martyr who suffered under the Em- 

ertjome — nTidertook — took in subordinately ; — as it were, dimly perceived Iho 
be flowera he could not see. • 


^50; exactlr two decades laiof 
IVer wio hare had the privileg! 
tke emi ta^ actns^ "RirJifl, perform the po 
I ty» ff^^i v2l Iwre vTCossed ft 'wo&derftd emlxxUifl 
m ve mmy eonceive them to hsft 
ar adkerenoe to the proscribed^ 
to sedl hA£ vhh Iife4>lood, Her entrance n 
tW iti^ m ^at aaiflB wMte tuQie, — like a rictim veailx to st 
Ji the siake» — her loir pat hack from her hroir, her bare < 
hdd to he^TCB, ker tee IbuUwib with the light of new-peroa 
tnrth» — w M fiam. cmot aeen, aever to be forgotten, so hn 
IT lastSL And ioefiiblT thriTliiig, too, that voice, in 
vHend thoee kcndd wocds : — 

Ma ^silk lesTcu, et me les Timt d'oarrir. 
Je T«is, je BMs, >• cTMHJe Mis dMibute ; 
Pe « to ■fc f i n x Mug tm mm rob t a p tafe ; 
Je ssbcsuxBsaa «■€•,— mVsk-eepoi&k Maaa dlt P 

[Mjk«AMil,ia djiDg^ltts left ae Ua&iUi ; 
His Uood shed ^ooBM^mesitritlMMit ratb. 
Hath ooseelM alae eves, a&d dkowa me tbe traih ; 
I M«, I km<ifw, I hdint^ mj nomVn new adris'd ; 
. Witli thist&rice bkaaedUood Uioa sec-^i me baptised ; 
I'm a cHUSTiAx, in short, — needs tbere laore to be said ? **] 

The tone and look that accompanied tho^e two syllables, 
*rois," were incomparably fine — it was the very soul of fervenj 

'•Vivia Perpetua,^ another of the early Christian 

forms the subject of a beautiful dramatic poem, which dese: 

be widely kno^ra. It is by Sarah Flower Adams, a lady of 

taste, and earnest feelmg, who had a sister gifted with a music 

• talejit ; both fitting followers of Saint Cecilia in Art and in '. 



>n ; and both, like lier, now dead. Two passages from tlie 
Perpetua" may serve to show the poem's excellence* and 
illustrate the subject under discussion : — 

"Wliat is a Christian? 

Truth above all, — it is the Christian's word ; 

Lovo over all, — it is the Christian's soul ; 

Lifo beyond all, — it is the Christian's hope : 

To lay down lifo for Christ who liv'd 

For Truth and Love, and died for Life Immortal, — 

This is to be a Christian. — I am ready." 

le second passage glowmgly describes that spiritual desu'e 
lest adoration, which bm-ns within the human heart-, and 
> a fire of faith strong enough to meet the fires of martyrdom 

fivia. " Oj have you not 

A life within, that asks another life 
For its unfoldiDg ? llast not felt thy soul 
To swell and press against this liraitiug earth ? 
Hast never thirsted for a perfect Tratli ? 
Hast never longM to meet with what should fill 
Full to its largo desire thy sense of praise ? 
To praise — upraise infinitely, wcro enough. 
To dwell for ever with the Great Perfection, 
The one untiring, evcr-inovJng Spirit 
Of Good, — what were it ! Then to have rcveal'd 
By light, the element wherein ho dwells, 
His mighty plans, wrought out of one great law, 
The law of Love. No longer mystery : 
Faith turn'd to sight, as promis-d of the Lord. — 
Think what joy, what loving adoration, 
"Would hurst the aoog of praise from forth our souls. — 
Praise that had gain'd increas'd intelligence. 
To meet the work of His intelligence, — 
When, with our uptura'd eyes, wo reached the height, 
Where, like the beams of his own sua on the mountain, 
Rested the all-seeing gaze of the Creator, 
Over the world he made ; and he proclaimM 
That— All was ^ood J »' % 



The exact dates of neither Saint Cecilia's birth nor mart^ 
are Known ; it is merely ascertained that she met her doom in 
epi-ing of the year 230, But the day appointed for the 
memoration of Saint Cecilia's anniversary, is the 2 2d of Noveml 
and it has been the graceful custom to celebrate the festival of 1 
patron-saint of Music with a vocal and instrumental performa 
in her honour. A little volume, containing an account of these i 
sical celebrations of Saint Cecilia's Day has lately been put for 
by William Henry Husk ; and among the collection of odes he ' 
appended, Dryden's, Pope's, and Congreve's are those most (lis 
guished in name. They are each characteristic of their several j 
thor's styles, although treating of the same theme. The pa 
strictly relative to Saint Cecilia herself, shall be quoted here, aai 
fording illustrative evidence of this remark Fii*st, Dryden's ;- 
Ijust and vigorous : — 

" Thus long ago, 
"S^re heaving bellows learn'd to blow, 
While organs yet were mute ; 
Tmiothcus, to his breathing flute 

And sounding lyre, 
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle Boft desire. 
At last divine Cecilia came, 
InventrcBS of the vocal frame ; — 
The awect eathuaiaat, from her sacred store, 
Eiilarg'd the narrow bounds, 
And added length to solemn Boundsj 
With natnre^a mother-wit, and arts unknown before. 
Let old Tiraotheua yield the prize, 
Or both divide the crown ; 
• He rais'd a mortal to the skies ; 

She drew an angel down." 

Then Pope's ; smooth, neat, and well-tui'ned * — 

" JIusic the fiercest grief can charm, 
And fate's severest rage disarm ; 
Music can soften pain to ease, 
^ And make despair and madness please : 


Oar joys below it can improre, 

And antedate the bliss above. 

This the divine Cecilia found, 

And to her Maker^a praise confin'd the sound. 

"When the fall organ joins the tonefol quire, 

Th' immortal pow'rs incline their ear : 
Borne on the swelling notes, oar soals aspire 
While solemn airs improve the sacred fire ; 

And angels lean from Heaven to hear 
Of Orpheus now no more let poets tell, 

To bright Cecilia greater powV is gir'n 
nis numbers raised a shade from hell, 

Her^s lift the soul to Heav'n.-' 

\jid lastly, Congreve's ; courtly, polished, — almost as bowingly 
int as one of his own comedy fine gentlemen. We seem to see 
Phcebus, in embroidered coat and ruffles — ^like Mirabellor Bell- 
r, at the feet of Millamant or Belinda — ^laying his harp and 
laurels at the feet of Saint Cecilia, in the hoop-petticoat and 
dered head-dress of Mrs. Bracegirdle : — 

" Cecilia comes, with holy rapture fiU'd, 

To case the world of care. 
Cecilia, more than all the Muses skillM, 

Phoebus himself to her must yield, ■ 

And at her feet lay down 
nis golden harp and laurel crown ; 
The soft enervate lyre is drown'd 
In the deep organ's more majestic sound. 
In peals the swelling notes ascend the skies ; 
Pcq)etual breath the swelling notes supplies, 

And lasting as her name 

Who form'd the tuneful frame, 
Th' immortal music never dies." 

5aint Cecilia forms a blended impersonation of Christian faith, 
ae music and feminine purity. 


Iaedlt coald a finer exemplar of tlie principle of self-abnegation 
» pointed out tlian Heloise. She formed an embodiment of that 
[CDerons passion of love which prefers the honour of the beloved 
iljeet to its own. That noble affection which lives and has its 
inttlih in the welfare of another — the chosen one. That affection 
rhose ambition is exalted, — for it seeks the glory of another self, 
nstead of self-aggrandizement ; whose aspirations are all disintcr- 
sted, having for aim the advantage of the beloved one, forgetful of 
[)eisonal distinction. Peculiarly a womanly affection, — content to 
merge all considerations of individual fame (even womanhood's 
fame itself) in that of the man preferred, proud of his renown, 
and humbly willing to remain obscure, and even defamed for his 

Her tragical histoiy may be gathered from the celebrated 
' Letters" written by Abelard, and herself, which foi-tunately time 
ias preserved ; thus enabling us to trace, almost in autobiograph- 
<*al form (the incidents of the story in his, the inner essence, its 
ruth of respective character in hers), the private particulars of 
Wo Ijeings who played so conspicuous a part in the "World's great 
prama, seven centuries since. In Abelards letter, which was 
*<ldreAjed to a friend, who had suffered severe misfortune, and 




whom lie wislied to inspire with fortitude, from a detail of grie 
far exceeding those he strove to console, and indeed, almost tine 
ampled in calamity, — are detailed the afflicting circumstances 
his and Heloise's life up to that peiied ; and in the letters 
Heloise, are revealed the intimate vestiges of character, and mora 
confomiation that marked each. Tier own character is brightl; 
visible in the warm outpourings of the woman-heart, overflowing 
through every line and every word; whOe that of Abekrdi 
latently legible in the appeals she with such fervour and eloquence 
addresses to him. 

Heloise was one of those women, in whom a strong intellect ia 
combined with equal strength of feeling ; in whom ardour of luijid 
is co-existent with the most glowing generosity of soul. From 
childhood, she was distinguished by mental ca2)acity and affection' 
ate disposition. From earliest youth she applied herself to sdenoe 
and philosophy ; and became mistress of the Latin, Greek, m 
Hebrew languages. Very beautiful, she diligently cultivated het 
understanding, which was naturally vigorous. She received he: 
fii'st education in the convent of Argenteml, near Paris; i 
dm'ing girlhood, pursued her studies under the roof of her wadi 
Fulbert, who was a canon in the cathedral of Paris, and almoni 
to King Henry I. of France. 

Her uncle, proud of Heloise's attainments,— rare at any time ii 
a woman, but especLolly so at the period when she lived, — whic^ 
had already won her a name in the world, was eager to promot 
her tuition. When therefore Abelard appeared in Paris, in th 
full lustre of his scholastic reputation, and proposed to enter Fa 
bert's house as a boarder, gi^"ing instruction to the niece as 
equivalent, the canon, — who was no less parsimonious than violftil 
tempered, caught at this proposal, which affoivled so fair an oppi 
tunity of fulfilling his views. Abelard's owu words remai'k upo 

lly of the Ciauon's "beliavioiir ; thus " confiding,'' as it 
ere, " a tender lambkin to tlie care of a famished wolf." The 
Ivantages to be gained by the plan so blinded Folbert to its 
KDgerB, that he actually placed his jonug niece nnder the sole direo- 
on of her new preceptor ; begging him to devote all the hours he 
Duld spare, to her instruction^ and went so far as to empower 
Ibelard not only to see her at aU hom-g, but, if he found her neg- 
igent or inattentive, to use chastisement. 

Tlius, the designs of Abelard were offered every facility for 
nccess, by the imprudence of the uncle ; and, placed in this con- 
itant proximity with his beautiful pupil, he faUed not to take full 
advantage of his position. Heloise was but seventeen, when she 
irst mot Abelard ; while he was a man of thirty-nine. Hers was 
he very age at which a girl of her temperament and her endow- 
tnents, was likely to become enamoured of a man of his age and 
tWacter. He came to her surrounded by all the influences of his 
fiarned reputation, his graces of person and manner, his scholarly 
Kod varied accomplishments. She herself makes touching alluSon 
this. It has an effect, as if recording to posterity her lover's 
!nt^ and appealing to it in extenuation of her early fault. 

ong the qualities that distinguished you,*' writes she to 

y years afterwards, " you possessed two gifts especially, 

must have won yon the heart of any woman : I mean, those 

t and musician. I cannot think that these accomplishments 

I. ever before possessed by a philosopher in equal degree. It 

us, that, as a relaxation fi'om your philosophical studies, you 

by way of pastime, numberless verses and love-songs, 

poetic thought and musical gi*ace, found an echo in every 

Your name flew from month to mouth ; and your stanzas 

aned graven in the memory of even the most ignorant, by the 

itneFis of your melodies. x\nd ah ! in consequence, how the 


jtml But as 

sjBame soon 
& was rcMBed.^ 
^ ^ ^ Habefoo 

«f ik lodBittL Se hid ■» votWei^ bd fisnale gmik 

fli Ittnd to point (Ml 

Aided be 
knF« naped w1iole9oixie li 
k> ga^fecr fiJIer and wis^ 
fivoi tkem. As it vai^ ^e svp be iflttgined to liM 
Tovm cndfr aad teo^nge oooBtraetioa of soclilioobtf 
[«k atefied ; and tkafc from ^oa— joofid widk Ker own ge&eniqi 
[juture— iiie grew to be oTOHrciBaai aad txmUSmg, wbere slieg»?i 
• best. It k probable tbal ber ge^Stitk entbisasm implkitl 
Itnteipfeted p«B^^ fike liie Ukmmg qm from Fbito^— ^M 
wbib the loTcr aid tbe beloi^d bATe once arrived at tLe saD 
pcmit, tbe proTiDoe of eaeb being dMngo^ied ; the one aUe \ 
m tbe coltrradon of tbe mind and in tbe acquirement c 
every otber exceBenee; the other yet requiring education, ai 
i(y]dng the posBesacm of wisdom ; th^i alone, hj the union < 
tbea6 conditions^ and in no other c£ise, 13 it honourable for d 
belored to yield up the affections to the lover.'' 

Prom Im character of professor of divinity, numbering amoi 
hit icholiirs those who subsequently proved some of the most en 
ncnt mcjn of the time — (a pope, nineteen cardinals, more thi 
fifty nrchliinhopfi and bwhops, hmoiig ecclesiastics ; and the almq 
incredible nural>cr of five thousand disciples in all, are asserted 
have owed their education to Al>elard's school of instruction)- 
from \iM liigh reputation — ^from being one of the most able diali 





nans and keen disputants then living — ^from bis attractions of 
erson and manner, then in the prime of mature manhood — from 
lis more refined and tasteful acquirements combined with knowl- 
edge, — A])elai'd could scarcely faU of becoming master of the whole 
heart and mind of a girl whose pre nous pursuits had moulded 
Iwr to a loving reverence for intellectual supremacy. Her reading 
W made the ancient philosoi>hers her book-idols; and now she be- 
held embodied before her tlieii' living representative in this gifted 
man, possessed not only of their powers, but of a handsome person, a 
most winning tongue, and an all-absorljiug passion for herself Well 
skill ed in the arts of casuistry, practised in the subtlest and smooth- 
est forms of sophistiy, he was at no loss to beguile the judgment, 
while he fascinated the affections of his willing conquest. From 
heing pupil, Ueloise became mistress to the man she loved better 
tlwn bei*self ; and, from that time, made his will— not her own — 
the rule of her life. The uncle — obtuse as he was rash — was the 
«8t to discover their intercoui'se ; and when he did — ^rash as he 
^^ obtuse — burst into fury against this shame to his family, and 
^proached HeloLse with, making herself and him the scandalous 
^"^kof Paris, The lovera were separated for a time ; but Abelard 
pok advantage of a temporary absence of Fnlbert's, to convey 
■^loise away, disguised as a man, into Brittany, where she re- 
ined with a sister of Abelard's called Benise, and there gave 
J^th to a son, whom she named Astrolalms. 

Fnlbert's rage knew no bounds at this public proof of domestic 
"hmy; and AbeLxi'd, to appease his wrath, went* to him, and 
sred to repair the injury his family honor had sustained by 
nying Ileloise, on condition that the union should be kept a 
it. Repenting the a(!t of treachery he had committed, Abe- 
was willing to make the only reparation in his power ; but 
owing that it involved the niin of .all his hopes of ecclesiastical 



preferment, and even — constituted as letters tlien were — tlie di 
struction of all his literary ambifion and prospects of learned fame^ 
lie affixed this condition to Ms proffer of redress. Fnlbert readily 
promised compliance, only too rejoiced to secure a proposal beyond 
his utmost expectation ; for such a marriage, besides salving hk 
wounded reputation, would secure his niece's union witli a mw 
whose scholastic renown rendered his alliance a high distinction. 

But the person most nearly interested in the project, viewed it 
with far less selfish eyes. Abelai'd, on arri ving in Britt any to commu- 
nicate what her uncle and himself had agreed upon between them, 
found Heloise wholly averse Ixom the proposed marriage. Ever 
more solicitous for him than for herself, she foresaw, in this step, 
his ruin, and she chose rather to abide by her own. He Iwd 
already taken degrees in clerical office ; and the clergy of his po^ 
suasion are prohibited from wedlock. She knew, that were he tO' 
mai'ry, all hope of advancement a^ an ecclesiastic was precluded; 
and she was aware that unless ordained, his prospects of attaining 
fame as a man of letters were at once quenched. Literary eminence 
was at that time almost wholly confined to the priesthood ; and, 
were Abelai^d to put it oot of his power to become a dignitary of tlie 
church, he could hardly dream of acquiring that renown which his 
talents were 8ui*e to command, had they fi'ee scope for their exercise. 

Heloise placed all these inducements before her lover ; urged 
all the ai'guments which her erudition could so well supply from 
philosophicid and theological authority, that might prevail vfiik 
him to give 'up the thought of taking a wife ; — she cited the 
Apostl ^'a words, the Saint's exhortations agcdnst assuming the yob 
of miiniage ; represented the loss which the chui'ch would sustain, 
and the detriment philosophy Arould suffer, if so shining a light fu! 
Abelai'd's genius were withdrai^n from them ; and, in short, lefl 
no plea unadvanced which could suppoi-t his cause f^ainst her owii| 

31ie even went so far aa to assure him that she wouhl prefer owing 
all to his love and voluntary faith, unshackled by any tie. With 
ft woman's romance of generosity^in striving to persuade him 
into what she thought would be for his best advantage— she made 
It seem her ovm wish that they should remain united by affection 
only, without the ties of marriage. 

This piece of prodigal self-i^negation has been curiously mis- 
conceived. Ill judging 80 exceptional a character as that of He- 
it is impossible to gauge it by ordinary rules ; but conven- 
minds will pronounce conventionally, however singularly 
»?e their own the mind they contemplate. With tears and 
prayers she sought to dissuade Abelard from making the sacrifice 
he meditated ; but finding that he was bent upon its fulfilment, she 
yielded to his wiU— as she did from first to last in all things — 
and accompanied him back to Paris, that the marriage might be 
privately performed. 

Here, a few days after their return, having passed the whole 

it in a secluded church, praying with holy vigil and pious ob- 

ance, Abelard and Holoise went through the nuptial ceremony 

ia presence of her uncle and a few trusted friends ; quitting each 

other immediately it had taken place, living sejiarately in great re- 

^ement, and seeing each other but rarely, and with every pre- 

<^ntion, in order to keep their marriage concealed. 

But Fulbert, forgetful of all his promises, and thoughtful only 
*^ the affi-ont his family honor had received, lost no time in spread- 
the iiict pf the marriage, as publicly as possible,, to efface the 
ler scandal. Heloise, on the contrary, solicitous only for Abe- 
d's interest, and convinced that Ms being known as a married 
would annihilate his advancement, persisted in denying the 
|ttrcamstance. Her uncle, fariousat her steadflvst adherence to her 
^W8 of what was right; enraged that she should be more careful 



^another's repautioa thaa her own, cod jealoiB oX her d 
* tmj anthoritj but his — ^&r he MMpceted Abdtfd of iici 
ber conduct — vowed to mmke hk iikee repent her perduicitT; 

l«B she readed in the aame houe with him, he had no dif!: ^' 

"carrring hl^ threat into effsct. Aheburd, c<nni^ to the kii 
of Fulbert's hanhness towatds his niece^ rescned her from 

iitment by taking her away fron» the canon^s house, and yii!^ 
her in the convent of Argenteoil, where she had beai brought of 
Thi§ step only the more roused Fulbert's wrath, who saw in it, ai 
he thought, the desire of a villain to rid himself of a woman^ 

Idaims to be acknowledged aa his wife, by indncing her to beMOl 
a nun. Blindly rash and violent as ever — goaded into ferodb 
now — he planned a vengeance of pre-eminent cruelty and wicked 

^11689. He found means to execute his barbarous scheme, by hrib 
ing Al>elard'd servant to admit some hired ruffians into his master; 
chamber at midnight, who there committed a foul deed which lef 
the unhappy husband no other resource than to retire into i 
monastery, and grieve out the remainder of his life in seclusioi 
and celibacy. Heloise, not 6nly sharing, but anticipating his im 
roolfltion, took the veil at Argenteuil ; and then Abelard becam 
a monk in the Abbey of St. Dems. In their cloistered life, as ii 
their worldly sojourn, the natures of the two were conspicuoasl; 
marked by difference of individual character. Heloise shines noh^ 
the superior, in generosity, unseliish conduct, heroic devotion, firB 
faith, nnd constancy of heart. VTinle Abelard — restless an 
inlseral >le — fretted against the horrors of his fate, pasi^ug a fi 
ish existence of alternate squabbles witliliis monks, burning 
for hiH lost happiness, vain attempts to gain the power and 
whicli Ills talent entitled him to obtain ; Heloise set herself brav( 
and in earnest to the task of subduing her emotions, dlsciplin 
her soul to resignation, and endeavouring not only to preach 



3 virtne l>nt to practise tliem. At St.^ Denis, and afterwards at 
>. Gildas, Abelard rebuked the disorders of the respective com- 
lUnities ; "but with _ so little effect, that in the former place, the 
lonks conspired to accuse him of high treason and heresy, and 
' d the coudemnatioQ of one of his theological works, which 

rrb jmijlicly burned at Soissona; while, in the latter place, the 
irotherhood resented his interference so virulently, as to seek his 
fistruction by poison. Finding that his suspicions were groused 
ofBciontly to make him exaniina ordinary food, they sacrilegiously 
nfiised poison into the consecrated wine at the very altar : and on 
aiftther occasion, one of his attendants chancing to eat of what had 
>een prepared for his meal, died on the spot. 

Ileloise — who had also had her difficulties to contend with in 
ke shape of conventual disorderllness and reft-actory members 
^Bg the sisterhood, after bearing the ignominy of being expelled 
^^Dpany with them from the convent of Argenteuil, although 
iCT own conduct was blameless — -fonnd refuge in the Oratory of 
Paraclete, and succeeded in establishing regularity among the nuns, 
ifliose abbess she became. This Oratory of Paraclete had been 
wait by Abelard ; and by him was she installed there. After 
slevea yeai's of separation, they met on the occasion of the conse- 
WtioD of the commmiity. The husband and wife — the married 
<>vers, fate-div^orced for life — met after eleven years of mutual un- 
'Jttin^ishf d passion, and unquenched regret. But their respec- 
ive relations were now so champed as to subdue all token of what 
>8S8e(l within the sanctuary of these closed hearts. God alone can 
•^Mr the emotions that surged beneath the outward calm of the 
Monk's frock and cowl, the Abbess's veil and habit. He was the 
'perior and pastor ; she the holy recluse. Abelard's own words 
^rd the exemplary conduct of Heloise in her appointed station 
^f 0. lie says : — " The Abbot of St. Denis reclaimed as an ap- 




pnrtenance formerly subjected to the jurisdiction of liis monaster) 
the convent of Argentenil, where my Heloise — ^for some time pa 
my sister in Christ Jesus rather than my wife — ^had taken 
veil. Hardly was she appointed Abbess there, when he TioleDtlj 
expelled the commtmity of nuns over which she presided, 
holding them thus driven out to exile and dispersion, I conceiT 
that the Lord presented me an occasion of establishing my Or 
tory. I repaired thither, and invited Heloise and such of her < 
munity of nuns as remained attached to her person to come 
take possession. On theh' amval, I made them a donation of tli 
entire Oratory audits dependencies, and after this donation, byl 
consent an^l intervention of the Bishop of the diocese, Pope Lmo 
cent n, confiimed to them by j)rivilege its possession in perpe-j 
tnity, to them and those who should follow them. They lived herei 
some time, poor, and only too desolate. But a ray of Divine mercf^ 
which they so devoutly implored, did not fail to reach then 
The Lord, the trne Paraclete (the Consoler), touched with pity tLel 
hearts of the suiTOunding population, and inspired kindness U>\ 
wards them. One single year multiplied around them the pro-j 
ducts of the earth more, I veritably think (God only knows), tbal 
a himdred years would have done for me, had I remained there in 
their place. For inasmuch as the female sex is feebler than oviif\ 
BO their distress is more moving, and affects more readily the he 
of their fellow-creatures ; and as in the eyes of mankind, so like-j 
wise to God, is their virtue more acceptable. Thus, the Lord, ifll 
his goodness towards our dear sister, who directed her companiona,] 
permitted her to find favour in the eyes of every one. The Bishops J 
cherished her like a daughter, the clergy lilce a sister, the laity like 
a mother ; and all equally admired her fervent piety, her wisdo 
and her incomparable gentleness and patience in all things, 
was seldom seen, keeping retu-ed within her cell, that she migh^ 

H E L I S E . 


rote herself the more exclusively to her holy meditations and 
vyers: but thii only made those around her the more eagerly 
licitous to obtain her presence, and the pious instruction derived 
om her conversation.'' 
Ahelard, a prey to disappointment, irritable from misfortune, 
. not the temper successfully to controul those under his gov- 
uent, nor to subdue those who were his enemies. These latter 
sued their accusations of heresy ; and he resolved to defend 
from the charge before the council. He was again con- 
ned ; and he then determined to appeal to the Pope. Jour- 
' for this purpose, he halted at Cluni, where he was hospita- 
I Wy received by Peter the Venerable, abbot there. The good ec- 
cJesiflstic soothed his griefs, and strove to appease his foes. He 
I pereiiaded Abelard to cease from contention, to retire from con- 
troversy, to withdraw from the vexations and strifes of existence, 
lADd to stay and end his days Avith him at Cluni. Abiding here in 
I'the strictest retirement, practising the austerities of the order with 
' the utmost rigour, exciting admiration by his penitence and mark- 
I ed humility, he died two years after, in 1142, 

After the death of Abelard, Heloise obtained permission from 

' Peter the Venerable, to have the remains of her husband conveyed 

I to Paraclete, w^here they were accordingly interred. She survived 

him; but held thenceforth no communication with the world. She 

I ceased to correspond with her friends ; and wrote them no more 

en. She spoke no word thereafter, save in prayer or in instruc- 

I tion. She never again pronounced the name of Abelard ; and al- 

wed her heart to revert to the past only when communing with 

I God. She dedicated herself with fervour to all the observances of 

her order, fulfilling its several penances, and undergoing its most 

^gid discipline. She revised and confirmed those ordinations for 

the ruling of her convent, and for the conduct of her nuns, which 

r!.- "... j-.-^:v;.] ;,:..] ].:,v»,.l l.y tll^> i-isTcr:-;.- • I ot ramelett 
'." ' I Mi<ir- v.'-li'.rfr t'.. ]if:r 'liroi'trtiv-n sl-I T-r'.:!--!!: govemanct 
K'-'Mrr," ;iri (,y,ur''\ of 'r^l if: cation t-:* tlio -nvtr].] : -wa? loadec 
l»'):"fif •: l,y \irUif'o^. ainl potentat*>.=? : aiivl ]n>s?o«e^l the s 
i'nt:\i'\ liiji <ir Voiav tljo VoneraUe. 

SIm! 'Iii*l A hhf^s r,r Paraclete, tlie ITtli of iMay. 1164, aged 
llin-", tu'orit.y -two years after her husband Abelard. It w 
nrWy iIm- iiiiinber of years between their respective ages; i 



tiif she merely survived Lini that period, to bring them 
itlicr in all respects. At Ler own request, Ileloise was buried 
the same tomb with her husband ; aHdhere they were at length 
lited in death. The beautiful belief of the time — ^more true 
ithe essence of its imaginative and poetical creed than much of 
> present prosaic literality — averred that when Ileloise's body 
laid .beside that of her wedded lover, his arms opened to re- 
ife her. Many learned men of the time affirmed the circum- 
Dce, and bore testimony to its being fact» The very point of its 
stated — even invented — ^proves the grand force of mutual 
ehment recognized as existiug between the two. They were 
own to be so united by love for each other, though cruelly sev- 
. by fiite during life, that it seemed as if their ultimate joioing 
^death mu^t be marked by some visible sign of welcome — some 
of joy beyond the course of moi-tal operation. The grave 
. their griefe, and crowned their wish, by restoriog them once 
! and for ever to each other's arms, together to enjoy eternity 

and love. 
Tlie tastefully designed Gothic tomb which received the re- 
; of Abelard and Helolse, was constructed from the clois- 
of Paraclete, and brought to Paris at the beginning of 
ent century; subsequently it was placed (in IS 1 7) in the 
ery of Pere-la-chaise, where it still stands — ashi^ine of interest 
l^tors from all parts of the globe, 
; has been well said of Heloise by one of her biographers, — 
! is one of the personages of the twelfth century whom we 
hw most, but not best." She stands forth generaUy as an ol>ject 
^pitl/y rather than of aclmi ration ; she is remembered in her 
^rs and her misfortunes, rather than in her expiation and her 
courage. She is celebrated for her learning, instead of for her 

of understandino'. 

She has come down to us through the 



mediam of fiction, instep of in her own fine reality. Poets 
romance-iyriters liave presented her to our fancy invested with 
tributes for compasaon, riltlier tlian for veneration. They 
disguised — nay, disfigured her with their adornments, instep 
letting us see her in her simple beauty of phun truth. Her 
letters reveal her high-minded warmth of feeling ; as her life er»j 
hibits her noble character. Her style is esteemed a model 
elegant latinity for the age in which she lived ; — it is anim3t<4"' 
energetic ; and where her heart, speaks the language is fenrent, ^ 
emphatic and natural 

Of the language, of the mere diction and construction of \k\ 
Latin in which these letters are written, scholarly men are, 
course, the most competent judges ; but it is, perhaps, only 
woman, who can truly discern the intrinsic spirit — ^what Shake- j 
speare so finely calls " the inly touch of love" — of these lett 
It almost requires a woman's heart to penetrate the core of won 
hood resident in these letters of Heloise. Tliey are so instil 
with that involuntary shrinking and veiling of the secret depti 
of passionate feeling — even when most impulsively uttering it 
iiTepressible emotions — which characterize a woman's writing, i 
scarcely any man can correctly read its more delicate shades of j 
meaning. That still farther reserve of tenderness which alwaj 
lies beneath the most unreserved expressions of tenderness in 
woman, teaching her to adopt a mode of utterance that convey 
but imperfect representatior. of her heart's workings, demandsl 
feminine insight to perceive its fnll extent. No man but one ev«r] 
deciphered the soul of womanhood in its entirety, in its hiddetf ] 
involutions, as in its outward demonstrations ; and that one 
William Shakespeare. In the letters of Heloise are to be descrifi 
this intuitive reticence of the womanly nature, conjoined with tb^ 
singularly bold outspeaking of her time. It is this plain 

peaking, tliis straightforward usage of words and terms, wliieh 
kat age sanctioned, and wliicL. tlie custom of writing in Latin aided 
prodncing, wlucli lias greatly served to "blind those who have 
Ltherto judged Heloise by these lettei-s, to the internal evidence 
icy afford of her character. The plain terms she uses, convey to 
ncKkrn ideas, an impression of gi'ossness ; whereas, they were no 
Lore than what those, well versed in philosophical discussion and 
loctrinal disputation, constantly employed. Besides this circum- 
(tance, the involuntary subterfuge of womanhood above alluded to, 

d which is not so much a conscious w^ithholding of the irhole 
truth as an instinctive sensitiveness, and generous desire to reveal 
tut that which shall render homage to him who is beloved, in- 
rtead of assertincr the claim of her who loves — has tended to 
bep the inwarder sense of Heloise's eloquent epistles as yet undis- 
covered. Some of the ablest biographers and essayist? have ex- 
wonder at certain of her sentimenta and acts ; not perceiv- 

the true interpretation they bear. For instance, one of the 
HWet esteemed among those who have written upon this subject, 
t<infes8es himself at a loss to account for the long silence maintained 
■y Heloise during the years which first followed her retreat into 
1 cloister, and to conceive the reason which at length induced her 
1ft break this silence, by addressing that letter (the fii-st) to Abe- 
iri. The essajdst does not seem to perceive that two causes served 
Iblold that noble heart in mute sufferance : — ^first, its entire resigna- 

to the wiU of its possessor — an obedient resignation which 
fcmed the principles of her whole conduct ; and secondly, the 
ptlfoimd wound that her love had received, which made passive 
•ndurance her only resource. He whom she had elected controul- 
lerofher destiny, had willed her life-burial, and she buried her 
gfiefe with herself in dumb submission to his decree. The reason 
ofKfr Ijreaking silence, w^as the sudden coming to a knowledge of 



Aw griefs, of the long years of tortured misery lie had gon 
through, the perpetual hai'ass and disappointment he had siistaine 
the existing perils which beset him even while he wrote, whic 
forced from her that passionate outburst of long-pent feeling, 
letter to a fnend, detailing the history of his injuries, of his 
rows, and of hLs anxieties, chanced to fall into Heloise's hands, ao 
she could no longer resist the irrepressible impulse to write 
him. The intense feeling — the vital freshness of blood-warm ema 
tion imbuing every sentence of that letter, drew hot tears 
eyies that perused it for the first time — seven ages after the wor 
were penned. They flowed straight from the heart of the woe 
■^Titer, and they went straight to the heart of the woman-reade 
" One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin ; " and 
touch of kindt'ed womanhood struck with sympathetic vibratio 
through long cycles of the world's revolution ; creating direct io 
tercommunion between a breather of the twelfth century, and i 
of the nineteenth in sistei'ship of compassionate interest. 

There is another point upon which the generality have failed tol 
comprehend this great-souled woman. The motive of Heloise's re-l 
fusal to sanctify her attachment by marriage, has been strangelfl 
misunderstood and misrepresented: and instead of the spirit ofi 
self-sacrifice which evidently dictated it, the relaters of her sadj 
story have attributed her act to caprice of will, and licence of J 
timent. Pope, in his celebrated epistle, " Eloisa to Abelard," con- 
firms this misconstruction of her motive, in those meretricioos ] 
Imes : — 

*' How oft, whcB press'd to marriage, liare I said, 
Curse on all laws but those whicli love has made. 
Love, free as air, at sight of haman ties, 
^ Spreada his light wings, and in a moment flies. — 

Let wealth, let honour, wait the weddod dame, 
August her deed, and sacred be her fame ; 
Before true passion all those views remove ; 

H E L I S E . Uo" 

Fame, wealth, and honour ! What aro you to Love ? 
The jealous God, wLon we profaue his fires, 
Those restless passions ia reFengo inspires, 
And bids them mate mistaken mortals groan, 
Who seek in love for aught hut love alone. 
Should at my feet the world's great master fall, 
Himself, bis throne, his world, I'd scorn 'em all • 
Nor Caesar's empress would I deign to prove ; — 
No, make mo mistress to the man I love ; 
If there be yet another name more free, 
JNfore fond than mistress, make me that to thee." 

Tot hy tLe wild irregular impulse, here conveyed, was slie ac- 

Bited, but by the purely generous desire to promote the fame and 

lonour of Ler lover at the expense of ber own ; for not only did 

le object to mari'y Mm, but she denied lier marriage after it Lad 

cen place, because she believed it would be an impediment to 

fAbelard^s advancement. So far from being a woman subject to 

[■weakness, and swayed by inclination, she possessed remarkable 

I power over lier feelings. 

She was a woman of strong jjassions, with wonderful command 
I over them ; then: very strength proving the force of mind she 
eould exercise when called upon to subjugate them. The ascen- 
dancy which Abelard possessed over her young heart and imagina- 
tion, and the generous preference she ever gave his wishes aud his 
interests to her own, existed unchanged tlirough her whole life. 
Tbe same prodigality of afi'ection which occasioned her to sacrifice 
^(len lame to his persuasions, and caused her to relinquish the 
privilege of being acknowledged his wife, made her willingly ac- 
! to his desire that shfe should quit the world, and immure her- 
' in a cloister, when he found liimself comj^elled to retire into a 
'^nastery. The prompt obedience she showed in this instance, 
^trasts nobly with the unworthy doubt of her which this con- 
t betrayed. His selfish exaction was best rebuked and shamed 



}yj her immediate yielding. The injiu-ious mistmst implied iahs 
wisliing lier profession as a nun to precede bis taking the tow* of 
a monk, was none the less felt by her T^cause she at once deferred 
to its dictate ; but with her native wai-mth of character, ehe ent 
braced this as an occasion of yet another act of self-devotion to 
him Bhe loved. Moreover, knowing that to her the world vi* 
dead, she was content, still living, to become as one dead thenW'* 
forth. The errors of Heloise's passion are almost merged in Hj 
excess; and well-nigh forgiven in its constancy. The fortitude; 
the heroic firmness with which she accepted the lot assigned W 
her, and the subsequent courage and calm with which she sougllt 
to render it a means of expiation in sustained performance of dutfi 
amoimt to the sublime of human endeavour. Distorted by tb< 
medium through which hid grosser perceptions viewed them,i 
was from the two first of Heloise's originid letters that Pope tod 
the ground-work of his "Epistle " above-quoted. But — ^if tbt 
opinion may be given without presumption — ^the favour which t]« 
poet's version (or rather vulgar travestie*) has met with, is sardj 
rather to be attributed to the neat quotable couplets with which 
the poem abounds, than to any fidelity of transcript it affords d 
that noble womans sentiments. How poorly does the illicit lov» 
rant in which Pope's heroine bemoans her own departed joys com 
pai'e with the generous warmth of feeling and concentrated fow^ 
of expression with which IleloLse declares her acute sense of tieil 
mutual misery — of Jiis anguish, It Is afflictions. How pronely, p^ 
how nobly does she assert her readiness to abide by any decree 
Abelard's, and share his utmost rigour oWate, exclaiming : ^* I irlw* 
without hesitation, God knows, would have either followed 

♦ Sucli an interpretotjon of tho letter of Helobe, ^as to bo looked for from tho rai^ 
who libelled his whole siaterhood with tho well-known axiom : *^ Every woman is at li««^ 
a rake;' 

becc»iLe :!."=. ii.i L»'~i LI -Ilzi^. — *Tr t ~-r^* Ti- i~_ri j. — 

Heirw^ ^:f>rii.--- Ill ^ :>:- ^-i- i _- 1 : ; - : ? J.'y :■' 

«nth r^c^rl : :lr ::_i77iLrr--"- "^ :.--: -^ - '•-- ."'->■ 
tlia: J^ :.!: -I! jr-^-r Virj . :_L.Tr--^ - \ -.:-: :.-.\ [- ':. > " -. 

figiitel I: > nr rirr t l I^r: il -1 : -'.7 ^J: ■:' I :. : v- . '.:■.:.• 
t isanv •Li:._' ^. u: hrr ■: ~l t rrtV-rvi: > -'-. :- * '- .: ■.::._: :' ~. iiv. ■. ':.:* 
tUL> h L..U7 :!:.: .v.-::- :.-r tI-.-i^:.- i' -.-.: : : :. - T.- :!:- 

QthviroM-^rorH pL:— v>^ - 1 .;::-^: k-: :"-■: 1 -:. V.w li--:. 
'ltMmvT-tnr« «:•:' tli»ir writer w:': v.'vo::-.- ::i-. :.i '■'.:::• tV..^^ Ii'.'iivT'* 
ipal-le of feeling that whore the svr.iiiiu:.: i- >i:K'eie. it <.u:rtit- 
3t whether it l-e clothe«l i:i the eaTnloiir rf the aiiti.pie ta>)n.»:i. 
' veileil in the more iloeorous hiiiiruajre of iiio«li'rn reliiiemeii!. 



Thus writes Heloise to her husband : — " Xever, God knows, 
I Bought in yoo other thing than voureelfl It is vou, you aL< 
not yonr poeseGSioDB that* I lovetL I thought not of rights i 
wedlock, nor of dowry, nor of my pleasures or my inclinations; 
is yours, you well know, that I have studied to satisfy. Altliow 
the name of wife be deemed more holy and more strong, anotIi( 
would always have been dearest to my heart- — ^that of your mi 
tress ; and — shall I say it without shocking you ? — that of yoU 
concubine or your leman ; hoping, that the more I madij myse 
humble and of small account, the more should I raise myself i 
grace and favour with you, and that^ contenting myself with thi 
lot^ I^onld the Usa feUsr your glorious futureP 

" I thank you for having not entirely forgotten all my sea: 
meuts on this subject in the letter addressed to your friend for li 
consolation. You have not disdained to recapitulate some of tl 
motives which actuated me in striving to dissuade you from th 
fetal union ; but you have passed over in silence almost all the rei 
sons which made me prefer love to marriage ; liberty to indissoli 
ble bonds. I take (rod to witness, that if Augustus, supreme maj 
ter of the universe, had oftered me the signal honour of his allknci 
placing at my feet the empire of the whole world, I would liav 
accepted with more joy and pride the name of your paramon 
than the title of empress. For neither riclie^ nor power coMtitu 
a man- 8 auperioritt/ : in the om case U is tlxe effect of fortune; t 
the otJier^ that of vieritP It is this last clause of Heloise's protei 
that explains her sentiment. They who discover mere flagitioi 
propensity and perverted appetite in^Heloise's declaration that bI 
would rather be Abelard's mistress than Caesar's empress, read t 
isolated sentence without its context. She proclaims her indi' 
dual preference for the sole man in the world who she feels to 
worthy of her love and possessed of her love ; and it is this exc 


[venes3 of attaclimeiit wHch she believes autlioiizes lier utmost 
•rodigality of deiuonstratiou. Wlien she asserts tliat slie would 
Hther Leal* the name of mistress than wife, it is because she feels 
liat the fonner lets her owe all to Abelard's favor, and the latter 
^l shackle his career. Self-abasement is her pride, if it serve to 
Irin his love ; self-trausfusion into an embodiment of his will is 
that which she desii-es, so that his content is secured. 

The very words with which Ileloise continues her argument 

claimiug supremacy of merit to be the sole ground on which 

Oman's preference for a man should be based, proves the purity 

her love-creed, and evidences that she holds individuality of af- 

ion to be that which hallows^ its unreserved bestowal. She 

on to say: — "The woman who espouses more willingly a rich 

than a poor man, and who seeks in a husband his rank rather 

himself, let this woman ]>e sure she is for sale. Assuredly 

who is biased by such calculation to engage in matrimony, may 

entitled to the market-price, but not to any tenderness of grat- 

; for it is very certain that she regards fortune, and not the 

^a of her husband ; and that she moreover regrets not having 

able to prostitute hei-self to a more wealthy pm'chaser," 

Let the reader fairly say, whether the open speaking of Heloise 

^0(5 not justify itself, by the honesty and veritable delicacy of the 

woetrine set forth. The minii'lini' of intense feeliu2: with unselfish 

thought for him addressed, was never more vi^-idly exhibited. 

Her appeals are made in the most generous spirit, while within 

^om may be traced the involuntary cries of a heart that feels itself 

^arcely yet undei-stood, even by the man to whom it is wholly 

given. Men cannot com]irehend that yearning for the tenderness 

*f love, when the passion of love is denied, which women feel. 

^en, when deprived of the passionate expression of their aftection, 

if all were lost, and nothing less contents them ; but a 


n E L I S E . 

woman can rest satisfied ^ntli deprivation of .personal assurauce 
her lover's fondness, if slie possess undoubted proof that his tende^ 
ness of attachment, — ^his love remains securely hers. And with 
what exquisite tact of delicate subtlety does Ileloise convey tliB 
desire of her woman's soul ! How she begins by conjuring AljelarJ 
in the name of her sisterhood as well as herself, and gradually,— 
as her pen wai'ms into more individual fervour as she goes on,— 
how inserusiljly does she ftdl into the more <?xclusive form of 
address. She beseeches him to write to her and her nuns ; and! 
while entreating it as a relief to theii* anxiety for his salety, W 
trays how the feminine instinct, the desire to yield consolatioiv 
actuates the request. She says : — " In the name of Chi-ist, wlio 
still reserves you for his service, and whose lowliest servants wi 
are as weU as yours,— ah ! we conjure you, deign to wri£e to na 
frequently. Tell us, amid what shipwrecks you are still tos 
we need to know them. We alone remain to you in this world 
let ns take part in your sorrows, as in your joys. Wounded spirit! 
Ind some consolation in the compassion they inspire ; a burden 
sustained by many is borne more easily, and seems more light. 
this tempest should abate, hasten, — ^hasten your letters ; we caniiol 
be too soon re-assm'cd. Whatever be then* contents, they cannot 
but do us good, since they wiU at least prove that you hold us i 

" How sweet it is to receive a letter from an absent friend 
Seneca teaches us this from his own example, when he writes to 
Lucilius : — ' You write to me often, and I thank you ; for you sliov 
yom-self to me in the only manner possible to you. I never receivi 
one of your lettei's, but we are immediately together.' If the pcJT 
traits of our absent friends gently beguile our sight, and charm tlie 
regi'ets of absence by a vain phantom of consolation, what far mare 
lively joy should we not feel in receiving letters which bring oJ 
the actual imprets of the absent friend I 


Thanks be to heaven, these means still remain to you for 
ding U3 your presence ; malice does not forbid it to you, no 
obstacle interposes ; let not delay, I beseech you, arise from your 

^ You have written to your friend a long consolation, "R'ith a 
iew to his misfortunes, it is trae,^jut touching yours. AVliile thus 
ainutely recalling them to console him, you have greatly added to 
or affliction : while seeking to assuage his hm-ts, you have open- 
d new wounds in our grief, and you have widened the old ones. 
leal, in mercy, the sufferings you have inflicted, since you pour 
«lm on those that othei's have caused. You have soothed the 
orrows of a friend, of a companion, and you have discharged the 
lebt offriendshij) and close intimacy; but your obligation towards 
IB 13 still more sacred : for it is not friendship we/eel towai'ds you, ^ 
wt adoration and worshi]) ; we ai-e not your companions, but your 
daughters ; and if there be a name yet more tender and more holy 
'tk that becomes u«!. As to the importance of the debt which 
you to us, is it needful to dwell on proof and evidence, as 
any thing doubtful ? After God, you are the sole founder of 
retreat, the sole architect of this Oratory, the sole creator of 
community. You have not built upon a foundation already 
ie; all here is your work. This solitude, frequented only by 
animals and robbers, had never known human habitation, had 
.possessed a single house. Upon the very dens of wild betists, 
the very haunts of marauders, here, where the name of the 
had never been l^eard, you raised a divine tabeniacle, n 
temple dedicated to the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. For this 
^ork you never had recourse to the wealth of kings or princes, 
Hen you might have obtained aught you demanded, in order that 
ttotliing of what was done might owe its existence to any but your- 
*eK Clerks and scholars came in crowds to profit by your instruc- 


, and famished yoa with the necesaaxy means ; and those 

by the benefices of the church, accustomed to receive 

likma. to niake offerings, those who till theu had hands only for takf 

; and not for giving, T.»ecame profuse and imp>ortunate in thci 

This new plantation in the field of the Lord is then 

yonr property. It is filled with young plants which reqniw 

that they may floumh. This plantation is weakly 

Teiy cincnmstance of its being of female growth : ib is feel 

, were it not newly set* 

Thus tloes she seek to interest him in their young conimunityj 

while, with true womanly sentiment, glorying in attributiug all 

tlwy now poeBess, to him and his pious exertions. The words witfc 

Ab oondttdes this portion of her letter, are beautifuDji 

** JTou, who do so much for your enemies, rememb«r 

VK*t yvHi owe to ns, your daughters. And without speaking 

■ly SHten here, I claim your debt towards myself:'— perc/ianc^ 

it mtore 00^ to recompense at once these women tcho 

mmttifin to God, in thejperson of her who gave h^aelf Mf 

How iHYolmitarily in the sentences that follow, does t; 

14% \fi«kxi betray its deep-hidden sense of bruise and injury, 

tih^ spiritiud ooaaolation ; how the secret p^dn, crushed down inj 

aoo for so many years of outward patience and submission^ 

in throes of agony through those calls for comfort, — tliO 

M't that the assurance of his love in unchanged tenderness sm 

Igaixl for her can alone bring. How nnwillingly, even to her«elf| 

^1)10 owned the keen sense of his lessened thf»ught of her, ye^ 

it prejiees upon her, and vrlih what self-existeni 

thi'ough her words. * Thus she proceeds :-^ 

i.l c.\ti?naive treatises which the holy Fatherl 

• much jseal for the instruction, for the eil 





)iiragement, and even for the consolation of nuns, your vast ern- 
ition acquaints yon with better than our helplessness. And it is 
t without some painful wonder that I have remarked your loug 
>rgetfulness of those kindly commencements you made in our 
mversion. Oh my mastfer I nothing has moved you on our he- 
al^ neither Christian charity, nor your love for us, nor the 
sample of the Holy Fathers. You have abandoned me in my 
ottering faith, and in the deep dejection of my soul. Your voice 
lath not rejoiced mine ear, yom' letters have not consoled my 

*' Yet you know the sanctity of the duties which your engage- 
ments impose upon you. Hath not the sacrament of marriage 
united us to each other ? And what claims are wanting upon your 
^Hetion for me, if it be true that in the face of heaven and earth 
I Lave always Ijunied for you with a love unlimited ? Dear — 
«r— you know, and no one is ignorant of it, that in losing you, I 
bre lost all;' 

The repetition of that simple title, '* Dear — dear," is ineffably 
monag in its pathos of eloquence: it is like her heart sobbiug 
forth its irrepressible sense of loss and woe. It reminds one of the 
bir-ll that rings in !Milton*s beautifully mournful iteration !-*-" Now 
tlion art gone ! Now thou art gone ! " which has struck upon so 
OMiny bereft hearts with sympathy of lament in reading the 
* Lycidas." 

Elsewhere Ileloise says with generous compunction, and with 
tHe Bome under-current of appeal, seeking to awaken his tenderness' 
*lile tenderly and humbly jiouring forth her ot\ti undying love 
if'r Iiim : 

" How dear have I cost yon ! And yet, most innocent was I, 
you know. Crime consists not in deed, but in intention. Justice 
jy s not weigh the event, but the thought which produced it, 

You, who alone liave been tbe object of my every sentiment, em 
alone jnclge them. I abide by your sentence — ^I leave myself ta 
your verilict/' 

The conclusion of this finely eloquent letter is worthy to fonn 
its climax. It is solemn in its characteristic fervour and simplicity, 

ity, and humility :— " By that God Himself to whom you have 
»nsecrated yourself, I conjure you to restore me your presence in 
the only manner possible to you; that is to say, by the consoling 
virtue of a letter. Thus re-animated, I shall at least be able to 
apply myself with more fervency to the Divine service. Formerly, 
when you sought to w^in me into mundane enjoyments, you plied 
me ceaselessly with letters; each day your lays placed your 
Ueloise in every mouth ; every place, every house rang with my 
name. This eloquence, of old employed to incite me to terrestrial 
pleasures, shall it not now dedicate itself to the holy purpose of 
drawing me towards Heaven ? Once again, bethink you of the 
duty you owe ; consider what I ask : and I ccjnclude this long letter 
by a brief close. Farewell — you are all to me." 

Abelard's reply was couched in equally characteristic terms. T 
8ho\^'s the man to us in visible form — ^the egoist, the clever dialec- 
tician, the expert sophist, with just the touch of pedantry belongii 
to his conscious attainments, and his pugnacious disposition. Hes 
wag proud of his intellectual strength, and loved to prove it i 
intellectual combats ; he felt his erudite superiority, and was font 
of opportunity for evincing it to the world. His habit of doctria- 
*iijiug and dogmatising not only made him ever on the fret for <lft^ 
monstratiug his learned knowledge in public, but it led hiui into 
perpetual quotation in his private letters. He even imbued \^ 
pupil, Heloise, with this addiction to the citing of authorities, fro^ 
the ancient classic writers in philosophy, and from the Fathers 
the Chm'ch in controversy. She quotes Seneca and St. Jerome i^ 

H E L I S E . 


course of lier letters to Abekrd ; and he mentions that in the 
Tj act of taking the veil, she ejaculated amid sobs and tears the 
mplaint of Cornelia, from Lucan's " Pharsalia " In Abclard'a 
er to Ileloise's fii'st letter, we behold him grave, staid, almost 
ving — ^the austere monk, the admonitory pastor. lie absolves 
limself from the charge of neglecting her and her sL«jterhood, on 
the plea, that knowing her to be richly endowed with all gifts of 
livine grace, he felt support fi'om him to be unnecessary, and that 
e luid therefore administered no exhortation, addressed no precept 
;o the community of nuns at Paraclete. He heaps her with lau da- 
ion, but expresses no single word of sympathy for her avowed 
ireakness, or any syllable that shows he comprehends herself. The 
neai-est phrases approaching to what might serve to show that her 
cra^-ing for his tenderness meets response, are those where he says, 
^ it is especially with this hope that I send you the psalter which 
you requested of me, Sls'ter very d^ar to me formerly in worldly 
l^e^now a tJioueand times more dear to me in Christ Jemwy Aud 
afterwards : — " You know, very dear, and well beloved, what affec- 
tionate charity your convent, <fec." 

The lack of sympathetic apprehension of her own nature, while 
overwhelming her wdth praise as Abbess, is keenly felt by Hel- 
*M^e; and of tlds her second letter beara -witness. In it, her reti- 
cence is less, her passionate imploriugs more vehement : she sees 
to'ii her reserve is misundei-stood, her generous self-controul mis- 
^kti for competent self-sustainment. She casts herself now more 
openly upon his help, invokes it, owns how sorely she requires it, 
'iccuses herself of defideations still more deplorably needing his 
Pastoral assistance, and confesses to want of devoutuess, and to 
failing in spirit, in order that he may be urged into supplying her 
^ntli encouragement. She feels that she has been hitherto too si- 
*^) too secret in her suffering ; that he cannot comprehend her 



delicacy of restraint iu regret, and that she must no loiigd 
forbear from letting liim see tbe extent of her yearning for lii 
comfoit and kindness. But with what womanly warmth auc 
earnestness, with what womanly effusion of appeal she flings her 
soul's troubles before him, and supplicates his manly strength ta 
come to the rescue of her acknowledged weakness. How tragic 13 
that half-wild allusion to her having preferred his will ]>efore that 
of Heaven itself: those bitter self-reproaches; those vehement dls* 
claimers of fortitude and merit in endurance ; those almost fierce 
rejections of his praises : she will not allow herself to deserve them, 
for she feels but too acutely how far rather she would prefer re- 
ceiving consolation from him than applause : — '* God knows, — God 
knows, that all ray life I have more feared offending you than evea 
Himself; and that it is you, far more than Him, that I have sough 
to please. It was your command, and not the voice of Heaven, 
which bowed me beneath the conventual yoke. What then is my 
fate of misery and despair, if so many s-ufferings are lost for me 
here below, when I am not to receive any recompense for theffl 
yonder above ? My dissimulation hitherto has deceived yon, as i 
has done othere : you have attributed to a rehgious impulse thai 
which was but feint and hypocrisy ; this is why you recommend your 
self to my prayei^s ; but you demvand of me what I ask from yoa." 

" Have less confidence in me, I conjm*e you, lest you cease to 
aid me l>y your prayers. No, I am not cured : do not then deprive 
of the rehof of healing. No, I am not emiched with grace; no 
longer defer then coming to help my need. No, I am not strong; 
take care that I faint not ere you can sustain me in my tall. Many 
have found their destruction in flattery, and it has bereft them of 
the support of which they stood in want. * * ^t ♦ 
truce therefore, I entreat you, to your commendations ; do not in< 
cur the shameful reproach which attaches to the framera of flat- 

les and lies. If you believe ttat in me tliere 13 'still some poor 
mainder of ^'i^tne, dread lest it Bliould exhide in tlie Ijreatli of 
Tanity. A skilful pliysician descries the Mdden malady, al- 
ihougli no symptoms betray its existence. And God makes little 
account of aU those outside shows which the reprobate can assume in 
common with the elect. Often the really just neglect those ex- 
terior observances which strike every eye, while no one conforms to 
them with more scrupulous care than the hypocrites." 

And then she concludes with that profound humility taught by 
dous weakness combined .with strength, — the united softness 
id potency of love in such a natm-e as hers. 
" I am too happy in your praises, and my heart yields itself too 
delightedly to them, not to render them dangerous for me. I am 
l)ut too well disposed to steep myself in their sweet poison, since 
my sole study is to pleasure you in every thing. Awaken your 
fears, I beseech you, and lay aside your confidence, so that your so- 
licitude may be ever ready to aid me. It is now that the danger 
is greater than ever. Do not exhort me to virtue, and excite me to 
Ae combat, by saying : — * Vii'tue reaches its height in weakness ;' 
*Qd, * the crown will only be given to him who combats to the 
®D<3.' I seek not the crown of victory ; sufficient for me to avoid 
danger. It is wiser to remove from peri], than to engage in war- 
^^, Let but God assign me a place in the smallest corner of hea- 
^^n, I shall be satisfied.'* 

That axiom of Heloise, — " I seek not the crown of victory ; 
^•ifficient for me to avoid danger " — is a golden one for women. 
^lie had but too good reason to know and feel it^ essential truth. 
Abelard's reply to this second letter is still more severe intone: 
"^ rebukes her for murmuring, and constrains her to resume her 
''-'i*nier quietude. lie preaches resignation ; he enforces acquies- 
*^tice ; he assumes the character of pastoral director in reproof, and 



reverts to their bygone mutual relations in a liglit of shared tran*] 
sion that is more consonant with his character than with hers. 
She is all generosity in blame-taking, as in everything else ; while! 
he is, — ^l:>ut fortunately, it is the province of the present discussion^ 
to analyse the chai-acter of HeloxM^ and not that of Abelard. 

Her next, and third letter, is aa characteristic of herself as her" 
former ones, in its way : — it begins by the simple, but impressive] 
entence : " It shall not be said that you can once accuse me of < 
obedience : my words shall be moderate, if not my grief, and yonrj 
prohibition shall serve me as a curfc."'* She utters no farther allu- 
sion to her own inner being after the few words : — *- Would to Godl 
my sick heai-t were as disposed as my pen to obey you." — ^After' 
these, — set, as it were, a seal upon the past,— she sedulously applies _ 
hei'self to proving her submission to his will, by entering thorough*" 
ly into her appointed coui*se of strict and mere duty. She ad- 
dresses him no longer as Abelard, the lost husband ; but as Abe-'j 
lard, abbot of Saint Gildas. She enters thoroughly into the rule 
for conventual discipline, her projects for regulating her commu-l 
nity of Pai'aclete, consultiug with him (as their pastoral superior)] 
upon the due observances to be established for the practice of herj 
nuns and herself, and subjecting to his consideration the different 
i:)oint3 in question. She suj^ports her views with a multitude of j 
citations from the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church ; she ( 
lates with learned and saintly zeal upon the various arguments she 
brings forward ; and shows that she not only conforms to his wis 
by makiug the exercise of her mind serve as a check to the ebi 
tion of her heart, but that she diligently endeavours to make ho*| 
linens her sole aim henceforth. Kehgion became to her th'e climax] 
of her affection. Love which ha^l ruled her heart, now engrossed] 
her soul, and fitly consummated it to immortal perfection of tmsl 
and reliance. 



ith the exception of one other shoi-t epistle, addressed — on 

\e same subject, and in the same tone — to Abelard, in his capa- 

as spiritual guide and director, we have no farther letters from 

), save one which she wrote to Peter the Venerable in answer 

liis, sending her the remains of Abelard to Paraclete. She 

iies briefly, staidly, simply ; but there are two little sentences 

speak all the more eloquently for their forced composure. In 

one, she entreats of his goodness that he will send her the form 

ilution, signed and sealed with his own hand, that she may 

it aflixed to the tomb of " The Master/' as she denominates 

iWard. In the other, she piously recommends theii* son, Astro- 

ilus, to the protection and care of her venerable friend ; and 

Wems thus to take leave evermore of life and this world. 

Perhaps never did a few letters — fortunately preserved to pos- 
■ontain more clear self-characterization unconsciously evi- 
d, than these letters of Heloise. They depict her subtly but 

Her life, as her letters, denote her in marked unequivocal lines 
of legible trace. Her native excellence speaks for itself in her 
ftngleaess of love. Ardent, yet constant; susceptible, yet fixed. 
Ill her girlhood, self-forgetting ; in her womanliood, tender and 
8elf"Sacrificing ; in her widowhood, grave, faithful, self-redeeming, 
"I youth, in the very flower of beauty and promise, voluntaiily 
Quitting the world because the man she loved could no longer live 
**^^e ; in age, devoting hei-self to the task of rendering herself 
'o^iiliy of him,^ — as she believed him to be. 

heloise is the very beau-ideal of generous and unselfish love. 




In- the Tvorld'3 thought, Laura sits enshrined as a Poet's Idol. 
Hera was the happiness of swaying a poet's thoughts to highest 
beauty of expression ; of influencing his feelings to loftiest senti- 
ment. She elevated his intellectual faculty; and ennobled his 
desires — one of the choicest felicities that can befal a woman. She 
had the rare privilege of exciting a passion warm as it was regard- 
ful, constant as it was strong, exalted as it was profound. She had 
the honour of inspiring an affection in one of the most admirable 
of men, and of enjoying the renown which his genius and his at- 
tachment conferred upon her, without a shadow of suspicion fall- 
ing upon her own fair repute ; while she possessed the power of 
tempeiing the ardour that glowed in her lover's veins with a feel- 
ing of honouring esteem which held them both to virtue, and ob-. 
tamed for them virtue's rewards — self-respect and the homage of 

Laura embodies our idea of a perfect lady. She was essen- 
tially a lady in character, being gentle, refined, discreet, modest, and 
^'irtuous; a lady in manner — ^benignant, courteous, and blandly 
'^.ijnified ; a lady in habit — ^accustomed to move in distinguished 
®<^ety with ease and grace ; and a lady by alliance, as well as by 

inheritance. She was bom a hidy ; being of gentle, though not 
of noble bu'th. Her father was Audibert de Novea, the possessor 
of a landed estate at the town of this name, which lies about two 
leagues from Avignon, on the left bank of the river Durance ; and 
he filled a civic post of some importance at A\dgnon, where Le 
possessed a house, still in existence at the beginning of the six- 
teenth century, when it bore the name of " Madame Laure," in tradi- 
tional commemoration of the celebrated beaut/s having once dw elt 
there. The house stood near the entrance of the suburb of the 
Cordehers, which has since been enclosed within the walla of Avig^ 
non; and it was either here, or at her father's country-seat at 
Noves, that Lfiura fii'st drew breath, in the year 1308. She was 
left^ together with one brother and one sister, under the guardian- 
ship of her mother, by the will of Audibert; who, dying in 1320, 
l)equeathed to his eldest daughter, Laura, as her dowry, nearly two 
thousand pounds — a considerable sum at that period. Beautiful, 
well born, and rich, Laura was wedded to Uugo de Sade; 
whose progenitors, for several generations, had held some of the 
most honourable mimicij>al offices in Avignon. The marriage con- 
tract was signed at Koves, on the 16 th January, 1325 ; Laura being 
then seventeen years old, and her husband rather more than twenty. 
The detail of a few of the attires which formed part of her bridal 
efjuipment, gives a curious idea of the costume worn at that period 
l>y ladies of her rank and country, " Two complete suits, one of 
■ green, and the other of scarlet, trimmed with fur ; '* a coronal of 
silver, worth twenty golden florins ; " and, " a bed " — ^probably fur- 
nished with silken, or tapestried hangings, and carved in wood ; 
which last item conveys the impression of tliat fashion of southern 
newly-mamed wives bringing articles of household value^ as well 
as of wearing apparel, for their wedding outfit, which stdl prevails 
in many parts of the continent. Th^jK^jyit^^m^ed andjagfa^ 


coloured, witH the silver adornment for her liaii', betoken the kind 
of social grade in which she was to take her place ; and accord- 
ingly, we find her appearing at the state assemblies, and court en- 
tertainments given iu the palace at Avignon^ which had lately been 
adopted by the popes as the seat of their residence. Tlie rank of 
I^aurals husband, together with her own beauty and distinguished 
graces, rendered her presence at the papal court indispensable ; and 
slie formed one of the chiefest, and most virtuous ornaments of a 
9pot where the perpetual influx of strangers had introduced much 
corruption of morals and mamiei-s. Among the distinguislied Ital- 
ifiQs, whom the advent of the Romish court had brought to Avig- 
non, was the young poet, Petrarch ; whose family having been 
driven from Tuscany by the civil contentions of the Guelphs and the 
Ghibelines, now came to seek an asylum in the county Venaissin. 
Laxxra was at this time nineteen years of age; Petrarch twenty- 
thi^e. At an early hour, iu a morning of spring—at 6 oV-lock on 
the 6th of April, 1327, (Monday, not Friday, as some have stated) 
m I*assion Week— Petrarch was attending divine service in the 
ch^Tch of St. Clair, when he first beheld the face of her who became 
his hfe's cynosure. The poetical brain, the heart of youthfol man- 
li<>od, the Italian temperament, the imagination of fire, and the 
intellect, refined as it was vigorous, all combined in conceiving a 
6<5Utiraent, which was Love in its most Tjeautiftd form — -impassioned, 
devoted, constant. It took birth in one instant, and lasted until 
death. It survived all ; it survived coldness, disappointment — even 
tile grave. It endured througli rejection, it was proof against ab- 
B^">^ce^ it lost none of its fervour from being put into words, and , 
aWted nothing of its strength from being versed with profusion 
of sonnets. The force residing in monotony, which charactei-izes 
Petrarch's passion for Laura, as traceable iu his poems, is eloquently 
^csonlied by Leigh Hunt, where he says on this subject: — " One 

love, and one poet, sufficed to ^ve the whole civilized 
sense of delicacy in desire, of the abundant riches to he foiuid in 
one single idea, of the going out of a mans self to dwell in the sool 
and happiness of another, which has served to refine the passion 
for all modern times ; and perhaps will do so, as long as love re- 
news the world/' 

That Petrarch's was no Platonic affection, may l>e gathered 
from his own confession, in his " Dialogues with St. Augustine,' 
where he owns that he loves Loth the soul and body of Laura; 
depicting the violence of his passionate emotions when near to her 
or when far from her ; his fruitless attempts to win her : his vain 
effoi-ts to conquer a love which he foimd to he hopeless : and while 
averring that he had never been able to obtain the slightest favour 
from her, offers honouring homage to her purity and virtue. AnJ- 
there is touchiBg witness borne to the strength, as well as warmtl* 
of his passion, where he thus writes in 1343 — sixteen years after 
ho had first seen Laura: — "My love is vehement^, excessive, but 
exclusive ^nd virtuous. No, this very disquietude, these suspi- 
cions, this watclifuluess, this delirium, this weariness of every 
thing, are not the signs of a virtuous love." This self-introspec- 
tion, and candour of self-judgment, together with the testimony it 
affords of the poet's constancy, and inner heart, — for the passage 
is quoted from his " De secreto condictu," — is unspeakably beauti- 
ful. There is a soul of melancholy mingled with its charm in Pe- 
trarch's writing, springing from unsatisfied passion with intensity 
of sati?fiiclion in the beloved object, that poetry alone can express. 
Shelley discerningly observes : — *^ Petrarch's verses are as spells, 
which unseal the inmost enchanted fountains of the delight which i* 
in the grief of love." There are none like poets themselves for 
penetrating to the core of a poet's excellence ; and it is invaluable 
to have the comments of two such poet^ as Leigh Hunt and SheV 
ley upon a thu'd, like Petrarch. 



Lanra^s l)eliavionr to her renowned poet-lover seems to bare 
leen consnmraate in womanly rirtne. Married to a man she ei*- 
eemed, and respecting hersd^ she could not but preserve hb 
lODoar and her own inviolate ; married to a man whom there » 
very reason to believe she loved, she conld feel no passion for 
ny other. But that she entertained a very peculiar regard for 
'etrarch, is equally true. It was doubtless a regard made up of 
mder concern and generous sentimcot, such as every woman of 
seJing extends towards any man who loves her above all other 
omen ; she cannot help regarding him with a sympathy Ijeyond 
tut which other men e:ccite in her. And in addition to tht«, 
xinraV regard for Petrarch must have been compounded of tht^ 
road est emotions : pride in his genios, pride that he should ad- 
ore her, pride that he conld be induced to prefer her self-re^jpect 
his own gratification ; and pride that liis love, instead of injnr- 
ig her reputation, reflected glory on her name, dnd made it 
imed throughout the world, Uer conduct i'i de^;cribe<l as perfect 
discretion and feminine tact. She treated him with gentle fimi- 
m\ and by her skill in combining coasideration for him with 
wnnderatioij towards herself, succeeded in preserving her o^m 
Sgoiiy, while she repressed, without lessening his ardour. Hand- 
fcWie, accomplished, inipetnouf», her Italian poet-lover must havo 
wqdred all the serene self-possession of a Laura, to restrain his 
■dtances without chilling his affection; and to quench his 
\cfts witliout re<incing him to desperation. Courteous, even 
nod, whenever his manner betrayed nothing that coald alarm her 
'^' ' '« ; she failed not to behave ^vith reserve each time ho ven* 
-I upon a declaration of his feelings. She could not avoid 
nij^ flnr. jjjm constantly^ frequenting the same society as they did ; 
-. r demeanour was so nicely guarded, so juilicioasly modi lied, 
'iiAt f-iu^li ,MV:i-lr)!i ttrved f^tit to raise his admirntinn for her char- 



acter. At parties of pleasure, at cotu-t, at tlie bouses of mutna] 
friends, at cliui'ch, or iu walking, they perpetually encountered 
eacli other ; Lut she t^o Imppily blended a modest reticence with a 
sweet and frank friendliness, that his love for her moral qualities 
kept pace with his love of her countless personal attractions, 

Laura's behaviour to Petrarch has been called coquetry ; but 
— ^besides that his own testimony absolves her from the charge, — 
a woman who secures the lasting reverence of a man^s heart in 
proportion with its encreasing passionate attachment to her, can 
never be a coquette. So hollow and vain an art as coquetry, may 
succeed in enslaving a man's senses ; but it never engages his hon- 
ouring preference. Laura possessed matchless address ; but it was 
the address of a pm'c-minded woman, who respected hei-self, loved 
her husband, and regarded her lover with a feeling that intuitively 
dictated the utmost delicacy of discrimination in dealing -with his 
passion for herself- With the conviction of its hopelessness, she 
taught him the blessing that existed in its beautiful singleness, in 
its all-sullicing exclusiveness, in its truth and earnestness, — ^in itself, 
in short, iiTcspective of return or of fruition ; the simple fact of 
loving so perfect a being as she, in his eyes was, constituted a bliss 
with which no ordinary love could compare. Happy the woman 
who possesses the secret of thus iaspu-ing consociated esteem and 
love ; of softening the pangs which unrequited passion inflicts, by 
the balmy consolation that lies in enhanced approval of her excel- 
lence. The secret of Laura's undying influence over Petrarch, lay 
in a subtle sympathetic affinity between them ; — she tacitly suf- 
fered him to perceive that she sympathized with his love for her, 
while denying herself to be his love ; and he instinctively felt this 
syni2>athy to exist, although declaring that he never knew whether 
she loved him or not. 

By frequent travelling, by raiting various parts of Flanders, 



;iice, and Italy, by tlie cultivation of letters, by tlie creations 
of bis muse, by alternate retirement in solitude at Yaucluse, and 
social intercourse at A\ignon, Petrarcli sought vainly, during a 
period of twenty-one yeai^s, either to forget or to extiuguLsh Ms 
passion for Laura. Meanwhile she, with her husljand, continued 
to reside at Avignon, where they gradually saw themselves sur- 
rounded by numerous children, and possessed of their town- 
people's estimation ; tlie quarter where they lived being called by 
the family name of Sade. It lies towards the lower end of 'the 
town, on the banks of the Ehone ; and embraces that portion 
which has since been l^uilt over with the streets occupying the 
space between two of the gates, and near to the church of La 
Madeleine. Commanding the spot, stands the rock on which the 
papal palace was erected ; and it La said that from this point, Pe- 
trarch used to watch Laura, as she walked in her garden amid the 
leaves of those trees which were his favoiu'ite, — recalling, as they 
did, her name, as well as her image. He planted the laurel tree 
in abundance at Yaucluse, where he purchased a small property, 
and made it his abode ; so great a liking did lie take to this secla- 
ded valley. Leigh Hunt — that prince of poetical translators — ^has 
given an English version of one of the many passages in which 
Petrarch alludes to these associated ideas of Laura, the laurel, and 
the evergreen wreath which is to crown their joint names hereaf- 
ter. The passage in question describes Laura as the poet might 
have seen her in her garden at Avignon ; or in some of the public 
gardens of the place, where they met amid a concourse of gi'eeting 
friends, and where her gentle aspect beamed upon his sight, sin- 
gled out from a host of countenances, as the one, to him, of the 
^liole human race : 

" Giovane donna sotto un verde lauro 
Vidi piii bianca e piil frcdda cho neve 
Non percossa dal 8ol molti c molt 'anni : 



E'l 8U0 parlar, e'l bel vi*o, e Ic chiome, 

Mi piacquer si, cli'l I'ho a gli occlii 

Ed avr6 seinpre, ov'io sia in poggio o'n rira." 

" A youthful lady under a green laurel 
I saw, more fair and colder than white snows 
Unsbono upon for many and many u year : 
And her sweet looks, and hair, aod way of speaking, 
So plcasM me, that I bare her now before me, 
And shall hare, ever, whether on hill or lea." 

In 1339, tlie painter, Simon of Sienna, arriving at Avignon to 
execute a commission for embellisliing the pontifical palace there, 
made a portrait of Launi, and presented it to tlie poet, Tvith whom 
Le was on terms of intimacy, and who returned the invaluable gift 
in kind, by composing two sonnets for the artist. These inte^ 
changes, by which men of genius possess the power of adequately 
requiting such inestimal^le donations, is among their highest j)rivi- 
Icges. It remains matter of doubt, whether Laura sat for the por^ 
trait ; whether it was a duplicate copy of one which the artist 
painted, as an order, for the Sade family ; or whether it was a 
transcript of the impression which the personal beauty of the lady 
made ujron Simon Martini's imagination, so that he was enabled 
to limn her likeness from memory ; but it is ascertained that he 
introduced Laura as the principal figure in several of hh subse- 
quent pictures. 

On Petrarch's return to Avignon in 13i2, after having been 
awarded the laurel wreath of poetry at Rome, and crowned there - 
witJi in the capitol, Laura was less studiously reserved towards 
him, fi^niiiug how docile to reproof his passion for her was, being 
touched by its unabated constancy, and not insensible to the circum- 
stance of his recent honours, in which her own were necessarily in- 
volved, since his verses had given European celebrity to her name 
and beauty. A\Tien Charles of Luxembourg (after\vards the Em- 

Cliarles lY.) came to Avignon in 1346, one of Ms first enqui- 
i^es "was for Laura — Petrarcli^s Laura. At one of tlie festive en- 
tertainments given in lionour of liis visit,— at a ball where the 
chief beauties of tlie town and province were assembled — slie was 
presented to him; and, stepping forward, he reverentially ^kissed lier 
upon the eje^ and forehead. The company— with the taste and 
enthusiasm of a Provencal court — applauded ; and Petrarch re- 
corded the event in a sonnet, where he manifests his triumph in 
this public act of homage to the charms of his mistrass, while 
"betrajing his jealous sensitiveness at the delight enjoyed by other 
lips than his owii. 

In the coui-se of years, domestic anxieties, the cares of a large 

family, and the hand of time, wrought a change in the beauty of 

Laura ; her complexion lost its fi-eshness, her figtu-e its shapeliness, 

and the graces of the youthful lady were merged in the mien of 

tlie matronly woman. Some involuntary surprise betrayed itself 

together with the admiration expressed by those who beheld the 

Poef a Laura for the first time. " What ! " exclaimed one, whose 

^o.n'k^ in its impunity from censure, gave license to his speech, " is this 

"i© fair prodigy who has made so much noise in the world, and who 

^nied Petrarch^s head ? " But to those who uttered their wonder 

^^a.t he should still admire her, the lover replied, " Had I loved 

^^i* person only, I had changed long since." The eyes of a true 

lo^^j.^ with the ever-youthful sight of a poet, in addition, behold 

^ttietliing in the object beloved, which outlasts external change; 

^e change of mortality itself cannot alter genuine love ; for it 

^'^'V>f?titutes in place of the vanished mortal clay, an immortal ideal, 

au<3. cherishes that evermore as its object of eternal aflection. 

Petrarch is said to have had an interview with- Laura towaixls 
the close of the year 1347, when he beheld her for the last time 
upon earth. He found her amid a cii'cle of lady-friends; she was 



looking serious, and pensive ; her dress quiet, wdtLout jewellecj 
ornament, or embellisliment. Her eyes wore an expression of uur 
defined appreliension, ns of some impending evi], or approacliing 
attack of indisposition, hardly yet fuUy felt. Her lover, moved 
almost to teai-s, withdrew abruptly, seeking to hide his emotion. 
Laura followed hhu with a look so full of gracious regard and 
gentle appeal, that it remained graven on his memory. The kind 
of presage that seemed thus to have struck upon the hearts ofbotli 
was terribly fulfilled. A raging pestilence, which took its origin 
in China, after wasting Asia and the coasts of Africa, made its way 
into Sicily, and quickly spread over the continent of Europe, where 
its devastations prevailed during three years. Its march was like 
that of the modern cholera^ — from East to West — but more awfaM 
and overwhelming. History furnishes no example, since tba 
deluge, so universal, and so cahimitous. A fire, believed either to 
have sprung from the earth, or fidlen from the sky, consumed UM 
Tartary three hundred miles of territory, and devoured in it^s flame: 
men, animals, trees, and even stones. Eai'thquakes, inundations^ 
and tempests occurred in various places ; while clouds of venomou* 
insects infested the air. In certain countries of Asia the majority 
of the inhabitants died of the iufection; or, being seized with] 
frenzy, bit and devoured each other. Boccaccio, in the opening of 
\ik Decameron, gives a forcible picture of the state of his native 
Florence, during this disiistrous period. In summing up the picture 
of desolation, the Italian novelist exclaims, with a kind of grim 
levity at the conclusion, that heightens the horror and sense of th© 
janiug impressions that then confused and oppressed men's mimls : 
— " How many fair palaces ! How many goodly houses ! IIow many- 
noble haldtations, filled before with families of lords and ladies, 
were then to be seen empty, without any there dwelling, except 
some servant! IIow many kindreds, worthy of memory! How 

great inlieritaiices ; and wliat plenty of riclies were left^ 
lout any true successors ! How many good men ! How many 
tby women ! How many valiant and comely young men, 
E)m none but Galen, Hippocrates, and Esculapius (if tliey were 
ag) could have reputed any way uuliealtliful, were seen to dine 
I morning with their parents, friends, and familiar confederates, 
I went to sup in another world with their predecessors ! " 
This dread plague broke out in Avignon, in January, 1348; 
jing off the enonnou3 number of one hundred and twent}^ 
ousand souls in the space of seven months. So large an amount 
f deaths might seem incredible in a town since containing scarcely 
► fifth of the inhabitants; but it should be remembered that 
pignon was then the ca]utal of Chi'istendom, and thfi,t its being 
the scat of papal residence, drew a multitude of strangers thither ; 
besides that many of the country people fi^om the neighl^oiiring 
parts took refuge there, endeavouring to fly from infection. ^Vll 
those who were attacked, died of the disease in the coui"se of three 
days. Among its victims, was Petrarch's Laura. She felt the first 
approaches of the malady on the 3d of April ; the continual 
fi^ver, and other fatal symptoms supervening, left no hope for one 
^hose health was already delicate ; and she composedly prepared 
f'^r death — making her will that same day, and receiving the last 
sacraments of religion. Her friends and relations, braving infec- 
tion, liuug weeping round her bed, ministering to her, and watcli- 
i^g ber last moments. They were peaceful, as such a woman's 
*hoiLl,l lx^ Laura lay there, calm and quiet, reaping the fruits of 
innocent, ^-irtuous life, and of a tranquil temperament. Pe- 
ii's words describe her : — 

" Aguisa d'un soave e cliiaro liime 
Cui nntrimento a poco a poco manca. 
rallida no, m& pii\ die neve bianca, 
Che eeuza vento in un bel col fioeclii, 
Parea posar come persona stanea." 

156 ^^^^H LAUIIA. 

[" Like unto a clear and beauteous light, 
Whose nourishment little by little faileth, 
Not pallid, but more white than falling snow, 
In flakes, unstirr'd hj wind, on some fair hill : 
She seemed to rest, like wearied traveller "] 

81ie breatlied lier last pure breatb in tlie air of early day, i 
piring gently at six o'clock in tlie morning, on the Gth of Ap 
the fortieth spring of her years oU earth. That evening, ia cott-l 
eonauce with her own wishes, her remains were carried to the 
chnrch of the Cordeliers, and interred within the chapel of the ' 
Cross, in the toml> of the Sade family. 

The poet's soul felt the shadow of the approaching blow, iu tb | 
shape of cruel presages, and ill-omened drcauis ; but it fell upofl 
him in its terrible truth, when the news of Laura's death reached ] 
him at Parma. The traces of what must have been his anguish at I 
the time, are visible in that aflecting memorandum which his own ] 
hand left, written in Latin, and fastened to the wooden bindiiur ai 
his manuscript copy of Yii'giL* The very solemnity and simphcity | 
of the record, witness the strength of his feelings. " Laura, illustri- 
• *ous from her o'n-n virtues, and celebrated through my verses, was fiMj 
beheld by these eyes in the period of my youthftd prime, in the year 
1327, on the Gth of April, at the fii*3t hour of the morning,! in the 
church of St. Clair, at Avignon ; and in the same town, in the same 
mouth of April, the same date, the Gth^ and at the same hoar,] 
in the year 13:^8, the light was withdrawn from the work!, while I, 
alas I was at Verona, ignorant of my loss. The afflicting news 
reached me in a letter from my fiiend Luigi; it found me flt| 
Parma, on the morning of the same year, the 10 th of May. That ' 

* This precious volume is still preserved in the Ambrosiati Librarr, at Milan. It »* j 
enriched with vij^ettes by the same artist, Simon Miirtini, who painted Laura's portrwn j 
and Las marginal notes in the same handwriling as Petrarch's memorandum, ahove quotedi [ 

t According to tho Itariaa method of counting time ; meaning 6 o'clock, A. M.:— ami 
whiclt was the same with the old Hebrew mode of dividing time : the '* third hour of th« ^ 
day," being Nine A. M. 

[y, so cliaste, so "beautiful^ was deposited in tlie cliiircli of tlie Cor- 
rSy on tlie evening of tlie day she died. Iler spirit, I doubt 
is returned to tliut lieaven whence it came. To preserve the * 
mournful memor}'' of this bereavement, I take a certain bitter 
pltMsure in WTiting this record ; and write it the rather in this 
book, which is often before my eyes, in order that there may be 
nothing henceforth to please me in this life, since my chief link 

i^ith it being broken, I may be reminded, by the fi'equent sight 
of these words, and by the just estimation of a transitory existence, 
that it is time to leave this Bal)ylon j which, with the help of 
l^i\*iiie Grace, will be nowise difficult to me, from a manly and cour- 
'^g^^ons contemplation of the fruitless careg, vain hopes, and unfore- 
^U events which have agitated me during my earthly sojourn." 

His own dismissal was indeed in harmony with his own gracious 
^e, lie was found one morning, seated in his libraiy ; his head 
ieaning on a book that he had been reading ; his body at rest, and 
^^ spirit flown to its Great Giver. 

Petrarch's poetical temperament enabled him to sustain the 
P^Uig of Laura's death. She was lost to him on earth ; but he pos- 
^^esed her still in heaven. She was liis own, there, even more 
^I'uly, than she had been while here in the flesh : — ^he woi*shipped 
*^Gy adoringly as ever — and with yet greater feeling of exclusive 
appropriation. Her image became sublimated to his thought ; and 
-tte could contemplate it with a spiritualized love, nndistracted by 
^**ipasaioned wishes. 

The verses in wliich he hymns her after she was dead, are per- 
Up3 finer than those he penned while she was living. They are 
■Usistened into higher aspiration, and more exalted ideality. He 
i^iUule the noblest use of her loss — the use befitting a true love 
*^>siug its sole object — ^by converting it into the means of raising 
Wm to immortal hope. He believed himself to be in constant 


L A r B A . 

commuuion with her spirit, he fancied her visibly l)es»irle him,coi 
olmg hid regrets, soothing his soitow, illuminiug the dark and rrt 
houre of night by her presence, appearing to his sight, an 
pointing heavenward in token that there they should meet to pu 
no more. It is this elevated tone of feeling in her lover's writing 
which hears witness to the purifying influence that Laura exercise 
over his niind. Had she been any but the noble creature she wai 
the poef 3 affection could never have been so ecnstant, and so » 
fined in character. Had she been the mere adrcnt captivator some- 
times imagined, she could never have exercised this posthomoui 
ascendency over Petrarch's thoughts. But he himself in his sonnets, 
takes occasion to bless the virtuous firmness which turned lu* 
course to a happier shore, and preserved him from perishinoj. Ani 
not merely immediately upon his loss, was he thus impres?ed ly" 
her guardian excellence ; but after his heart had been a widows 
twenty years, he describes Laura appearing to him, as in a haze of 
beatified glory, assuring him how welcome death is to those wh> 
ai'e prepared: and telling him, that when she herself died, she felt 
no sadness, save pity for him. He represents himself as beseeclk' 
ing her to say whether she ever loved him ; and her answerinj 
evasively, that altlio«gli gratified by his love, she deemed it righ 
to repress his warmth by the coldness of her manner ; but thai 
when she saw him dejected and unhappy, she looked consolingly 
and gave him words of kindness. *' It was by this alternate rigoii 
and gentleness," he makes her say, *' that I have led thee — some 
times happy, sometimes unhappy ; often, it is true, weaiy, yet stfl 
I have led thee whither there is no more peril, and I have thu 
saved us both. There has been a sympathy between ns, littl 
dijYeriug, except in this : that thine was proclaimed to the whol 
world, and mine was kept concealed. But giief is not the less fq 
being endured in silence; nor is it the more for beini 

"W"e are bound to accept the moral poitrait of Laura as drawn 

>y the hand of Petrai'cli ; for though there may be the proverbial 

Bxtravagance of the lover, and the assumed hyperbole of the poet 

tn this praise, yet there is much more real truth in the exagger- 

ttions of both lover and poet than conventional jndges generally 

Wieve. There is a truth in the high colouring of both love and 

poetry as far superior to the mere verbal truth of strict an«l l>are 

description, as there is in a portrait, painted by Titian, beyond 

tliat of a photographed likeness. The mellowing, and idealizing 

in liigh art, gives a truer embodiment of the life, than the hard 

rectilinear precision of the mechanically stamped similitude. 

The personal portrait of Laura may also be gathered from her 

poet-lover's verses, as well as her moral picture ; and with the same 

com-iction of its essential fidelity in the midst of heightening fancy. 

Tie eye of affection and of poesy sees the best aspect of the 

Moved one, it is true ; but the eyes of the world should be glad 

toheliold that best, and should avail themselves of that keener 

8iglit lent them by the lover and the poet, when depicting* the 

object of their admiration. And it is curions, too, that from one 

little negative circumstance, we may believe thnt Petrarch adhered 

to the very letter as well as the spirit of Laura's perfections ; since 

^6 is silent with respect to one feature of her face, while eloquently 

^^Scanting upon all the others, lie avoids describing her nose : 

t'^erefore it is probable that it was not remarkable for beauty ; 

^^ his inferred candour on this point — ^for it amounts to a tacit 

^^*idence — may be taken as a proof, that he did not flatter her in 

^y of the others. An Italian dissertator alledges that Laura bad 

^iosc, the style of wliich he designates by the word " -s-cavezzo ; " 

^d adds, that this is considered a lieauty in France, implying 

^reby that she had what the French ctdl a " 7i^z rcirousse^'^ In 

lab, there is no term more softened for this kind of nose — 





very bewitcliing, nevertlieless, to some tastea — than a "snnb-nose,^ 
or a " torn-upnose." We all know wliat havoc MarmontePs Ei 
alane, with her " petit nez retroussee," committed in the heart 
the Sultan of the Indies. The word " scavezzo " [indented] o 
tainly conveys the idea of that Mnd of nose, which is in the poB 
trait considered to be the most authentic of Lanra. 

The written picture of her, which may "be collectively obtained 
from the descriptions of Lanra dispersed through Petrarch s poemgy 
shows her to have had eyes "both brilliant and tender ; and al- 
though he does not precisely state their colour, yet his allasionsto 
sapphii-e in his figurative expressions, indicates tliem to l«e hke. 
Her excpisitively-cut mouth was composed of peai'ls set amid rose?* 
Her countenance was more* round than ovdl ; her eyebrows were 
dark, while her hau* was pale gold ; her skin was of dazzling fjw^ 
ness ; her complexion clear and transparent, with a dehcate y^ 
lirilliant colour ; her shape symmetrical, and graceful : her shoulden^ 
neck, hands, and feet beautifully moulded and proportioned ; her 
carriage noble and majestic ; her looks fuU of gentleness, sweet 
cheerfulness, and sincerity ; and a celestial aii* pervaded her whol< 
appeai'ance. The expression of her countenance was its charm; 
and the tone of her voice was enchantingly soft and melodious. 

Some biographers have asserted that Laura possessed the poet- 
ical faculty, — ^that she wrote verses ; and that she took her placd 
among those ladies of her native land who composed " The Conrt 
of Love." It is possible that these tribunals, where beauty pre 
sided, wli ere gallantry reigned, and where various nice questions ol 
Love and Wit were discussed, counted a lady of the house of Sad 
among its members ; but it is very unlikely that if Laura de Sadi 
had been this lady, Petrarch would have failed to notify such 

circumstance. Had she figured in '' The Court of Love," and cet 


tainly had she possessed the gift of poetry, her poet-lover wouli 



have omitted to ennmerate these distinctions when proclaim- 
lier merits. Since her name alone supplied him with such 
itxplled ingenuity of allusion, it is not likely that he would have 
^ to seize upon so fruitful, and so congenial a theme of gratu- 
on. We see how beautifully he could assemble her many per- 
tions in one lovely poem, when we read that which Leigh Hunt 
i 80 finely translated for us ; and which he calls, " Petrarch's con- 
nplations of death in the bower of Laura.'' 

" Clear, fresB, and dulcet streams, 
Whicli the fair sLape irlio sccma 
To mo sole womaE, haunted at noon-tide ; 
Fair Loagli, so gently fit, 
(I sigh to think of it) 
Which lent a pillar to her lovely side ; 
And turf and flowers bright-eyed, 
O'er which her folded gown 
Flow'd like an angel's down ; 
And yoUj holy air and hush'd, 
"WTiero first my heart at her sweet glances guaVd ; 
Gire ear, give ear with one oona^ntiDg, 
To my lost words, my last, and my lamenting, 

If 'tis my fate below, 
And heaven will have it so, 
That lore must close these dying eyes in tears, 
May my poor dust be laid 
In middle of your shade, 

While my soul naked mounts to its own spheres, 
The thought would calm my fears. 
When taking out of breath 
The doubtful step of death ; 
For never eould my spirit find 
A stiller port after the stormy wind ; 
Nor in more calm, abstracted bourne, 
Slip from my travailed flesh, and from my bones outworn* 

Perhaps, some future hour, 

To her accustom'd bower 

Might come the untam'd, and yet the gentle she; 

1(50 LATJBA. 

And where she saw me first 
Might turn with eyes athirst 
And kinder joy to look agalQ for me ; 
Then, Oh the charity ! 
Seeing amidat the stones 
The earth that held iny hones, 
A sigh for rery love at last 
Might ask of heaven to pardon me the paat : 
And heaven itself could not say nay, 
An with her gentle veil she wiped the tears away. 

How well I call to mind, 
When from those boughs the wind 
Shook down upon her bosom flower on flower ; 
And there she sat meek-eyed, 
In midst of all that pride, 

Sprinkled and blushing through an amorous shower. 
Some to her hair paid dower, 
And seemed to dress the earls 
Queen-like, with gold and pearls : 
Some, snowing, on her drapery stoppM, 
Some on the earth, some on the water dropped ; 
While others fluttering from above, 
Seem'd wheeling round in pomp, and sayings " Here reigns Loye.** ' 

Uow often then I said, 
Inward, and fiU'd with dread, 
*' Doubtless this creature came from Paradise !" 
For at her look the while, 
Iler voice, and her sweet smile, 
And heavenly air, truth parted from mine eyes ; 
So that with long-drawn sighs, 
I said, as faur from men, 
" How camo I here, and when ? " 
I had forgotten ; and alas 1 
Fancied myself in heaven, not where I was 
And from that time till this, I bear 
Such luvc f<ir the green bower, I cannot rest elsewhere." 

TnuVition iutimtitos that the man who possessed the wed 
fiiith and affection of Laura^ scarcely deserved his treasure ; 



lere are Lints tliat Jus temper was arbitrary and capiiclous ; and 
i is related, that lie was so little affected hy tlie loss of her who 
Ad brought him eleven children, that he married again within 
iglit months of her death. Traditional accounts relative to such 
!oint3 as these are diJSieult of trust, — ^or rather, of decisive con 
kniction. That the husband's temper conhl be wa3^ward, seems 
lardly likely, when he gave such staid sanction, — as he did by 
acit consent and approval — ^to the world-known admiration of the 
K>et for his wife. A man sul>ject to caprice or tp*anny would, at 
ome time or other, have made protest against this open assertion 
>t a kind of property in her whom he would have considered ex- 
jlayvely his — ^his goods, his chattels, — for this is the light in which 
Hen of arbitrary temper regard theii' wives. With respect to the 
>ther circumstance,^ — Hugo de Sade's marryiug again, so soon after 
osing Laura,— that can only be judged according to the character 
»f the man. A husband who is of a social and sympathetic dispo- 
sition, cannot endure the void left in his existence by such a be- 
f^eavement ; and, the more eagerly if he have been extremely hap- 
>y with his fii-st wife, will he endeavour to supply her place by 
kia side, for the remainder of his days. These are completely mat- 
!r8 of individual feeling and temperament. The chance is, bow- 
er, that the man w^ho made an unfortunate selection in his first 
ife, would delil>erate in risking a second : it is reasonable, there- 
fore, to conclude, that Hugo de Sade was both a worthy, and a 
ippy husband ; and his early re-marnage was a tacit proof of this, 
l^well as a testimony to the mother of his eleven children. 

Two centuries after Laura had been laid in her grave, some of 
^e chief chm'ch dignitaries at Avignon, occupied in antiquarian 
J^arch, obtained permission to have her tomb opened. The 
iterest in Laura had been made universal and enduring by her 
areate: his mifiht had rescued her fi'om what Sir Thomas 

104: ^^^^^^ LAURA. 

Browne calls, " the iniquity of o]>Iivion," wliicli, lie says, " scatteret 
her poppy and deals ^^'ith the memory of men without distinctioa 
to merit of perpetuity.^ Petrarch a poetry had imbued Laura'i 
with an undying charm that sufficed to render her very dust 
precious. On rabing a large stone bearing no inscription, but 
ha^-iug two escutcheons somewhat e^ced by time, surmounted by 
a rose, a few small bones were found, near to which lay a leaden 
casket fastened with wire. This box contained a parchment folded 
and sealed with green wax, with a medal in bronze, representing i 
female figure veiling her bosom, encircled by the initial inscrip- 
tion, ]\L L. M. J., which has been conjecturally inteq')retedto stand 
for Madonna Laura morta jace. On the parchment was an 
Italian sonnet, signed with the name of Petrarch ; but wliich, 
judgmg from its mediocrity, is supposed not to have been his, but 
i>ossibly written by one of his friends, perhaps the voiy Luigi, who, 
according to the memorandum in Petrarch's Virgil, conveyed the 
news of Laura's death to her lover. This exhumed discovery ^- 
cited much attention. Francis the First, passing through Avignon 
in the autumn of 1533, desired to see the tomb of Laura, IIo 
read the sonnet ; and when he replaced it in the casket, he added 
an epitaph of his own composition. This tribute of homage from a 
prince of such tasteful and chivalrous accomplishment as Francis 
the First, was a graceful offering paid by royalty at the shrine ol 
beauty ; and the quaint old French verses themselves are so good, 
as to do credit to both kingly author, and queenly lady. 

" En petit lieu compris, tous pouvez roip 
Ce r|iii comprond beancoup par renommee , 
Plmue, labeur, la hingue et le savour, 
Furent vaincu par Tamant do I'aimce 
gentiUc ame ! ^taut tant estlmce, 
Qui te pourra loacr qu' en so taisant ? 
Car la paralo est toujours reprimee 
Quaad le sujet surmonte le disant." 



[♦< In Bmall Fpaco compris'd jou here may behold, 
Tliafc which compriscth a world of renown ; 
Pen, labour, and knowledge, a language of gold, 
The beloved one's lover attained aa a crown. 
gentle-sweet soul ! bo honour'd already ; 
Who, but by silence, may thy praises record ? 
For words must be always found lame and unready, 
When the subject of praise exceedeth all word."] 

gave orders that a mausoleom should he erected for Laura'.'? 
ains, and he contributed the sum of a thousand crowns toT\ ards 
aying its cost. The architect ivas selected for the work, and 
motto was chosen, which was to be graven thereon :- — " Victrix 
^des :" but this monument was never executed, although the 
Pfclement Marot, and others, ascribed to the monarch the 
lit of its intention. Since the discovery of Laura^s tomb, travel- 
liave not failed to visit it, and examine the casket, medal, 
^ and epitaph ; but all these memorials have now disap- 

pQwards the beginning of the eighteenth centmy, a certain 
■fisi, sub-sacristan in the clmrch of the Cordeliei*s, sold the 
et and medal to some English visitors. This ridiculous passion 
relics is a terribly Anglican fiiiling, and leads to the most 
•adingly fatuous conduct. The way in which scraps of ropes, 
. for hanging notorious felons ; Blips of bushes, and vials of 
tafrom pomis, where, murderers have hidden their victims' 
m'i and similar revolting articles, have been eagerly bought 
ly relic-fanciers, bitten with this mania, is almost incredible to 
r people. These rabid *' snappers-up of ill-consi<iered trifles '' ^ 
hack ^"ith their pen-knives some carved wooden effigy, till it 
I be a heap of pplintei's, or chip out bits from some antique 
ble, till it be a shapeless mass t — (the Sphinx will soon l>e dis- 
ed, with the present fashion of the English to winter at Cairo) 



— they will hoard tip nioi-sels of dismembered and disconnect 
trash, with stolid veneration ; yet laugh at Chaucer'3 ParJone 
with his "glass full of pigges' bones;" — and at Boccaccio's 
with his " feather of the Phoenix that came out of the Ark," whili 
sneering at " Popish trinkets, and idol-worship." These gent 
have so obtuse a perception of the real interest seated in relics, and 
so craving a maw to possess the mere things themselves, that j 
handsome sum was offin'ed to the town of Stratford-upon-Avon fo 
the house in which Shakespeare was }x)m, with a view to tra 
porting it abroad I As if that house could have any charm cartedj 
away from the swjeet English village in which the poet of poetsl 
iii'st di'ew breath. Pulled down, carried 0% put uj) again else-j 
where, it becomes no better than a mere handful of l)rieks 

The leaden casket and bronze medal picked out of Laura^j] 
grave, and transfeiTed to some cabinet of curiosities, ticketed and 
labelled, to be stared at by idle casual eyes, unassociated, unhal-] 
lowed by time and place, are but poor baubles. After all, the] 
best relics are those which are imperishably enshrined within tbj 
record of the poet's verse, or the deeds of good, great, and glorious I 
people. A single line of poetry immortalizing a beautiful speecli,j 
or a heroic act, forms a truer memorial, than an actual portion of] 
a pei'son. A ril>bone of Milton, which we have often reverentiaUj] 
gazed at — and which may have lain close against the poet's heart, 
when it throbbed with the conception of that great epic, recording 
the iirst human-moulded rib, and its long train of consequent 
wonders — -never stirred our soul with one tithe of the emotion tbftt 
the poet's own lines have excited. How dull and adust, hoffl 
devoid of interest and meaning that small slender ossicle lookei 
compaied with the vital words : — 

LAURA. n^^ 167 

" Who stooping, opened my left side, and took 
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm, 
And life-blood streaming fresh ; wide was tho wound 
Bat suddenly with fiesh fill'd up and heal'd : 
The rib he form'd and faahion'd with his hands; 
Under his forming hands a creature grew, 
Man-like, but different sex ; so lovely fair, 
That what Bcem'd fair in all the world, Beetu'd now 
Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contained, 
And in her looks \ which from that time infus"'d 
Sweetness into my heart uufelt before. 
And into all things from her air ins>pir'd 
Tho spirit of love and amorous delight." 

Petrarcli's verse is the sumptuous reliquary where Laura^s 
beauty is eternally embalmed in nufixding lustre. In her life-time 
bis poems showed the world what a woman adorned it : — after her 
death — and to all time, they will show the world what a creature 
it once contained. And not only in the poet's productions, hut in 
himself, he enhanced Laura's honour ; for he was so noble a man, 
morally as well as intellectually, that it reflects credit on the 
woman who was beloved by such a bemg. His friendship for 
Boccaccio, witnesses his high and generous sentiment. The follow- 
ing extract from one of Petrarch's letters to his brother-writer, is 
a beautiful instance of manly feehng : — " Reflect whether you 
cannot, as I have long wished, pass the remainder of yom* days 
with me. As to your debt to me, I do not know of it, nor under- 
tands this foolish scruple of conscience. You owe me nothing, 
except love ; nor that, since each day you pay me ; except, indeed, 
that receiving continually from me, you still continue to owe. You 
complain of poverty ; I wOl not bring forward the usual conso- 
lation, nor alledge the examples of illustrious men, for you know 
them already. I applaud you for having preferred poverty com- 
bined with independence, to the riches and slavery that were 
offered you ; but I do not praise you for refusing the solicitations 


li AURA, 

of a friend. I am not able to emieli you ; if I were, I bIiooIJ oae 
neither words nor pen, but speak to you in deedg. But whatj 
sufficient for one, is enongli for two : one house may surely su 
for those who have but one heart. Your disinclination to coiaeij 
injures me ; and it is more injurious if you doubt my sincerity." 

How finely does Petrarch's warmth of affection for Boccaccio, and 
his admiration for that writer's talent, refiite the ignorant preju* 
dices of the common herd, respecting the jealousies of men of letters 
towards each other. Boccaccio made a beautiful manuscript copy 
of Dante with his own hand, gorgeously illuminated, as a present 
for Petrarch ; while Petrarch was so great an admirer of Bocca^ 
cio's story of Griselda, that he translated it into Latin for those 
who could not read it in Italian ; and took pleasure in frequently 
reading it himself; and committed it to memoiy, that he might 
relate it to his friends. He evidently repeated it to Chaucer ; who, 
in his introduction to his own version of tlie Tale (the Clerk^), 
says that he *' learned it at Padua of a worthy clerk," and ppoceedfl 
to e3q>lain that :— 

" Fraunceia Petrarkc, the laureat poete, 
HigLt tbia ilke elerkc, whose Relhoricke sweet 
Enlumincd all Itaillc of poctric." 

Not only have we thu! link of association between Petrarch and 
the father of English poetry ; but there is one slender thread that 
brings him together with Shakespeare in our fancy. Among the 
places he visited, when wandering over Europe, in the endeavonr 
to free himself from the thraldom in which his senses were held 
when perpetually within sight and reach of Laura's beauty, while 
still unable to subdue the more passionate impulses of his affection, 
Petrarch rambled to the Mrest of Ardennes ; and here we may 
imagme him vying with Orlando and Sihaus in knowledge of 
*' the wounds invisible that love's keen arrows make ; " or, bantered 

Itosalind for being " a foo], and turned into the extremity of 


There existed in Florence, in the possession of tlie Penizzi 
fatnlly, a small bas-relief in white marble, representing Petrarch 
and Laura, behind which there were inscribed these words : " Simon 
de Senis me fecit, sub anno dom: MCCCXLHL" T\im piece of 
sculpture is about eight lines thick, six inches high, and each of 
the two portraits measures about four inches and a lialf. It was 
brought to Paris by Siguor Vincenzo Peruzzi in 1820, and he pub- 
lished a pamphlet, avouching its genuineness. 

He stated how the marble bas relief came into the possession of 
his ancestors ; and mentioned that the figure of Laura was more 
\Tom than the other, from its having been so fi'cquently kissed 
by enthusiastic beholders. 

Petrai'ch's Laura 13 dear to the memory of men, for her gentle 
benignity towards a lover who could not refrain fi'om adoring her 
excelling beauty, although it could^not be lawfully bis; and she 
will ever be held dear among women, for maintaining her sex's 
parity and dignity, while using her power over her lover in in- 
fluencing him to good and high aims. As the Italian Poet's ideal 
of womanly excellence, Laura must ever be 


Valentina Visconti, otherwise known as Valentine de Milan, was 
a beautiful instance of womanly purity and virtue, preserved amid 
the most vicious environments. Her girlhood in Italy, and her 
wifehood in France, were passed among scenes of grossness and 
ferocity incredible to us, who live in more civilized times. Her 
father, Giovanni Galeazzo Yisconti, was the first of his house who 
held the title of Duke of Milan. In his earlier years, he bore some 
resemblance to Shakespeare's "Duke of Milan," — ^Prospero — ^for 
Giovanni Galeazzo was addicted to study, and 

" Neglected worldly ends, all dedicate 
To closeness, and the bettering of his mind." 

But subsequently he gave himself up to far other pursuits ; 
exchanging the tranquil delights of learning for the turmoils and 
cruelties of ambition. 

From infancy, he showed so much perspicacity, so much dis- 
position for silence, and so precocious a judgment, that it was long 
believed so clever a child would not live to reach manhood. The 
taste for knowledge, which he at such tender age had evinced, did 
not forsake him to the end of life ; but it remained a taste, and 
was no longer an avocation, when the thirst for rule seized him. 
In youth, the pleasures of study rendered him insensible to the 



sailantd caosed him to consent, 1392, to a general peace. It wiis 
at this period, that an alliance was oonduded between his daughter 
Valentiua, and Louis, Duke of Orleans, brother to Charles YI.,king 
of France. Dowered witli the province of Asti, and with large 
sums of money as her marriage-portion, she espoused this rornl 
bridegroom. The Prince, her husband, was one of the most pro* 

' filiate and factious among the profligate and factious nobles who 
divided France into party feuds durbg that unhappy reign. The 
malady of the king aflTorded pretext to the leaders of all the con- 
tending factions, for seeking appointment to govern the kingdom 
as regent for a monarch not capable of sway. His luxnrioiij 
queen, Isabelle, or Isabeau, of Bavaria, his licentious brother, Louis 
of Orleans, the turbulent Duke of Burgundy, and the aspiring O^unt 
of Ai'magnac, were each restless in striving to make the king's 
mental disei^e a step to their own adoption of regal power. 

Valentina's husband, Louis, was leagued with the queen, hoth 
in policy and profligacy. No considerations of honour towards hb 
king and brother, acted as a restraint upon the dissolute duke; 
and no sentiments of wifely duty or womanly self-respect deterred 
tiie abandoned Isabeau from lending herself wholly to the ambi- 
tious views and vicious inclinations of the Duke of Orleans. ^HeT 
story, itself, is a romance of sinfulness. Young and beautiftil, her 
hand was sought by Charles VI., who had heard extravagant re- 
ports of her charms. Under pretence of performing a pilgrimage, 
le came to Amiens, where the yoimg king was ; succeeded in fa» 

"cinating him at the first interview, and obtained that ascendancy 
rer his weak intellect, which enabled her ever after to sway him 
It her will. Her tastes were luxurious and expensive ; and Bran- 
tome, remarks that she was the first queen who introduced into 
France that frantic passion for extravagant luxury, in wluch wo- 
men of the court have since so unlimitedly indulged. The entry 



I the youEg king and queen into Pai-is, ia described hy Mstoriaus ' 
curious detail ; and the festivities in celebration of the royal 
jfiaL;, were of unprecedented magnificence. They merged into 
ad of'noctui'nal Saturnalia, where all the court were masked; 
16 " ChronifLue de St, Denis " records that^ under favoui* of 
sk, there was not a person who did not abandon him or her- 
the extreme of licence and scandal. It was believed that, 
very occasion, began the criminal familiarity which ex- 
ed between the queen and the Duke of Orleans, — so early did 
abeau take advantage of her husband's weak intellect, to plunge 
Bto the most wanton disorder and disloyalty. She suffered her 
ilents and beauty to act as means of enhancing the disturbances 
^iuch racked France with faction, and menaced it with foreign in- 
sion ; while indulging unscrupulously in whatever evil passions 
abounded love of magnificence and enjojnaient led to. 
Such was the woman whom Valentina found in scarcc-conccaled 
(ommerce with her libertine husband, Louis, Duke of Orleans. But 
tistead of torturing hei*self with jealousy, or debasing herself by re- 
toaches, she took refuge from the pain inflicted by the guilty pair, 
empts to soothe the afiiicted condition of him who was fellow- 
brer with hereelf. Charles VI. took a strong fancy to the gen- 
ad beautiful Yalentina, between whom and his wife, Isabeau, 
fiere was a certain personal resemblance, — ^probably, a family 
seness ; for Isabeau was descended from a scion of the same house 
|b Valentina, being daughter of Taddea Yisconti, and Stephen IL, 
Poke of Bavaria, 

The innocent and affectionate attentions of this lovely young 

feature could win the unfortunate king from his moods of distrac- 

on when other means failed. In her presence he felt calm and 

^eased ; no one knew so well how to tranquillize him when agitat- 

no voice like hers could lure him fi-om his fits of sullenness 


or depression ; .and unweariedly she devoted herself to the gentla 
task of relieving by all means in her power his suflferings of V)odj 
and inind. The brilliant festivities which the occasion of Talen- 
tina's mai-riage called forth^ and which the profuse tastca of tb 
queen made frequent in that gay court, were soon left unattended 
by Yalentina, that she might sit with the brain-sick king, and tiy 
to alleviate his condition. Her loving goodness touched his best 
feelings, awakened hiTn to a sense of joy and comfort, and engaged 
his tenderest gratitude. He called her his " dear sister," his "gweel 
sister ; " and begged her not to deprive him of her soft whisjiered 
tallv, which was to him welcomest music lie besought her not to 
leave him ; not to deprive him of her society, which shed peace 
on his troubled spirit. He conjured her to return, each time that 
malignant slander drove her to retreat from court, in the hope of 
silencing its e\il tongue. For, all the cleai-ness of this young crea- 
ture's conduct, all the transparent innocence of her nature, could 
not screen her from injurious reports. Though " chaste as ice, pure 
as snow, she could not 'scape calumny." Party hatred converted 
even this fair gentle girl into a medium for their envenomed shafts. 
Through her they attacked the objects of their animosity. Thft 
party of the Duke of Burgundy, opposed with deadly rancour to 
that of the queen and the Duke of Orleans, made the young Duch- 
ess of Orleans a source of ai'ousing popular prejudice. The belief 
in Itidian skill in sorcery, and Italian knowledge of the uses and 
properties of various kinds of poisonous drugs, was very generaL^ 

LEven in Shakespeare's time, we find Imogen's fears for her husband 
taking the shape of invective against " that drug-damned ItalyJ 
The Burgundian party did not hesitate to avail themselves of thid 
popular belief, by exciting in the public mind an idea that Valen? 
tina's influence with the wit-diseased monarch was owing to her 
being an adept in the arts of sorcery, and in the preparation of ^ 



niters conducive to subject tlie will and tlie affections of their 
ictim to the sinister purposes of the swayer. The Duke of Bur- 
tody did not fail to hint, that Yalentina in her native Italy had 
idd ample opportunity for becoming well versed in the black arta 
f magic, and that she was proficient as a poisoner. Her father's 
fell-known stndious habits as a young man, and his subsequent 
lime towards his uncle, lent colour to these accusations. The 
oke of Orleans' haughty nval insinuated that the young duchess 
wk advantage of lier ascendancy over the king's doubly feeble 
lind — weak from insanity, and weakened by fond-potions — to pro- 
lote her husband's interest, and secure his position of authority 
I the kingdom. The guardianship of the king's person had been 
warded to the queen ; while the government of state affaire had 
leen committed to the Duke of Burgundy. But the Duke of Or- 
Bans had appealed against this disposal ; and his power over Isa- 
leau's heart enablintc him to make her exert hei-sclf in his favour, 
keir united cabals had forced Burgundy to yield for a tune. It 
Pas in his efforts to regain state authority, that the Duke of Bur- 
iindy did not scruple an attempt to fa.sten upon Yalentina the 
ii8[>icion of unduly influencing the king's favour on behalf of his 
^ther, her husband. It is probable that the young T\*ife did ex- 
fme such magic as Bhe was mistress of, to augment the partiality 
rliicli Chai'les YI. had always entertained for his unworthy broth- 
r; for neither Louis's wrongs towards hei'self, nor his betrayal 
^ loth conjugal and paternal honour, could destroy her affection 
w* liim. But the magic she used, was the sorcery gS loving-kind- 
l«B, the witcheries of affectionate intimacy ; the enchantments of 
entle nursinc:, soothinsf, cheerinsf, and consolini^. Her sole charm 



raa the charm of sweet temper ; her strongest spell that of good- 
less and untiring patience. Not only in her behaviour towards 
he hapless king was her moral beauty evinced ; but in her for- 




bearancG and her constancy of attaclimeut towards lier 
deserving husband. Slie seems to liave possessed tlie noble ' 
of making all generous allowance for tlie faults of him ehe lo 
In an era marked hy unbliislung licence of all sorts, she could i 
large toleration for Ms open infidelities, his boundless luxury, 1 
rampant ambitiom Although her innocent attractions could 
suffice to fix his unstable fimcy, nor her modest graces succeed id 
secuiiag her his esteem, she continued to regai'd him with afib 
and to interest herself on his behalf. But not only did he ne 
her for other women, wound her feelings by indifference, hi 
tenderness ]>y repulse, and injure her botU in love and honon 
Lis unfaithfulness ; he lent weight to the calumnies of Iter 
Bel's — although her accusers merely endeavoured to ruin he 
his account — by giving a kind of countenance to their assert 
Not content with alleging that she contrived to acquire xmkv 
influence over the king's crazed judgment, they Ixorbarously 
occasion, from the sudden death of a beloved child of her own, i 
frame a tale of treachery and subtle ciime against her. The ] 
tizans of the Duke of Burgundy spread a report that her son ' 
died in consequence of ha\dng swallowed by mistake a poison 
draught, prepared by his mother for the Dauphin ; and the 
of Orleans, heedless of the air of credence that such a step w€ 
give to the story, and insensible to the grief of that gentle 
which seemed doomed to be pierced through its tenderest i 
tions, sent her away to Neufchatel. This might have beea 
suggestion from Isabeau ; or it might have arisen merely from 
own levity, and a dissolute desire to free himself from the pr 
of a wife, in order to give still freer course to his profligate j 
nations. Not content with the favom-s of the licentious qn 
Isabeau, he sought those of all the meretricious beauties wl 
abounded iu that polluted court; and it was by one of his ii 


mistresses that he had that i]leG:itimate sou, renowne*! in 
as the handsome Dimois (" le beau Dunois "), and snrnamed, 
ording to the out-spoken foshion of the time?, " the bastard of 

^'It was this very sin in Louis Duke of Oi'leans — ^his insatiate 
\ all-unsparing galhintrles — which led to his own untimely fate. 

" Tliegods are just, and of our ploasaat vices 
Mate instruments to scoui'ge us.'' 

luis dm-eJ to cast his unhallowed eyes upon the young Duchess 
Burgundy's beauty ; and had the audacity to attempt making it his 
ey. His villainy not succeeding in prevailing against her virtue, 
J vanity consoled itself with assailing her reputation, by boasting 
£iYoars never obtained. But this madly reprobate act cost him 

^The outraged husband was not one to let pass such an 
for signalizing his M^rath. It was the crowning circum- 
Qce m a long series of mutual rivalries and antagonisms subsist- 
5 between the House of Burgundy and the House of Orleans. 
le present Duke of Burgundy was that John Lack Fear (" Jean 
13 peur") who had won tlds proud surname by his dauntless 
avery when a youth, in an action against Bajazet, Sultan of the 
irks. He made a desperate eflbrt to regain the power lie had 
nporarily ceded ; marched suddenly and unexpectedly upon 
ria ; forced the c^ueen's party to take refuge at Melun ; obtained 
aeesion of the king's person, and of the capital, which was 
Voted to his interest ; and entered into negotiations for estab- 
iing peace. Apparent reconciliation was effected ; but not long 
er, the Didie of Orleans was assassinated in the streets of Paris, 
r a few days only, Burgundy dissembled ; then Jie confessed to 
IQg author of the deed, " instigated," he said, '^ by the Devil." 
m summarily did he account for the foul act ; and though he 
?ed to feel a brief compunction for it, by retiring to' his 




dommions after tlie inuixler, lie s])eeclily rallied, Lolilly ji 
Im act, cliai'god the late Dake of Orleans with disloyalty, retuB 
to Pai-13 with an armed force, and procured, under the hand ainl _ 
seal of the king, a pardon ** for what had lately happened tol 
Duke of Orleans.^ 

Such boldly acted, and lightly treated atrocities glaring^j 
beijpeak the lawless disorder of those times; and place viYid 
before us the distracted state of the realm and of social conditio! 

Valentina was at Chateau-Thieny towards the close of the yoal] 
1407, when she learned the fatal tidings of her husband's xiok 
death. His blood seemed to ciy aloud for avenging retribution;] 
and she resolved to obtain this last and sole-remaining satis5filctkMl^ 
to his manes. First placing her eluldreu in safety — for a fiictioi| 
capable of committing so flagrant a deed, taught her to take tliB I 
precaution of securing them from possible harm — she seat Let 
family to Blois, while she hei-self rej)aired to Paris. iVnived tlicWij 
she traversed the city accompanied by a long train of women tf | 
mourning garments, and went to throw herself at the king*s i 
beseeching vengeance on the murderers of her husband, 
feeble-minded prince promised her redress, with aU the marbof] 
sincere emotion; but he was a mere puppet in the hands of otbeKi 
and he had no power to gain for her what he engaged to procur**] 
The widowed duchess, with her sable-clad attendants, moving along] 
the streets of the capital to demand royal vengeance for her Infl^| 
dered lord, ofters one of those solemn pictures to the imaginatiaa] 
of modern times, which then appealed straight to the hearts of li^ 
ing eye-witnesses. In unlettered ages, when printing Avas unknowBil 
and when even reading and writing were confined to veriest fell?! 
the people had to be addi-essed in visible tokens. Public ophiiofl 
was enlisted for or against, by symbols ; public sympathy or publi<> | 
indignation, public favour or public animosity w*ere best and mo 



fa^QAlly stirred by presented images. Verbal report was used 
Hkieans of prepossei^siug, or prejudicing; wliile visual signs were 

»tlie medium of active impression. Contemporary history 
that Valentina's public procession through the streets of 
hris, was by no means a singular case of popular appeal. The lif^*' 
sabeau herself affords many such examples ; and while testifying 
le of making those graphic appeals, it accumulates instances 
! wild misrule then prevailing. On one occasion, when sue- 
fully grasping at dominant power, this brazen queen caused the 
ts of her administration to be proclaimed, created a parliament, 

k great seal engraved, representing herself with extended arms, 
da imploring France ; and entitling herself in all papers 
lied in her name, '^ Isabeau, by the grace of God, Queen of 
^ance, holding, as regent for his raajasty, the King, the govern- 
int and administration." At another time, we find her sid- 
§ with his enemies against her own son, the Dauphui ; degrad- 
g France by treaties with the English, and saciificmg her 
entry's interest to her own, by effecting an alHance in maniage 
itween her daughter Katharme and Hemy V. of England, 
alieau is a veritable " wicked queen " of the stamp depicted in 
Jtion. She is like a royal heroine of melodrama. She had lover 
' lover ; and stifled her pangs for the loss of each, by taking a 
ae. She converted love into a means of satisfying hate ; and 
hatred into love, when it served the pui*poses of her passion 
^fcwer. The three lovers whom she especially favoured, each 
STwith a tragical end. The Duke of Orleans was assassinated; 
ouis de Boisbonrdou was tortured, and flung into the river ; and 

Hbke of Burgundy was stabbed to the heart. The fate of the 
(I was marked by that savage detail, characteristic of the 
eriod in question. Tlie queen's amour with the young officer, 
Cdaa de Boisbourdon, becoming suspected, he was seized, loaded 

A L E N T I N E D E M I L A >' 

witU chains, subjected to tlie torture, forced to confess \m ciioM^ 
tliro>\'n into tlie Seine at niglit, fastened in a leathern sack Lconc^ 
thb inscription: — ^"Make way for the king's justice."* In tk 
period of her disgrace, when she was deprived of her jewels 
tixnisure, and sent captive to Toui-s, Isabeau changed her 
enmity towards Jean sans peur, Duke of Burgundy, and mi 
of her fii-st lover, the Duke of Orleans, into favour ; sent for 
won liim to her cause, and eflfected her liberation from prison 
his means. A traitor gave admittance to the Burgundian pi 
into Paris, where they made honible massacre of the Arma^r 
the faction for the time in j>ower ; and* Queen Isabeaa, >\ 
new lover, came to the capital, escorted by twelve hundred ii..i.-uv 
arms. Her entry wore the air of a triumph. She appeared, 
mounted on a car. Flowers were strewn m her way as she passed— 
along those very streets fresh stained with the blood shed in the 
massacre just perpetrated on her behalf, lu those very streets, too^ 
where her early lover, Louis of Orleans, had been murdered; ani 
where his young widow and her mourning train had passed to sedL 

Valeutina's inter^^ew with the king was followed b}' no efled- 
ive result. The queen, wht>se own selfish sorrow at the loss of the 
Duke of Orleans, inspii*ed her with no conmiLseration for the 
rightful gi'ief of his unappy wife, sent her away from coui't. Val- 
entina retired to Blois and remained with her children ; but she 
did not cease from demanding justice. She even made a second 
attempt to engage the sympathies of the citizens of Paris, by once 
more appealing before them, robed in black, and attended by her 
weeping women, on her way to obtain a hearing for her dolorooa 
plea of the unavenged WTong done to her husband ; but the im- 
pmiity which then attended ciime, and the ascendancy of the 
culprit, rendered all her efforts uuavailing. The jwignant re^^ret 




ahe felt at the clcatli of a liusLand, wliose many wrongs towards 
pr could not destroy Ler love for Iiim, reduced lier to a despair 
iicli brought her to the grave. Her husband's natural sou, 
^Dijnois, Tvas then at Blois, Tvith her own childi'en, and the gener- 
ous tenderness she extended towards this gallant youth— treatmg 
M'ith no less affection than the rest — was rewarded by a 
devoted attachment on his part. Finding herself on her death- 
bed, Valentlna caused them to asseml^le around her, and charged 
them ever to behave so as to sustain the honour and gloiy of their 
liouse ; and, above all, to persevere in seeking to obtain vengeance 

' for their father's barbarous murder. Dunois responded to her 
appeal with more of spirit and determination than the others ; and 
she exclaimed : — ^' He was stolen fi*om me ; I ought to have been 
his mother," 

This noble-hearted lady, and womanly princess, died in 1408, 
at theageof thii-ty-eight only; after having jielded to the world an 
ejcample of the brightest virtue preserved unsullied in the midst of 
a profligate court, the softest kindness amidst times the most vio- 
lent and turbulent, the mildest forbearance under injurious treat- 
ment from her husband, and the tenderest constancy towards his 
memor}'. Her gentle patience ^\dth the king, and her feminine 
sootMugs of his malady, are in consonance with the delicate gene- 
rosity of her behaviour towards *' le beau Dimois." A heart like 
hers could find candour of allowance for human failing; and could 
pluck out the core of sweetness that exists within outwardly bitter 

The motto she adopted in her widowhood, evinces the utter 
despondence which took possession of that gentle heart when it 

I liad lost the husband who owned its pure and fond affection. The 
Bimplieity of the wordings enhances the soft plaint and touching 

} resignation of the device : — 

184 YALSNTINB DB XlXiiiir. 

** Bien na m*eit ploi; 
Plui ne ]ii*eit rien." 

[" For me nragfat heDoefivth ; 
Henceforth naught to me.'*] 

The hereditary nghts of YaLentiiia, in ihe ^Clanese territory, 
subsequently became an occasion for those wars in Italy which \m 
of the kings of France — ^both grandsons of hers, Louis XIL and 
Francis I. — carried on there. She, who was one of the most fo^ 
bearing of women, to be made the sonrce of an aggressive war&re ' 
npon her native country, seems like a posthumous injury to her 
gentle nature. The character of Yalentma stands forth in the 
centre of the discord and licence that surrounded her, like a pure 
statue of white marble in a city given up to the bloodshed and 
rapine of conquering soldiery. 


FuoM tlie surging populace of great cities, even from the glittering 
swann of palaces, may come military heroes and managers of the 
state — ^mere fighters and schemers ; hut from the thoughtful quiet 
and sweet shadow of hnmhle rural life come oftenest the leaders 
and deliverers of the people, and they for whom wait the divine 
agonies and sombre triumphs of martyrdom, . It is by communing 
with God, more than with man, that they learn the true grandeur 
of humanity and the sacredness of human liberty. It is by " nour- 
ishing a youth sublime " on the simple elements of nature, on the 
healthful calm of solitude, far away from the belittling follies and 
degrading passions of the world, that the soul elect to redeem, or 
to expiate, takes to itself the fiery forces of the hero and the 
grand sustaining faith of the martyr. 

The unobstructed sight of earth and sky — ^the dewy sweetness 
and reverent stDlness of early dawn — ^the unveiled glories of mid- 
day, the pomp of sunset, the majesty of night — sun and storm, the 
freedom of winds, the strength of torrents, aU minister to them con- 
tinually, in silent, subtle ways. Even tlie flowers of the &Q\i\^ 
brightening lonely places with their prodigal yet beneficent lives, 
and the trees of the forest, blessing earth with liberal shado, 


and stnrtciiing up yeamingl}- toward heaven, are to tliem tN-pes i 
feacliers of iLe divinest truths and destinies of humanity. Fr 
all they behold of the natural world — ^its marvels, its splen- 
dours and delights, they learn reverence for man, for whom God 
has cared and phmned so much, and reverence for God from all 
things, great or small — ^from the insect, that flashes into life and I 
dances in the sunshine of a single day, to the planet that for ages 
of ages has wheeled through the limitlesa heavens ; — ^from the fire- 
fly, throbbing out his little radiance in the dusky dell, to the great] 
central fountain of light at which the worlds drink. 

The chosen of the Lord, the last champion of Freedom, the I 
heroic soul sent to meet some fearful crisis in the life of nation?, to 
lead, save, or avenge the people, is almost always simple, pious a&d 
primitive. So David, the shepherd -king of Israel — so wafl 
Wallace, so was Tell, so to a degree was Washington, so was ClJa^ 
lotte Corday, and so, beyond all, was that beautiful marvel of j 
womanhood and sainthood, Joan D'Arc. 

Nothing could have been love^er, more sylvan and tranqnil | 
than the opening scene in the life-tragedy of Za PioceUt, The I 
quaint little village of Domremy, on the Meuse, and near the vast 
forest of the Voeges — ^the humble cottage of Jaques B'Arc, a b- 
bourer — close on to the dense and fairy-haunted Bois Chcnus. 

On the May morning when Joan was born — when the fear and 
the anguish were past, and the peasant-mother slept a sleep that 
was like a heavenly trance, deep, and sweety and calm as God's 
peace, — slept, yet felt through all, the new life astir in her bo* I 
8om, the blind wandering of the soft little hands, the faint breath* 
ing of the small, rosy mouth ,^-could she have beheld that form] 
when scarce grown to womanhood, encased in armour — ^that hand J 
bearing tlie banner, the sword or the battle-axe — those lips otter 
ing i^rophecies, rallpng-cries, or words of vain defence — could the 

red lights of battle and of martyrdom liav^ flamed tlirougli lier 
dreams, Low Avould blie Lave sLrieked Lerself out of sleep to cLisp 
her baby closer, with tears aud wild caresses ! 

But we may not suppose that any sucL prophetic intimation of 
the strange destiny that awaited lier cliild came then or after, to 
trouble the peace of Isal>ella D'Arc. The little Joan grew up 
good and beautiful, modest, devout aud obedient, and her parents 
had doubtless great joy in her, hoping for Ler length of days, ac- 
cording to the prombe — ^peace, the good-will of their little world, 
and humlJe happiness. 

But this was not to be. Joan came in a troublous time. 
Frauce, after a mighty struggle, was sinking at last, in the long, 
nuequal contest; — the Lion of England was at her throat — -the 
fierce factions of Bm'gundians and Armagnacs were rending hei"* 
limbs a2:)art. "War, famine, pestilence, treason, rapine — all imagina- 
ble Climes and miseries desolated the land. Move groans than 
prayers ascended to Heaven, — for the gift of life, went up curses — 
for the smiling sunshine, tLe blaze of burning hamlets — for the 
sweet silent fall of dews, the rank exhalations of blood, crying to 
God for vengeance. On the throne, a crazed king — Henry of 
England declared the heir — Charles the Dauphin disinherited 
aud proscribed — the English arms overrunning and laying waste 
the realm, — ^^^as ever kingdom, or people in a more piteous and 
humiliating strait 'i 

All classes felt it,— into the most remote and sheltered village 
came the shame and the sadness, over the sunniest spot himg the 
ehadow of the nation's misfortune. It cama even to Bomrumv, 
and lay very dark and heavy on the soul of the Httle maid Joan. 
It filled her heai't, her young girl's heai-t, which should have been 
OS fidl of gladness and music as a nest of singing-birds, with a 

ige yearnuig, a vague, but noble melancbol}', a divine sorrow, — 



or as she more simply an-l grmidly expressed it, " the pity j 
rtalm of Francer This ** pity " left her neither Ly night nor day. 
It was with her in her hamhle domestic laboure, in the fields, ^ith 
Ijer flock*, under the fidries' tree, — ^in the old oak wood, beade the 
fountain, T)efore the shrine, in the chapel, and in her little chamber* 

Most melodious to her ear and dear to her heart were the 
chimes of the chapel-bells ; but she loved lietter than these — bet-, 
ter than the chanting of holy monks, to hear from her mother's li; 
the legends of saints and prophetesses— of Miriam, of Judith, of the 
blessed saints, Catherine and Margaret. As she listened, the flash- 
ing of her deep, dark eyas betrayed the fire of zeal and enthusias 
kindled in her souL She longed to inspire others, or herself t 
accomplish some noble work for her country and her God. Th 
'she would blush with holy shame at her presumption, and say 
'* ^liat am I, that I should so aspire ! — ^I who am scarce worthy 
to pray." 

She sought to fuse all her aspirations, her longing?, her feara 
and sonx>ws and jnty into prayer.- In all things possible she con- 
formed her outer life to the example of her " brothers and sisters 
in Paradise " — her inner life was hidden with God. She haunted 
the chapel and lonely wayside shrines, dropping tears w*ith her 
beads. Her breath became as incense — ^her pure body a temple 
of the Spifit. She vowed herself to holiness, chastity, and the se: 
vice of the Lord. 

Joan was yet a child when she had her first vision. It did n^ 
come to her at night, or in the solemn shades of the forest, or di 
aisles of tlie church ; but at noontide, on a summer day, in h 
father's garden. She saw a bright light, and heard a heavenly 
voice saying, "Joan, be a good girl,"— little more than that; yet 
the timid child was frightened, and told no one at the time. 

Again and again came the visions, and, at last, she grew 




iar with Ler celestial visitors, Michael, and Margaret, and Cathe- 
rine, and could recognize them hj their voices. When they told 
htJT to go to the help of her king and country, she answered sim- 
ply, " I am only a poor peasant girl : I know not how to ride or 
men-at-arms ; " but when they clearly directed her to go to 
Governor of Vancouleura for aid, and promised to hefriend 
id guide her, she bowed her meek head in devout, though tearful 
resignation to a destiny full of strange terrors, peril and mystery. 

She left her home, her parents, her brothers, the sisters of her 
heart, the poor and suffering she liad ministered to, the flocks and 
herds she had tended, the fairies' tree, the fountain, the chapel — 
all the dear places sanctified by her earthly loves and celestial 
^TaonSj-and went before the Governor of Vaucouleui's, a great and 
terrible personage to her, and calmly jDroclaimed her sublime mis- 
sion and her divine appointment. 

How the Sire de Baudricourt scoffed at first, and refused all 
aid — how the people, the common people, always wiser than their 
rulei*s, believed ; and how the hard scepticism of the nide soldier 
gave way at last, before the simple eloquence, the holy zeal, the sol- 
emn persistency of the inspired peasant gii-l — how she clad hei'self in 
a man's di*es3 for her man's work, and buckled a sword about her 
slender waist — how she tore herself from the arms of parents and 
weeping friends — ^how with a little train of foEowers, she traversed 
provinces bristling with the lances of the foe, deserts, forests, and 
marshes overflowed by wintry floods, we know ; but all she suf- 
fered, all she sacrificed, the fiery strife that rent her tender heart— 
the grief, the dread of that parting, the secret shrinking of her 
modest and sensitive natm-e from the unmaidenly work to whicli 
she was called, we can never know. 

Very brightly and serenely she passed through the ordeals that 
'awaited her at Chinon and at Poitiei"s, undazzled by the pomps and 

FplendouT^ of the court, untlisraayed by tlie awful council tif 
learned doctors, unbevrildered by tlieir cunning questioning, their 
theological subtleties and sophistries', unshaken by the doubts and 
feai-g of piiestly infidelity. Through the blackening cloud of hm 
suspicion, through the blinding mists of metaphysics, her pure and 
ardent sold burned its way. Like the child- Christ, she confonmH 
the doctors. 

Again the common people believed in her, and said, ''Th* 
maid is of God." Women hailed her with joy as a new revelation 
of the Virgin — children clasped their little liands in adoration and 
lisped out Ave?. 

'SVliat a glorious and marvellous vision she must have seenied to 
people, nobles, priests, and soldiei's, when* she took lier place at 
the head of the army, in her shining armour, on her black w«^ 
horse, her battle-axe and the sword of St. Catherine at her si(le> 
her sacred Imnner in her hand, her beautiful head uncovered, her 
lovely chCdlike face radiant with a saintly enthusiasm ! 

And how grand was her entrance into Orleans — the brave and 
suffering city which had long been praying for her coming — the 
fair promise of ages — "the Pucelle of the Marches of Lorraine, who 
was to save the realm.''. 

She enters at night, in the midst of a storm of thunder and 
lightning; yet the people crowd around her, eager to pay her 
almost divine honours. Down each dark street they i)our, like 
torrents — the thunder rolls above them, the rain beats njion them 
unheeded ; — every flash of lightning reveals to the Maid thousands 
of pale, famished faces, thousands of awe-struck, wistful €ye% 
hungry for the help she brings. Her war-horse labours through 
the human flood, and ]>ears her, not to the re^t and refreshment 
her tii'cd body so needs, but to church, to offer up prayers and 
thanksgiving. As she ]^rostrates herself on the cold marble floor, 



tlie image of her Lord, and the silver daag of her armour 
lg3 through the church, the j^eople who have followed her, kueel 
f scarcely knowing if they are worshipping the creature or the 
JT. And from that girlish figure, kneeling with clasped 
s, lifting a face pale with mortal weariness, yet strong with 
le power — the long dark locks di'ipping over it, and mingling 
with tears, a wave of devotion seems to flow down the long 
jaisle, and out into the open street, prostrating the crowd, who 
[>, give thanks, and adore. 

rom the church, Joan repaired to the house of the duke's 
^nrer, who entertained her during her stay in Orleans. His 
! and family received her kindly, and one of the daughters, 
iotte, shared her chamber and bed. One can but wonder if 
lotte slept much that night, side by side with that wonderful, 
tiful, anomalous creature — that tender virgin, who had just 


>ff the armour of the warrior — that prophet, seer, and leader 
armies, who, even in her dreams, talked with her saints, and 
ttured of battles and sieges. 

Jut though the soul of the Maid was exalted to almost super- 
human heijTrhts of heroism and devotion, her woman's heart was 
; womanly. When, as she rode around the walb, and sum- 
fed the besiegers to surrender, or commanded them to depart, 
f returned railing, curses and vile epithets, she shranlc and bent 

' theii* stinging insults, as from a pelting haU-storm, and cov- 

her burning face with her hands, wept bitterly. Then came 
a voice which none else could hear, a voice 'of love and 

theniug, aud she looked up comforted, saying.: — "I have had 
I of my Lord." 

foan has been compared to David of Israel ; yet surely there 
tie likeness beyond the fact that she sometimes tended her 

r's flocks. David, a youth "ruddy" and "goodly to look 


CA >' D ' A K C . 

upoo," came singing and haiy»ing to the camp of the long". 
Mioas of the work before him. Joan^ a maiden, pale \nik thdj 
paBBion of her gnblbnc purpose, came praying and fighting — or, at 
leagt, leading fighters, for it was affirmed, and we like to believe j 
it trne, that her hand and holy sword were never stained inthj 
blood of her own shedding. She comprehended, in all its ma^\ 
tnde and peril, the work to which she was called. She had meti> 
nred her Gruliah, and knew that his foil would shake the reals, I 
and might cmsh her. When David's envious brother said to Himl 
— ** Why comest thou down hither ? and with whom hast tliouleft 
those few sheep in the wilderness?" it is veiy likely that David 
Bmiled quietly, and went on adjusting the avenging pel)]>le in hi* 
sling — Ijut when the English Glasdale cried out to Joan to "go I 
back to her cows," she wept. Both knew that " the battle wiiJ 
the Lord's" — ^l)ut David flung his fiery young heait into the tliicjcl 
of the fight^ into the fury of carnage — Joan's heart was i/om] 
among the fallen, bleeding with every wound that carried morUlJ 
anguish to friend or foe. David devoted his enemies to indiscriin-j 
inate daughter, and "pursued after them;" Joan, magnanimotis | 
and merciful, wept over the dead, comforted the wounded, an 
spared the flying. 

Tlironghout the siege of Orleans, how infinitely she transcended 
the boldest and brightest ideals of the enthusiast and the poet t 
How grand was she in courage and endurance, how childlike iJ 
her simplicity and faith, how div-ine in her " pity." Nothing lonj 
disturbed the loffcy calm of her perfect trust, the serenity and poia 
of a modest self-respect^ and a simple dignity surpassing the utmc 
pride of kings, putting to shame the frigid hauteur of queei 
Even insult and treachery from those who should have honoured 
her most, and implicitly obeyed her, as one who spoke and act 
as she believed, and they professed to believe, by diN-ine authorityJ 



yied to more her to violence. Wlieu she heard that a secret 
Qcil had Leen held, at which opposite measures from those she 
M^ had been resolved upon, though she saw clearly the nn- 
w object of her envious confederates, and must have felt a 
Hicom of passions so reckless and so mean, she only said 
Hy, " You have been at your council ; I have been at mine." 
She had resolved, or rather, as she would have said, " the voices " 
» told her, that the dariog and decisive movement, the attack 
^ Tonmelles, should be made on Saturday, the 7th of May — 
Hbo should gainsay her, through whose lips spoke the power 
He wisdom that dwelt not in armies, or in councils of men ? 
dawn, she went forth, fasting, but strong and full of hope and 

K, at the head of a few men-at-arms and a crowd of citizens, 
o follow wherever their fighting angel should lead — ^in- 
^ with one purpose, one faith, one soul. 
Bb stoutest English hearts quailed when they beheld this 
Hide hurled against theii* bastilles in one stupendous ava- 
he of valour and of fury ; but they shrank with superstitious 
id, crossed themselves, and muttered holy words with white 
when they beheld Joan, cheering and leading on the assail- 
, her silver armom* flashing back the sun, her snowy ban- 
iwiniming on the breezy air of morn ! *\Vhat arm of flesh, 
k mortal valour could withstand this superhuman adversary, 
feir young Tvdtch, this avenging Nemesis, with the face of an 
i-^this radiant portent, this beautiful terror ! 
fet one steadied his braiix with sturdy liate, and fixed his dazed 
ions: enouijh to dii-ect an arrow toward that shining form — or 
ay have been a chance shaft that struck her. Certain it is, 
Joan was on this day wounded, for the first time, just as she 
about to mount the wall of the redoubt. She had prophesied 
; yet when the cruel arrow plunged into her breast, and the 




warm hlooil jotted out over her corselet, slie trembled and bo 
into tears. The human bled, the woman wept^ but the devoa 
heroic soul neither fainted nor despaired. 

For a little while she consented to be borne from the scene i 
conflict, that her wound might be dressed. Then, comforted i 
strengthened by her " holy ones,'' she rose from the grass, wet i 
her precious blood, (the spot should have grown the lilies 
France ever after,) and staggered back to her place in the va 
But she found the assailants giving way. It seemed that 
wound had drained their hearts of courage. Dunois sounded 
retreat, but Joan only counselled them to " rest awhile^ eat a; 
drink." For hei*self, she prayed. Then she directed that 
sacred banner should again be borne against the redoubt, pr 
mising victory the moment it should touch the wall. ^Vnd 
sooner were its silken folds seen to surge and ripple again^jt 
dark stone, than seized with a fiery impulse of faith and va 
citizens and men-at-arms bounded up the kddera, leaped over 
walls, and all was won 1 Better than balsam for her wound, 
strong wine for her weakness, were to Joan, the victorious shonti 
of her people. Almost with the same breath she thanked God ; 
the deliverance of Orleans, and prayed his mercy on the souls ( 
the English lierishing in battle, or drowning in the Loire. 

The next day, the ninth from that of Joan's entrance in 
Orleans, the siege was raised and the enemy retreated, Joan h 
bade pursuit, sa^Hng, " Let them go — it is Sunday." 

From this, to the crowning at Rheims, how marvellous, hofl 
almost passing belief were the acts, and the triumphs of the maid j 
— Sweeping on from \-ictory to victory, mysteriously led by i 
imagination exalted above human reason — by a divine instinct, bj 
a eometlung awful and infallible, moving' ever before her — \i^^ 
cloud by day, and her fire by night. "What mere hero ever uniteti- 




ach liigb, iinselfisli aims, suck faitli, such sanctity, to sucb a geiiius for 
'ar, surpassing and utterly confoimding the cunning and strategy, 
le venerable precedents, the " wise saws and modern instances " 
f military art.. Her successes \nndicated her *' wild wisdom," and 
lowed that the haste and boldness of her movements were but 
rudcnce and forethought, fused intt> a passion. At the time when 
,e urged upon Charles the Dauphin the daring policy of marching 
once to Rheims, to be crowned before his rival, the boy-king of 
agland — thus securing to himself a most important advantage, a 
[)lemn prestige which nothing could set aside-^she was opposed 
y his oldest and so-called wisest counsellors, who all advised 
telAy. Even the soldiei-s, who had been ready to pay her divine 
ononrs in the horn* of victory, doubted and feared. With them, 
thusiasm was l.)ut the light crackling flame of fagots, burning 
saelf out with the occasion, and leaving merely ashes for the T\'inds 
) scatter— in her, it was the intense glow of molten metal, flowing 
ito the heaven-formed moidds of great deeds, and hardening for 
mmortality. In their coarser natures, her mystic illumination 
became the wild light of superstition — ^her faith, fanaticism — ^her 
»uroge, ferocity — ^lier righteous anger, the fury of rapine and 

Yet she led them on, wherever her '^ holy ones " beckoned — 
led those fierce French captains like bloodhounds in leash, sullen 
nd rebellious, yet yielding a growling obedience — led the soldiers, 
t first, doubting and grumbling — then, as victory followed victory, 
^in wondering and adoring — ^led the daily augmenting hosts of 
i^ people, a motley multitude, some inspii*ed with her inspiration, 
^v love and " pity for the realm of France," some desperate with 
etchedness and wrong — worn wrestlers with pestilence £ind 
"^tuiiie, gaunt and ferocious as starved wolves, and mad with the 
^arj)er hunger of long unsatisfied hate. 



In the coronation at Rlieims, who does not feel that the 
crown descended on the bowed head of the Maid? A c 
beside which the circle of gold and jewels that flashed about 
brows of Charles was but the veiiest bauble that ever ad 
sported with ? And when she fell at his feet, and, wecpiug 
treated that she might be allowed to sheath her sword and fold 
banner for ever— to return to her home, and the tending of her 
flocks at DoDii'omy— to her humble household duties and lovfi^; 
who does not feel that she was higher and gi'ander than anf 
monarch that ever lived ? 

How soon after leaving Rheims the Maid's path begins tOi 
darken to us, with the vast shadows of doom stretching back 
fi'om Rouen I To her it only seemed dark and duubtfol after 
visions and the voices left her at St. Denys. Repulsed 
wounded in the attack on Paris, she saw what the end wo 
and nerved her great soul to meet it. With what sublime pati 
with what pathetic grandeur her nature endured the darkness 
the storm of the evil days, and rose above misfortunes ani| 
reverses ! Wlien her sword of St. Catherine was broken — wlien 
her sacred banner had trailed in the dust — when, wounded in vain, 
she had been borne by her soldiers away fi*om a lost battle — when 
her king reproached and courtiers scoffed, blaspheming against her 
" holy ones " — when her enemies railed, and the heavens were 
dumb — when men were faithless, and angels forgetful — stiD, 
through cloud, as through sunlight, from the valley of humilLitioa 
as from the heights of triumph, she looked upward and prayed* 
\Mieu her Lord hid his countenance from her, she clutched at the 
hem of his garment. 

At the siege of Saint PieiTe-le-Moustiei's, where she gained 
victory, though almost deserted by her men, a glorious vision ct 
heavenly aid was vouchsafed to her. One of her followers testified 



seeing the Pucelle apart, lie asked what she was doing there 

and she taMng her helmet from her head, replied that she 

iot alone, but had in her company fifty thousand of her people, 

lat she would not leave the spot until she had taken the 

" And yet," adds the witness, •*' for all that she said, she had 

ier no more than four or five men." 

Danlon was like the servant of the prophet, before his 
rere opened to see the airy army of the saints militant — " the 
^^nd chariots of fire round a]")oiit Elisha." 

the night when Joan was taken captive in a sortie fi'om 
tet'gne — in reality, betrayed into thehaods of her enemies, she 
to have propliesied her approachiog fate in the church of St. 
After having partaken of the holy sacrament, she stood 
nuig against a pillar, and looking round on the people and the 
1 children, with tender, wistful sadness •, then she said — " My 
[friends and my dear children, I tell you of a surety, there is 
who has sold me ; I am betrayed, and shall soon be given 
' death. Pray to God for me, I beseech you ; for I shall no 
' be able to serve my king, or the noble realm of France." 
not this scene, do not these words recall a yet more 
communion— a more august voice of prophecy, of loving 
MTOwful farewell ? 
ring the nine dark heavy months of her imprisonment, 
ed from fortress to fortress, from prison to prison=-now in 
towers of Beaulieu, and Beam^evoir, where she was tempted 
|e help of the poor people of Compi^gne to fling herself down, 
hoping that her angels would bear her up, — now in the low 
Ifon-keep of Crotoy, where she looked out on the restless sea, 
^^ard the land of her pitiless foe.s— betrayed, humiliated, " sold 
a price," loaded with chains, insulted, and reviled ; spat at and 
ed by Chrlstiau England — maligned and abandoned ,by 



Cliristiaa France — alone, absolutely alone in tliis a\rM strait, ' 
lofty and conrageoos soul remained unsu]>dued, undismayeJ— p 
gretiing not the past, despairing not for the fiiture, neither repi 
ing craven friends, nor railing at unmanly foes. 

Yet we cannot but believe that her bitterest secret tears vri 
shed over the coldness of her followers and the cowardly indifferent 
of her sovereign. He who but for the crown she placed npon Li^ 
head, would have stood unroofed to the heavens — ^but for the lielj 
she brought, would still have been a royal ontlaw-;— hunted 
chance among caves and rocky fastnesses, while his child-rlv 
played securely at kingship, under the red shadow of TNTmehest 
— ^he, so immeasurably in her debt^ stood aloof from her in i 
hour of her great need, and sunk his poor soul int6 depths 
infamy unfiUhomable. To her whose career was the sole glory 
his reign, whose blood had consecrated his crowning more than tlid 
holy oil of the Priest, he had made this return ; — ^he gave at he 
humble entreaty, exemption from taxation to Donircmy — hi 
gilded against her wish "the refined gold " of heroic sanctity, am 
painted ** the lily " of chaste womanhood by his miserable let 
of nobility. Behold all ! 

In the history of every Republic there are pages blackcne 
with the proverbial criffie of Republics, — ^and how few portraits i 
Princes can be painted to the life, -without the blush, or the br 
of the same low crime. How many a beautiful young champion 1 
made his Sovereign " wroth " by the very glory of his triumpH' 
has been " eyed '' with evil suspicion, and heard the air sing witli 
the javelins of kingly jealousy : — ^how many a faithful, whitfi^ 
bearded soldier, with loyalty wiitten in wounds upon 
l>reast, has been driven from court and camp, in age, poverty, 
misfortune, like a grand old war-horse turned out on the world 
wide common to die ; — ^how many a statesman, with his life wov< 

JOAN D ' A R C . 


the woof of liis. country's laws, and wliose acts are epoclis in 
Ler history, lias been royally frowned out of power and place ; — 
LOW many a noble voyager Las returned Avitli a bowed bead and 
manacled bands from tbe quest of continents, from pointing out 
ttie track of empires and unlocldng tbe mystery of ages. But 
wbat single, gigantic ingratitude of prince, from vSaul to Ferdinand 
— wbat monstrous, concrete ingratitude of Republic ever equalled 
in wickedness and basenes.^, tbe ingratitude of Charles ? The hor- 
ror of it seems stamped into the heart of the world — the shame of 
it seems yet to blush in the blood of the race. 

Joan D'Arc was broiight to trial on the 21st of May, 1431, 
"before a tribunal of priests — mostly dark, wily, unscrupulous men, 
tbe tools of CauchoD, Ijishop of Beauvais, the tool of Cardinal 
"Winchester. After tbe full and eloquent account of M. Michelet, 
it were needless for us, even had we space, to give the details of 
this strange trial, this monstrous mockery of justice, wherein tbe 
bribed and bigoted judges took their seats resolved to give the 
undefended and nnbefriended prisoner not even tbe benefit of a 
merciful doubt — to shut their eyes and harden their hearts for con- 
Tiction and doom. They arrayed agaiast the Maid all the terrors 
of ecclesiastical law — they frowned upon her with the black wrath 
of tbe Church— they prepared theological pitfabs for her feet — 
they wove about her snares of cunning subtleties, fine as air — ^they 
dressed up lies as truths, and truths as bes. But she feared no 
human law while conscious of perfect obedience to the di\-ine. 
The terrora of tbe Chmxh could not awe or alarm, while she was 
sure of God, nor the power of priests darken the sunshine of his 
Acceptance; ber simple faith bridged unconsciously the pitfalls 
they had dug with demoniac patience— to her child-eyes their mar- 
vellous snares of cunning subtleties were but frail, transparent 
cbs, sj)un by human spiders — black, venomous creatures, but 


powvrlesa to hold or liAnu her. As for the viper-like (!on\)t5 
which tliey songht to sting her sotil, she flung them oflf imLart j 
the poison would cot work iu her pai*e blood- 
She neither denied her £uth, oor defied her fat-e. Like a 
gin-martyr in the arena, sorrounded by curious and mocking h 
while that soft-footed, sleek-coated, priestly hate crept around 
around her, iiigher and nigher, with a glare of fierce exultatio 
and hot pantings of blood-thirst, she neither crouched nor tower 
but stood erect and calm, in the simple majesty of innocence and 
maidenhood, sublime in resignation. 

Again and again, upon her trial, she expressed her unshake 
faith in God, her reliance upon his goodness, her submission to i 
will. In vain they applied the rack of incpiisition to her sonl- 
they extorted no murmur of weak fear, no ftuntest shriek of ai 
isDL In vain they sought to involve her in a labyrinth of dool: 
contradictions and metaphysical objections, — she held fast to a cl 
invisible to them, l)y which she felt her way back to God. 

One of her judges asked — ^"Joan, do you believe yourself in J 
state of grace?** — a cruel and momentous question to put to an]| 
human soul, — ^but what mingled meekness and wisdom in 

'^If I am uot^ may God be pleased to receive me into it ; if 
am, may God be pleased to keep me in it," 

At length, after months of examination and intimidation cs 
Ac horrible public parade of judges, preachei-s, men-at-arms, exe 
tioners, torturers, all to confront and terrify one poor girl, 
and weak with recent illness, long imprisonment, anxiety, sorrow, 
and barbarous usage. On a towering scaffold in the cemetery 
St, Ouen, with memmUo mori written in grave-mounds around he 
— ^with grim torturers at her side and the executioner wjiiting in 
cai-t, beneath her, she was betrayed, tY-icked into signing a revc 

J A xV B ' A R C . 


A brief, unimportant paper was read to lier, wMcli slie 

sign witliout treason to her " lioly ones " or lier own soul. 

slie signed — not that, Lut a paper wliicli had been artfidly 

tituted— a long, humiliating, traitorous recantation. Then fol- 

"the sentence of grace!" — the condemnation to life-long 

nsonment, penance, and a woman^s dress. Then, sent not to one 

ie prisons of the church, where she would have had " ghostly 

Brs," hut back to her old dungeon, where she found herself 

ounded by rude soldiei's, with no defence against their vengeful 

and brutal passion ; manacled, deprived of her male dress, 

tlast trap of monkish craft was Bj>rung upon her — tlie vile 
lish plot by which her virgin purity was made to cost her the 
Qeet pains of martyrdom. Robbed in the night of her wo- 
nan's robes, she put on her soldier's di-ess, with no martial thrill in 
wr ieavy heart — with no delight in its tinkle and bravery. 
^How exulted then her implacable foreign foes and her priestly 
►ersecutors — ^how they crowded around the pit into which she had 
alien at last, and laughed down upon her in horrible joy, Eng- 
\sh and French forgot the fierce enmity of ages, in the grim S}'m- 
Mthy of superstition, in the fraternity of hate. 

I Mr. Be Quincey, in that remarkable Essay upon Joan of -^Vrc, 
^hich he seems for a time to be beating off with Hght jesting 
ad querulous cavilling the full realization of the piteous tragedy of 
foan's story, that nevertheless possesses him at last, and fills him 
Ml glorious frenzy — argues that M. Michelet bears too severely 
5on the English for theii* share in the persecution and martyi\lom 
|6iiie Jilaid ; and that the French priests, who acted as the tools 
I^VVinchester in trjing and condemning her, and tho French 
dng and people who made no effort to save her, were more guilty 
the English, who had, at least, the excuse of foes, and defeated 
■^nth lost honour and blood to avenge. It were a difficult, 





and, perhaps, presumptuous tiling, to portion out and balance suck i 
g^'gantic crime — only God's Land can weigh mountains. The flama I 
of the martj-rdom of that single woman, that girl of nineteen, aw 
still the lurid light by which the world reads the character of liff 
people and her king — and, stretching across the channel, they fell | 
as ghastly illuminations on a dark page of English history. 

At one time, Joan's enemies had feared that she would e^apo i 
them — that the death-angel would dash from her lips the *' hitter 
cup" they had mixed for her. It was when she fell ill in Pasaofr 
Week, with home-sickness and soul-sickness, rather than any bodily] 
disease. A sweet, kindly breath of the spring aii', which searched 1 
into her dungeon, and thrDled through the noisome, stagnant air J 
a few brave and loving sunbeams smiling through her grated wil'| 
dow — ^{)erchance the ii\iut, delicious murmur of birds, ne^t-bnildiflg] 
in the prison towers, awoke wild yearnings in her heart for DoM» 
rumy, the old oak wood, the haunted fountain, her home^ and allhsj 
hoa^ehold loves. 

On Easter Sunday, how the joy-peal of Eouen's five hundred 
bells must have smote upon her h^rt ! As they swung on higli» | 
consecrating the aii* with melodious benedictions, sprinkling earth 
with a baptism of holy soimd, they rung out hope, and love, ami 
life to all save her. Through her prison walls the many-toned 
chime came robbed of gladness and mercy — stem, reproachful, 
ominous — a hurried death-knell. For the happy world without, 
the Lord arose from the dead— for her, no angel came to roll a^jr 
the stone from the door of the sepulchre. 

With a diabolical mockery of human kindness, she was cured 
of this illness. She nmst not be allowed to steal quietly out of 
prison, like the Apostle, and escape with the angel down the dark 
valley by night. She must not die like a child, of home-sickness, 
like a woman, of a broken heart. Her death ma^t be made a spec- 



e for nations — ^tlionsands must feast on her torments, and snuff 
,e smoke of her Lurning. 

There is something infinitely touching in the saint's and hero's 

apse into simple humanity and womanhood, on that dark uniia- 
iral May morning, when the hea\'y news was told her that she 
must die before sunset. She wept bitterly. Like Jephtha's daugh- 
ter, she mourned that her pure and beauteous body should be thus 
cruelly sacrificed, exchiiming : — ^' Helas ! Me imile't-on ain^i lior-- 
rihlenuni et crueUemeni^ qiCilfaUle que mon coj'2>s^ net en entkr^'qui 
ns fat jamais corrompu^ soil aifjounVhui consume et reiulu en 
cendres I " 

She shrank, and shiieked, and writhed at the thought of the 
flame?, pitying herself for the pain. But the saint triumphs soon ; 
even through the fiery vista before her, she sees a better kingdom 
than France, a better home than Domremy — even in this death, 
she recognizes the *' deliverance ^ promised by " the voices " 

She appealed to God, from the injustice and cruelty of earth ; 
she partook of the holy sacramenfr, with many tears ; she uttered 
her touching and tremendous '^j^ords to the Bishop of Beauvais, a 
Bummons to answer for her death before God. AVhat a childlike 
natm'alness, what a plaintive fia'ivete marked the words she ad- 
dressed to one of the preachers standing by : " All ! Mattre Pierre^ 
oil serairje ce soir .^" 

We can fancy the teai'ful, wistful look, the terrified tremble of 
the hands, and all the voice broken up in sobs, with which she 
said this. Then, as the priest replied — " IPavez vous j)a8 honne 
e^pirance an Seigneur ? " the light of reassurance, the smile, the 
clasped hands, the heavenward gaze, the voice clear and fervid, as 
she said : — " Oh ! ouiy Dieu aidant^ je semi en Paradis ! " 

Bound, and borne in a cart, like a common malefactor, sur- 
roimded by a guard of eight hundred Euglish soldiers, Joan 

D^Vrc passed tlirougli the streets of Rouen, to the inai*ket-pkcc; 
but iQ the eyes of the angels, that awful hour must liave thrown 
into shade all foregone hours of triumph — grander to them wastlie 
pale martyr in her rude cart, hedged in by bristling lances, tlian 
the proudest conqueror in his triumphal car, followed by princely 
captives, and the spoils of kingdoms. 

At the stake, the Maid again bravely proclaimed her faitli Id 
" the voices," and nobly defended her king. Her sublime, yet 
meek composure — her marvellous womanly sweetness filled many 
of her persecutors with wonder, pity, and vain remorse. The 
people looked on as in a horrible dream — ^weeping, groamng, 
praying, but powerless to help. One last word of reproacli 
shivered the petrified heart of the Bishop of Beauvais— cleft its ^ay 
to a deep, unsuspected vein of human feeling, and let it out in tears. 

The scaffold towered high above the crowd, a huge pile of fag- 
gots, lit at the base — a gigantic altar of sacrifice, a fiery Calvary. 

^^Tien the flames uncoiled themselves from below, and darted 
upward, in angry, flashing len'gths^ hissing and writhing — ^wlicn 
they struck their sharp fangs into her flesh, the flesh cried out 
in shrieks that must have echoed for ever through the guilty and 
craven souls who heard. 

Well had the young martyr learned the self-forgetful sphit of 
her Master. In the fierce height of her agony, through the flame 
and smoke of her torment, she saw the danger of the faithful 
priest who held the crucifix before her, and entreated him to leave 
her. He went ; he bore from her sight the image of her crucified 
Lord, but he left beside her in the midst of the flames, the Lord 
himself. May not her last cry of "Jesus! " have been not aery 
of fear, or supplication, but of joy and recognition, as she sprang 
through the fiery gate of martyrdom, into the welcoming arms of 
his compassion, into the bosom of liLs infinite, inefiable love ! 


wandering princess of poetic fiction ever sustained more strangely 

iried chances during the course of her career than IMargaret of 

njou. Her fitful periods of happiness and prosperity were bright 

they were brief; while the magnitude of reverse she experienced, 

" Downright violence and storm of fortunes 
May trumpet to the world." 

From her very birth, she entered upon this extraordinary 
lending. of the most brilliant circumstances with the most calami- 
)us events, which attended her through life, chequering her exist- 
ice with alternate bursts of sunshine, and long dreary watches of 
^epest midnight, until death and the grave put their final shadows 
'ound her tempest-tost body, opening a prospect of endless light 
> her soaring spirit. 

Her father, Rene of Anjou, had claims to a long train of titles ; 
?ing the second son of Louis 11., King of Sicily and Jerusalem, 
*Tike of Calabiia and Anjou, and Count of Provence. But his 
tular dignities brought him more harass than honour, and more 
Iversity than advantage. Her mother was Isabella, heiress of Lor- 
ine ; a direct descendant of the renowned Chai-lemagne, and a 
incess endowed with virtue, eloquence, and beauty. But with 



her princely patrimony, slie brouglit tlie frnitM e\'il of a contested 
succession. Bom of parents no less distingnished by tbelr royal 
rank and lineage than by their personal merits, their accompM- 
ments, love of learning, and taste for poetry and art, Mxu'garct ia- 1 
herited greatness, beanty, and talent, as her birthright. Slie canM 
into the world amid- ushering grandeur, at one of the first castles ia | 
Lorraine, her mother's dower-palace, on the 23d of March, 142$. 
Her baptism took place with higb ceremonial in the cathedral at 
Tonl ; a bishop performing the sacred rite, and royal sponsore 
standing for her at the font. But she was still an infant, when ih 
struggle arising from the disputed succession to her mother's patri* 
mony of Lorraine, called her father Rene to the field, that he migbt 
maintain his wife's claim against her uncle, Antoine de Yaud<»- 
monte, who, on the death of Charles, Duke of Lorraine, asserted 
liis title to succeed instead of Isabella, Charles's grand-daughter. 
Mai*garet, before she was two years old, knew what it was to he 
held in a weeping mothei''s arms, to have ceaseless murmurs of alarnl 
and anxiety breathed over her, to witness the tortures of suspense 
in whicli Isal^ella lived during the absence of her husband, and the 
burst of angmsh with whicli the tidings of his defeat and captore 
at the battle of Bulfcueville were received. It was servins: an earlv 
mppreuticeship to suffering and sorrow. She learned thus 80<m, 
too, a lesson in that spu'lt of resolution amidst adversity, which so 
[' signally distinguished herself through life. Tier admii'able mother^ 
the affectionate wife, the noble-hearted duchess, roused hereelffroni^] 
her agony of grief, and went to seek an interview with the victor^ 
that she might strive to move his pity on behalf of her captive 
lord, and induce cessation of hostilities. Her kinsman, Antoine de 
Vaudemonte, conceded to her prayera thus much ; he granted a 
truce of six months; but he was unable to liberate his niece's 
husband, having given him up to the Duke of Bm-gundy, wbo had 



>necl Rene at Dijon, in a lofty tower. Here, 'witli Lis clia- 
tic tranquillity of temper^ and love of art, Margaret's Pro- 

I father wMled away the hours of his captivity, l>y applying 
iself to painting ; and the chapel in the castle of Dijon still 
.tains several miniatures and specimens of painted glass, execut- 

Ithe tasteful royal prisoner. This gentle philosophy of seek- 
•esonrce from tedium and regret by employing the foculties 
istic pursuits, stood Een6 in good stead ; for the Duke of 
rgnndy was so well pleased at beholding his own portrait 
\ited on glass among the productions of his accomplished pris- 
r, that he relented towards him, and agreed ^rith Antoine de 
[idemonte, that he should be set at liberty. The conditions on 
ich he was freed, were hard to fulfil : Rent's eldest daughter, 
|te, then but nine yeai's old, was to be bestowed in marriage 
itoine's heir, Ferraud do Vaudemonte, with a portion of 
itested Lorraine territories for her dowry ; his baby girl, 
t^ was to be betrothed to the Count St. Pol, whose squire 
I dealt the blow which prostrated her father on the battle-field 
iBalffueville, leaving a scar that he carried to his grave ; his two 
^■rere to be delivered up as hostages; and he was under 
H^t to pay a large sum of money for his ransom. The meet- 
Bthe oppressed family, under these circumstances, was deeply 
Ehetic ; and the scene affected the heart of the child, Margaret, 
liveliness of emotion rarely shown at her tender years, 
chroniclers of Lorraine describe the sensibility evinced on 
sion by " the little creature " [" la petite creature "], as 
Called Mai'garet, to have been extreme. Even this reunion 
b his ^vife and children — ^sad, and overshadowed by drawbacks, 
raa — ^proved but short-lived. The conditions ot Rene's 
( were beyond his means to fulfil ; and he was compelled 
' suiTender himself to capti^^ty. 

le'a eldest 

the succession to that crown to devolve npon Mnrgaret^s fatlier; 
and the faithful wife prepared to assert his rights for him iu ha 
absence. Gifted with heroic qualities, with conjugal devotion, 

fooorage, and constancy, the I>uches3 Isal:>ella ranks among the 
eminent women of her time. She was an early appreclatcr of tbe 
beautiful and ^ed Agnes Sorel, whose merits won the frieudsliip 
and estoem of the queen, notwithstanding that Agnes rivalled the 

1 wife in Charles Vll-'s affections; and Isabella of Lorraine Lad 

a beholder of Joan of Arc's noble conduct. From a mother 

idowed with moral energy, Margaret inherited that high spirit 

—^ and indomitable bravery of soul, which canied her through siicli a 

W Beries of m-i^situdes with ever-renewed animation in strength and 

purpose; while the eai*ly dwelling amidst perpetually recurring 

difficulties and trials, inui'ed her to encounter the extremes of 

I trouble and peril. 
While taking measures for maintaining by force of arms her 
captive husband's claims upon the kingdom of Naples, Isalulk 

B assumed the title of Queen of the two Sicilies, and repaired with 
her chil(b'en, Margaret and Louis, to the Chateau of Tarascon, on 
the banks of the Ehone. The boy, Louis, had been no longer 
retained as hostage when Ren6 had delivered himself up to bond* 
age again ; and the two beautiful children, with their mother, were 
idolized by the poetical Proveuciils, who fondly welcomed among 

m them these representatives of their captive prince. Not long were 

" they able to enjoy the kindly and picturesque homage wliicli 
attended tliem in Provence; that fearful epidemic, the plague^ 

W eprendlng its terroi-s there, and menacing the danger of Isabellas 
children, she hastened to remove them from Tarascon, and they 
sail for Naples. 

Fiudiuij the pestilence 



ftbella established her residence at Capua, tlie ancient palace of 
e family of Anjou in Naples ; and lost no time in causing her 
jsent husband to he proclaimed king of the two Sicilies. At this 
remony, the two children, Margaret and Louis, sat beside their 
jfliher in the chair of state they occupied ; and again the little 
rl, Margaret, passed through one of those strange episodes of her 
'entful life, when momentary splendour illumined her path, amid 
mds of surrounding dark omen. Her queenly-acting mother, 
id her distant captive father ; the triumphal state procession, 
aid pestilential threats of death hovering near; all affect the 
lagination with curious and oppressive contrast. Isabella spared 
i exertions to effect Rene's deliverance; and they produced a 
?aty for his liberation, which involved a remarkable clause. It 
IS proposed by the Duke of Burgundy, that, " to cement the 
*ace between the two powers, Margaret of Anjou, second daughter 
> King Rene, shall espouse the young King of England ; " thus 
lowing that the English alliance was contemplated as early as 
i85, when the intended bride was but six yeai-s of age. This 
toject w«^9 unsanctioned by the English, and, at this .period, 
pposed by Charles ^^I. ; it was merely a suggestion of the duke's, 
rhose wife, the Duchess of Burgundy, was a Lancastrian princess, 
•eing daughter to the King of Portugal, l^y Philippa, John of 
Mmt's daughter. 

When Rene obtained hm liberation, he made his entry into Na- 
les at the head of a Provencal army, mounted on a superb white 
Rrger ; and Isabella, with her children, removed from the Capuan 
■lace to the luxurious one adorned by the late queen, Joanna IT- 
lathis voluptuous Italian sojourn, Margaret remained for some 
ime, receiving her education from her brotherls tutor, Antoine de 
^% under the care and superintendence of her mother ; but this 
^od of peaceful instruction, southern repose, and loving com- 




panionship, was marred by the loss of lier brother, Prince Lc«n^ , 
whose studies she had shared in affectionate fellowship. 

In 1443, Margaret accompanied her royal mother in her retara] 
to Lorraine ; the contract of mairiage between herself and 
Count St. Pol having been broken off, and her hand having been I 
since sought by the Count de Neyers, nephew to the Duke of Bw^l 
gundy. But as the marriage articles contained a clause that d-\ 
fected her sister Yolante's claims, the French King, Charles "VI 
interfered to prevent the union from taking place. 

King Reno's patrimony was in a disastrous state; the tiXK>psj 
of Eugland occupied the tenitories of Anjou and Maine^ and his I 
finances were reduced so low, that he and liis family were in aetnal] 
penury. Their royal lineage, their high-sounding titles, serve 
only to render their needy plight the more conspicuous ; but i 
though his wife Isabella felt these disadvantages keenly for 
sake. of their children, King Ren6 viewed them with his 
serenity, retiring into Provence, and occupying himself with V€ 
writing and musical composition, for both of which he had 

By this time, Mai'garet had attained au age, when her youthf 
attractions gained her wide repute. The courts of France and Bb 
gundy rang with her charms and accomplishments ; and it was 
serted that she not only possessed beauty and wit rarely eqnalle 
but that her father's misfoi-tunes had served merely to give her i 
opportunity of manifesting her lofty spirit and courage. The Be 
of Burgundy's learned chronicler, Barante, declared that ** 1 
was no Princess in Christendom more accomplished than my ladj 
IMargaret of Anjou." 

The rumour of Margaret's peerless graces had reached the 
of the young l^achelor king of Eugland, Henry YI. ; and he de 
spatched an emissary in whom he could confide, to the court 

>r A R G A Ft E T OF A N J 

MTaine, for the purpose of procuring a poiirait of tliis mconi- 

anble princess. The picture was olbtained; it was painted by 

e of the best French artists, and did justice to the fair original. 

^■gentleman of Anjou who had been entrusted with the royal 

^piission, described the daughter of his sovereign in glowing 

Bours ; and his report seconded the efiect produced ])y the paint- 

^« Moreover, the king\s great-uncle, Cai'dinal Beaufort, and the 

Itnch monarch, Charles YII., lent their combined influence to 

twaid the proposed alliance, 

e cardinal, who had superintended the education of his royal 
>w, was aware of the want of energy and decision which formed 
fects in his character, and he felt how desirable it would 
►uld Henry's future consort possess those qualities which miglit 
ipply the young kiug^s deficiencies ; and, Ijesides that Margaret's 
jputed endowments promised a fulfilment of those requisites — ^lier 
oath and inexpeneuce afforded likelihood that she would prove a 
ilaable aid in promotmg the cardinal's views of political influence 
ud power. 

The King of France, from a prospect of the advantages which 
i>Qld probably accrue to Iiimself and kingdom from this union, 
fi from the afiectionate partiality he bore his young kinswoman, 
Ajargaret being niece to Charles YU,'s queen, Jlarie of Anjou 
ftiiil all iu las power to fiu'ther the marriage. 

B^enry VI. was then iu his twenty-fourth year, handsome, cul- 
l^rted, holy, and mild. He was of scrupulous morals, and bland 

beanour. He is represented as finding no allurement in illicit 
sures ; but earnestly desirous of securing the joys of wedlock. 
The young king's uncle, Duke Humphrey of Gloster, and his 
t-uncle. Cardinal Beaufort, were at issue in the choice of a con- 
hr their royal kinsman. The Duke of Gloster had a project 
iting Henry to a princess of the house of Armagnac ; but the 


31 A r» G 


Lftclielor monarch's faucy ha^-ing been deeply enamoui'edlty tlj« 
reported anil pictured charms of Margai-et of Anjou, he resolved 
upon obtaining her for his queen at whatever cost This costini, 
the sacrifice of Maine and Anjoa ; as the cession of those provincej 
was demanded by King Kenc, when applied to for his daugW* 

After some little hesitation, this point, which formed an indispett" 
sable condition in the marnage articles, was agi*eed to; and tb 
dowerless bride, whose beauty and merits were allowed " to 
weigh all the riches in the world," was accorded to the eager aoll 
of her royal wooer. ^ 

Suffolk, who was raised to the dignity of marquis, and inv€st«l 
with full powers to espouse the lady Margaret of Anjou, as proiy 
for his sovereign, set sail from England, accompanied by his iiufl^ 
chioness, and a brilliant train of the nobility. The King of France, 
with the queen, and dauphiness, attended by the most di^ 
guished peinsonages of the French court, were assembled in IjX- 
raine to do honour to the espousals of the youthful ]\Lirgaret : and 
the ceremonial took place in the ilionth of November, 1444. 

The bride's father. King Kene, had ample scope for his taste io 
pageantry and courtly entertainments ; a tournament was held ifl 
honour of the young Queen of England, at which the royal and 3* 
lustrious guests there assembled performed gallant passages of 
arms. Charles YJL l>roke a lance in honour of his fiur kinswoman; 
her uncle, Charles of Anjou, Pierre de Ereze, Lord of Yarenne, anij 
the Count St. Pol — ^formerly plighted to Margaret in infancy, h 
whose contract was subsequently broken off — all jousted on 

The fact that Suffolk did not appear in the lists, together vdtl' 
the circumstance of his age, ^-hich exceeded that of the bridels 
father, may suffice to contradict the alleged passion which fiction 



fliave represented as existing between Margaret and her 
ridegroom^s proxy. In tlie plays of Hemy VI., the drama- 
^given weight to the belief of their mutual attachment, 
le has introduced Suffolk and Margaret ; and some histori- 
te confirmed his descrijition ; bnt all authentic evidence 
to bear testimony that there is no foimdation for the 

'Stivities lasted for a period of eight days, during which 

tig of princely and knightly gallants wore badges of the 

^er, in compliment to the royal bride of fifteen, who had 

his flower for her emblem. Her name of Marguerite — 

k her native tongue signifies also a daisy — had induced her 

% of thi^ symbol The reader may be reminded of Chau- 

" And at the last there began anon 
A ladj for to sing right womanly 
A bargaret * in praising of the daisy ; 
For, as metbought, among her notes sweety 
She said, ' si douce est la Marguerile.'^ " 

of that anecdote of high poetic taste ; recording how 
less Margaret of Scotland, w^ho married the Dauphin of 
afterwards Loms XI.), sent a tribute to a gifted woman, 
jsake — the poetess, Clotilde Marguerite de Surville ; the 
ess'a present consisted of a croiivn of laurel, surmounted 
e daisies, with golden bosses and silver petals, twined in 
taring for device the words \- — " Margaret of Scotland to 
of Helicon." 

ay in which the youthfnl bride was taken leave of by 
ents, friends, and kindred, bears w^itaess to the affection 
ih she was regarded by those who best knew her. They 

Bargaret, bergerette, a little pastoral. 

211 ^^^ARGARET OF A .V ■ 

were not only proud of Ler, as one of the most accoiniilkhed 
iK-autiful young creatures of her time ; but they were fondly 
taclied to her for her own sprightly graces, and attractive 
tics. The kiug, Charles VII., is said to have clasped *her 
e<lly in his arms, at parting with her, and to have bidden her 
with streaming eyes and a voice choked with sobs. The old clirS 
iclers record his very words, so full of affectionate regard > 

m to have done nothing for you, my niece, in placing yrwi co 
>ne of the greatest thrones in Europe, for it is scarcely wortLy of 
possessing you." As for her gentle-hearted father, King Rene, k« 
could only commend her to God, and fold her to liia heart; neitlwr 
father nor daughter could utter one word, but embraced each other 
in speechless farewell. 

JThus were the splendours of her bridal followed by the tens 
of her friends and the mourufulness of parting. Thus, too, were 
the pfomps of her travel towards England — escorted by a royal 
train, and protectively attended by the Marquis and Marchioness 
of Suffolk — but the precui*sor3 of after miseries. Through life it 
was IMargaret's fate to be placed on the pinnacle of fortune, only 
to be precipitated with greater force into the abyss of mischance. 
Her first landing in England was heralded by a terrific storm ; th< 
cliffs of Albion were first visible to her amid sheeted lightning 
and the shores rebounded with peals of thunder. On arriving, she 
was seized \\'ith a dangerous malady, which detained her for a tinU 
at Southampton, in a religious hospital, called " God*s honse ; ^ where, 
witli the good old practice of such establishments, refuge was afford 
ed to all sick travellers — from the humblest pilgiim to royalty itseli 
The nuptials of Henry YI. with Margaret of Anjou, were ad- 
emnized on the 22d of April, 1445, in Tichfield Abbey, witl 
great magnificence ; and the nation, although dissatisfied at tB' 
bride's portionless condition, yet could not withstand the mingled 

•ll ARG All ET OF AN J OU. 215 

impression of her youth, beauty, and noble presence, which pro- 
cured her an enthusiastic reception wherever she appeared. The 
populace crowded to see her ; while the noljility and chivalry of 
■ England wore the emblematic daisy fastened in their caps, on 
• •jining to meet and welcome the royal bride in her progi'ess to 
London. The descriptions of her public entry into the city, and 
' -f her subsequent coronation at Westminster, on the 30th May, 
when a tournament was held which lasted three days, the lists oc- 
cupying the entu*e space between Palace-yard and the sanctuary, 
show the youthful Margaret as forming the centre of courtly hom- 
age, and placed on the summit of resplendent prosperity. 

For the time, Humphrey, Duke of Gloster, hiid l>y his oppoai- 
tioii to his royal nephew's chosen Imde ; and vied with the rest, in 
marks of welcoming courtesy. Cardinal Beaufort, who had Ijeen al- 
ways favourable to the mamage, now that he learnt from personal 
proof how amply the young queen fulfilled her repute in beauty 
and spirited character, added fondness of liking to the partiality 
which rose from interest and policy. 

The theme of universal admiration, idolized by the young king 
her husband, surrounded l>y the sumptuous regality of her posi- 
tion, Margaret stood within the full blaze of this period of sun- 
shine, which streamed upon her when she first ascended the Eng- 
lish throne ; but her usual fate of brief triumph and long disaster, 
of short-lived glory and dark reverse, of transient felicity and 
protracted trouble, soon attended her. Like most fates of individ- 
uals, much of its peculiar colouring might be traced to her own 
complexion of character. Human complaint of. destiny may most 
frequently with justice be resolved uito sell-investigation — ^if not 
self-rebuke. Margaret^s fate, so remarkable in its features of alter- 
nate hght and gloom, will be found to have singular analogy with 
'tbo characteristics which distinguished her own moral conformation. 






TLe stormy transition of her fortunes — ^now at the heiglit of 
earthly advantage, now plunged in the depths of woful Tici». 
tude— are curiously in keeping with the tempestuous vehemence 
of her own nature. A \dvaciou3 child, an uidulgently-prabeii girl, 
a spoiled beauty, she grew into the imperious and haughty-sj^irited 

At this epoch of her career, she displayed the wilfulness of 
the spoiled lieauty. She took pleasure in marking her remem- 
hrance that the Duke of Gloster liad originally opposed her mar- 
riage with Heniy, by contemptuous treatment, by making him f<id 
her superior influence over the king, and by a pointed display of 
her preference for Cardinal Beaufort and the Duke of Suffolk. 1il< 
political opponents. 

Gloster was the idol of the people, who had snmamed liim 
" Good Duke Humphrey ; " and he was also heir presumptive to 
the throne, Margaret having as yet brought Henry no child, al* 
though the second year of her marriage had arrived. Cai'diaal 
Beaufort, the Duke of Somerset, his npphew, and the Duke of 
Suffolk at the head of the ministry, were instrumental in having 
the Duke of Gloster aiTestcd, on a charge of high treason ; and 
seventeen days after his arrest he was found dead in his bed. No 
marks of violence were to Ije found on his person ; bnt the soil- 
denness of his decease and the well-known animosity agaiast him, 
led to suspicions of his having been unfau'ly dealt by. However, 
no proof could be adduced, and not the slightest contemporary ev- 
idence implicates the queen in the surmised deed. Her disregard 
of consequences, when she chose to avow predilection or avow dis- 
like, was her chief error; and this was more a defect of judgment 
than a fault against morality. It hurt herself rather than any one 
else ; for she had to suifer its penalty to the utmost 

This heedless manifestation of partiality it was, which subjected 



►pen display of regai'd for Suffi.»lk to he misinterpreted. After 
nal Beaufort's deatli, wliicli followed immediately upon tliat 
e Duke of Gloster, Mai'garet transferred the confidential at- 
.ent which she had borne the experienced old statesman, to 
•ho was at present her natural adviser — the Duke of Suffolk 
now at the head of the cabinet, and in this capacity the ap- 
1(1 counsellor of the crown. Thus considered, nothing could 
lore proper than Queen JIargaret's having reooui'se to Suffolk 
Idance ; but her indiscreet wilfulness, her youthful reckless- 
and her native impetuosity, let her pay no attention to the 
anders it might give rise to, or tlie jealousies it might awaken. 

There were not wanting hosts of foes to asperse her conduct, and 
uke offence at her display of favouritism. The Duke of York, Rich- 
jdNe\'ille, Earl of Salisbury, and his sou, the Earl of "Warwick, were 
ill powerful, unscrupulous and ambitious nobles, and all inimical to 
he young queen. Party hatred ceased* not until it effected the 
loTTnfiil of Margaret's earliest English friend, faithful adherent, 
lod trusted minister. Suffolk was arraigned, arrested, and com- 
to the tower. He was sentenced to banishment; but met 
,th on board a vessel, in which he underwent a mock trial as 
itor, and his head, with his severed trunk, were flung upon 
sands, where they were found by his chaplain, who gave 
lem honourable bmlal. 

It should not be omitted, that, during the brief interval of 
^e which permitted Margaret to give token what she might 
'^Ve proved had her reign been less disturbed by the fatal evil of 
•^, she effected some substantial good for her subjects. Queen's 
College, Cambridge, owes its foundation to Margaret of Anjou : 
^ae also endeavoured to encourage the manufiicture of silken and 
Woollen goods ; but the factious spirit of the times rendered peacefid 
don, and productive pursuits, ill suited to a people torn by 





civil disconl, and exhausted by foreign hostilities. Pestilence : 
want added their miseries to those of oppression and burdenso 
taxes ; nay, disease and starvation were the necessary result of 1 
government and tyrannous exaction. Rebellion broke out; J^ 
Cade, a demagogue leader, headed the insurrection, and encamped 
ou Black Ileath with Ids armed mob. Henry YL marched to 
meet them ; and the tidings of his approach, with fifteen thousand 
troop, dispersed the insurgents, who fled to Seven Oaks. 

^lai^aret betrayed a weakness of alarm on this occasion little 
consistent with the intrepidity of behaviour which afterwards < 
tinguished her; but she was bewildered by fond apprehensions j 
her husband, whom she implored not to endanger his person, 
pui"suing the rebels in their flight. It was not until she becj 
mother that her affection and anxiety took the shape of th 
Tlicn, the haughty courage which was the true quality of her i 
position, assumed that fierce and dauntless strength, wliirh no 
defeat could subdue. 

Cade's rebellion was quelled as suddenly as it burst forth ; 
there is little doubt, from historic e^^dence, that it was the 
of a higher faction, acting upon the goaded feelings of the popi 
Most surging of the dregs of the people, might probably be 
to the influence of fermenthig variances among those in the 
rank in the community. In the present instance, many circiun- 
stances tend to prove that the aspiring Duke of York was the 
stigator of the revolt. He had thrown up his ofiicial appoints 
in Ireland, and was now advancing upon London, attended by I 
retinue of four thousand men, and demanding of the king in hold 
terms that he should summon a parliament. 

The timid Henry found some consolation in the arrival of tie 
Duke of Somerset from his regency in France at this crisis ; and 
^largaret was glad to receive aid and counsel from him, as neplieW 



>f her old adviser, Cardiniil Beaufort. But Somerset was im- 
X)piLlar amoDg botli Lords and Commons, wlio attributed to liim 
5lia disasters in France and i^ormaudy ; and it was only after liav- 
ng been impeached, and committed to the Tower, by the Parlia- 
Benl, that he was released at the close of the session, and promoted 
o the post formerly filled by Suffolk — that of prime minister — on 
lie exertion of all Margaret's authority, seconded by the king's, 
irho personally liked his kinsman, Somerset, 

This nobleman's violent temper was the cause of hastening 
into open feud the long-cherished animosities that had rankled be- 
wreen the houses of York and Lancaster. Historical tradition 
igrees in attributing to Somerset the act of fii-st plucking the red 
and desiring the by-standers to take each a flower of that hue, 
a white one, as token of which cause he espoused, on the 
.emorable occasion in the Temple garden, when each man had tc* 
.eclare the party he belonged to. The rival factions assumed. 
Lose respective badges — the Lancastrians the' red rose, and the 
orkists the white rose ; and rarely did beautiful symbol serve to 
inguish more deadly quarreL Those fair blossoms witnessed 
e contentions which saturated English ground with Enghsh 
ilood during two decades. For how many ferocious acts had the 
rose to blush its deepest crimson I At how many ghastly deeds 
id the white rose to look its palest [ IVIargaret, with her rash 
display of wiD, adopted the sanguine-hued rose at once, — ^but too 
fit emblem of her career thenceforth, when the field of battle, the 
perii?hing of those who fought for her, the death of those she 
loved, carnage, ruin, and destruction, were to take the place 
;hose morning years of life when the daisy, in its pearly fresh- 
I, was her chosen flower. 

Now that the Duke of York stood forth in the unconcealed 
chwacter of armed dictator to the throne, Jtargaret, and her 


uiiiiister, Somerset, joined their persuasions to induce the king 
advance to meet him in the field. Henry yielded to their urgii 
but parleyed, instead of fighting, with his assailant. Yor^ 
demand chiefly involved the summary punishment of Some 
attributing to a desire of bringing him to justice his own taking 
orms on the present occasion. Somerset, who had been libe: 
from the Tower, where York believed him to be, was, by 
queen's provision, stationed where he could overhear the coIlfe^ 
ence between King Henry and the Duke of York ; and upon hear- 
ing the hitter's speech, so hostile to himself, bm-st from his lurking- 
place, defying Y'ork with his usual ungovernable ^-iolence. The 
rival dake retorted by equal fiercenes ; accusing him of misrulo ia 
France^ and of occasioning the loss of Xormandy. The king stood 
by, in dismay at this hot contention between the two fiery nobles ; 
until York turned upon him, and reproached him with having 
broken his royal word. Henry had not been made a party to the 
concealment of Somereet behind the arras-hangings of the rojal 
pavilion ; and he was equally unaccessory to the Duke of York'i 
arrest, which took place as he left the tent, and which was said to 
have been made by command of the queen. York was releasee^ 
on condition of his swearing a solemn oath of fealty to the king; 
^ after which he was allowed to retii'e to his castle of Wigraoi-e, 
where his son, the Earl of March, afterwards Edward FV., was rais* 
ing an army for his rescue. 

I Somerset was thus established in his post at the head of thi? 
government ; and the part Queen Margaret had in retaining him 
there, was made the ground of a similar calumny as the one whiclL 
had been levelled against her reputation with regard to his prede- 
cessor, Sufiblk. But both dukes were men past their prime of life, 
and both were devotedly attached to their vnves, A letter written 
■ by the Duke of Suffolk during his imprisonment in the Tower, 

Bars touching witness of liis strong affection for liis wife, wlio was 
grand -daughter of the poet Chancer, and was a fiwourite fiiend of 
^leen Margaret ; while Somerset's great love for his wife led him 
ren to sacrifice his hononr to tenderness for her i)ei'son duruig the 
eriod df his regency in France. But party feeling, which spares 
[) malice, and regards no probabihty in its venomous aspersions, 
id not fail to seize upon any slander, however wildly unfounded, 

> fling upon a queen, who was rashly unheedful of giving 

In the course of the brief calm which succeeded York's fii"st 
Dstility, Margaret gave her attention to foreign affairs, and caused 
le warrior, Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, to be sent, with such 
oops as could be levied, to the aid of the English force in Guieuue. 
iut factions at home, and war abroad, were formidable difficulties 

> contend with. The queen lost her loyal adherent, and gained 
o jot of advantage. The veteran Talbot was hewa down in battle 
it eighty yeai-s of age ; and his death was accompanied by heaps 
if his slain followers. 

The birth of Mai'garet^s son was heralded by gloomy events. 
Want of success to the English arms in foreign fields ; clamom's of 
discontent within the realm ; the loss of her high-souled mother 
aabella of Lorraine, with whom her sunnier years had been epent^ 
^ho had inspu'ed her %vith all the best points of her character, 
t^d the bereavement of whose maternal sympathy was at this 
>och most keenly felt, by one herself about to become a mother — ■ 
t>tiibined to strain Margaret's powers of endurance with cruel teu- 
ton. But a yet more bitter source of woe aldose to demand her 
attitude. King Henry was attacked by a malady which menaced 
Wm hereditarily: — he was the grandson of Charles \T[th of 
'Vance, who was subject to mental disease at frequent intervals, 
lenry, never veiy strong-headed, found the turmoil and fever of 


arj:t of an jou. 

difficulty under which he had of late years lived, too much fur Ini 
brain; and the pressure of accumulated pei-plexities not 
impaired his health, but pix>duced aberration of reason. Bl 
haa been thrown upon Margaret's assumption of royal power 
authority, as unwomanly ; but it is more than probable that 
best knew the need there was for snpplying her hosljand's lack <rf 
iliental energy. AVhen too, she has been accused of promoting hb 
incluiation for pursuits more befitting a monk than a monarch, it ii 
likely that the wife was aware how incapable he was of attemling 
to state business without vexation to his quiet temperament, and 
injury to his feeble constitutiori ; and that therefore she took upon 
hereeli' a discharge of duty which drew upon her the imputatka 
of undue, and masculine activity in government affairs. 

Ilenry YL was in a condition of unconscioiLsness, and hoveriDf 
between life and death, when his queen brought into the woHd 
their child — the hapless iklward of Lancaster, who seemed bom to 
fulfil Margaret's doom of consociated brightness and bitterness. 
Her boy*s beauty, his excellence, his rare promise in every respect, 
combined to gladden her motherly heart by forming the ideal of a 
princely son ; while his perilous existence, and early death, briuh 
med her cup of anguish to overflowing. 

At his very birth, lifargaret's delight was dashed by counter- 
balancing troubles. The parliament appointed the Duke of Yolk 
Protector of England, until such time as the king might be al»le to 
resume the reins of government, or the infant prince should arrive 
at years of discretion; while her thoughts were divided between 
loving attention to her child, and anxious attention to her husband 
in his melancholy state. She beheld her minister, Somerset^ 
dei^osed from office l>y the newly-appointed protector, and found 
herself utterly deprived of regal coutroul during York's ascend- 
ency ; but she strove to await calmly a better period ; and gathered 


comfort from tending Iier infant treasure. She maintained the 
form of state in her own pei-son as Qaeen of England,, continuing 
ia hold her court, and grant audiences, although her cjueenly 
power was suspended. 

This period of dignified patience, which so well became the 

al Margaret, thougli her native impetuosity of character so 
Slclom allowed her the practice of it, was rewarded by a visible 
amendment in the king's health, Loth of body and mind. He was 
«t length sufficiently recovered -for her to risk the exclten^ent of 
{>resenting him their beautiftil boy ; and the father's liappiness 
was expressed in words that manifested his proud satisfaction, as 
well as his sane condition of mind. 

The queen's joy was complete : she took prompt me:xsures for 
reinstating Henry in the possession of sovereign authority ; and 
the Duke of Somerset was released from the Tower, to resume hia 
post oT prime minister. But, as usual, Mai'garefs hour of success 
was transient. Tlie Duke of York withdrew to the Welch border ; 
where, aided by his powerful friends and kinsmen, Salisbury and 
Warwick, he raised an army, and marched to London. Henry W., 
as was his wont, tried what treating with, the foe would do, before 
encountering him in battle :— he accordingly sent a messenger to 
the Duke of York, asking wherefore he came in hostile an-ay 
against him. York refused to lay down his arms, unless the Duke 
of Somerset were dismissed from the council-board, and brought to 
justice. This drew from the king a spark of Plantagenet fire ; for 
with the sole imprecation he was ever known to utter, he ex- 
claimed, " that he would as soon deliver up his crown, as the Duke 
of Somerset, or the least soldier in his army ; and that ho would 
treat as a traitor eveiy man who should presume to irght against 
him in the field.'' 

The Earl of Warwick gave the signal for attack, by leadiug on 


his men \ritli the war-cry of "A Warvdck ! A Warwick ! "^ Tbi 
battle wad brief, but furious ; and after horril:)le slaughter on Iwtk 
sides, — the fight taking place in the narrow streets of St All- : •- 
York became the victor. Xing Henry s conduct was cha^jLt(•^ 
isHc: he stood meekly under his own standard during the comLat; 
was wounded in the neck by an arrow ; waited quietly till k 
found himself the only man left beneath the royal banner; and 
then walked composedly into a baker's shop near at hand. Tht 
Duke of York came tu him there, and with ruffianly w^ant of deH* 
cacy, and want of feeling, bade him "rejoice, for the traitor, 
Somerset, was slain." Henry, with holy mildness, and the charity 
for his species which distinguished him, and made him ever hold 
^iflootlshed in horror, — characteristics moi*e especiaDy becoming him 
this juncture, when he had just proved that he did not want for 
spirit upon his kingly honour being insulted ; nor for courage in 
exposing his own person to danger — ^replied by the words :-^" For 
God's sake stop the slaughter of my subjects ! " ^ 

The news of the blow which the royal cause had sustained hj 
defeat in the battle of St. Albans, stunned Queen Margaret into 
despaiiing grief. She saw her husband dangerously wounded, and 
reduced to his former insane condition ; for pain and agitation had 
lirought on a relapse of his malady. He was pronounced incapar 
ble of attending to public business ; the Duke of York rukxl in 
the king's name ; and the parliament, composed of Margaret's ene- 
mies, passed a censure upon her late government. 

Henry, w'holly in the Duke of York's power, was consti-ained to 
confirm his appointment to the protectorate ; although, notwith- 
standing his reason was deranged, he manifested extreme unwill- 
ingness to the step ; and York, once having secured the executive 
command, allowed ^Margaret the custody of the king's pereon, and 
caused her to remove from London with her husband, and the in- 



trince. She applied herself to the care of these helpless ones, 
nng them all dutiful attention; Tvhile secretly, she sought to 
•cngthen their interest, and sustain theii^ cause, by maintaining 
Dstant intercourse with the red-rose pai'ty. All the Lancastrians, 
including those who were allied to the royal Llood, those of 
ble and gentle birth, and those, whose fathers having been slain 
tSt Albans, were eager to avenge their fate, — Margaret con- 
ved to hold communication with, making herself their rallying 

Thns prepared, the queen lost no time, the instant her consort's 
iteration to health afforded opportunity, in causing him to pre- 
it himself suddenly before his parliaments Unknown to the Duke 
York this step was arranged; — and on the 24th February, 1456, 
^ing entered the House of Lords, when York, and the princi- 
Bfcembers of his faction were absent, declaring : — " that being 
<r, by the blessing of God, in good health, he did not think his 
Hgdom was in any need of protection, and requested permission to 
rame the reins of empire." The Parliament, taken by surprise 
this unexpected appearance of their Sovereign among them, and 
■nek with the collected and dignified manner of hk address, im- 
Bdiately acceded to his desire. King Henry thereupon sent to the 
ake of York, requiring his resignation of office. Tliis decisive 
easure of the qneen*s, (for it was all her act,) left her enemies no 
'Urse but to submit for the time being ; and York, Salisbury, and 
arwick, w^ithdrew into the provmces. 

With her usual pertinacious exercise of will, Margaret ap- 
Jinted Henry Beaufort, heii' to the late Duke of Somerset, as 
ime minister. 

was by such marked acts of imperious resolve, upon every 

opportunity of showing her power, that Margaret ever pro- 
hc«tiUty and avei*siou. She seemed determined to oppose, 



instead of conciliate lier adversaries ; and that conduct never ' 
a nation's regard — especially in a female sovereign. Margaret i 
only gave her enemies occasion to asperse her, but she weake 
the approval and confidence of the people. Even at this perio 
when, in many respects, she exercised wise and able rule, 
vehement disposition, and impetuous temper, caused her to irrifc 
the Londoners by mitimely interference and constraint: and 
though she won respect and esteem by the way in which she ; 
filled her conjogal and maternal duties, — devising every means < 
calming her royal partner's easily <listurbed mind by the means of] 
music and other genial recreations, — yet, her want of judgment ill 
knowing how properly to influence the public mind, prevented he 
gaining as much popular fiivour as her many high qualities de 
served. Her talents were marred by want of tact : she was indil 
erectly rash; and injudiciously resentful. A less clever wc 
with more prudence would have won more liking from her ml 
jects ; a less spirited woman with more discretion would liAV 
inspired greater confidence and attachment. 

MeanwhOe France and Scotland took advantage of Englandi 
internal divisions to attack her ; and the queen was compelled ' 
promote reconciliation between the antagonist pailies at home i^ 
order to meet the threatened assaults from abroad. A gene 
pacific congress took place ; wherein York, Salisbury, Warv 
of the white-rose faction; and JIargaret, Exeter, the Per 
and the Koyal family, as representatives of the red-rose interest, { 
sembled in the capital, and a solemn covenant wa^j pledged hj 
these conflicting elements, — water and fire themselves, not mor 
antagonist to amalgamation. 

Iimumerable rancours, discords, and difficulties necessarily aroaej 
while Henry, leaving his queen to solve as she best might the prot 
lem of their arrangement, retired to the abbey of St. Alba 



lal reciimination kindled into tumult and sedition; and at 
flamed to sucli height as afforded pretext to the three great 
leaders, York, Salisbury, and Warwick, to burst once 
into open aggression against the bouse of Lancaster. 
At Northampton, York's son, Edward, Earl of March, attacked 
icastrian host; antl ten thousand Entrlish strewed their 
earth ; while King Henry was taken prisoner, and Margaret 
.lier princely boy, fled for refuge to a remote fortress in North 
In the hands of his foes, Henry became a mere passive victim. 
made to surrender his son's claims to the royal succeasiou 
land, with the empty pennission to retain tlie crown during 
own lifetime. News of this fatal abandonment of their child's 
right reached Margaret; but instead of quelling her spirit 
despondency, it roused it into exertion. She went straight to 
court of Scotland, succeeded in obtaining succours from the 
'ch there — who had Lancastrian blood in his veias — ^nd took 
measures with such promptitude and vigour that she led the 
army, reinforced by the best strength of the northern 
ities of England, to the field, before the Yorkists knew that 
was approaching. Beneath the walls of Sandal Castle, Mar- 
t, at the head of eighteen thousand men, defied the Duke of 
'k to come forth and do battle with her. The practised soldier, 
by this cliallenge from a woman, and not greatly belie\'ing 
it either military skill or warlike valour were hers, quitted his 
ronghold, and met the queen^s commandei-s, Somerset, Wiltahire, 
ad Clifford, on the plain. York was killed, his array routed ; and 
le ferocious Clifford, after slaying the young Earl of Rutland in 
?ld blood, struck the didie's head from his body, crowned it with 
iper, and presented it on the point of a lance to Queen Margivret^ 
ith a light speech of derision. It is recorded that she at first 




shuddered and turned pale, but afterwards — ^Liuglied; — ^iit/j/WJ] 
But it is not impossible that this might have been an hpteiic 
agitation — the result of mingled emotions of excitement ; of ] 
ment, of physical disgust at the ghastly sight, with cro>> 
thoughts of the enmity long borne to her husband, her boy, ; 
herself, by him whose pale face now lay crowned in mockery ( 
her foot. It is, however, but too true, that she ordered this hon^ 
ble trophy of her triumph to be placed over York gates ; addlug- 
with the headlong arrogance which disgraced her demeanour i^ 
the hour of success — that she desired " room might be left betwe 
the heads of York and Salisbuiy for those of the Earls of 
and Warmck, which she intended should soon keep thorn 

Fluctuating fortune attended the arms of the red rose and 
.white rose for some time, dmiug which Margaret maintained 
rights of her royal husband and son with unflinching courage i 
constancy, through alternate prosperity and disaster. In the cob 
of an appeal to France— where her crafty cousin, Lonis XX, nov 
reigned — ^^largaret's gradually-sinking cause "was espoused by tl 
chivalrous Pierre de Brez<^, who attached himself to her 
with an enthusiasm and devotion, fervent to a degi*ee bf roi 
He had been minister and favourite to Mai'garet's uncle, CI 
Vn. : ho had appeared in the lists at her bridal tournament aa j 
champion of the " douce Marguerite," the " gentle daisy-flower,^ U 
the time of her youthful beauty and happiness ; and now that st 
came a forlorn wanderer, a princess bereft of crown and kingilon 
suing for aid on behalf of her husband and child despoiled of thaj 
rights, De Breze proffered his knightly duty with an ai*dour 
much surpassing his former homage, as the battle exceeds th^ 

This gallant gentleman fought for Queen Margaret 



Ibody field of flexham ; from wliicli slie, in mortal terror for her 
r^life, fled with him on foot through the neighbouriDg forest^ 
encountered by a hand of freebooters ; whose cnpidity being 
ed by the rich attire of the fugitive mother and child^ po3- 
sed themselves of their jewels and more valuable apparel. While 
e men were disputing over the division of the booty, ]\Iargaret 
itcbe<l lier boy up in her arms, and sped away ii'om the maraud- 
; but upon meeting with another of the troop, alone, she sum- 
Doed her usual spii'it and self-possession ; stepped forward with 
little gon in her hand, and presenting him to the robber, 
claimed : — " Here, my friend, save the son of your king ! " The 
, struck with her beauty and majesty, as well as with the 
y^ interesting and helpless appearance, turned his aspect of 
mace into protection ; and led them to a cave, where he sheltered 
for two days. ** Local tradition has preserved record of the 
ftct ppot — a low cave in Hexham forest ; and here they were 
ttovercd by the faithful knight, Sir PieiTe de Brez6, who, with 
% squire, Barville, had been seeking the q\ieen with sleepless 
igenci?. On taking leave of the outlaw and his wife, Margaret 
nred forth her thanks, as all she had left to Ijestow; while her 
hercnt^ would have added some reward from their own scanty 
>ply of money ; but the worthy couple, with a generosity and 
Ikacy that would have honoured any station, declined receiving 
lat must be so needful to the little band of royal fugitives in 
eir wanderings; and the queen, whose own nature made her 
itiliArly able to appreciate dignity of feeling, exclaimed, *' Of 
I liave lost, I regret nothing so much as the power to recom* 
use such virtue.** 
Margaret and the young prince, with their Io}'al friemb, hast- 
d io Carlisle and* thence to Kircudbright. Here, the queen, 
)Be royal bearing and beatify made hor unable to elude obuer- 



vation, was recoguizeil by a Yorkkt partisan ; and lie lost no ^nW; 
in flecuring the peisons of tlie wanderers, Margaref s nol»le pro 
lector, De Breze, and his squire, were seized and hni-ried on 
a veBBel ; while the queen and her young son were also conrejel! 
thither : though untd the dawn of morning light, they were sev^l 
rally unaware of their having been captured. But De Breze, 
among his other knightly qualities, possessed that of uncommoa 
pers<^inal strength, had succeeded in freeing himself from his Loi 
during the night ; and when he had effected the same liberati<«l 
for his squire, the two set upon the boat's crew ; and ailer a despfr 
rate struggle, in which they slew some, and threw others orc*-^ 
l)oard^ they remained masters of the craft. A gale was Ijluwing;] 
and after tossing some hours in the Sol way Frith, the boat 
driven on a sandbank, near Cantyre ; and it was only by W 
Bre»6^s wading through the breakers, and bearing the queea to 
the shore, while Barville carried the young prince in his 
that they succeeded in landing safely. Margaret took refuge in 
one of the obscure hamlets of this wild district, under the guardian 
care of De Brez^ ; while Barville went to gather tidings of tk 
then condition of Lancastrian hopes. It was such as to leat^ 
Margaret no other chance for the present, than to stand aloof^ and 
abide the coming of better times. She, with her son and a snwll 
retinue, who clung to their royal mistress, embaiked for FlaudeR, 
where some of the red-rose party had taken refuge; but the foni 
weather, which invariably attended !Margaref s expeditions with s 
gloom of disaster similai to that which perpetually overshadowed 
her fortunes in her progress through life, assailed her on the pre** 
cut occasion. A tempest arose of such violence, that every mO' 
ment threatened destruction ; and when the rage of the hurricane 
had somewhat subsided, the ship was compelled to put into port 
on the dominions of Margaret s hereditary enemy, the Duke of 



iurgundy. However, slie was received witl respect, and provided 
LOt only with lionourable escort to the Boutli, "but with a pecuuiary 
inpply, "when it had been made known how ill able she was to 
nite the aid she had received from her faithful Lancastrian fol- 
lowers, the ladies of her train, and those loyal champions who had 
[ost their all in her service. 

The affaire of the poor old Provencal King, Kene, were in no 
ition to oSev his hapless daughter more than a bare asylum 
er adversity; but this he made her welcome to, "with all the 
tfmplicity and gentle philosophy which characterized him. There 
Margaret remained for seven years, watching the gi'owth and im- 
provement of her boy, under the judicious education of Sir John 
I?ortescue, who devoted himself to the young prince's instruction. 
History records nothing farther of Sir Pierre de Breze, after his 
attendhig Queen Margaret in safety to the couH of Burgundy. 

Meanwhile, King Ilenr}' had been subjected to ignominious 
imprisonment in the Tower ; and the reigning sovereign, Edward 
IV., evinced a dread of Margaref s well-known courageous spirit 
'of perseverance, by maintaining a kind of coast-guard, to pre- 
vent her making a sudden descent upon the English shores. It 
has been affirmed that Margaret did visit Britain duiing the peri- 
od, in the disguise of a priest, in the train of the Archbishop of 
Nai-bonne ; and such an adventure would by no means be improl> 
able, from a woman of her romantic boldness and impetuosity of 

In the year 1469, she came forth from her retirement, and re- 
paired with Prince Edward to Tours ; where a family royal meet- 
ing was held for the purpose of taking into consideration the best 
means of once again striving to uphold the Lancastrian cause. It 
uras on this occasion, that the wily and cold-blooded Louis XL* 
oolitnved to win the haughty-spirited ^Margaret into a politic re- 




coDciliation with her Acient foe, the Earl of ^Warwick, 
" the king-maker ; " who had broken with the Yorkist party, and 
was ready to engage in dethroning Edward IV. With the great- 
est diflBculty, Margaret was prevailed upon to pardon Wannck: 
but, once gi-anted, the cat-like Louis seized upon this concession, to 
make it the gi-oimd for proposing an alliance between her son. 
Prince Edward, and the Earl's youngest daughter, the Lady Amt 
At first nothing could induce ^Margaret to listen to this sugi 
she treated it ^4th open contempt; but at length, upon being 
urged by the counsellors of her father, King Rene, gave her coih 
sent. The marriage took place the next year ; and the year siio- 
ceediug that, Queen Margaret hearing that Warwick had obtaiiwd 
the freedom of her royal husband, and had re-possessed him of Iiil 
kingdom, she prepared to set sail for England. But, as usual, the 
weather put on its most fi'owning aspect, when Margaret^s enter- 
prises were at stake. Perpetually beaten back, the elenieati 
seemed to act in concert against her fleet, to prevent its reaehiug 
the English shores. Three times did she put forth from Harfieur, 
before she could get to sea ; and when there, sixteen wearlsomfl 
days and nights did the queen pass in a fever of burning impar 
tience, tossing about the channel, vainly striving to make the pas- 
sage. At last, she landed b\it to hear the fatal tidings of tbfl 
death of Warwick, and the recapture of the king, Henry, at the 
battle of Barnet ; and scarcely had she revived to entertain hopes 
from the last brave struggle of the Lancastrian party, at the field 
of Tewkesbury, than she was stricken into life-long despjur by the 
news of her princely son's overthrow and death there. 

Mai'garet of Anjou, with the youthful widow of her EdwarJ, 

were brought in the train of the victor to London ; where, iin- 

•mured in the dungeons of the Tower, she became a \\^dow on the 

night of her arrival — King Hemy having been mm-dered there, 

that same time, by Richard, Duke of Gloster. 



After a period of l>lank desolatioD, Margaret was ransomed by 
kindly old fatlier, Eang Rent', at the sacrifice of li is Inheritance 
if Provence, which he ceded to the griping claw of Loui^ XI, for 
tfdf its vaJne, in order to rescne his daughter from captivity. Be- 
eaved, heai't-]>rokeE, dead to all living interests, the once high- 
ipirited Margaret passively signed a formal renunciation of all her 
ilaims upon England, and took her way to lier old Provencal 
me ; — that spot slie had quitted in all the beauty and brilliancy 
if hope, youth, and royal fortune. 

Sir Walter Scott's fine picture of the red-rose queen at this pc^ 
tod of her withered life, in his romance of " Anne of Geierstein," 
conceived with rich ftmcy. But forcibly as it pourtrays her pas- 
lonate despair, the fearful reality of historic truth outdoes its im- 
>resslve delineation. The records of the chroniclers represent her 
utterly and awfully changed in person l>y the toiiiure of her 
nward anguish :— the whole mass of her blood turned ; her eyes, 
ince so lu'ight and flashing with expression, now hollow, dim, and 
nflamed from incessant weeping: — her skin disfigm'ed by a dry, 
laly leprosy, which converted this once renown edly beautifnl 
>rincess into a spectacle of horror, 

Scott has given her a pictm-esque death, amid the (to her) 
most distasteful recreations of her artistically dis^josed old fiither ; 
tmt, in fact, she survived him, though only for a short period — ex- 
piring in her fifty-first year. 

The anachronisms and inaccuracies committed in the three parts 
of Ilenry VI., form one of the testimonies against their being the 
production of Shakespeare. He who so strictly adhered to the 
^irit and almost to the letter of histor}^, making its facts available 
^ dramatic purpose, and rarely violating them, save for express 
'^uirement, would never have so misplaced events as are there 
Far less would he so thoroughly have misrepresented 



and degraded tlie liigli-epirited Margaret, by makiiig Ler the grossly 

lawless wife and termagant Amazon which she appears in those 

plays. He never penned that Billingsgate altercation between the 

famed Princess of Anjou and the Duchess of Gloster in the 3d 

scene of the 1st Act of the second of those dramas. Isolated pas- 

in them, it is true, wear his manner; bat the whole conduct 

of the three plays has little of his system of Art, But the 

character of the dethroned queen, as she 8ul)sequently appears in 

the tragedy of Richard HL, lurking near the purlieus of the dJ5- 

aal Tower, invoking curees upon her triumphant foes, roaming to 

ad fro, with wearied yet restless pace, around the scenes of 

^her lost greatness, like some cub-bereft lioness, is indeed true to 

the style of the prince of poets ; and that one epithet where she 

&}>eaks of 

" Haatiogs, Rivers, Yaughao, Grey, 

Untimely smothered in their dusky grav^s,^ 

aps the portrait as being from his master-handL 
The story of Margaret of Anjou, is pregnant with lessons in 
moral coudiict. Arbitrary during her seasons of authority and 
power, arrogant in success, imprudent in emergency, vindictive in 
wrong, she forfeits the respect which her courageous dignity amid 
adversity would otherwise inspire. 

Her eventful course is picturesquely in keeping with her indi- 
vidual nature. The tempestuous weather which attended her 
movements, and the murky storm-clouds of calamit6u3 fiite which 
perpetually hung over her life's career^ are akin to the stormy 
gi-audeur of her own character. 

Isabella of Castile is a noble instauce of a ctiaracter based upon 
principle. Iler natm^e Tvas full of fine impulses ; l^ut Her acts were 
the result of principle. Her heart first dictated her conduct, then 
her reason approved it ; and the result was, a woman and princess. 
of almost matchless excellence. Her reign was an era in her 
country, and left lasting blessings to mark its existence. Her 
affections were pure ; her passions were lofty. Love for her peoj^e, 
with love of her husband and children, a tender reverence for her 
mother, and constancy of attachment towards her chosen friends, 
formed her fondest feelings; while a thirst for glory was her 
strongest desire. She possessed natural qualities which enabled 
her to achieve glory ; she was surrounded by circumstances from 
youth that fostered her native powers of mind, and her life 
abounded with events that both matured her innate qualifications 
and ministered to her propensities for glory. She was an example 
of those who owe less to book-leaniing than to life-learning. She 
had powers of observation which rather took aliment from vital 
occurrences, than from written precepts; and she acquired her 
education rather from her own experience than from set lessons. 
Withal, she had the fine sense to supply whatever deficiencies 
early teaching might have left., by her ov^^n subsequent diligence in 

acquiring sucli knowledge as she felt needful. Several modem 
languages sbe was acquainted with, and was an elegant mistress of 
her own ; but being uuinstructed in the Latin tongue, she resolved 
to accomplish herself in what was at that time so much used as a 
medium of intercoui-se between learned men, and for the purposes 
of international diplomacy and negotiation. Amidst her multiform 
state avocations, she found time to gain in less than a year a snfB- 
cient mastery of Latin, to enable her to comprehend rjeadUy wliat- 
ever was written or spoken in that language. "What maybe called 
her practical education, was deiived through the school of actual 
circumstance which surrounded her from cliildhood. She was 
bom in 1450 ; and was the daughter of John 11., King of Castile, 
by a second marriage. Iler father's son, by the first marriage, 
Henry IV., surnamed " the Lnpotent," succeeded to tha throne; 
and during his humiliating reign, Isabella had an opportunity of 
gathering those first seeds of state training, which afterwards 
gi?rmiuated into such goodly harvest of garnered wisdom in policy 
and government. From the disorders which disgraced her brother's 
jDeriod of rule — or rather misrule, and fi'om the spu*it of faction 
which I'an high among the grandees and court officials, Isabella 
quietly drew those instructive lessons of discretion and foresight 
which afterwards stood her in such good stead when she herself 
was called to reign. 

Her earliest yeare, after her father^s death, were spent in retire- 
ment with her mother ; and here she imbibed that devout regard 
for religion, which influenced her so powerfully through life. On 
the birth of the infanta Joanna, Henry brought Isabella and her 
young brother Alfonso to inhabit the jialace, lest tlie factions 
nobles might make either of them the object of a party, to the 
prejudice of Joanna's claims; but the seductive pleasures of a court 
— where levity and license were but thinly veiled by splendour and 


^Hpgnificence — had no power to uudermine the luoraLj of one whose 
I virtue was firmly founded in faith and principle. The dissolute 
conduct of the queen, together with other confii'matory ckcum- 
stances, gave rise to suspicion of Joanna's illegitimacy, and the 
princess was so generally reputed to be the daughter of the king's 
favourite, Don Beltran de la Cueva, that she was popularly sumam- 
ed " La Beltrancja." 

The grandees, leagued in revolt against Henry IV,, publicly 
deposed him, and swore allegiance to the youthfol prince Alfonso — 
then only eleven yeai's of age ; and a civil war ensued, which last- 
ed till the child-king died. 

On the death of her young brother, Isabella retired from 
coui*t, and withdrew to Avila, where the Archbishop of Toledo, on 
"behalf of the confederate nobles, tendered her the crown lately 
awarded to Alfonso, But Isabellix, guided equally by principle 
and prudence, declined becoming queen of Castile during the life- 
time of her brother Henry. She judiciously j)ermitted them to 
nominate her Princess of the Asturias, which was tantamount to 
declaiing her heir-apparent to the throne; and a reconcihation 
was eflfected between the contending parties. An inter\iew took 
place between Henry and Isabella ; wherein he was made to re- 
cognize her as his royal successor. In the compact, dictated by the 
Bobles, and ratified by the Cortes, there was stipidation that Henry 
should divorce his notoriously profligate q^en ; and that Isabella, 
vliile promising not to marry without her brother's consent, should 
not be constrained to marry in opposition to her o^ti wishes. 

That this latter clause was not superfluous, is evident from 
Henry's having arranged an alliance for his sister, when she was in 
her sixteenth year, so repugnant to her inclinations, from the known 
dUJionourable character of the intended bridegroom, that upon 
(Jiearing of its proposal, she shut herself in her room, took neither 


food nor sleep for a day and nights, and implored of Leaven to 
save her from so detested a fate either by her own death or that 
of her foe. 

Her prayers were heard ; for a rapid attack of illness carried 
off the dreaded Master of Calatrava when on his road to claim hia 
bride. In another proposed union, where disparity of years point- 
ed out its ineligibility, she had evinced steadfast resolution ; for 
neither menaces nor entreaties could move her to consent to what 
her reason told her was ill-judged. With address, judicious beyond 
that which her youth and sex generally possess, she declined the 
match urged by her brother, on the plea that *' the infantas at 
Castile could not l.>e disposed of in marriage without the consent 
of the nobles of the realm." 

Now that Isabella's succession to the crowns of Castile and 
Leon was legally established, her hand was sought in marriage h? 
sevend of the principal sovereigns of Europe. A brother o4 
Edward TV, of England— =in all likelihood, Richard Duke of 
Gloucester ; the Eliug of Portugal ; the Duke of Guienne, brother 
to Louis XL of France ; and Ferdinand, the Prince of ^Njragon, 
were all suitors to Isabella of Castile. 

Had '' mis-shape u Richard" been the successful applicant, who 
knows how this noble-spirited woman, bringing him a throne to 
share in occupying, and a mind to help in swaying, might have 
prevented his launching upon that dark sea of crime and ambition 
which whelmed him in its blood-stained tide ; and how her active 
intelligence might have operated to aid his able intellect in finding 
fit channels for its almndant resources. AVith such a woman at his 
side through life, the mental strength of Richard might have l>een 
put to virtuous and valuable use, insteail of being exercised in 
compassing usurpation, trejLson, and murder. 

Ferdinand of A 

Many clrcumstauces conduced to incline lier to turn an eye of 
favour upon Mm. State reasons pointed to tlie advantages wLicli 
arose from an alliance where descent from one common stock, 
uniformity of laugnage, and similarity of customs, promised 
mutual conformity of opinions and views; wbile the relative 
positions of their respective kingdoms, seemed to indicate that con- 
joined into one monarchy, the two subordinate states might 
become a powerful European sovereignty. Popular opiniou, too, 
greatly leaned towards the Arragonese alliance ; and the people's 
preferences had ever great weight with Isabella. Besides these pub- 
lic motives, there were private ones that had their iniluence upon 
the womanly nature of the young princess. Ferdinand was comely 
in person, gallant of bearing, and distinguished for knightly 
bravery and accomplishment. He had given tokens of possessing 
staid judgment, although still in the flower of his age ; and he 
possessed both spiiit and grace. 

Isabella was goaded into making immediate selection among 
lier suitors, by the injurious treatment she received from her 
brother ; who infringed almost every article of the compact, and 
tyraSnously urged her union with the Kmg of PortugaL Feeling 
herself released from her portion of the treaty, by his violation of 
engagement, she sought the concurrence of the leading nobles, and 
supported by their approval, she sent a favourable reply to Arra- 
gon, without fiu'ther consulting Henry. 

While the mai-riage articles were being drawn up,^ — and they 
were framed with every regai'd to Oastilian national feeling, so as 
to preserve the people's rights from encroachment^ and to restrict 
l3al>ella's husband from trenching upon her exclusive prerogatives 
of Queen of Castile and Leon in her own right, — she took up her 
abode under the protection of her mother, in order to await the 
result of the negotiations vnth ^ii'ragon. But Henry's suspicions 


IL E. 

Lemg awakened, attempts were Bet on foot by him and liis partisaDsi, 
to obtain forcible possession of his sister's person ; and Isal 
sending word to her friends, Admiral Ilenriquez, and the 
bishop of Toledo, she was rescued from her hazardous position, i 
l)ome in safety to Valladolid, where she was received by the 
zens with enthusiasm. 

There being considerable diihculty in the Prince of Arr 
coming to Castile, where such hostile jealousy and espial 
rounded his intended bride, he resolved, — with the chiva 
8]iirit which formed a part of his character, and the touch 
romance which coloured his age and nation, — to proceed thither i( 
disguise, attended by a few trusty adherents only, attii-ed as ; 
chants. His arrival was hailed with joy by the little court! 
Valladolid. Isabella's first care, — with her usual excellent sen 
and discretion, — was to address a letter to her brother Henry, '^ 
forming him of her intended marriage ; and then, au intervi^ 
having been arranged between the royal pair, the Archbishop < 
Toledo conducted the Prince of ^irragon to the presence of 
Infanta. Ferdinand was then in his eighteenth year; Isabella, < 
year older. They were a handsome couple. Ferdinand^s natil 
.fair complexion was sunbui'ned into manliness by exposure to 
field ; his well-formed frame w*a3 knit into vigour by military ex- 
ercises ; and his fluency of speech was polished into courteous ai 
dress, when desirous of gaining a point. He had a quick, 
sprightly e}'e, and a broad, high forehead. Isabella's height waa 
inclined to tall ; she had a clear, fresh colour, with auburn hai^ 
and eyes of radiant blue, — ^rare peculiarities in Spanish beau 
Her personal charms were enhanced by a graciousness and ber 
nity of manner the most winning ; while dignity and modesty we 
so equally blended in her demeanour, that she was no less womat 
than queenly. 



The jniblic celebration of tlie marriage took place on tlie 1 OtL 
tober, 1469 ; and the nuptials were solemnized in the presence 
I Ferdinand's grandfather, the Admii'al of Castile, the Arch- 
iop of Toledo, and a large numher of the nol>ilitj. 

Henry, incensed at this act of independence on the part of his 
ter, declared that she had forfeited her claims by marrying i^dth- 
i his approval, and abrogated his nomination of Isabella as his 
Doessor. He and his queen took an oath affirmative of Joanna's 
jitimacy, and went through the farce of affiancing the princess, 
en in her ninth year, to the Duke of Guienne, with the vievr of 
earing the aid of France in snppoii; of her pretensions to the 

-Ferdinand and Isabella were so ill-provided with funds, that 
Brery money reqiuslte for defraying the expenses of their mar- 
iige had been borrowed ; and now, they possessed scarcely suffi- 
ent to supply the ordinary cost of their daily table. Moreover, 
le presence of her husband, so needful to sustain the spirits of 
fchella's Castilian party, was about to lie withdi*awn ; for the 
11^ of Arragon was engaged in contentions with Louis XL, that 
aced him in a perilous situation, and Isabella was the fii"st to 
rge Ferdinand to march to his father's relief. 

While he was engaged in Arragon, Isabella's influence aug- 
mented the strengtheniug of their mutual cause in Castile. Her 
^ virtuous discretion, and the decorum of those she maintained 
round her, tended to inspire confidence in her fitness for rule, 
^Wle it contrasted nobly with the levity, rapacity, and profligacy 
tf those who formed Henry's court. During the interval that en- 
»ied, Isabella gi-adually but securely won the esteem of her future 
'ihjects ; and when her brother's imbecile reign came to a close 
)>* his death, she succeeded to his throne, with the sanction of the 
^rtes, A herald formally proclaimed : " Ciistile, Ciistile for the 



Mng Don Ferdinand, and Lis consort, Dona Isabella, queen propiv 
etor (as we should say, queen in her own. right, or queen regnant) 
of these kingdoms ! " Isa])ella received the homage of her saV] 
jects, swore to maintain inviolate the liberties of the realm, ; 
repaired to the cathedral church ; where, when Te Deum had been | 
chanted, she offered up thanksgiving, and invoked the DiTiittj 
blessing upon her future endeavours to discharge the high triiatl 
which devolved upon her, with equity and iv^sdom — ^and nobly | 
did she fulfil this, her coronation oath. 

On Ferdinand's arrival from Arragon, the respective authority] 
to be exercised by the royal husband and wife in the adminislrsrl 
tion of government was discussed ; and upon the issue of this diiS'j 
cussion resulting in a decision that Isabella, as sole heire^ of the 
dominions of Castile and Leon, was entitled to all the esseutialj 
rights of sovereignty (while whatever authority Ferdinand 
hold, could only be derived through her), he was so ill-pleasedJ 
that he spoke of returning to Arragon. But Isabella, with 
tionate reasoning, succeeded in soothing his marital susceptibility S 
and by representations of equal truth and gentleness, won him 1 
perceive that their interests were uniform, AVith wifely skill, slid 
healed his wounded pride, while preserving uneompronnsed 
royal trust. 

One of the first acts in common of the sovereigns, was to me 
effectually a coalition of those nobles who sup]X)rted Joanim^l 
party, and who, joining with the King of Portugal, declared wa 
against Ferdinand and Isabella, Unprepared for Alfonso's in^ 
siou, they made vigorous exertions for resistance. Isabella en 
ployed whole nights in dictating despatches to her secretaries ; 
encountered personal fatigue with indomitable resolution, 
performed arduous journeys on horseback, for the sake of herseli 
inspecting and encouraging those garrisons where she deemed sue 



Btimulus requisite ; and slirank from no exertion tliat might ensure 
aUogiance, altbougli lier situation iit that time demanded repose. 
The risk of injury to her constitution, and of seeing her materaal 
kopes friLstrated, could not deter her from pui^suing her duty as a 
'mler. Iler sense of queenhood ever kept pace with her sense of 
■womanhood ; and she was as mindful of what she owed to her peo- 
ie, as of what she owed to her husband, her chOdren, and herself. 

Thanks to her extraordinary exertions^ in conjunction with 
,ose he himself made, Ferdinand was able to advance at the head 
of a considerable force, upon the invading army. Aftef varying 
Bticcess duiing the campaign, — in the course of which, Isal>ella 
evinced on several occasions the punctilious regard for Castilian 
rights, and the scrupulous probity find rectitude which distinguished 
her — victory at the battle of Toro decided the war in favour of 
Ferdinand and Isabella. The King of Portugal withdrew his pre- 
tensions ; those of Joanna were set at rest by her retirement into 
convent ; and the undisputed possession of Castile which thus 
;ed to the sovereigns, was shortly after followed by Ferdi- 

•d's succeeding to the crown of Ai-ragon, by the death of his 
father, in 1479. The two kingdoms of Arragon and Castile were 
united under the joint sovereignty of Ferdinand and Isabella, and 
became the important European monarchy it has sincd" been. 

Wlule the militaiy accomplishments of Ferdinand found such 
ample scope in obtaining advantages for the state, Isabella's fine 
mental powers, and indefatigable energy, were employed in govern- 
mental reforms calculated to improve the social condition of her 
people. Although her husband's able judgment aided her own, 
yet his policy w^as of a less upright and pure character than 
Isabella's ; slie was incapable of an indirect or unworthy pro- 
cedure, while Ferdinand was le?s absolutely controuled by strict 
principle in his course of action. Happily for her subjects, the 




interoal adminlstratiou of Castile fell cliiefly witLin the pron 
of their queen to regulate — and nobly she exe<2uted tlie 
Their welfare — ^present and perniaftient — was lier liighest aim, iiei 
dearest care. Few young queens have been able to effect 
substantial improvements in administrative rule that Isaljella &s1 
lirihed during the first portion of her reign. Before the year 1 
most important measures were already adopted, and put into 
operation. For the efficient protection of the country, and for 
attainment of the enda of justice, Isabella persevered in re-organ? 
iziug the Santa Hermandad, or Holy Brotherhood, an association 
which formed a system of pohce, taking within its jiirisdictiou 
offences regardless of the rank of offenders. The opposition wliiA 
the queen met with from the nobility— who found this new system 
likely to interfere with tlieir hitherto unchecked oppression of tk 
powerless — was counterbtdanced by the popularity of the institih 
tion among those for whose behoof it was put in force. The cofr 
sciousness of acting for the true benefit of her people, and the 
recognition they evinced of their queen's solicitude for their 
advantage, supported her tlu'ough all difficulties, and gained hs 
the unalterable attachment of those she swayed. An instance of 
her power over the hearts of the populace, and of her own adfr 
possession and reliance upon them, is exemplified in an incident 
which is recorded to have taken place at Segovia, during an insM^ 
rectionary tumult of the citizens. They assembled in great nran 
. bers before the citadel, calling out, " Death to the Alcayde I 
Attack the castle ! " Isabella's tenified attendants entreated th«ir 
mistress to order the gates to be more strongly guarded ; but she 
quietly descended into the courtyard, and stationing herself thece|. 
ordered the portals to be thro^vn mde opjen. On the insurgents 
pouring in, she calmly addressed them, bidding them tell her their 
grievances, and promising that she would do all in her power to 



redress tliese, as slie was sure tliat what was for tlieir interest, must 
be also for hers, and for tliat of tlie whole city. Her composure 
tod dignity, togetlier witli her tliug making theii' cause her own, 
allayed their wrath, and gained her time to examine into the jastice 
of their complaints ; while l^y her presence of mind, she quelled 
without compromise of royal supremacy, a disturbance in its com- 
mencement which might have grown into a serious outbreak. 

She went hoi-self into the provinces where disafiPection and 
anarchy prevailed, for the purpose of enquiring into delinquencies, 
composing feuds, and reforming abuses, notwithstanding the re- 
monstrances her ministers made against endangering her safet}% 
Nothing deterred her, where duty and principle called for exertion 
on her pai-t. She revived the ancient practice of the Castilian 
sovereigns, of presiding iji person over the administration of justice ; 
and she weekly took her seat on a chair of state, surrounded by 
. lier council, recei^-ing suits referred to her decision — thus saving 
fte usual cost and delay of equitable adjustment. Her method in 
business, and energy of miud, caused admirable despatch in the 
transaction of affairs ; and she disposed of so many cixil and 
criminal causes withhi a short space, that it struck terror into the 
hearts of plunderers and culprits. The certainty with which law 
was executed, regardless of wealth that could purchase release 
from penalty, or rank that could ol>taIn impunity, contributed 
greatly to secure respect for legal institutions, during the reign of 
Isaljella. She herself was superior to all mercenary motive ; and 
no sophistry could bias her honest convictions on this head. Be- 
sides the judicatory reforms, Isabella salutarily restricted the nobil- 
ity's overgroTivTi power, preserved the ecclesiastical rights of the 
crown from papal usurpation, ordained commercial and trade regu- 
lations, and maintained royal authority. The private characters, 
no less than the public measures of Ferdinand and Isabella, tended 

I S A B E L L A* 

C XS7 i 1. 1.. 

lo weore tbeir reg&l supremacy. TLeir taleuUf their sage coivlact 
their dignity — ^mond, inteUectual, and piersontd — commauded re- 
^>ect, and inspired confidence. But wliile Fenlinand's wisdon 
was shrewd and worldly, Isabella's was \'irtuous and disinttrestei 
6he used her high eikdowments for patriotic par|)osed, and devoted 
her whole soul to ejialted ti\mK 

There can be no doubt that Isabella s nature was as merciful 
\ it was just^ as humane and kindly as it was righteous, as benevo- 
it and mild as it was strict-principled ; yet nevertheless, in Itff 
reign was established a tribunal conspicuous for merciless, inhumaii 
and deadly severity — the Inquisition. Owing to early impressiona, 
and to having for confessor in her girlhood one of the most releot* 
leffl of men, — ^Thomas de Torquemada (afterwards the luqnisitor 
General of Spain,) — she had acquired a ^abit of deferring in all 
S])iritaal matters to other arbiti-ament than that of her own pnit 
and sensitive conscience. When, therefore, the introduction of the 
BO^alled holy office (blasphemous misuse of terms!) into Spain was 
proposed, Isabella was gradually won to agree to that which licr 
own excellent judgment and good heai-t — had they been permitted 
free exercise — would have revolted from. Ferdinand was readily 
brought to accede to its institution ; but Isabella, Tvithout whose 
sanction nothing could be effected in Castile, — ^loug withheld her 
consent. Her nature recoiled from putting in force so terrible an 
engine ; which, under the name of all that is most revered, nMght 
be made the means of cruellest persecution. But a skilful appeal 
directed to her jiious feelings ai^'akened misgiving that leniency 
might be a sin; she was led to believe that religion required 
severity towards apostates and heretics, and that to spare suspected 
Jews, or infidel Mahommedans, was mistaken mercy. Iler ac- 
quiescence was obtained; and a Papal bull authorising the es- 
tablishment of the Inquisition in Castile was solicited from Borne, 


She still liesitated ; and kept the execution of the bull suspended 
for two years ; liiit at length, iu 1480, the royal order was issued, 
and the Court of Inquisitors was appointed. The number of pris- 
oners soon became so great that the space first destined for their 
reception was wholly inadequate to contain them ; various rigorous 
penalties followed ; and sentences of death abounded. In the coni-so 
of the year 1481, two hundred and ninety-eight pci-sons were burned 
alive in the city of Se\Tlle, two thousand in other parts of Anda- 
lusia, and seventeen thousand suficred different penal inflictions. 
The property of those who were executed was confiscated ; and Qaeen 
Isabella ^^'rote to the Pope complaining that ^vhat she had done on 
behalf of the Catholic faith, drew upon her the accusation of hav- 
ing done it for the sake of the valuable confiscations which accrued 
from condemnation. Conscious of her purity of motive, and anx- 
ious lo secure the power of administering justice according to her 
own views of what she held to be its due, she wished to make the 
judgments of the new tribunal independent of any appeal to 
Rome ; and her letter to Sixtus IV. stated this request. But mild- 
nesB and moderation,— however much desired by Isabella, and re- 
commended by the Pope in his reply, — ^were not easily made part 
of a system that soon became irresponsiltle and potent beyond 
nil limit. The Inquisition was established in Spain ; and there it 
held its fierce sway, — a terror and a scourge of fearfullest might. 

On readii% the dark story of atrocity committed at a later pe- 
riod of this reign, wlien the Jews were exi)elled from Spain, we 
are filled with indignant regret that a humane nature like Isabella'?? 
ehould have been so desecrated as to have been wrenched into 
any pai*ticipation with such monstrous deeds. It is a lamentable 
instance of a great mind surrendering its judgment to inferior 
capacities under the influence of ideas of religion. Steadily did 
Isabella refuse to sign the iniquitous edict for the expulsion of the 


Jews, an edict wliich consigned several hundred thonsand persoufi 

to beggary, eadle, and miserable perishing — nntil forced into th« 

measure by those who had the spiritual direction of her conscienoci 

The descriptions of the cruel farces enacted, under the name of 

enquiry into their state of converted faith, against suspected Je^ 

make Le Sage's account of the fraudulent process carried od 

against Samuel Simon, the Chinstianized Jew, by the mock imjuL*}. 

tors, Don Raphael and Ambrose Lamela, in company with Gil 

Bias, no caricature whatever ; while the relation in history of HoA 

miseries suffered by the exiled Israelites, stripped of their 

sion5, and turned forth to wander away and starve by thousaw 

wrings the heart with grief and abhorrence at the ferocities com' 

mitted under the plea of serving Heaven's cause. Will men never 

remember God's reply to Abraham, when he thrust the old man 

from his tent, exposing him to all the evils of the night, because 

||0 worshipped the fire only ? Insteatl of applauding this act of 

zealous anger on his behalf, God answered : — " I have snflered him 

these hundred yeare, although he dishonoured me ; and could'st 

not thou endure him one night ? " * We cannot but recall Mo- 

litjre's spirited expostulation : — 

" Des int6r6t8 da Ciel pourqaoi voua cliargoi-vous ? 
Pour punir Ic coupablc, a-t-il besom do nous ? 
Laissez-lui, luissez-lui le soia de ges vengeances : 
Ne songez qu'au pardon qu'il prescrit aax offences ; 
Et ne regardez point aux jugeraents humulns, 
Quaud reus suivcz du Cicl Ics ordrcs soavcrains." 

[Why take on yourself Heaven's cause to defend? 
To punish tlie culprit, need Uo our bt'lp append ? 
Leave to bim> leave to bim, the care to avenge : 
Remembor, that pardon's enjoined as revenge ; 
And judge not according to Earth's human leaven, 
When obeying the orders of sovereign Heaven.] 

• The reader is roferrod to Bishop Jeremy Taylor's semion on "Liberty of Propb 

Ing," for thi* beaut il\il pnrftble-^tory ; and to Leigh Hunt's poetical version of it, under 
the tillo of " Abraliam and the Fire-worshipper/' 



A great feature in the political conduct of Isabella and her 
Imeband, was the prudence and temper they displayed in their ne- 
gociations with foreign courts; and the jutlicious moderation 
blended with dignified firmness and spirited assertion, which mark 
aU their international and amljassadorial treaties. They possessed 
that valuable secret in diplomacy- — as it is in most human inter- 
course — of preserving coolness amid perplexing discussion ; and 
maintaining strict right and justice in privilege, while using foi^ 
"bearance of expression. 

Their invariable selection, too, of the fittest and worthiest men 
for appointment to the highest offices in the state, secured to the 
►vereigna- the ablest assistance in ruling their kingdom. The 
names of two such men as Cai'dinal Mendoza and Cardinal Xime- 
nes, who successively filled the post of piimate of Spaiu, amply 
inatunce Fenlinand and Isabella's appreciation of lofty intellect 
and commanding powere ; with their care to place gifted persons 
like these in positions which should appropriate the exercise of 
their endowments to the national behoof. 

Isabella's zeal for religiou, and thirst for glory, excited in her 
a desu'e to expel the Moslemites from their last stronghold in 
Spain. War was therefore carried into the kingdom of Granada ; 
and she, by her indefatigable exertions, provident forethought, and 
dauntless courage, was the very soul of the expedition. Ever so- 
licitous for her people's welfare, she neglected nothing that could 
eosore the personal comforts of her troops, as well as sust^iin their 
valour, Iler tender care for the sick and wounded soldiers, led to 
her appointing a number of large tents, known as the " queen's 
lioepitals," to be established for their reception ; where the needful 
attendance and medicines were provided at her own charge. Isa- 
bella has the honour — a noble one for her, as queen and woman — 
of this being the first instance on record of regular camp hospi- 







tid& She gupported her husband by her cheering views ; she 
conraged the leaders by frequent letters and bestowal of honoi 
feho visiteil the camp in person ; and set a perpetual example 
horoiiim in spirit and in action. She proved herself an able 
eral ; she levied forces, she constructed roads, she supplied si 
and provisions, she devised means for meeting expenditure, and- 
as a last resource, pawne<l not only the crovm jewels, but her o^ 
ornaments, to furnish the requisite amount of military cost, 
the protracted siege of Baza wore out the spirits of the army, 
presence actetl like an angelic influence to inspire fresh vigour 
deteimination. She api)eared upon the field, mounted on li< 
back, and clad in complete armour. The suit of mail sJie wore, 
still preserved as a precious memorial in the armoury at ^f 
She superintended the military preparations, and personal!; w 
spected every part of the encampment. On one occasion, sul 
quently, an accident occurred, which might have been atteni 
^ith fatal consequences ; but which was made the source of 
mate and permanent good. By the carelessness of her atten 
a lamp was suffered to remain in such a situation, that it set fire 
the hangings of the tent in which the queen was lodged ; and 
flames, spreading rapidly, threatened a general conflagration. Fo^ 
tunately, Isaljclla escaped uninjured, and, to prevent any recurrence 
of a similar danger, it was resolved to erect a substantial town on 
the site of the encampment. The work proceeded with such dili- 
gence, that in less than three months the task was accomplished. 
The niTuy were desii'oiis that the new city should bear the name of 
their well-beloved queen ; but Isabella, with her usual modesty and 
judgment, declined this tribute, and entitled the place Santa Fi^ 
in token of the holy faith with which the war had been und 
taken by herself and people. 

if Granada surrendered 


mbra were delivered up ; aud Ferdiuand and Isaljolla took 
ion of the city, — the grandees kneeling to tlie queen, aud 
iting Ler hand in sign of homage as sovereign of Granada. 
WhUe the conquerors moved triumphant towards the scene of 
eir glory, the Moorish King, Ahdallah, or Boabdil, took hi3 way 
fiv>m his lost jjossessious. The unhappy prince drew bridle when 
He rtMched a rocky point which commanded a last view of Gra- 
; and unable to bear the sight, burst into tears. Ills mother, 
,om some authorities name Ayxa, others Zoraya ; both having 
:n wives to Abdallah's father and predecessor, Muley Abul 
fU,) — of more haughty aAl inflexible spii'it than her son,— is 
to have exclaimed bitterly :—" You do well to weep like a 
•woman, for what you could not defend like a man ! " The spot 
is poetically commemorated by the title given to it by the people 
of the country, "^^ ultimo sospiro dd Moro^'' — " The last sigh of 
the Moor." 

]SIr. Washington Irving's beautiful " Chronicle of the Conquest 
Granada," gives the most graphic descrii^tion of all this brilliant 
period in Isabella's life. The air of rich-hued romance thrown over 
the account, together with a certain antique fashion of simphcity 
in the diction, give it a resemblance to the pagea of old FroLssart. 

The conquest of Granada,— grand as that achievement was, — 
t' >rmed, as it were, but the prelude to a still more gloiious event ; 
an event which gilds Isabella's reign with a splendour the most 
lustrous. To her belongs the especial credit of hstening with 
favour to proposals, which, to most pei-sons who heard them, ap- 
peared but the delusions of a visionary. Christopher Columbus had 
vainly sought from other crowned heads, the necessary patronage 
and support for the prosecution of his schemes of discovery. His 
iirst application to the couH of Spain came at an unpropitious 
season, when the sovereigns were engrossed with the Moorish war ; 




and were couveyeil tlirougli an adverse channel, — no otlier ' 
tlie c[ueen*s confessor, who, at that penod, was Fernando de Tal 
vera, a man of narrow views, and averse from any thing like in 
lion or enterprise. Colnmbas's warm and steadfast friend,-4ai 
Perez de Marchena, superior in the convent of La Rabida, vh 
Columbus, when a needy wanderer, had asked bread and slielt< 
for his young son, — had from the first taken strong interest in tJit 
great navigator's theories of discovery; and had furnished 
with letters of introduction to Talavera, as the best method of 4 
tainiug access to Isabella's ear. The confessor's intervention 
not more favom'able to Columbu^ cause, than so lukewj 
advocacy as Talavera's of what he thought mere wild impi-ol 
fantasy, was likely to be ; and yeai*s ehipsed in profitless 
Ileart-sick and weary, Columbus prepared to quit Spain, in 
to submit his proposals to the court of France. Again, howe^ 
his good fnend, Juan Perez stepped in, and persuaded Columbo 
to suspend his resolution, until he himself tried what a personal i 
plication would do. Perez had at one time been confessor 
Isabella ; and possessing the queen's esteem for his many excel 
qualities, he went at once to her, obtained an audience, and pleade 
Columbus's cause with so much fervour, that he succeeded in i 
citing the attention and securing the interest of the sovereagi 
The prosperous close of the war in Granada nfforded additional < 
portunity for Estening to proposals that opened a prosjject of i 
vast aud important acquisitions; and Columbus was recalled i 
state his own views to the Spanish sovereigns. This he did 
Bo much eloquence and skill, that while the imagination of 
king was dazzled with ideas of gain and dominion, that of Isal 
was fired with the hope of extending the hght of Christianity ove 
nations iguoraut and heathen. Even then, Ferdinand's calculatin 
spiiit would have placed a bar to the fulfilment of the project 



Upon Colnmbos's stipulations oa liis side being announced, the 
demurred to them ; and as nothing could induce the stout^ 
Genoese to relinquish points that he knew to be his due, 
Conferences were broken o% and he once more left the Spau- 
coiut, to try his fortune elsewhere. The friends he had there, 
ed boldly to represent to the queen the risk she ran of be- 
< )me other monarchy avail itself of Columbus'^s ser\ice3 to 
the glory and advantage of his discoveries; and one of 
went go far as to remind Isabella that her present policy was 
accordance with the magnanimous spirit which had hitherto 
Je her the ready patron of great and heroic enterprise. She, — 
her usual fine sense, — ^far from being displeased at this honest 
loeiico, was moved by it to give Columbus's proposals then* due 
E^rution, and to view them in their true light. Refusing to 
longer to the suggestions of cold or timid counsellors, she 
way to the natnral impulses of her own noble and generous 
and declared that she would assume the undertaking for her 
crown of Castile ; and that she was ready to part with her 
to defray the cost, should the funds in the treasury bo in- 
tent. Thus spiritedly did this high-minded woman ever 
where a principle or a right course was involved. 
No sooner were the conditions settled, and the expedition 
upon, than Isabella, with her characteristic promptitude 
ability, took the requisite measun^s for forwarding ita com- 
l»ncement. Orders were despatched for stores and articles neces- 
ry for tho voyage ; a small fleet of three vessels was appointed 
f sail from the port of Palos ; and, as the eicpeditiou was Ear from 
populAT, a royal ordinance was issued, promising protective privi* 
leges to all who should embark in it. On the 3rd August, 1492, 
! illastrious navigator set saQ — ^^^dth what immortal success, is well 



To I^aLdlA of Castile is doobdes attributable a share in 
>nr of Clxnslo|ilier ColnmbTid^ gnnil discovery. Had kKc w^ 
'yielded credit to Lis theories., and parUiken in the noble cntbn?ia9&l 
of kis TiewSy he mi^t h^Te continued to pino oat the rernm* 
Ida fife iu vain solidtatioiid, and fruitless seeking for pal 
The aeqiu^ttioii of a new heou^ihere is partly her triamph ; 
ikt gmerous credence which an derated soul gives to conce] 
deemed chimerical by leas exalted minds, is wholly her o 
IsabeDa^s intoest in Colnmbos and his undertaking waa no 
or trxmsitorr aentiment ; from the time she first put faith in 
dbe remained hisstead&st friend and protectress to the last 
own words bear teBtmiony to her enlightened benignity, where 
says in one of his letters : — "• In the midst of the general i 
dulity, the Almighty infused into the queen, my lady, the sjiirit 
intelligence and energy; and, whilst every one else in his i 
lanoe was CGEpatiating only on the inconvenience and cost, her 
ness approved it, on the contrary, and gave it all the support 
her power* And one instanoe^ amoz^ othenii of the gracious 
^deration she evinced for Columbus, is marked by the cii 
'stance of her taking lus two sons, Diego and Fernando, as lier 
pages, on the death of Prince John, in whose service they h, 
formerly been. 

The sudden loss of this prince, in the full bloom of youdiitt 
premise, was a blow to his mother s heart from which she neve 
entirely leoovered. He died on the 4th of October, 1497, in tb< 
twentieth year of his age, not mwe than ax months after his 
iiiispicioas marriage with the Princess Margaret^ daughter of tin 
Emperor Maximilian. Prince John was the darling of the nation, 
as well as of his parents: for never did royal heir give greater ho] 
of fiiture e.vcellence. Isabella received the news of this belo\'tt 
son s death with the resignation and fortitude of one who 



•lioolecl lier soul to "bear tlie dlspeusationg of her Creator with 
:nmurmuring suhmissiuu; but though meek and patient of dc- 

leanonr, her inmost heart felt the wound. This tnal was suc- 

tdeJ the very year aftei> by one no less afflicting; her eldest 

|davigliter and namesake, Isabella, who had been married to the 

'rince of Portugal, died iu childbui'tli ; and this second bereave- 
i, BO soon following the fii-st, caused her health to sink under 

,vy calamity. 

The queen^s afiections received reiterated shocks at this period ; 

and it seemed as if her domestic sorrows were to be heaped in 

proportion with the abundance of her regal prosperities. She had 

lost her mother, tlie dowager-queen ; who, during the latter years 

of her life, had suffered from a mental infirmity that di*ew forth the 

tenderest personal care of Isabella; and she had now a fresh 

misery to endure, which caused her bitter anguish both in maternal 

and in queenly relation. Her second daughter, Joanna, who had 

been allied iu maniage with the archduke Philip of Flanders, at 

this time gave unequivocal symptoms of insanity; and as — owing 

to the deaths of Prince John and the young Queen of Portugal — 

the succession devolved upon Joanna, Isabella's heart was torn by 

mingled gilef for her hapless daughter, and filled with anxious 

forebodings for the future welfare of her beloved people. Yet 

even in the midst of these accumulated sources of sorrow, and not- 

witlistanding the rapidly-declining state of her own health, she 

gtill continued to devote the energies of her mind to the interests 

of her subjects ; and up to the period of her death, ceased not to 

take an active share in the provisions for their protection and 

beneiit. A threatened invasion from France occupied her ardent 

and unselfish efibrts to aid Ferdinand in repelling it ; and j^he 

resolutely held illness at bay, that her husband might dedicate his 

nndividod attention to the needful military preparations for defence. 




'Mt. Pre«ott, in His admirable ^ History of Ferdinand and 
bella,^ luu! drawn a parallfil between Ellzal>eth of Eori^laud 
Isabella of Castle, showing with masterly discrimination tbe 
of drcnmstantial resemblance, vid of moral diflBomilaiity, vl 
existe<l between the two womcn-monarcbs. In conclosion, he 
" Both jiined amidst their royal state, a prey to incurable di 
dency, rather than to any marked bodily distemper. In 
it sj)raDg from wounded vanity, a sullen conviction that she 
outlived the admiration on which she had so long fed — and 
the soh'ice of friendship and the attachment of her subjects, 
did she seek consolation, where alone it was to })e fonnd^ in 
sad hour. Isabella, on the other hand, sunk under a too acute 
ability to the sufferings of others. But, amidst the gloom wl 
gathered aroimd her, she looked with the eye of faith to 
blighter prospects which unfolded of the future ; and, when 
resigned her last breath, it was amidst the tears and universal 
entatbns of her people." 

A very beautiful ti'ait in the character of Isabella, is her 
humanity. This is perhaps one of the greatest — while it is, 
one of the rarest attributes in sovereign nilers. They are geofr 
rally so intent upon the aggrandizement of their people, that they 
ai-e apt to omit giving sufficient consideration to more immediatelr 
pertinent concerns. The social wants and grievances of suhjects 
are less usually thought for, than their national advantages and 
atate position. But Isabella had a woman's soHcitude for those 
who were committed to her queenly guardianship. Not onlv was 
her viglknce sleepless on behalf of her own Castilian people, but her 
interest for those imlirectly within the scope of her dominion, waf 
hardly less animated. The commiseration she ex})rcssed for the 
African slaves imported into Se^^lle — with her repeated interfer 
encea to procure them more equal protection from the laws, as well 



&acb social inclulgenees as might mitigate tlie liardsliips of their 
aftbrda proof of this. And the compassionate sympathy she 
inced for the Indian captives ; desiring lenient measures to be 
ken for their conversion j indignantly protesting against having 
icm treated with hai-shness ; cansing missionaiies to be instructed 
the language of the natives, so that persuasion and argument 
ight win the unoffending islanders, instead of consigning them to 
le horrors of slavery ; and finally, the fact of her inserting an 
lecial clause in the codicil to her last testament, wherein she ear- 
lestly enjoins her successors to quicken the good work of convert- 
,d civilizing the poor Indians, to treat them with the greatest 
tleness, and redress any wrongs they may have suffered in their 
persons or property — eloquently bespeak her humane and enlight- 
ned spuit. The way in which she obtamed commutation of the 
losi, rigorous portion of the sentence passed upon an assassin who 
attempted Ferdinand's life, bears evidence of her merciful dlsposi- 
}on ; and tl^e endeavoui-s she made to lessen the ferocity attending 
e national sport of bullfights, at the same time exhibiting due 
egai'd for popular predilection, proclaim her united wisdom and 

Besides her passionate attachment to her mother, husband, and 
shildren, her friendships were warm and lasting. In the ai*ras of 
er earliest and dearest friend, Beatrice, Marchioness of Moya, who 
ras.seldom separated from lier royal mistress during life, Isabella 
rielded her last breath ; and her faithful adherent, Peter IMartyr, 
a letter written on the very day of the queen^s death, says, with 
mournful fervour : — *' ^ly hand f:dls powerless by my side for very 
irrow. The world has lost its noblest ornament ; a loss to be de- 
>lored not only l)y Spain, which she has so long carried forward 
the career of glory, but by every nation in Christendom ; for 
ihe was the mirror of every \drtue, the shield of the innocent, and 



in aveugiug sword to the wickeiL I know none of her & 
. cient or modern tnnes, who in my judgment is at all worthy to 1 

named with this incomparable woman,'' Snch a testimony i 
■ one who was in close and intimate opportnnity of witnessing 

course of conduct for a long period of years, comes with ai 

I weight. 
Bayard, the chevalier " Sans penr et sans reproche,^" in 
chividrous admiration of her achievement in recovering the '. 
dom of Granada from Moorish sway by force of arms, is an e^ 
dence of her martial repute. In adverting to her death- 
calling her " one of the most triumphant and glorious huUes 
for three thousand years hath dwelt upon this earth" — he saya, 
the quaint fashion of an old chronicler, with his antique FrenJ 
_ diction, and poetic colouring : — ' 

" Jo reux bien assourer aux lecteurs de ccste presento hystoire, que ^ vie at 
telle qu'ellc a Lieu mcrite courouue dc lauricr apres sa morL" 

[" I can assure the readers of tUia my present historyj bcr life LalU been J 
that hLg bath well merited a crown of laurel after death."] 

Ilcr patronage of letters, her encouragement of intellectual 
culture among the ladies of her court, her admirable system of 
education for the prince, her son, as heir-apparent to the throne, 
[_her engagement of the ablest preceptors for the infanta?, li^r 
daughters, her inducements to men of learning to settle in S]>aiii, 
her sagacious discernment of talent, and her taste for collecting 
books, are so many exemplifications of her mental perspieacit}' ; 
while the introduction of the art of printing into Spain, at die 
very outset of her accession, most opportunely tended to promote 
her enlightened efforts. Isabella's reign formed a literary epoch iu 
her country. 

She was singidjirly free from prejudice, and had none o( the 
narrow dislllie of foreign or rival excellence common to inferior 


atures ; yet lier fine understanding allowed full weiglit to national 
jeling, popular preference, and public opinion. She was so much 
1 advance of lier age, that the manner in which she made 
'uhlic opinion a main guide of her actions, while preserving the 
ategrity of her own faith and principle, anticipated the wisdom 
rith which sovereign power is now controuled by this mighty 
lement. Isabella possessed foresight, tolerance, prudence, and 
lenevolence ; and wherever those virtues failed to operate actively, 
b wag because they were restrained by an influence to which she 
ielded her own wiU. Meek as she was gifted, her modest self- 
oistrust and pious humility rendered her docile to remonstrance 
rom her spiritual directors ; and advantage was taken of lier 
everence for religion to obtain her acquiescence in deeds of bigotry 
nd persecution performed in its sacred name, which were the only 
»lots on her otherwise unblemished career. 

Her reign exists a period of glory and advancement to Spain ; 
ler life was a beneficent influence and lasting blessing to her sub- 
sets ; and her memory will be cherished, in immortal honour, by 
er native country. Isabella of Castile was the model of a vu-tuous 
'Oman, and arch-admirable queen. 

I* •; 


Lady Jane Grey aftbrds an illustrious instance of youthful crudi- 
tion in a lady, Ligli-bom, beautiful, and moderst. She was of royal 
descent, yet meek and unassuming ; learned, yet sini])lo. She had 
neither Vanity, pride, nor ambition ; although her charms of per- 
son, 'her. acquirements, and her exalted rank, might, in a young 
lady, of weaker mind, have generated all tliree. 

TJnfortonately, her family connections -vvere not equally free 
firam. these defects: for they were vain of Lady Jane's beauty, 
and- took advantage of her gentleness to treat her witli severity, 
and nltimately with cruelty : they were proud of her endowment:*, 
yet behaved 'as if she had neither sense, fi^eling, nor volition ; and 
they made her birth and position a source of their selfish auibi- 
tu»n, sacrificing her to it without remorse, or even the t'omuion 
natural affection of kin<lre(l. 

Lady Jane Grey was born in ICJr.T, at I>roadgato, her father's 
>e:it in Leicestershire. She was of the l)lo(Ml-r<)yal of l^nL'land, 
bi-ing trreat irrand-dauirhter to Henry VII. : wlin^r dauirhtiT, 
!M;iry, married, first, Lniiis XH. of Fraim*, ami ><r<.iid]y, Cliarli"* 
r.niuilnn, Duke (»f SuHnlk. by wIkmu slie had a <l:nii:]il«*r, tlic lady 
J'rancfs Jiraiid«»ii, married to Henry Cuvy, Maripiis of L)»a>»'t — 
Ladv Jane G rev's father. 





That Charles Brandon was the gallant Gentleman, whose to- 
mantic fortune is like a tale of chivalry. In his boyish day^ k 
was a playmate of the Prince Henry, afterwards Henry MIL; 
and Pi*incess Mary, afterwards Queen of France. The royal 
brother and sister felt a strong afiection for the handsome, v 
plished youth, — an affection which subsequently took the iovm "i 
friendship in " bluff King Hal," and love in the beautiful widow of 
Louis Xn,, who married the object of her early preference, when 
released from the tie of a State alliance. Charles Brandon received 
with the raptm'ous eagerness of a lover the hapjjiue^is his mistreas 
bestowed, by wedding her privately and immediately; butwltli 
the true spuit of nolde feeling, he marked his delicate sense of the 
honour she had conferred, by appearing at a tournament given ifl 
celebration of their public nuptials, on a saddle-cloth, made half of 
frize and half of cloth of gold, bearing a motto on each half: — 

And, — 

" Clotk of frizo, bo not too bold, 
Tliougli thou art niatcb'd mih cloth of gold." 

" Cloth of gold, do not despise 
Though thou art match'd with cloth of frJze.'' 

This piece of fine taste in her maternal gi*anditither, is like 
germ of that mingled humility and dignity which Lady Jane Grey 
posse.'^sed iu so remarkable a degree — and which i3,in fact, moral 
dignity. That nobility of soul, which, whUe it perceives its own 
capacity for high and refined excellence, is content to advance do 
claims, enabled Lady Jane Grey not only to beai* mildly the 
austerities of her girlhood, but to endure with fortitude and n 
nation the calamities that beset her youth, and brought her ii 
cent life to a premature close. The strict, and even rigid authoi 
\^'hich it was then the custom for parents to exercise towai'ds tl 
children ; the excess of respectful distance observed by the laj 



da tlieni, can alone account for the rigorona treatment Lady 
itne Grey expeiienced from lier fatlier and motlier in cliildliood ; 
wliile slie, with hef native sweetness of disiiosition, made it but an 
extra motive for reaping delight and solace from study, for which 
ahe showed an extraordinary capacity at an early age. 
'- Her parents, prond of her talents, and anxious that they should 
oT>tain due cultivation, engaged as her preceptor, John Ayhner, 
afterwards Bishop of London. She also received instruction from 
the erudite Roger Ascham ; and she seems to have inspired lioth 
these learned men with the fondest partiality for their i^iii' young 
pnpll. Many learned divines entertained great admiration for her ; 
and expressed themselves in terms so flattering on Iwv behalf, that, 
had she been less devoid of self-sufficiency, it might have proved 
injurious. Between herself and iVscham, indeed, there existed 
an affectionate intimacy of intercourse not often to be found 
"between a girl of her years and a man of his. She confided to 
him her home griefs and her home resources, with a candour 
touchingly artless. In reply to his encLuiry, how it was that at 
her age, she had attained such proficiency in languages, and acquir- 
ed such a habit of study, she wrote him a letter, wherein she 
says : — " I wOl tell you a truth, which, perchance, you will marvel at 
One of the greatest benefits which ever God gave me is, that ho 
gent me such sharp and severe parents, and so gentle a teacher. 
For, when I am in presence either of my father or mother, whether 
1 speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go ; eat, di'ink, bo merry, or sad ; 
sewing, plapng, dancing, or doing anytliiug else, I must do it, 
it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly, 
as God made the world. Or else — ^I am so sharply taunted, so 
cruelly threatened, nay, prevented sometimes, with pinches, nips, 
and bobs, and other ways, which I Avill not name, for the honour 
which I bear my parents — I am so disordered, that I think myselt 




in hell, till the moment comes that I mast go to Mr. Aylmer; vih 
teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, and with such fi\ir allm-ementi 
to learniDg, that I think all the time nothing T^'hile I am witL liim, 
but Tvhen I am c^alled from him I fall a weeping ; because viitir 
ever else I do but learning, is full of grief, fear, and trouble. 
And thus my book hath been so much my pleasure, and biingeth 
daily to me more enjoyment, that, in respect of it^ all other plea- 
sures, in very deed, be but trifles and troubles unto me." 

She drew the truest philosophy from her reading; for 
taught lierself the happy wisdom of turning evils into souroei 
of good ; and learned the divme secret, how to suck the honey of 
content, instead of the gall of discontent, from life's trials. Thit 
she spoke nothing but truths, when she said, that compared with 
the pleasure and enjo}Tnent she derived from her book, all other 
pleasures were trifling to her, we find from an interesting anecdote 
related by Ascham to a friend of his. On one occasion, paying 
a visit to the Marquis of Dorset, at Broadgate, he found all the 
family out in the park on a hunting escm*sion, with the exception 
of loiuly Jane, whom he discovered in her own apartment, alone, 
engaged in reading Plato in the original Greek. She understood 
that language perfectly ; although then not fifteen years of agfc 
She spoke and wrote Greek, Latin, Italian, and French, witK 
fluency and correctness , and was acquainted with Hebrew, Glial- 
dee, and Arabic. 

Such classical knowledge in a young lady of high rank, was by 
no means a singular instance at that period ; for the Duchess of 
Somerset's three daughters. Lady Jane, Lady Margaret, and Lady 
Mary Seymour were distinguished by similar attainments, and were 
considered to be the most learned and accomplished ladies in Europe^ 
with the exception of the Princess Mary, (afterwards Queen Mary 
I.) and the Lady Jane Grey. Queen Elizabeth, also, was versed 

L A D Y J A N E Cr R E y . 26t 


in the classics, so tliat althougli La«ly Jane Grey ranked as one of 
the iirst lady-students of the time, she stood not alone in her pre- 
eminence. Lady Jane, in a manner, partook of the same education 
-w-ith her royal con^ins ; Ascham having been tutor to the Princess 
Elizabeth, and Latin secretary to Edward VL In the princess 
Mary's private account-book, where she kept a list of her jewels, 
there is an entry bearing evidence of the friendly intercourse 
\rhich th^ existed between the young kinswomen ; while it in- 
volves impressive points of subsequent association. — Mary's hand 
-wrote this entiy; the same hand that afterwards signed Jane's 
death warrant. The entry register a gift for Lady Jane Grey's 
throat: — that fair throat which was ordered to be severed by the 
Leadsman. " One gold necldace, set with pearls, — given, to ray 
cousin Jane Grey.'' We seem to see in place of those words : — '*A 
red nocUace, red with blood, — given to my cousin Jane Grey." 
The origin of ill-feeling on the part of Mary towards one who sub- 
sequently became her rival claimant to the English throne, may be 
traced to difference of religious opinion. The Princess Mary was 
a staunch Catholic ; Lady Jane Grey was equally devoted to Pro- 
testant principles, being firndy and strongly attached to them, 
Mary adhered to her creed, none the less scrupulously firom its 
being almost proscribed. There was a kind of heroism in abiding 
by a ritual that incm-red risk of persecution in its performance ; 
and, moreover, her character was obstinate, and' her ftiith zealous 
to bigotry. Lady Jane, from her intimacy with Church of Eng- 
land prelates, and her own mental powers, was warm in her advo 
cacy for the tenets she professed. An incident recorded of the two 
cousins, bears out the ^'iew of the probable soiu'ce of their mutual 
variance. During the summer of 1552, the Princess Mary received 
Lady Jane Grey a* her guest at New IlalJ. The maas, and other 
ritf^s of her jiersuasion, were constantly perfonned in Mary's 



L A D Y JANE (r R E Y . 

domestiij liouseliold, notvrithstandiDg the proliibition tliat existed 
against tlicir celebration. It chanced that Lady Wliarton (o 
of the Princess Mary^s kdies) passing throngh the chapel at Xe^ 
Hall, in company with Lady Jane Grey, at a time when service 
was not going on, made a genuflexion to the host, which was in the 
sanctuary on the altar. Lady Jane asked " if the Lady ilary were 
in the chapel ? " Lady ^^arton said, " No/' 

" Why then, do you courtesy ? " asked Lady Jane Ghey. 

" I courtesy to him that made me ; " replied Lady Whai-toD. 

" Nay," said Lady Jane Grey, *' but did not the baker maka 

This flij)pant retort, alluding to the consecrated wafer in a 
mode that could not but be deeply offensive to the religious l>elief 
of the person she addi'essed, was perhaps pardonable in a young girl, 
hot in controverted doctrinal points ; but it would have been well for 
her, and more in accordance with the beautifol meekness and line 
undei-standing which characterized Lady Jane Grey on other occa- 
sions than tlils, liad her reply been actuated by the spirit of Sir 
Thomas Browne's noble sentence : — " At the sight of a cross or 
crucifix, I can dispense with my hat, but scarce with the thought i 
of my Sa\'iour. I could never hear the Ave Maria bell withoot I 
an elevation, or think it a sufficient warrant, because they erred in 
one cu'cumstance, for me to err in all — that is in silence and dumb 

Unfortunately, Lady Jane's uttered " contempt " was reported 
to her cousin Mary ; who, it is certain, never after that time loved 
Lady Jane Grey as she had done before. Another circumstance 
equally confirms the idea of what fonned the basis of the tvro 
cousins' disagreement. The princess had presented Lady Jane with 
:ich dress ; and it is more than probable that there were plenty 
court whisperers to repeat the terms in which Lady Jane 

L A D Y J A N E G R E Y . 0(59 

remarked upon the sinfiiluesa of wearing tliis gift from " one wlio 
left God^s word." 

But the Protestant ardour which prompted Lady Jane Grey to 
^^bke these indiscreet animadversions upon her cousin Mary's form 
^^B belief, and which gave such umbrage to the person who was 
^^■€ir ohject, formed the main gi'ound of her cousin Edward Yl.''d 
approval The young king, who was of the same age as herself, 
^ad always entertained a high and admiring esteem for Lady Jane 
<u'ey. Tlie progress she made in her studies won his respect and 
regard; while her elegant person and amiahle disposition had 
ios])ired him with great afiection for her. The opportunities he 
^ bad enjoyed of l^ecoming acquainted with the tenor of her reli- 
■ gious principles, as well as with the fervour and strength of her 
^^^herence to them, caused him to listen with greater complacency 
HB those suggestions for setting aside his sister's claims to the crown 
in favour of his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, and appointing her his 
successor, than he might probably otherwise have done. 

The chief instigator of thm proposal was the Duke of Northum- 
berland, a crafty and intriguing nobleman, who contrived to possess 
bimself of the young king's ear, during the lingering malady which 
seized Edward ^"I. ; and having previously effected an alliance 
which rendered the interests of Lady Jane Grey uniform with 
tboee of his own family, ho neglected no argument which might 
induce the king to listen to his plan for i>lacing her on the throne, 
Northumberland had caueed the Marquis of Dorset to be created 
Duke of Suffolk ; and then he prevailed with him to bestow his 
daughter, Lady Jane Grey, in marriage upon Lord Guilford 
Dudley, Northumberland's 'foui-th son. The languishing state of 
the young king's health, made him a fiicile prey to the designing 
courtier ; whose plausible representations, joined to his own predi- 
lection for Lady Jane Grey, and his anxiety to secure a Protestant 



successor, rendered it little difficult to obtain from Edward Via 
deed in lier favour. 

The king's sudden death followed almost immediately upon tlie 
execution of tliis document ; and Northumberland, knowing that 
tlic concerted change in the succession, would raise violent oppoal- 
tion, carefully concealed the destination of the crown signed by 
Edward. He kept the royal demise a secret as long as he coaU^ 
M'lth a view of getting the two sister princesses into his power ; Icf | 
he had persuaded the council to -^Tite letters, desiring the preseatt i 
of Maiy and Elizabeth at court, on the plea that tlie king's precan- 
ous state of health demanded the aid of their advice, and the comfor) 
of their company. But the intelligence of their brother s death iuir* 
ing actutdly taken place, reached the princesses in time to warn 
them of the snare that Wiia tendered them ; and they kept aloof 
from London. Mary, upon receiving these tidings, wi'ote letters 
to the nobility and chief gentry in eveiy county of England, bisat- ] 
moning them to assist her in the defence of her rights; and 
Korthumberland, perceiving that fiirther dissimulation would lie | 
useless, proceeded to carry out his deepdaid schemes. 

He repaii'ed to Sion House, where Lady Jane Grey had resided 
since her marriage with his son ; and, accompanied by the Duke 
of Sufiblk and a train of nobles, he approached her with all the 
respect paid to royalty, and addressed her as his sovereign. He I 
informed her that she was now Queen of England, in virtue of h& 
cousin Edward YL's decree in her favour. Lady Jane, who wtt 
wholly ignorant of the intrigues of her father-in-law, and who he^ 
self was free from ambition, heard this announcemont with Uttle I 
•short of dismay. Her studious habits, her love of intellectual I 
pleasures, her preference for quiet and retirement^ rendered her| 
peculiarly avei*se from grandeur and regal state. In addition to 
her native delight in the pui'suit of learning, her heart was now | 



filled with a still tenderer interest — ^love for her young husband, 
who was worthy of her afiection. But not only did her own predi- 
lections cause her to feel disinclined for the onerous biu-then of a 
irrown; her sense of justice taught her tliat the claims of others, 
better entitled, were inMuged by this assertion of her own. Slie 
refused the royal dignity they oftered; denied her right to the 
throne ; urged the preferable titles of her cousins, the princess 
Maiy and princess Elizabeth ; expressed her dread of the results 
which must attend an enterpi-ise so perilous and so criminal as an 
attempt to make her queen in their stead ; and entreated that she 
might be suffered to remain in the private station in which she had 
been bom. North umberlaudj not to be moved from his purpose, 
engaged her father to second him in his remonstrances ; and the 
two ambitious dukes joined in importunity with her to yield to 
tbeu' wishes. The innocent victim of their fatal greed, -withstood 
their cruel and selfish pleadhig, until Lord Guilford Dudley, the. 
husband she so fondly loved, added the weight of his persuasions 
to those of her parents, and father-in-law ; and then, no longer 
able to resist the mingled instancy of authority and affection, she 
yielded — though with shuddering reluctance, and painfullest fore- 
boding, ITer own sul)sequent account of this scene, declares its 
distressing nature. In a letter, addressed to Queen Mary I. from 
the Tower, Lady Jane Grey describes her consternation when 
Northumberland fii-st announced the news, doing her homage as 
queen ; lier agony of. mind at the importunities of her relations ; 
and her final falling to the ground in a swoon, from present agita- 
tion, and future ill-presage. 

She now became a passive instrument in the hands of the un- 
©crupulous Duke of Northumberland ; who immediately conveyed 
her to liondon, where she was proclaimed queeu ; but without one 
ttpplauduig voice. The people heard the i^roclamation with silence 


and concern ; the preachers themselves (who were naturally eager j 
to advocate the claims of a kno^vn firm Protestant as successor to 
the throne) employing their eloquence in Vfun to convince tlieir a»^J 
ditoi'3 of the justice of Lady Jane's title. Respect for the 
line, and indignation against the factious and aspiring duke, W€».< 
stronger even in the breasts of Protestants than the dread of pa<] 
pery. Reverence for right is a rehgion with the English people. 

According to established custom, on the accession of a sovereigUj 
the Tower of London became the place of royal residence daring 
the fii'st days of reign ; and Lady Jane Grey, as the new queen, 
was conducted thither by her father-in-law. 

Every thing tends to confirm the extreme unwillingness wilh 
which Lady Jane shared in any of the proceedings of her relatives I 
to assume regal state on her behalf. She took no step of her own | 
accord ; and even resisted their attempts to make her elevation a j 
pretext for advancing their own. She went so far as to incur the j 
resentment of her husband, by opposing plans for his adoption of 
power, inconsistent with the limits appomted for the consort of n 1 
queen-regnant in England. This is demonstrated by her own de-j 
Tiption of an incident that occurred. On her being conveyed to J 
the Tower, as queen, the Marquis of "Winchester — unsent for— I 
brought her the crown to tiy on her head, to see how it would fit 
her ; and when she scrupled to j^ut it on, the Mai'quis said that j 
she need not do so, for he would have another made to crowTi Ler | 
husband withal. To this hinted idea of coronation for her hus-l 
l)and, Lady Jane strenuously objected; and she consequently dreir 
upon herself coaree and violent behaviour fi*om both him and his^ 
mother, the Duchess of Northumberland. They seem actually to | 
have resorted to pei-sonal ill-usage ; for she sap, with indignant i 
emphasis, " I was inaltreated by my husband and his mother.'* 

Thus supervened the first of those disastrous results, which ili« 



rlifldy Jane foresaw must accrue from lier unjust accession to 

Jy station. Her young husband, who, when they together 

«l their happy privacy, was united to her by loving confi- 

-now that the seeds of ambition had been made to spring 

^ his mind by this ripened project of his father, was led to treat 

* with harshness and uukindness. 

In all ways. Lady Jane was the unoffending sut&rer from the 

of others. She was made the means of advancing their 

ends ; and when blame or danger ensued in consequence of 

' acts, dlie was made the scapegoat and sacrifice to endure the 

Ity for them. 

The princess !Mary lost no time in asserting her claims, and 
Kving to make them good. She succeeded in levying a large 
The j>eople declared for her, when she assured tliera that 
1^0 had no intention of altering the laws of Edward VL, as re» 
led religion ; and the nobility and gentry supported her cause 
[ l>y dttily reinforcements. 

Northumberland, at the head of the troops, marched to resist 
'^B array; but he not only sustained defeat — he abandoned the 
he had so shamelessly played for, by as shameful a with- 
iiwhI. and forsocfk Lady Jane's cause with as little compunction 
t he had forced her into becoming its centre. He, her unworthy 
^in-law, basely betrayed the allegiance he had compelled 
Den Jane to accept, by being the first man to throw up his cap' 
. Cambridge market-place, and cry, " God save Queen Mary I " 
The Duke of Sufiulk, who commanded in the Tower, was no 
inter to the unhappy daughter, whom he had constrained to come 
there as queen ; for, finding the struggle hopeless, ho thrv»w o]>en 
gates of the fortress, and ]H?hold Lady Jane arrested and lodged 
the prison rooms of the very place where she had nominally 
rcigoed for nine dam 



No 8)Tnpatliy for the fate of Lis cliild, however, seems to h 
touched the father's heart so keenly aa anxiety for his own. 
was iimself detained a prisoner in the Tower ; and this ci 
gtance occupied both his wife and himself so entirely as to leave 
room for thought of their daughter's peril — a peril, which 
themselves had been so instrumental in bringing upon her. 
Duchess of Suffolk, directly her husband was imprisoned, hasi 
to throw herself at Queen Mary's feet ; and left no plea uni 
that might efiect Ids liberation. She represented that the 
was in ill health, (although there is no evidence to prove 
this was the case,) and that he would die if confined within 
walls of the Tower, Mary was moved by her lamentations 
entreaties. She granted Suffolk's liberation ; and three days' i 
pnsonment was all the penalty he suffered for his conspiring wril 
Northumberland to compel Lady Jane Grey's acceptance of 
crown. The lieartlessness of the father, is only equalled by 
of the mother. There is no record of one word having beea 
tered by the Duchess Frances in intercession for her unfortui 
daughter ; wlio now lay a captive from having pursued that Ti 
course, which her mother had been one of the most active 
in ui'glng her to adopt. The Duchess had promoted her marriage 
with Northumberland's son ; she had used her maternal inilaeDi 
on the momentous occasion at Sion House ; and she had borne b 
'train as queen, during her brief pageant of royalty. A more con 
sistent instance of parental barbaiity towards a child so dutifa 
and gentle as Lady Jane Grey, than she experienced, can hardly bi 
cited. They coerced her in childhood^ they sacrificed her in yonli^ 
with a want of common natural feelini^ almost incredible. 

The Duke of Northumlierland was brought to trial, condemned, 
and beheaded for high treason; and sentence was pronounctHi 
against Lady Jane Grey, and Lord Guilford Dudley, althougH 


Iicy were respited on account of their youtli, neitlier of them hav 
attnined the age of seventeen. It ia related, that the same 
le-eerving lord-treasurer, the Marquis of "Winchester, who brought 
idy Jane the crown, unbidden, in the period of her ascendancT, 
-"when Mary's coronation was preparing, came to the gentle prl- 
yner in the Tower, and told her that several valuable jewels were 
ibsing fi'om the state crown, and that she was accountable for 
icm. On this pretence, all the money and jewels of Lady Jane 
Ler husband were confiscated. 

^Iar}-had no sooner ascended the throne, than she forfeited her 
ed word to the people, by proceeding to manifest her par- 
ty for the Catholic cause. As Fuller pithily saj-s : — "Queen 
ry got the crown by Our Father^ and held it by Pat€i*iwst€i\ 
lie violent party-spirit that rage<l at this period in the metropolis 
de9cril>ed by Mr, Edward Underbill, a Worcestershire gentle- 
.; who, on account of his flaming Calvinism was called the 
^Hot Gospeller." He had penned a satirical ballad against 
^Papists ; " and for this scpiib was summoned before the council in 
jfnthority, and condemned to imprisonment. A child was born to 
while he was in the Tower, which chanced to be during the 
riod of Lady Jane's brief royalty ; and it is a significant cii*- 
istance that she was about to have stood godmother to the 
^Hot Gospeller's" Ijaby, when her reign ceased. 

Clary's favour to the Romish church was more and more 

kpenly displayed ; until, at length, her proposed union with Philip 

>f Spain becoming known, it raised a hope in the opposite faction 

!it popular part)'-feeling woidd be sufiicieutly strong against the 

itended match, to warrant their taking up ai*ms again. The week 

ler the maniage articles became public, tliree insurrections broke 

in diflferent parts of England. One of these was actually 

beaded by the Duke of Sufiblk, with the express view of Lady Jano 

"^.^-. ».^ m AvtLMMMtsto 


of fihnrd TI» m Aneli^ ^'^f^ V^ ^^^^ ^^*^ ^^^* bo 
tiie mal fiveen cf hbb, jea beome esnesk eoundlloK fut i 
iimoeeiil ladjr s death. He pbinl j indicates Uitse lords to lie 
. of Pembroke and the Harqms of Wli 


e vile trimmer who first delivered the crown to Lady Jane ; 

rtuall}' accused her of purloining the crown jewels ; and 

ideavoured to crown her with martyrdom. 

Y was prevailed upon to sign the death-warrant of her kins- 

; and the decree which had been suspended, was put into 

m agfunst Lady Jane and Lord Guilford Dudley. 

er, in his *'Life of Lady Jane Grey" hints an awful addi- 

oint in this tragedy. He says : — " Some report her to have 

th child when she was beheaded (cruelty to cut down the 

li blossoms on it), and that which hath saved the life of 

omen, hastened her death ; but God only knows the truth 

^meek victim, when the order was brought to the Tower, 
1 that she was by no means unprepared for its advent, 
for some time expected it ; and had endeavoured to for- 
spirit to meet her fate with resignation. She had had 
t conferences with Dr. Feckenham, the queen's chaplain, 
always steadily defended her religious opinions, in a man- 
fain his fi-iendly regard, even while regretting that he could 
ed in converting her from them. She had written a let- 
ir sister in Greek, accompanied by a copy of the Bible in 
language, exhorting her to maintain, through all fortunes, 
larly steadfast adherence to principle. It was Br. Fecken- 
lo was now sent to Lady Jane, to prepare her for speedy 
nd to exert every means in his power to change her faith, 
lined discussion on the present occasion, being anxious to 
&d dispute on their differing creeds ; and pleaded that her 
iS too short for controvei-sy. The confessor hastened to 
iary and represented that it could be scarcely hoped Lady 
>uld die a Catholic, if she were hurried to the block with 
cient time for conviction. The queen granted a respite c 

L A I) Y J A N E (j i. L 1 . 

tliroe dap ; aud Dr. FeckeiiLtmi i-ctui-ned to the To\rer with ti 
tidings of* delay. Lady Jaue smiled mournfully ou ber 
friend, and told him that he had misconceived her meaning : it ^ 
not that she wished her doom deferred, but that she was desir 
of avoiding religious argument. The gentle saint added, that **8l 
was prepared to receive patiently her death in any manner ilj 
might please the queen to appoint. True it was, Ler flesh sLu 
dered, as was natural to frail mortality ; but her spirit wo 
spring rejoicijigly into the eternal light, when she hoped the 
of God would receive it." The record of this devoutly risi^ 
speech is preserved by Feckenham; who, though he failed 
turn Lady Jane fi'om the Protestant faith, felt interest for her; 
and virtue, while inspiring her with gratitude for his kindneso ; 
friendsliii>. In the course of the three days that elapsed betpre 
the signing of the death-warrant, and the period of her executic 
Lady Jane learned the condemnation of her father ; wlio daring 
this interv^al was brought to the Tower. Hi^ victim wrote him i 
letter, which contains poignant reproach in the very serenity of it 
submission. This is a portion of it : — 

" Fatilee. — Although it has pleased God to hasten my de 
by you, by whom my life should rather have been lengthejied, y« 
I can so patiently take it, that I yield God more hearty tbanks 
shortening my woeful days, than if all the world had been git 
into my possession, with life lengthened at my own will : 
albeit, I am very well assured of your sorrow, both in bewailin| 
your own woe, and especially, as I am informed, my woeful state] 
yet, my dear father, herein I may account myself blessed, 
washing my hands in innoccncy, my guiltless blood may cry befor 
the Lord, IMercy to the innocent. And yet, though I must ii€ 
acknowledge that, being constrained, aud, as you know 
enough, continually assailed, yet in taking upon me, I sf'.'Tii«:*<l 


sent, and therein grievously offended against the queen and her 
Iaw3 : yet do I assuredly trust that this nay offence towards God is 
kao much the less, in that l>eing in so royal a state as I was, my 
forced honour never mingled with my innocent heart." * * * 
^And thus, good father, I have opened unto you the state wherein 
sently stand — my death at hand. 
" Although perhaps it may seem woeful, yet there is nothing 
N-which can to me be more welcome, than from this vole of misery 
to aspire to that heavenly throne of all joy and pleasure with 
Clu'ist my Saviour, in whose steadfast faith (if it may l)e lawful 
for the daughter so to write to the father) the Lord that hath 
liitherto strengthened you, so continue to keep you, that at the last 
we may meet in heaven, with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

" I am, 

" Your obedient daughter till death, 

" Jane Dudley.'' 

During her imprisonment Lady Jane composed several prayei-s, 
Boggested by her distressful circumstances, and showing with what 
pious sedateness she sustained them ; while her mind was so calm 
and unshaken by the near approach of death, that she coiTected 
these manuscript prayers the night before she suffered. 

It had been intended that Lady Jane and Lord Guilford Dud- 
ley should be executed on the same scaffi:>ld on Tower Hill ; l>ut 
the counci] dreading the impression which the sight of this unfor- 
tnnate young couple, in their beauty, innocence, and suffering, 
would produce upon the people, gave orders that Lady Jane 
Bhbuld be beheaded within the verge of the Tower. 

She would not consent to take leave of her hasband on the 
dfiy of their execution ; sending him word, that the tenderness of 
parting might unbend their minds from that firmness with whicth it 
behoved them to meet their approaching fate, *' Our separation,'' 


she aJded^ " will be but for a moment ; we sliall soon rejoin each 
other in a eceno where our affections will be for ever uuitetl, and 
where death, disappointment, and misfortune, can no longer dis* 
turb our felicity.'' She beheld Lord Guilford led to execution 
without discovering any sign of weakness ; but, with a woman^ 
true sentiment — combining deepest feeling with outward controulr 
and prompting fond recognition in the midst of mntnal courage far 
both their sakes — she gave him a token of remembrance from the 
window, as he passed beneath. She even met his heaiJless body 
with calmness, as she herself went to execution ; strengthened hr 
the account she had received of his magnanimity in meeting dcatk 
At the sight, she exclaimed, ** Oh ! Guilford, Guilford ! the fate 
you liave tasteil, and which I shall soon taste, is not so bitter as to 
make me tremble ; it is nothing to the feast that you and I shall 
pai-take of this day in heaven ! " 

As he conducted her to the scaftbld, the Constable of the Tower 
requested her to bestow upon him some trifle which he might keep 
as a memorial of her. She gave him her table-book, in which sho 
had just wntten tliree sentences ; one in Greek, another in Latin, 
and a tliii*d in English. Their pm'port was, that although human 
jastice was against her husband's body, divine mercy w^ould bo 
favourable to his soul : that if her fault deserved punishment, her 
youth and inexpeiience might plead her excuse ; and that God and 
posterity, she trusted, would show her favour. 

Her closing speech, addressed to those who stood around her oa 
the scaftbld, was marked by her characteristic meekness and conh 
posure. She took all blame upon herself; and made no complaint 
of the severity used towards her. She said that her fault was not 
so much iu assuming the crown, as in not having refused it irtth 
sufficient constancy: that she willingly received death as atone- 
ment to tlie laws, which she had been led to violate from filial 

d'nty, and tlirougli ignorance : that Blie deserved tliis pumslmient, 
for having allowed herself (thoagh reluctantly) to be made the 
instiniment of the ambition of others ; and that she hoped the 
«tory of her life might at least be useful as proving that innocence 
does not excuse errors which tend in any way to public crimes. 
^My oflence against the Qaeen^" she said, " was none of my seek- 
ing, but by council of othei-s. I knew litije of the law, and nothing 
of the titles of the crown : — ^^from all guilty intentions I do wash 
nay hands in iunocency before God and you ! — iVssist me with 
your prayers ! " Having pronounced these words, she bade her 
women assist to bare her throat ; and then ejaculatiug in a clear 
voice: — "Lord! into thy hands I commend my spirit!" she laid 
her head upon the block, and with a steady and serene connte- 
nauce, submitted to the stroke of the executioner. 

Lady Jane Grey perished in the early flower of her age, with 
a piety and fortitude the most exemplary. Iler reading had in- 
vigorated her mind, and strengthened her moral feeling. It 
instilled the wisdom of seeking from intellectual pleasures a re- 
source against personal hardships; and inspired the courage to 
fece early death undismayed. There was only one thing which it 
failed to give her, — and that was the power to abidjj by a resolution 
formed on the conviction of simple right. In a girl of her tender 
years, it is perhaps almost too much to expect that she should have 
continued to withstand the combined dictates and entreaties of her 
assembled fiimily, seconded by those of a beloved husband : but 
Lady Jane could be firm on points where she held it virtuous to be 
steadftist ; and she should have been consistently determined, in a 
case where conscience told her that her first impulse was an honest 
one. Although she asserted in the course of her dying declaration 
that she "knew nothing of the titles of the crown," it is evident, 
from her pleading the preferable claims of her cousins, the two 
princesses, on the memorable occcasion at Sion House, that sha 

282 LADY ^ANB aRET. 

knew sufficiently of tlie titular degrees in royal succession to be 
aware tliat she liad not so valid a birtli-riglit as either Mary or 
Elizabeth. It is true that there were not wanting sophistical ob- 
jections against their claims, and various attempted impeachments 
of their legitimate title to reign: and moreover, her consin 
Edward's testamentary decree in her favour had doubtless much 
weight. But still, her own instinct told her that the attempt to 
raise her to the throne was wrong ; and she should have main- 
tained the refusal to participate in it, which her pure heart ami 
judgment prompted her to make. 

After all — it is but one kind of admiring tribute to this gifted 
young creature, when we thus i)oint out the single approach to 
blemish in the otherwise spcckless character of Lady Jane Grey. 
Her name will always be dear to English hearts ; — ^for althongli 
her fate is a stain in English annals, her womanly gentleness and 
modesty, her rare excellence in learning, her holy meekness and 
firm l)iety, are all so many sources of legitimate pride to Iier 
countrymen and countrywomen. 

Lady Jane Grey forms an ideal of youth, beauty, worth and ac- 
complishment, that gives to the old, when tliey think of her, tlic 
sense of possessing an ever-living daughter in immortal bloom of 
promise ; and to the young, a feeling of affectionate esteem, as 
towards an honoured and belo^"ed sister, of whom Death itself can- 
not de^^rive them. 

Fuller, in his " Holy State," epitomizes Lady Jane Grey's de- 
scription in these words : — " She had the innocency of childhooil, 
the beauty of youth, the solidity of middle, the gi*avity of old age, 
and all at eighteen : the birth of a princess, the learning of a clerk, 
the life of a saint, yet the death of a malefactor, for her pareiit>' 
offences." He, in his own original manner adds : — " Let all great 
ladies who bear her name, imitate her virtues, to whom I wish her 
inward holiness, but fal: more outward happiness." 


I heart of every woniau is a romauce, and its master-chord is 
Of all tlie passions, it is that wHch exercises the strongest 
>ul over female character ; the fruitful parent of a thousand 
aes, and a thousand crimes, which, though oft ascribed to other 
ces, have, io reality, their origin from it alone. Its purity. and 
^hling strength are Leaiitifully exemplified in the history of 
Indian Princess Pocahontas, in whose guileless and untutored 
a passion for one of the most chivalrous adventurers of 
Jerica's early history, has rendered her the heroine of one of 
lost simple and touching stories of its olden time. 
le maiden, according to all the traditions that have been received 
ler, presented a perfect model of Indian heauty, at its most at- 
^ve period, when the young git-l just expanding into womanhood, 
Anes the loveliest attiibutes of both — wild yet bashful, quick 
i*nnsition, yet gentle and affectionate. Slender and stately as a 
jng palm-tree, the small head, proudly carried, with a wild no- 
of look, characteristic of the fi-eedom of the forest. The 
ires V ^ ^ statuesque, lighted up Ijy the luminous fawn-liko 
fr ous light, stealing through the long dark lashes ; 

: f f the supple form and unfettered limbs showing 

S'ature over Art, alike graceful in action or re 



pose, even as a plume wlien motionless or waving in the i^ind ; til 
Lands and feet small and symmetrically formed, wliile overtlie pi^ 
turesque tunic and mantle, bordered with swan's-down and ermine, 
as denoting the virgin-daughter of an Indian king, floated the Icn^ 
silken tresses of bluest-black, fancifully wreathed with shells and 
flowei-s, the arched instep and rounded arms displaying the same 
gay oraaments. Sucli was Pocahontas in the year 1606, when 
during the autumnal stillness of a September day, along the grassy 
rampart which fiurrounded the great house of Powhatan, her Ei- 
ther, at Werowocomoco, the trampling march of two or three htm 
dred Indians announced the approach of a piisoner, whose captow 
beiug considered an achievement of the highest importance, was 
to be celebrated with suitable solemnity and magnificence. 

Tliis captive was Captain John Smith, a soldier of fortune, second 
in authority of a band of English adventurers, who, a few montk 
previously, had landed on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, with in- 
tent to found a colony. From boyhood he had been a soldiery 
serving with peculiar distinction in the armies of Germany against 
the Turks, and crowning his niilitaiy career on the plains of Regall, 
in Transylvania, by an action that has no equal, save in the stirring 
pages of FroLssart — he having there, in presence of both armies and 
a number of Turkish ladies, victoriously encountered and slain in 
the lists three successive Turkish champions, whose heads, horses, 
and armour, were yielded to him as their conqueror.* His portrait 
at the age of thirty-seven, gives the idea of one who, ten or twelve 
years previously, at the time when these events occurred, most 
have been eminently handsome, espechdly when, aa a gay young 
cavalry officer, charging at the head of his meu, or overthrowing 
his adversaries in the lists before the eyes of assembled thousands. 
Among the strange turns of fortune which had marked his even^ 

♦ See account at the end of ihh article. 

1 life, it was not the least to find liimself a prisoner amongst the 
Indians in the wilds of North America, dragged into the presence 
of their "Great Empei'or,'' Powhatan — a wily and ferocious 
cliief, whom his people obeyed with fear and adoration, tlielr 
greatest spii-its treml)ling at his frown, and who, uniting in himself 
all the sterner attributes of his race, was accessible only to the 
Bofter emotions through the agency of his daughter— the child of 
lus old age — the good and beautiful Pocahontas. 

Although she must have heard a thousand exaggerated accounts 
of the exploits of the renowned warrior from the land of the pale 
£ices, during so many months that he had struggled against the 
stratagems of her father and his followers ; yet it is probable that 
«he now beheld him closely for the first time, and the sight could 
only tend to increase her admiration, since, according to Indian 
ideas, stoic hardihood under the taunts of an enemy is the rpiality 
of all otheis most worthy of praise, "^ith Captain Smith this in- 
trepidity of character was too innate to yield under any circum- 
stances ; and though in the most forlorn condition that can be im- 
agined, bruised, wounded, covered only with a loose robe that Ma- 
lOCaasattr, an Indian to whom he had formerly been kind, had 
ihi-own over him ; yet in boldness of carriage he surpassed the 
proudest of his adversaries ; and that stern contempt of death, 
learned amidst the defiles of Hungary and the plains of Germany, 
was sho^Ti in its fullest force amongst the savage enemies by whom 
he was surrounded. 

His entrance was greeted with a great shout fi*om all Y>i*<?sent ; 
the tiger-like roar of three or four hundred Indians, exulting and 
telrible, shaking to its centre the house of Werowocomoco, but lail- 
ing to move a muscle in the eountenauce of the prisoner thus rudely 

3red into the presence of Powhatan, suiTounded l)y his grim 
iers, savagely adorned in all the hideous glory of their wai*- 



paint, featliers, and wild-beast skins; in addition to wliidi, some of 
the most distiiigui^licd braves liad small live snakes suspended from 
the lobe of the ear, curling their glittenng folds around the neebj 
and sometimes raising their heads to the lips of the wearers ; m 
and all of these savage warriors seeming to have vied with cadj 
otlier in endeavouring to render themselves frightful, their broMed 
and muscular forms in every variety of violent action, brandi^binj 
their weapons, their large black eyes all ghiriiig at him a^ at % 

" Before a large fire, on a seat like a bedstead, sate Powhataa, 
covered with a great robe of Rarowcum skins, and all the tiub 
hanging by : a tall, and powerfully-built old man — ^finely propor- 
tioned, with white hair, and a countenance stern and oniiuoiB. 
On his right hand sate Pocahontas, on his left her younger ast«r: 
along each side of the house two rows of men, behind them as 
many women, with all tlieir heads and shoulders painted red ; many 
of tlieir heads bedecked with the white down of birds, but every 
one with something by way of ornament — ^and all with great 
chains of beads about their necks. Presently the Queen of Appa* 
matuk is appointed to bring the prisoner water to wash lik 
hands — another female a bunch of feathere instead of a napkin to 
dry them. Then being abundantly feasted after their best ba^ 
barous manner, a long consultation is held — after which two grest 
Dues, or Pawcorances, are brought and laid at the feet of Pov- 
latan," still sitting grimly on his rude throne with fromiing and 
gloomy aspect These stones but too well declare the fate in- 
tended for the prisoner — for they are the stones of sacrifice ; and 
the introduction only serves to make the assembled mass of savage 
humanity heave and sti-uggle more fiercely towards the completion 
of the rite. 

All is tumult and excitement. Pocahontas no longer sits bf 



le side of lier father — ^slie lias tlirown herself in agony on the 
!Ound before him — ^twining her beautiful arms around his knees, 
\d entreating with wOd supplications and many teai-a for mercy ! 
-mercy on the prisoner ! Every endearing word that on former 
XJasions she has ever used with success, she pours forth now in a 
>od of tender and passionate vehemence that pierces every 
Bart l>ut that of Powhatan. Unmoved by her appeal, he makes 
sign — a dreadful rush is made upon the prisoner, every hand 
riving to reach him ; and as many as can, by any means, lay 
>ld upon him, seize, and di-ag liim to the fatal stones, forcing 
wm his head upon one of them in order to beat out his brains 
ith their uplifted war-clubs, already swinging to destroy him, 
hen, with a wild, resounding shriek, tearing away every object 
lot would impede her progress, Pocahontas, forcing her way 
Qong them, throws herself across his breast, and clasping his head 
Btween her arms, lays her own upon it in breathless exi>ectation 
^ the event — silent, devoted, prepared to give her own young, 
reet life ere his shall be sacriUced, lu vam the furious clamour 
' the fanatic and vindictive priests — or lx)astful braves disappoint- 
of their prej'. As well might they attempt to remove the eagle 
defending her young, as Pocahontas from him she has de- 
ed to shield, Hoarse murmurs and threats are heard on 
ade, quelled but by the word of Powhatan ; whose mood, 
ng with the scene, has yielded to the love and gi*ief of Poca- 
what a world in arras would not have wrung from him. 
old history quaintly remarks: "'Wliereat, the Emperour 
contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her bells, 
and copper." 

order, however, not wholly to defraud the priests and 

warriors of the entertainment they had anticipated in tor- 

ig the victim, he was carried off to a gi'eat house in the woods, 



and sulijected to every experiment tlieir art could devise in oi 
to intimidate him, but in vain. For though " the king dis: 
himself in the most fearfullest manner he could, with two hum 
more, so black as to be more like devils than men,'' those 
nerves, tried for so many years in storm, siege, and battle, 
beyond the pale of Lidian incantation, and the next morning 
was permitted to return to the fort and his companions at Jameft* 
town. There, after every fom' or ^re days, came the gentle gU3^ 
dian-angel rocaliontas and her wild train, bearing provisions to tie 
star%dng colonists ; part always being as presents from the king or 
herself, the rest to be repaid as Captain Smith should dictate, 
power over the Lulians was now boundless, we are told, " so had 
he inchanted these poor soules, being their prisoner ; and now 
Captain Newport, w^hora he called his father, arriving near «& 
directly as he foretold, they esteemed him as an oracle, and lii«l 
them at that submission he might command them at what he listed. 
That God who had created all things, they knew he adored for )m 
God : and now they would also talk of the God of Captain Smith! '^ 
This wonderful man, amongst his numerous endowments, pos- 
sessed m a remarkable degree the power of winning to himself tlw 
hearts and minds of othei*s. During the campaigns in which lie 
had been engaged in the yeiir preceding his arrival in Vii'glnia, he 
had attracted the admiration and regai'd of a fair Tui'kish prince©, 
and also of other noble ladies, whose generous intervention in hiS' 
cause fall like pleasant gleams over his varied and torrent-lik< 
career, where no day was like its predecessor, but e^ich teeming 
with strange and startling vicissitude. Soldier, captive, fugitive, 
but all in honour. 

Nobly winning, bravely daring, 

Ladies glove hia bright helm -wearing — 

Through paths of death. 

Possessed of powers w^hich thus enabled him to fascinate 

n N T A s . 


and l>eautiful ladies of Europe, it excites little marvel 
3 the eyes of tlie young and inex]>erienoed Focaliontas he 

have seemed a superior Leiiig. Ei'ed ia the seclusion of the 
accustomed only to such nurture as its primitive and super- 
§ occupants are wont to bestow upon theii* offspring — ^no 
Qions or objects of admiration save the wild maidens of her 
ind the savage feats of its young braves ; in all things a simple 
►f nature, unskilled in the arts of her sex; a heart like tliat 
ahoutas, so noble, ardent, and affectionate, must have turned 
irally to the commanding and chivalrous soldier as the lowly 
►Id to the sun — and as purely — her whole course of conduct 
Is him being an undeviating fiow of sj^ontaneous child-like 
p, happiest when loading him with benefits, and neither 
1^ nor expecting a return. . There are few who, looking back 
!ir own childhood or youth, cannot remember instances as 
md passionate — a sort of yearning idolatry towards some 
that to the rest of the world offered no more interest than 

or a stone, but who, to the childish woi-shipper, appeai'cd the 
Uion of all that was most perfect ; and though perhaps the 
Ron might fade in after life, yet no length of yeai*s could 
e the memory of the intensity witli which it had once been 

tt though motives more tender than those of common human- 
ly be supposed to have influenced all these gentle bene- 
pbs ; yet, on the part of Captain Smith, the measured terms of 
nd com'teous respect in which the generous instances of their 
f are somewhat formally enumerated, forbid the idea that he 
ained for themselves a warmer sentiment than gratitude ; — 

and ambition seeming to have been liis oidy idols: — for, 
b apparently eveiy way fitted to inspu'e attachment , it ap- 
have been either his fault or his vii-tue never to have 



reciprocated it Such, it must be confessed, invariaLly inspire tM 
deepest and most lasting attachments ; possibly that under W 
hard rock of such a character lie some few grains of genuine g^ 
which appearing from time to time, are at once a reward 
excuse for the ill-starred votary — who devotes Iieart and soiil ^ 
the task of worshipping them. 

Like a little flower growing under the shadow of such a rockvje j 
the young Indian maiden— her image flits through the he^rt lib 
that of some inhaljitant of earth ere sin was not — when wo 
fresh from the hands of her creator, could love all that 
worthy, good, and noble, nor blend with such devotion one til 
that strange mingling of many thoughts, sensations, feelingg,* 
sions, which men, women, aye and children also, feel now, and c^J 
it love. In reading the history of Captain Smith, it is imj 
not to be struck by the resistless energy of his character ; in 
lands, and with all men, he occupies the position which it is 1 
proud privilege of a master-mind to attain. Amongst the 
pauions of his maritime adventures he was at once looked up to as j 
their leader ; prompt to remedy every deficiency — ^as skilful ifl 
conception as fearless in execution, nature seemed to have formed] 
him for a great workman, but to have denied him the proper 
— all his plans being crossed, cii'cumvented or betrayed by his tin 1 
happily-assorted associates. After his return from his imprlsoM 
ment among Fowhatan^s Indians, for a time all went well; 
hungry were filled, the discontented set to work, and industry andl 
hope gave peaceful days and nights to the colony. Trade, tooyl 
went on briskly, and a constant interchange of presents and good] 
officer begot so friendly a feeling in the breast of the stern old] 
" Emperour " Powhatan, that he resolved to give a grand feast Ijy 
way of giving expression to it. Accordingly, he sent forth between] 
two and three hundred savages to conduct Captain Smith, hiij 

P C A H N 

riend Captain Newport, and the rest of theb' company, to 

^erowocomoco, where, suiTOunded Ly a body-guard of forty or 

of the tallest * men his countiy afibrded, he received them in 

at state. The ceremonial of reception being for " the guests 

sit down on a mat opposite their host, when all present with a 

leable voice of shouting Lid them welcome. After this, several 

^f theh' chief men made them grand orations, testifying their love 

nth such vehemency and such great passions, that they sweat tiU. 

ley drop, and are so out of breath they cannot speak ; that a man 

rottld take them to be exceeding angry, or stark mad." 

In this fashion, therefore, did Powhatan receive his honoured 

lests, *' straining himself to the utmost of his greatness to enter- 

them with great shouts of joy, orations of protestations, and 

the most plenty of victuals he could provide to feast them. 

Sitting upon his bed of mats, his pillow of leather embroidered 

ter their rude manner with pearl and white beads, his attire a 

' robe of skins as large as an Irish mantle, at his head and feet 

handsome young woman ; on each aide his house sat twenty of 

wives, their heads and shoulders painted red, with a great chain 

)f white beads about each of their necks. Before those sat his 

liefest men in like order in his arbour-like house, and more than 

>rty platters of fine l>read stood as a guard in two files on each 

[ide the door. Four or five hundred people made a guard behind 

lem for our passage, and proclamation was made none upon pain 

death to presume to do us any wrong or discourtesy. With 

ly pretty discourses this gi-eat king and our captain spent the 

le. In feasting, feats, dancing, singing, and trading, we spent 

or four days, wherein Powhatan carried himself so proudly, 

fet discreetly in his savage manner, as made us all admire his 

• CaptaJD Smith describes a Sasqnehauock Indian, the calf of whose leg was three 
Ittrs of a yard in circomference, and oil the rest of his limbs in proportion. 



BAtiuml gifU. Sc 'Wiiliig to trade as bk SBt>|oc:» «iid, he 
CVr4^n Newport in tins manner: — ^ C^ptnn Xewporl^ it i^ m , 
flgraeable to mj greiafncw in tlik pfAiKng manaer to 
tciflei ; and I eslaon jtm. also a great wcrowaace (leader). 
faf« kjr xna down all yonr eoomodhies togetber ; what 1 
win take, and in recom p enee give yon wbat I think fittii^ 
Tahie.^ Ci^tAtn Smkh beiog our mterpfcter, regarding y* vn^^ ' 
at bia hther^ knowing beat the di^Gatioii of Powhatan. 
bii Intent was onljto dieai us; yet Captain Newport let F 
have hi§ desire, who tberefim valued bis eotn at sodi a rate tbtfj 
we had not four baabek for that we expected twenty he 
At this Captain Smith glanced in the eyes of Powhatan 
tiiflei^ wbo fixed bis on some bine beads; the more he 
tlKOi, the more the captain seemed to aiSect tb<»my as 
eo Mpo ae d of a moat rare rabetanoe of the ccJoor of the* 5>kies, 
Bottobe woa hot by the greatest kings of the world. Tl 
Imn half mad to be the owner of each strtu^jeweL 
parted, ibr a poond or two of bine beads he brooght ovi^r the 
tor two or three hundred boshels of com, yet ported good t 
By thia means bine beads grew into ssuch estimation, that nc 
dant wear any bat their great kings, their wires and chil<lren." 

Notwithstanding all this feasting and pleasing show of amiij^ 
there ran a deep nndercmrent of mxstmst and treachery^ rcstdtin 
at last in the discovery of a plot concerted by Powhatan, to murde 
all the whites. Thesnbtle old chie^ in order to mollify Captaia Smitli, 
sent his ** dearest dai^hter, Pocahontas " to him with protc$>taticio^ 
of homility, rich presents, and assorances of " lore for ever." Ai 
the Captain did not wish to proceed to extremities, he feigned to 
feel ^ti s fte d, and having given np to Pocahontas some prisoneis 
wbo had revealed the plot, he professed to have saved their lives 
aokly on het account, and sent them an-ay rejoicing. 

P C A no N T A S . 


It is wortliy of remark tliat the name of Pocaliontas is seldom 

&ntionecl "by any of tlie various early writers of the history of 

rii'crinia, without some prefix denoting her angelic disposition^ 

rel, nonpareil, dearest daughter, and others — ^her presence being 

Iways signalized by some generoas or kindly action. Between 

le rude Indian trihes and the scarcely more polished coIonl*?ts, she 

les and goes like a carrier dove, waving her wliite wings unsul- 

by the contaminations to which she is exposed. No taint of 

lononr or anght unbeseeming maiden modesty ever attaches 

to the name of Pocahontas. Even in the Btrancfe and frantic 

jne which it was the custom of her people to give on occasions 

grand welcome, she is not described as one of its participants, 

it only as the bearer of assurances that no harm is intended ; for 

rhen the Captain Governor, thinking from the horrible noise of 

rieking, and the violence of the proceedings generally, that Fow- 

lat-an had e\*il designs upon him, we are told " Presently came 

Pocahontas willing hira to kDl her if any hurt were intended." 

ie wild revel then proceetled, than which nothing more singular 

' truly savage can well be imagined. That one so good and gen- 

as Pocahontas should have sprung from such weird ancestry 

rerifies the saying of Shakespeare : 

** The strawberry grows underneath the nettle ; 
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen beat 
Xeighbonr'd by fruits of ba^er quality." 

Henry V., Act 1., Scene L 

fAs this masque Is a wonderful thing in its way, and was doubt- 
often performed among the Indians, we give it in the words of 
;?aptain Smith : " In a fnyre i)lain field, about a fire, presently were 
re presented with this anticke. Thirty young women came out 
>f the woodes only covered behind and before, with a few green 
ive^, their bodies all painted, some of one colour some of anoth- 



tr li.1 - * iyre of buck*^ liontii 

ud another at 
. *r, ji •'•» aod arrowesiirl 
.>^*a«. • ^viQfd, sDoUier a dab, ano 
"»; Ae i«Bl ev«rf oii« witli their i 
^.^ MMt dkoolea and cryes, 

inmiiii^ aboute tbei 
ill variety; oft 
to sing and datinoe j 
as they eDtrcd, i 
Ti ll ing w - f M'wmao dated thems^ke^ 
Ur m^i^ffli where he was do sooner^ 
Bfr Sfvnki man tonnented him 
. llfligpag^aboaft him, most 

V This saluUtk 
c£ all tbe savage duties the 
OS mapt^ and dandng al 
of tor 

ike Mkm^ tke Ikfioi 

^nft Bocaaoiuss is not mentionoil 
■hlifwcfc, dombdeas, according 
ksvie Aoae sowitiMJvl blame. It mar 1 
■on fiUj- to aqg some simple ditty HI 
fiw cf tke c&orosbfmg explained by ^ 









ft. 1 

F C All O NT AS, 


But through all words I fondly seek 
The fiw£eteat oue for thee. 

So-sn-ge-ti-lia, Sawain no mo shia, 

Strong-hearted ! pity me ! 


Oh come ! His the sweet Moon of Leaves,* 

The owais^a t huilJs Leucath the eaves 

Or sings upon the bough. 

Son of the land where freedom dwells, 

Of happy homea, and Sahhath bells, 

A princess calls I come, Thou I 

So-an-ge-t^-ha, Sowain ne m6 shin. 

Strong-hearted I pity me I 

Hast thou in thy dear land a mother ? 
A sister dear — a friend — ^or brother 
More dear than life to thee ? 
Bring all thy griefd — 1*11 share thy sorrow, 
Till thou fihalt mother — ^sister^ — ^horrow — 
Friend — brother — alt^ — from me. 

So-an-ge-ta-ha, Sowain n6 me shin. 

Strong-hearted t pity me ! 

The innate dignity whicli assuredly was one of the character- 
istics of Pocahontas, seems worthily derived from Powhatan, her 
father, who never seemed to forget he was a king. On being told 
that Captain Newport had brought out some presents for him from 
England, as a crown, robe, and other coronation baubles, offering 
at the same time to help him to take revenge on a neighbouring 
tribe who had done him some grievous wrong; the proud old 
Indian, with a voice that seemed to come out of a vault, thus re- 
plied : " If your king have sent me presents, I also am a king, and 
this is my land : eight days I will stay to receive them. Your 
father is to come to me, not I to him, nor yet to your foi-t ; neither 


t Blue-bird, 

will I bite at sncli a bnit. As for the Monacans, I can revenge mj; 
own iDJiiries; and as for Atquanacliuck, where you say 
brother was slain, it is a contrary way from those parts you 
pose it ; but for any salt water beyond the mountains, the relati 
fon have had from my people are false ; " (here he began to 
plots on the ground of all those regions.) 

On the day appointed to crown Powhatan, the presents 
get before him, liis basin and ewer, bed, and furniture, setup; 
scarlet cloak and apparel with much ado being put on him, afttf 
being persuaded by Namontack that they would not hurt him, bat 
" a foule trouble there was to make him kneel to receive his crown, 
he neither knowing the majesty nor meaning of a crown, nor henA* 
ing of the knee, endured so many persnasions, examples, aoi 
instructions, as tired them all ; at last, by leaning hard upon bb 
shoulders, he a little stooped, and three having the crown in their 
hand^, put it on his head, when by the warning of a pistoll, 
boats were prepared with such a volley of shot, that the 
started up in a horrible feare till he saw that all was well ; then re- 
membering himself to congratulate their kindness, he gave his old 
shoes and viantle to Captain Newport." 

These present:?, which had been bestowed much against the ad 
vice of Captain Smith, who well knew tlie effect they would produce 
on the uncultivated mind of a savage, immediately began to sbov 
what results might be expected. Powhatan became inflated to an 
extrordinary degree. The idea that the Kling of England should 
not only acknowledge him as a brother sovereign, but also send 
him the insignia of royalty, was an event so stupendous that his 
elf-importance knew no bounds, and he determined as the first ex* 
ercise of his royal authority to rid himself of the colonists. Ao 
cordingly, he began to jdot more diligently than ever, and it was 
only by the intervention of his daughter that his designs were fru? 

-ted. '^For Pocaliontas, Ids dearest jewel aud daiigliter, iu tLat 
dark iiiglit came tlirougli tlie irksome woods, and told our captaine 
great cheer sliould be sent liim hj and bye; but Powhatan 
and all the power he could make would come after and kill us all, 
if they that brought it could not kill us with our o^vne weapons 
'irhen we were at supper. Therefore, if we would live, she wished 

presently to begone.' Such things as she delighted in, he would 
have ^ven her, but with the tears running down her eheekes, she 
id she durst not seem to have any, for if Powhatan should know it, 
Bhe were but dead, and so she ranne away hy herself as she came."" 
*' Fore-warned, fore-armed- — they are safe " — ^must have been the 
thought of the courageous and noble-hearted Pocahontas on her re- 
turn througli the dark forest at midnight, when aware at a distance 
of the approach of the bearers of the treacherous feast, she woidd 
glide stealthily behind the trees till they had passed ; congratulat- 
ing hei*self the while that her errand would not prove fi'mtless. 
"Not less, doubtless, the satisfliction -with which Captain Smith and 
liis hungry comjianiona would devoiur the good things sent them ^-ith 
so evil a pui^ose, when fidly prepared to mete out a just reward to 
the donor. Accordingly, " within less than an hour after the de- 
parture of Pocahontas, came eight or ten lusty fellows with great 
platters of venison and other victual ; very importunate to have 
lis put out our matches, whose smoke they i^retended made them 
fiick, and sit downe to our \dctuall ; but the Captaine made them 
taste every dish, and sent them back to tell Powhatan he knew his 
design, bidding him to make haste, he was ready for him." 

The sweetness of danger seems to have been keenly appreciated 
l>y these hardy colonists, every day of their lives abounding in facts 
Tvhose narration given by themselves m the fewest words as mere 
'tcms in a business account, yet sufficiently shows the dangers and 
hazards they perpetually had to encounter. 



But witli such a governor a3 Captain Smitli, tlie veriest lagga 
must have grown alert — ^the coward brave, if only from the for 
of example. The old spiiit of " Olympagh," and " Regall ^ 
to have been continually at work within him, and Pocahontas, vnth 
all the ardour of her Indian blood, would have to listen to the re-J 
cital of the foUoTi^-iuf; adventure between himself and her unclej 
Op^ehaucanough, a few days after the timely warning sheJ 
given liim of her father's plot against his life. 

Captain Smith, with fifteen of his companions, ha\ing arrit 
at the house of Oj^echancanough, King of Pamaunkee, for the ] 
pose of buying corn, was informed by one of their numljer 1 
the house was surrounded by at least seven hundred Indiai&| 
The men were for the most part struck with terror, but their cap* 
tain, after such threats and entreaties as he thought most hkelyto 
restore their courage, addressed Opechancanough as follows:—] 
" I see, Opechancanough, your plot to murder me, but I fear it 
not. Ab yet, our men have done no harm on either side. Take, 
therefore, your arms ; you see mine ; my body shall be as naked] 
as yours. The isle in the river is a fit place if yon be contented, 
and the conqueror of us two, shall be lord and master over all our 
men. If you have not enough, fetch more, and biing what num- 
l)er you will, so every one bring a basket of com, against which 1 1 
will stake the value in copper ; you see I have but* fifteen, and our I 
game shall be, the conqueror take all." The king, well guarded hy I 
forty or fifty of his chief men, endeavoured to allay all suspicion of] 
nnkindnoss ; but at the same time endeavouring to draw him out 
of tlie door where the bait was guarded by at least two hun<lred| 
men, besides thirty lying under a great tree that lay athwart like] 
a barricade, with their arrows all notched, ready to shoot. This] 
Bight made the men more cowardly than ever, which, together] 
with the audacity of the Indians, threw the captain into such i 


ge, that leaping upon Opecliancanoiigli in the midst of his guards, 

iO seized him hj the long scalp-lock, and pointing his pLstol to his 

areast led him along half dead ^\dth fear, trembling like au aspen. 

,ving been made to deliyer up his vambrace, bow, and aiTows, 

multitude were easily induced to lay down their arms, while 

le captain, still holding the ti'embling savage by the hair, made 

Jiem an oration, in which, by judiciously intermingling threats 

idth kindness, he obtained, for the time, his utmost wishes. 

The almost superhuman bravery exhibited on this as on all 

Jther occasions, joined to a quick wit, and infinite ingenuity in 

;urmng their supf^rstitious fears to his own advantage, gave him 

rom this time so much authority over them, that the whole coun- 

ay became as free to the English as to themselves. Nevertheless, 

V>whatan's hatred was inextinguishable, and a few days after- 

rards would have shown itself l>y murdering Kichard Wyflin, a 

Hend of the captain's, who had called at the house of Powhatan, 

lad it not been for Pocahontas, who hid him for a time, sending 

those who pursued him in an opposite direction : by her cflbrts, 

extraordinary bribes, and much trouble, in three days* travel he at 

length rejoined the captain. 

In 1609 Captain Smith resolved to resign the thankless and 
aborious office he had long fiUed with so much honour. In addi- 
tion to the treachery of the Indians, he had nothing but ingrati- 
ude and cii'cumvention fi-om those with whom he was associated ; 
and meeting also at this time with a dreadful accident from the 
(xplosion of a bag of gunpowder, when in an open boat on the 
river, he resolved to return to England. The absence of the shep- 
erd was soon taken advantage of by the wolf, for Powhatan took 
an opportunity to perpetrate a dreadful massacre on a party of 
;hirty-two, who, without due precautions, were bartering with him 
for corn. Thii-ty were slain, one escaped, and a young boy of 


r C AH ON T AS. 

Dod descent, named Henry Spillmau, was rescued hj Pc 
tlirou<:,di whose intercession lie was. received amono:?! the Pati^ 
womekes, where residing many years, he Locame a profici-i/'n 
their language, and did good service many times between them and , 
his own conntrymeu. 

Pocahonta>s also sought refuge with the same friendly nation, 
being heard of no more at Jamestown after the departure of Captiin 
Smith until IGll, when Captain Argall, whose ship was theu lying i 
in the River Potomac, lia\'ing in London frequently heard \m friewl 
Captain Smith eulogize Pocahontas as the " nonpareil of Virginia,* 
conceived tlie idea of making her his prisoner, in order to indocO 
Powhatan to more favourable negotiations with him. Having had 
an interview with Japawzaws, an old Indian, who had formerly 
been a friend of Captain Smith, he entered into a treaty with Lim 
to decoy Pocahontas aboard nnder pretence of seeing the sliipy 
solemnly assuring him that no further harm than a short imprison* 
ment was intended her. Japawzaws listened as though he heard | 
not, until the ravishing gleam of a copper-kettle displayed befbi* 
him as the reward, completely overpowered every scruple, and lie 
at oDce repaired to Pocahontas, taking care, however, to carry his 
wife along with him, thinking that she might prove a valuahle 
aid ; nor was he mistaken, for Pocahontas, who had seen many 
ships, had no curiosity to visit that of Captain Argall, and would 
have totally negatived the proposals of Japawzaws, but for tlrt | 
t-ears of his wife, who pretending never to have seen the interior ' 
of one, was so importunate with her husband to allow her to go 
aboard, that with much pretended violence he threatened to beat I 
her, whereat she wept still more, insomuch that pretending to 
relent, he told her that if Pocahontas would accomj^any her he waa 
content. It was not in the nature of Pocahontas to withstand J 
tears and supplications, she therefore accompanied her betrayers tol 



vessel, where a liue entertainment was served to tliem in the 
abin, and every attention and kindness shown to them by Captain 
rail, who, duiing the repastj had to undergo repeated pressures 
&u his toes from the foot of Japawzaws, intended as intimations 
lat he had fulfilled his part of the contract and now wanted the 
award. Acting upon this hint the ca]>fain requested Pocahontas 
retire for a little while into the gun-room, in order that he might 
anfer on eome private matter with Japawzaws ; this Wiis to the 
get that she might not think the latter was privy to her detention. 
)a sending for her again, Captain Ai'gall told her in the presence 
Japawzaws and his wife, that she must accompany him until 
ich time as peace was concluded with her father, whom she must 
lever expect to see again until that event had taken place. 

The poor deceived Pocahontas wept long and violently, while 

xe two hase creatures who had inveigled her into the snare set up 

le most terrible bowlings, bewaibng tbeii* unhappy fate even more 

idly than Pocahontas j who upon the captain^ fair persuasions, 

degrees pacifying herself, Japawzaws and his wife, T^^th their 

loved kettle and other toys, went merrily ashore, and Pocahon- 

was conveyed prisoner to James Town^ — a sad return for all 

ler disinterested kindness to that place and its inhabitants. A 

enger having been dispatched to Powhatan informing him that 

ie must ransom the daughter he loved so dearly, with the men, 

weapons, and commodities he had stolen, the old chief, though 

[deeply exasperated deigned no answer, and three months passed 

[ere he condescended, (on being again urged) " to send back seven 

lof our men with each an unserviceable musket.'' After a long 

le, during which many bravados and skirmishes took place, a 

trace was proclaimed, and two of Powhatan's sons came to see their 

Bister, with whom they had a most joyful and rejoicing meeting. 

ater John Rolte, and Master Sparks, then accompanied these 


brothers to Powhatan; hut though kindly entertaine<3, he 
admit them to his presence. Master Rolfe having conceived a 
lent passion for Pocahontas, a marriage was concluded Utwi 
them ; Powhatan not choosing to honour the ceremony ^th 
presence, but sending as his deputy, an old uncle of Pocalioiil 
named Opachisco, who with the twc^ young men, her hrotliers, 
what was necessary on his behidf for the confirmation of the im- 
riage. After this event, the lovely messenger of the wildemes?^© 
known no more as Pocahontas, but was styled the " Lady lichecca'— 
instructed in the English language, baptized and converted to ' 
Christian faith, of which she is said to have been "most ca| 
and desirous," as also " that she had no desire to return to her father, 
nor could well endure the society of her owne nation ; be 
most true and constant affection to her husband, by whom 
had one son, whom she most dearly loved." It is also rel 
of her that "she became veiy formal and civil after the 
lish manner, and that divers persons of great rank and qi 
were very kind to her on her arrival in England, whither she liai 
accompanied her husband." Captain Smith, on hearing that sbe 
was in England, wrote a short memorial concerning her, adib'essed 
to Anne of Denmark, wafe to James I., in which, after enumerating 
the valuable services she had rendered the colony, he asks the 
royal favour for her " exceeding desert, her birth, virtue, want, mid 
Bimplicity." In consequence of this appeal, Pocahontas was p^^ 
"sented to the King and Queen,* as well as to many of the nobihty, 
who, in afterwards speakhig of her, generally concluded " that Gad 
had a great hand in her conversion, and that they had seen many 
Eoglish ladies worse favoured, proportioned, and behavoured." 

This style of panegjric, be it remembered, applies not to the 
beautiful Indian maiden, graceful in her 0);^^l national garb, an<l 

♦ She had also her portrait taken in theliorrible costume of that period. 


iglitly springiug along tbe prairie, but to the " Lady Rebecca *'— 
*tf*ud€dj hajptized^ converted^ formal^ civil, weaiiug au iVnne of Den- 
lark Lat and sbort feather, a long tight boddice, a monatrons ruff, 
id still more monstrous liooped-petticoat and farthingale, bearing 
le same resemblance to her former self as does the dry blue-bell 
'Hen pressed, diied, and pasted down in a lady's album, to its wild 
^ters, nodding gaily in tbe sunshine between the fern and fox-glove. 
lut, 'twas but outside change after all — the heart beat truly, softly, 
alL When Captain Smith went to see her before setting sail for 
ew England, he says, " after a modest salutation she turned away, 
id liiding her face, spake not to any one for two or three hours.'' 
fallen she began to talk she said, " You did promise Powhatan 
liat was yours should be his, and he the lilce to you ; you called 
father, being in his land a stranger, and by the same reason so 
iust I do you." The captain here with grave formality says, 
which though I would have excused, I durst not allow of that 
rtle, because she was a king's daughter ; with a ^veil-set counte- 
lance, she said, * Were you not afraid to come into my father's 
ountry, and caused fear in him and all his people but me, and fear 
'on here I shoukl call you father ? I tell you then I will, and you 
»Lall call me child, and so I will be for ever and ever your coun- 
ryman.' " Then, as if in the fullness of her heart, she thus con- 
dndes: "They did tell us always you were dead, and I knew no 
ither till I came to Plymouth ; yet Powhatan did command Ut- 
amotomakkin to seek you and know the truth, because your coun- 
rymen will lie much." This savage, one of Powhatan's chiet 
nen, was pm*posely sent by the king to number the English and 
nform him of their condition. Arriving at Plymouth, he got a 
ODg stick and made a notch on it for every person he met, but 
oon grew we^ry of the task. Meeting Captain Smith accidentally 
n. London, he told him Powhatan had ordered him to find liim 



out, tlaat he might show him his God, king, qneeu, and prmr> 
He was tohl that he had already seen the king, but could harl] 
he persuaded tliat King James could be a king. Then he said vf r 
idly, " You gave Powhatan a wliite dog, which Powhatan fed a 
"himself; hut your king gave me nothing, and I am better tliati ,i 
dog." When Powliatau, on his return, asked him how many j)iv 
pie there were in England, he answered, *' Count the stars in the 
sky, the leaves on the trees, and the sands upon the sea shor^; for 
such is their number.'" 

Shortly after the interview of Pocahontas with Captain Smith, 
when at Graveeend, a small port about twenty-five miles from 
London, when about to embark with her husband and child for 
America, she was taken ill of violent fever, and died very suddenly. 
Her little son, Thomas Rolfe, was left at Plymouth, with Sir Lcwb 
Stukeley, who desired to take charge of it. The words that describe 
her death are, "It pleased God, at Gravesend, to take this yoin^ 
lady to his mercy, where she made not more sorrow for her unex- 
pected death than joy to the beholders to hear and see her nuike 
80 religious and godly an end." 

Thus perished untimely, in the bloom of life, the lovely and 
benign Pocahontas, whose whole life was a pure and freshening 
stream of love and goodness to all with whom she came in contact; 
and whose sweet life may serve as a remembrancer to the daugli 
tera of civilization, how little lower than the angels, a life passed 
iu practising the mild and gentle virtues of her sex, could make 
even an untutored child of nature like Pocahontas — fiY)m whom, 
at this day, many of the first families in Virginia are proud tn trace 
their descent. 





Tbe graceful Mondamin * lies sbatter'ii ancli broken 
In the pride of her blooming, ore touched by decay j 

In theTlaiid of tto stranger, her grave the sole token, 
The Flower of Wiridagua f is withered away. 


No more her swift foot o'er the prairie is bounding, 
No more her cauoc lightly skims o'er the bay ; 

Her maidens in sorrow the reed-flutes are soundbg; 
The flower of Windagua is withered away, 

iptain Smith died in Loodon, iu the year 1631, aged fifty-two. 
ncounter ivith the three Turks, alluded to in the beginning 
lis article, is as follows : 

In the pLiine^ of Regall is a city not only of men and fortifi- 
stronge of itselfe, but so envii'oned with monntaines that 
the passages so difficult, that in all these warres no attempt 
en made upon it to any purpose. To possess himselfe fii-st 
;e most convenient passage, which was a narrow valley betwixt 
ro bigh monntaines, the commander. Earl Meldritch, sent Colonel 
'^eltus with his regiment, to lye in ambuscade and to drive all the 
fcttle they could find before a fort in that passage, whom he suf- 
Deed would sally, seeing but some small party, to recover their 
rey ; which took such good success that the garrison was cut off 
Y the ambuscade antl the Skonees seized ; yet, sLx days elapsed 
re with six thousand juoneers he could make a passage for his ord- 
^ce. The Turkes having such warning,^Btrengthened the towne, 
lade frequent sallies upon the besiegers, and scornfully deriding 
le slow progress they were comi>elled of necessity to make, de- 
ared their ordnance were at pawn, and how they grew fat for 

Tlu* IiKlian moiie jdaiit. 

t ■Wingandocoa ; Indian name of Virginia, 



want of exercise, and fearing they should depart ere xB^ 
assault the city, sent this challenge to any captaine in theCliristi| 
army. That to delight the ladies, who did long to see some i 
like pastime^ the Lord Turbashawe did defio any captaine that I 
the command of a company who durst combat witt him for Lis he 
The* matter being discussed, it was accepted; but so many que 
grew for the undertaking, that it was decided by lot^. whlcli 
upon Captain Smith. 

*• Truce l>eing made for the time, the Rampiers all beset witkl 
faire dames and men in armes; the Christians in Battalio ; TnrW 
shawe with a noise of liowboyes entred the field, well mounted] 
and armed : on his shoulders was fixed a great pair of ^nngs, coahl 
posed of eagle's feathers within a ridge of silver, richly garDishedl 
with gold and precious stones, a janizary before Lim, bearing liisj 
hmce ; on each side another, leading his horse ; where long he stoidl 
not, ere Smith with a noise of trumpets, only a page beaiing Ills] 
lance, passing by him with a courteous salute, took his ground with I 
such goode successe, that at the eound of the charge, he j)assed tkl 
Turke thorow the sight of his beaver, face, head and all, that lie] 
fell dead to the ground, where alightuig and unbracing Lis helmet,] 
cut off his head, and the Turkes tooke his body ; and so reti 
v\'ithotft any hurt at all The head he presented to the Loid| 
^H 3Ioy8es, the geuerall, who kindly accepted it ; and with joy to tie 
^H whole armie he was generally welcomed. 

^» " The death of this captaine so swelled in the heart of on 

I Grualzo, his vowed fi'iend, as rather inraged with madne^e tli 

I choller, he directed a particular challenge to the conqueror, to 

I gaiue his friend's head or lose his owne, with his horse and i 

I mour for advantage, which according to his desire was the next day 

I undertaken ; as before, upon the sound of the trumpets, then! 

I lances flew to pieces upon a cleare passage ; but the Turke was neer 

ihorsed. Their pistoUs were the next, wlxicli marked Smith upon 
le placard ; but the next shot, the Turke was so wounded in the 
ft arme, that being not able to rule his horse and defend himselie, 
was throwne to the ground, and so bruised with the fall, that 
lost his head, as his fiiend before him ; with his horse and ar- 
; but his body and his nch apparell was sent backe to the 
^K Every day the Turkes made some sallies, but few skirmishes 
rod they endure to any purpose. Our workes and approaches 
mg not yet advanced to that height and effect which was of ne- 
5ggitie to be performed, to delude time, Smith vnih so many incon- 
»dictible perswading reasons, obtained leave that the ladies 
light know he was not so much enamoured of their servants' heads, 
ttt that any Turke of their ranke who would come to the place of 
wnbate to redecme them, should have bis also upon the like con 
itions, if he could winne it, 

" The challenge was accepted by a formidable Turke named 
ana Mnlgro. The next day the champions entering the field as 
•fare : each discharging their pistolls, having no lances, but such 
artUl we^ipons as the defendant appointed, no hurt was done ; 
leir battle-axes were the next, whose piercing bills made some- 
inc3 the one, sometimes the other to have scarce sense to keepe 
pit saddles, specially the Christian received such a blow that he 
battle-axe, and failed not much to have fallen after it, 
the supposing conquering Turke had a great shout from 
mpiers. Tlie Turke prosecutod his advantage to the uttermost 
power ; yet tlie other, what by the readine^e of his hoi'se, 
d his judgment and dexterity in such a busines^e, beyonde all 
'h cyqiectation, by God's assistance, not onely avoided the 
I's violence, but having drawne his faulchion, pierced tlie 
so onder the culets thorow backe and l>ody, that although 


he alighted from his hone, he stood not long ere he lost his liead, 
as the rest hid done. This good saooesse gave 'sndi great ea- 
conragement to the whole annie, that with a gnaid of six thonsandi 
three spare horses, before each a Turkeys head upon a hinoe, k 
was conducted to the Generall's Pavillion with his presenti. 
l^yses received both him and them 'with as mnch respect as the 
occasion deserved, embradng him in his armes, gave him a fidre 
horae, nchly fiuaaidied, a semitere and belt, worth three himdred 
dncats ; and Meldritch made him Seijeaut Major of his r^iiment 
l^gismmidus coming to view his armie, and bong made acqnamted 
with the service Smith had done at Olunpagh, Stowle, Wesenhmg^ 
and Begall; with great honour gave him three Turkeys heads in 
a shield &r his armes, by Patent under his hand and seale, with 
an oath ever to wear them in his colours, his picture in gould, and 
three hnndred ducats yearly for a pension." 


♦'EAX901SE DE La. VALLiirEE was made up of feminine 
She was tender unto softness ; modest unto diffidence ; 
le unto timidity. Her nature was so tender that it diyided" 
' whoUy between love of heaven, and love for one sole cartlJy 
Her love for heaven was trembling adoration ; her love 
her lover was idolatry. She gave heaven her repentant wor- 
ip after giving her lover all heart-worship. She was a signal in- 
ce of a woman lo\-ing a monarch for himself; she loved the 
not the king, m Louis XIV. She was born in 1644 ; and 
3e of distinguished parentage. Her mother married again ; and 
this second husband, being in the household of Gaston, Duke of Or- 
leans, Mademoiselle de La Valliere passed her early ycartj at the 
court of that prince, residing alternately at Orleans and at BloLs. 
youth was marked by sweetness of disposition and discreet 
l)ehaviour ; and when the king's only brother esj>oused Henrietta 
of England, daughter to Charles I, Mademoiselle de La Valiittro 
was placed about her person, as maid of honour. Shining in the 
midst of a brilliant scene, taking part in the pleasures of a young 
and gallant ct)urt, she won the esteem of all, by her rectitude, her 
innate love of virtue, her gentle manners, and the sincerity and 
simplicity which distinguwhed her. Her personal advantagoi, 

wliicli exceeded lier meatal eudowments, attracted universal adr 
miratiou. The Duchess of Orleans — Elizabeth Charlotte— tliw 
describes her : — " Her coimtenance possessed an inexj'i 
charm ; she had a delicate shape ; and her eyes appeared to ui- lor 
more beautiful than those of Madame Montespan. Her dej)ort- 
ment was modesty itself. She limped slightly ; but that ditl not 
detract from her gi*ace " 

In the habit of constantly beholding Loub XIV., the " tender 
and susceptible heart '* of which La Valliere herself makes frequent 
mention, became iascinated by the embodiment he formed of her 
young ideal. In her eyes he showed a hero — a hero of romance 
in living peifection, — ^young, handsome, princely, radiant vn\\i 
glory and renown. He inspired her with the liveliest aflmiratioB, 
which soon ripened into the livehest affection. Her timid natiut 
shrunk from admitting even to herself her sentiments; but its 
tenderness could not resist the bewitching influence of passion. 
Her very gentleness of disposition made her vainly attempt to 
subdue love by duty ; her gentleness softened into weakness, in* 
stead of gathering strength from efiort. Such charactere as Ia 
VaUierc's, reap no courage from warmth of heart ; their best virtue 
is submission. They are moral cowards, notwithstanding their 
fervour. The best womanly tenderness generates fortitude of 
mind ; the tenderness of such a woman as La Valliere degenerates 
with feebleness of soul. Her attachment for Louis was a fond and 
exclusive preference ; it absorbed her thoughts, and engroaed her 
^vhole l)eing. Her i)iety towards heaven was not so much an ac- 
tive principle, as a helpless leaning upon devotion as a resource — 
a turning for support towards divine comfort, when earthly trust 
had fiiiled. La VaUi tare's tenderness limited, not enlarged her 
spu'it ; but, within that limit, it was beautiful of its kinil. It rcn- 
lercd her meek, um-eproachful, and purely disinterested. It 


aabled lier to sustain injurious treatment tliat would liave mad 
ened a woman of less yielding temper ; and it caused her to love 
rith a prodigality, that made love itself all-suiBcing to her liappi- 
ess. Through all the various inclinations for other women which 
jom3 XIV. by turns mdulged, he constantly returned to her, who, 
y her genuine affection, more than by the charms of her person, 
.ad won him without art or guile. 

It was at Fontaineblean, in 1661, that the intimacy of their 
jonnexion commenced. During two ye'ars, Mademoiselle do la 
Valliure was the secret object of* all the entertainments and bril- 
iant pastimes given' at court. The celebrated fete at Versailles, 
rhich, under the title of *' The Pleasures of the Enchanted Isle," 
iccupied seven entire days, was ostensibly in honour of the queen- 
mother, and queen-consort, but was in reality a gallantry on the 
Hirt of Louis XIV. offered at the feet of the young beauty he had 
'ooed and won. The royal amour, though studiously concealed 
Tom the principal personages concerned, was not so absolutely a 
ystery but that it was suspected by many ; and various evidence 
lay be traced that the real centre of the king's purposed homage 
L giving this magnificent festivity, was tacitly understood to be 
ihe lovely Mademoiselle de la Vallicre. The description of the 
even days' entertainment beai*3 testimony of the regal splendour 
.nd rich taste exercised by Louis XTV., on this occasion. Xot only 
irere the pageants and banquets of the most sumptuous descrip- 
fcion, but the talent of Lulli, and the genius of the great Mohere 
himself, were enlisted to lend the refinements of music, wit, poetry, 
and dramatic representation, to adorn the scene. The king himself 
took part in the first day's pageant, which had for subject the 
'alace of Alcinoe, where Ruggiero and his brave knights arc 
iflsembled to enjoy the pleasures of the Enchanted Isle. Louis, 
bo represented Euggiero, is described as " mounted on a superb 

charger ; it3 harness of the colour of iire, and shining resplendent 
with gold, silver, and precious stones. lEs Majesty himself w«s 
armed in the Grecian style ; and wore a cuirass of silver, covered 
with a rich embroidery of gold and diamonds. His action and 
whole deportment were worthy of hia rank ; his helmet, covered 
with flame-coloui*ed plumes, was incomparably elegant ; and never 
did an air more lofty, more martial, exalt a mortal above Lis 

Mohere's " Princesse d'Elide," " Les Facheux," the fii^t three 
acts of his admirable " Tartuffe," and " Le ^larii^ge Force," formed 
the chief substance of the second, fifth, sixth, and seventh days' 
several entertainments. In the first-named of these dramas there 
occurs a passage which affords one of those instances above alluded 
to, of the idea that prevailed of the king's partiality for Made- 
moiselle de La Valliere, and of her being the secret object of this 
unparalleledly tasteful entertainment. The upholding of an amorn^ 
ous passion, as the crowning princely quality in a youthful royal 
naiare, is a subtle compliment addressed to Louisas admiration for 
the fair young creature who was real queen of the fete, instead <A 
its apparent queens — ^the (in every sense) nominal queens. 

The lines are put into the mouth of Arbate, tutor to the young 
prince, Euryale ; and are addressed to him : — 

" Et bien quo mon sort touclie d sea dcrnlers soleils, 
Je dirai que ramour sled "biea a vos pareils ; 
Que ce tribut qu'on rend aux traits d'un beau- visage, 
Be la bcaato d^iine ame est uu clair temoiguage, 
Et qu^U est malaisu que, sans ^tre amourcux, 
Ud jeune prince so it et grand et gun^rcux. 
Cost unc qiialite quo j'airae en uu luonarque; 
La tendresse du eoour est une grande marque 
Que d'un prince A votre fl^e on pent toat presumep, 
Dea qu^on voit que son ame est capable d'aimer, 
Oui cette passion, de tonics la plus belle, 


Traf ne dana un esprit cant vertus aprds elle ; 

Aux nobles actions elle pouase lea coeurs, 

Et toua les grands heros ont aenti sea ardours/' . 

"NMiieli — for tlie few wlio are unfamiliar with Frencli — may be 
idered thus : — 

[" Altliough my old life numbers years in long suns, 
Young blood, such as yours, fervent loving beoomea 
I maintain that tlic bomage you pay a sweet face, 
Is proof of your judgment, your feeling, and grace ; 
And unless a young prince be deeply in love, 
He^s scarce to bo ranked usual great ones above. 
'Tia a point I admire in monarobs to see : 
Tender-hearted and gracious young rulers sliould be ; 
In a prince of your age we look for Ibis sign 
That all may bo hoped from a nature so fine. 
Beliere me. tbis passion, tbe finest of all, 
Brings myriad virtues in train witb its tbrall ; 
To loftiest actions it promptetb tbe soul, 
And heroes the greatest have owned its oontroul."] 

Amidst tlie general assemblage of ladies, Lii Valliere could 
I c^j<^yj undistinguislied, tbe splendoui-a of tliis gorgeous fete, and 
accept, unobserved, the compliment it conveyed to herself from her 
royal lover. Its veiled meaning precisely suited her retinng dis- 
position, and soothed her scruples of delicacy. She dreaded 
nothing so much as open attentions. It was neither from vanity 
nor ambition, that she loved the sovereign of France ; she had a 
genuine affection for him, never throughout her hfe having a single 
other attachment, and desiring that he alone should know of her 
love, as he alone possessed it. Her Urst pregnancy was concealed 
with so much care, that no one in the court was aware of the cir- 
Mimstance; and the queen had no suspicion of it. Two only, of 
the four children she had by Louis, lived — Marie- Anne de Bour- 
bon, named Mademoiselle de BloLs, afterwards Princess de Gonti, 
born in 1666 ; and the Count de Vermandois, born iu 1667. In 



tliat year, the king created a duchy from two baronies, and tkhj 
estate of Vaujoui' in favour of Mademoiselle de La Vallieii?, i 
the princess, her daughter. When she received this honour, i 
when her children were legitimatized, she was much trouhled: 
she had thought that her being a mother ought to remains ^ 
known; or at any rate,. that it should be left unacknowledged. It 
is worthy of note, that she always called her daughter " MaiW ' 
raoiselle ;'' while the priucess called her " belle maman." Madame 
de Sevigne alluded to Madame de La Valliere, when she wrote thiB I 
in ICSO : — "You must imagine her" (Madame de Montespanu 
** precisely the opposite of that little violet whcJ hid hcrsdt 
beneath the grass ; and who was ashamed of being mistreaif| 
mother, and duchess. There will never be another of her stamp.'] 
La Valliere was — so to speak — virtuous in the mitlst of her erroisd 
for each fresh fault cost her as much as her first step in guilt. Sli« I 
was modest in the midst of her frailty ; for she avoided its evhl 
dences, and shrank fi'om its preferments. The marks of superior] 
distinction and regard which the king bestowed upon her in 
fcrence to the queen, were distasteful to her reason and sense of] 
right. His tokens of favour, thus conferred, hurt her delicacy. IaI 
this respect, she was tempted to complain of being too well loved— j 
she, whose own abundant love involuntarily craved correspondentj 
return. Very different from most royal favourit-es, she never on 
took advantage of her influence. She loved the king — ^not 
l)ower. Her patronage confined itself to intercession for the 
l>ersons who had displeased Louis, and to solicitations for those! 
who needed assistance or advancement — without exceptional bias] 
ill favour of her own relations. Her absence of mercenary spirit is 
testified in the case of Fouquet ; who, being struck with the earl) 
charms of MademoLselle de La Vidliere, and utterly unscrupulous ii 
his modes of satisfying his transitoiy inclinations, offered the yoans 



ofiionour tlie sum of £8,000, an ofler wlilcli slie rejected with 
btion, althoiigli at tliat time entertaining no idea of Laving 
wd the king's attention, nor any hope of winning hh heart. 
1 court with a school of morak like that amidst which La 
dwelt, such conduct has sufficient singulai'ity to give it 
^otherwise, from a young lady, a similar refusal would Le 
extraordinary^nay, not woi*th recording. In her case, it 
praii^e. Her disinterestedness is also evinced in a subse- 
icident of her life; — when her brother died, in 1G76, she 
the king to retain the post iiUed by the Marquis de La 
lie, in acquittal of his debts, without alluding in the slightest 
Ifher nephews. Her discretion, and freedom from all self- 
Dg, dm-ing the season of her ascendancy, caused her to be 
unhesitatingly with the most important secrets by her 
fcver ; who obtained from her a promise to be equally candid 
B, and conceal nothing from him. Tlie single instance 
i, in which can be traced her possessing courage to act with 
jdence and firmness, does her honour— although natuj'al 
soon regained its characteristic sway. It seems that, in a 
[delicate cfise, where a fneud*s concerns were at stake, she 
disclose the secret to the king, notwithstanding her 
to tell him every thing. This was much for her — so 
md so willingly sincere- — to risk giving offence in love, for 
of preserving faith in friendship. But, upon Louis's pene- 
• the mystery, and reproaching lier keenly for withholding 
Ijpg from his knowledge, her short-lived courage fiuled her, 
the trouble, confusion, and consternation of finding she 
arred her lover's displeasure— she crept at early morning 
le Tnileries palace, where slie stiU dwelt in attendance on 
^cess Henrietta, and took refuge in the convent of S^* Marie, 
However, being sought witli extreme diligence, and 


gpeeclily tVtfcovered, she was prevailed upon to return ; wliere shi 
, reBamcd lier cliains, only to be more closely riveted than ever. 

Meantime, modest and retiring — os she had always beei 
continued to behold only the king himself in all the homage, pi 
lie and private, that surrounded her. A look from LonLs— asi 
Bmile from this beloved master — crowned her fondest wishes. 

Allusions to the. characteristics of iLidame de La Valliere lit 
to be found in another court dramatist of the time. Racine's ''B^ 
r6nice" contains many unequivocal points in reference to Loofc 
XrV. and his tender mistress, under figure of the Emperor Tlttf 
and the heroine of the play. B^r^nice exclaims — 

" Jogcz dc ma doulcar, moi dout Tardeur extreme, 
Je TOttS Tai dit ceut fois, n'atnie cu lui qui lul-meme, 
Moi qui, loin dc8 grandeurs dont 11 est revOtu, 
Attrais choisi son ooeur et cberche sa Terla." 

[*' Judge of my grief: I, vihoae ardent affection 
Loves in him but himself, has no other direction ; 
Had I known him apart from his grandeur's condition, 
His heart and his virtues had roused my amhitiou."] 

And afterwards, she addresses Titus himself, thus : — 

" Dcpuis qiiand crojez-vous que ma grandeur me touche ? 
Un soupir, un regard, un mot de votre bouche, 
Voild Tambition d'un coeur commc Ic mien : 
Voycz-moi plus souvent, et ne me donnez rein." 

[" Since when, can you think, that my greatness concerns me, 
A sigh, look, or word from your mouth, is what burns mo ; 
These, thcge, are the aims of a heart such as mine : 
See nie more oft» give mc nought that is thine."] 

In the midst of her fond weakness, however, she never ceai 
— AS'ith the instinct of her soft nature — to seek a sense of snsta 
ment, and consciousness of some endeavour on her own part, fr< 
the strict peifonuance f^^*f jj|^, , ^t jj p**"' ^o aj>point 



iods of fasting and prayer appeared too long or too severe for 
BIO cliureli observances, during wliick tlie custom of tlie 
5d, or the etiquette of the court prescribed an abstinence from 
and gaiety, did she neglect. They wcro hailed as a kind 

|>ite — moments of suspended wrong — occasions of temporary 

-which she might employ in making a virtuous return 
bin herself, and indulge the pious yearnings her tender nature 
I ever nourished. La Yalliere may be called a saintly sinner ; 
through all her mundane aberrations, she preserved a constant 
for sacred institutions. Her Catholic creed well suited 

ier loving and gentle character ; its promises of mercy and 
towards erring mortality when repentant, its consoling 

^its cheering absolution, were precisely needed by a soul at 

Fectionate and timid. 
During the time when La VaUiere was the declared mistress 
he king — which did not prevent numerous infidelities on his 
i — 'Louis yielded to the fancy with which he was inspired for 
lame de Montespan, This latter, wanting in dehcacy — both m 
Ban, and as one who loved — consented to live in companlon- 
with Madame de La VaUiere, sharing the same table, and al- 
t the same apartments with her. " She preferred at first," says 

le de Caylus, " that the king should arrange it thus ; either 
she hoped thereby to mislead the public and her husband, 

luse her pride took greater pleasure in the humiliation of 

ral, than alarm lest the charms of this latter should counter- 


Trcr own. 

rhe meek-spirited La Vidliere — ^ver incapable of any other 
iment than love, with fond clinging to its object — ^remained, 
Jy at the court, but in the train of Madame de Montespan ; 
lessly abused her advantages. Numberless were the af« 
le mortifications, that La Valliere had to endure the whole 



of tlie time slie stfll stayed at Versailles. Her heart was ' 
by them ; but she rarely complainecl, deeming herself still La 
that she could behold him she had no power to cease loving aa " 
he had not changed towards her. One day, when she venttireJ 
mournfully to tell the king of the pain she felt in this consociation, 
he answered coldly, that he was too frank to conceal the truth from 
her ; and that she must be aware that a king of his ilisposition did 
not like to be controuled. She is said to have addressed a sonnet 
to Louis on this occasion ; and it is added, that the verses were i 
praised by him, although he contented himself with assuring Im 
first mistress that he should ever regard her with esteem; but 
there is doubt as to the sonnet having been La Valliore's own com* J 
position. It 13 supposed to have been written for her by some one 
of the men of letters whom she, as Duchess de La Valliere, woe 
acquainted with, and encouraged. However that may be, tliere 
13 sufficient evidence existing, that, at this time, Madame de Ia 
Yallicre suftered much unkindness. The Duchess of Orleans said: 
" The king treated her very ill, at the instigation of Madame de 
Montespan ; that he was harsh with her, and ironical to a degree 
of insult ; that the poor creature imagined she could not make a 
greater eacrifice to God, than in sacrificing to Him the very ongtaj 
of her nusdeeds, and believed she was doing the more rightly, ] 
since her penance emanated from the same source where she had 
sinned ; and therefore she stayed, as a penance, with La Monies- 1 

It was in 1674 that the Duchess de La Valliere put in practit'el 
a resolution she had long formed. In the month of February, 1671, j 
she liad retired, for the second time, to "the convent of S** Marie' 
de Chaillot, wishing to weep there uninterruptedly. She wrote to 
the king, that "she should sooner have quitted Versailles, after' 
having had the misfortune to lose his good graces, if she could 



.ve induced lierself never more to Leliold Llm ; tliat tliis weak- 
ness Lad been so invincible, that it was hardly even yet she felt 
capable of making such a sacrifice to God; that she trusted, liow- 
ever, the passion she still entertamed for him might serve her in 
her penitence, and that after having given him her youth, it was 
not too much to dedicate the remainder of her life to the care of 
her sidvation," Madame de Sevigne, who records this, adds: — 
** The king wept abundantly, and sent Monsieur CoIIjoi t to Chail- 
lot^ entreating her to retm'n immediately to Vei*saine3, that she 
might speak with him again. Monsieur Colbert conducted her 
hack ; the king talked for an hour with her, and was afiected to 

After some days, to the great vexation of the reigning fiivourite, 
Madame de La Vallit^re appeared to be on better terms with the 
«nouareh than sl^e had been for a long time past. Two years 
elapsed without* the duchess showing any sign that she had re- 
cun-ed to her idea of retirement fi-om the world ; but a severe ill- 
nesSy which reduced her to the verge of the grave, brought lier 
Lack fully to the design of retrievmg her past life. The " Reflec- 
tions on the Mercy of God,'' which she was said to have written,* on 
her recovery, forms a transcript of the sentiments at that time oc- 
cupying her mind ; although it \a by no means certain tliat she 
was its author. Her confidential fiiend was the Marechal de Bel- 
lefond ; he it was who had carried her letter to the king. Mad- 
ame de La Vallicre also possessed an excellent guide and adviser 
in Bossuet, then bishop of Condom. It is to the IVLarechal de BeUe- 
fond that those letters of Madame de La Valliere are addressed, 
which have* been printed, and the first of which is dated June, 
1G73. On the 21st Xovember, she wTltes thus to her friend, the 
marcchal : — " I feel that, notwithstanding the magnitude of my 
fault — which is ever present to me — ^love has a greater pai-t in my 


sacrifice, tlian tlie necessity for doing penance." TLis p; 
fords a characteristic epitome of La Yalli^re's nature. It shoi 
how, with her, religious love was "but the substitute for 
love ; and that when the one was debarred, the other was aJopi 
Love was the necessity of La VaUiere's tender temperament. Live 
for Louis XIV., if possible ; if not, love for heaven. She tliongk 
that alone worthy to succeed to the king in her affections. Httj 
royal lover was the fii-st object of her soul ; next to him, God. 
Is curious to notice how closely upon irreverence, these weakly^ 
revering charactera trench. Soft, sweet, and loving. La Yallitre^ 
tenderness wanted strength to be high-souled. But it was gen' 
and beautifully meek. Never, but on one occasion, was that mild 
disposition l)etrayed into bitterness of expression. It was whi 
having finally decided upon quitting the court, she said to 
de ScaiTon (afterwards Madame de Main tenon)^ who had songb^ 
to dissuade her fi'om immuriug herself in a cloister ; — " Whcne^ 
I may endure sorrow at the convent, I shidl call to mind wl 
those people have made me suffer." She alluded to the king 
Madame de Montespan. The pang must have been great ind( 
that could cause her to speak of Louis in such terms 1 Coupl 
him with her rival, to speak of them as " those people " (oes 
h\ !) Her heart must have been sore to writhing, before it 
have smarted her tender nature into such contemptnoas u 

She resolved upon the convent of the Carmelites for her retrcai 
and took leave publicly of the king, who witnessed her depart 
with diy eyes. She was then not above thirty years of age. Thi 
Abbe de FromentiiTes , afterwards bishop of Aii-e, prenounced tl 
customary sermon that celebrated her noviciateship ; taking 
Ilia text, the parable of the lost sheep, gathered into the fold 
the good shepherd. 



Cer profession as nun, took i^lace on the 3d of June, 1675. 

queen hei-sell* placed the Hack veilon the liead of Madame de 
a Valliere ; and lier friend, Bossuet, Hsliop of Condom, celebrated 
r his powers of Christian eloquence, delivered the sermon'on this 
«asion. Madame de Sevigne gives an account of the ceremony 
i one of her letters ; ^vhich, while it testifies the public esteem in 
lich Madame de La Vallier^ was held, and the universal interest 
e inspired in the circle where she had moved, affords a lively pic- 
re of the manners of the time, when coui't intrigues, court piety, 
urt ladles, court divines, are nil discussed in a gay mingling of gos* 
) which deals almost equally lightly with the anxiety for places at 
ashiouable ceremonial, and with the solemn event it celebrated,— 
th the king's regret for his foi-mer mistress, his giving her up to 
superior claimant (viz : Heaven !) and his liberal provision for 
i own child by her as a proof of his affection I This is what she 
HB :?—** Yesterday, the Duchess de La Valliere was professed. 
adame de Yillars promised to take me there ; and l>y some niis- 
iderstanding, we feared we should not get a place. We had but 
present ourselves, although the queen had said that she did not 
sh the privilege extended ; however, God would not have it so,* 
d Madame Tie Yillars was quite afflicted. But she performed 
is action — this beautiful creature — as she did all her others, 
at*a to say, in a manner the most charming. Iler loveliness 
aazea everybody. But ivhat will astonish you, is, that the ser- 
Dn of Monsieur de Bossuet was not so di\Tne as we all exj5ected. 
► many virtues, joined to the most touching charms of person, 
ide Louis XIY. feel very acutely the loss of such a heaii; as 
adame de La Yalliere. He was obhged to yield it to heaveiS, 
lich alone was worthy to possess it. But what he has done for 
Eidemoiselle de Blois, whom he married to the Prince de Conti, 
to what a degree he loved the mother." 




Madame do Caylos wrote, at a much later period, that she \d_ 
seen her in tlie latter yeara of her life, and that she had heard 
vnih a tone of voice that went to the hearty uttering adc 
things upon the condition and happiness she already tasted, Ml«| 
■withstanding the rigour of her penance. 

The queen and the Duchess of Orleans, used to \Tsit, in 
convent, sister Louisa of 3Iercy ; and it was io the former— tbl 
wife of Louis XIV. — that the penitent nun answered, in IGTC:— | 
" No, I am not glad ; but I am content." It was not agrecal 
her own feelings, this having fi*equently to receive the qneen^ - 
several of the court ladies, who came, as they said, to profit bj 
edification afibrded by the holy nun ; bnt, with her native geni 
ness, she submitted to the necessity. It was a kind of fashion;! 
one of those elesfant amusements under the name of relioious av 
cations adopted by fine ladies, to soothe their consciences by ashon 
of devotional enthusiasm, in the mid^t of gaieties that grow inaipj 
by too uninterrupted a monotony of recurrence. When Paris 
Versailles cloyed, a visit to the convent of the Carmelites, for 
an agreeable variety — at once a relaxation, and a piece of 
priety. TVTjen Montespan's caprices wearied, and " le 
monarque's " glories palled upon the appetites of tile court ]adie 
a morning with La Valliere, to witness how decorously she ftdfille 
h^er vocation, was a delectable pleasure. It was like — to use 
French tuni of expression — assisting at a performance, and ol 
ing h(5w well the part of a nun was enacted by an ex-nuud < 
honour. Another of Madame de Seviguc's letters contains 
passage confirming this idea of the tone of court feeling then 
vMling. In 1GT9, IMadame de La Yalliere had to face the comj 
ments of the whole polite world, to undergo the'congratulations < 
the court, the Parisian circles, the fiisliionable populace entire, opfl 
the marriage of her daughter ; and it was upon this occasion 



le de Sevign6 Trrites, in her usual peculiarly Frencli style of 
inching upon higliest and trivialest tilings in a treath, whict 
»ms to our stalder notions little else than elegant levity : — " She 
Basoned perfectly her tenderness a*s a mother, with that of the 
>iise of Jesus Christ. She was still handsome, in 16S0 ; possess- 
much grace, a fine air^ together with the noblest and most 
inching modesty. In truth, this habit, and this retreat, impart to 
a great dignity.'* It is singular to notice what stress French 
linds lay upon hecomingne-ss in every act or appearance they 
Bcord of a person. They admire great deeds ; but, above all, 
ley admire them greatly performed. 
To pai'ody Hamlet's words : — 

nightly to be great, 
Is, not to stir without great pompousaess, 
But greatlj to find grandeur in a straw. 

In the month of !N'ovember, 1683, Bossuet having undertaken 
announce to Madame de La Vallicre the death of the Count de 
^ennandois, she at fii'st shed many tei^rs ; but suddenly recovering 
lerself, she exclaimed : — ^^ I am weeping too much the death of a 
>n, whose birth I have not yet sufficiently wept." 

Fix>m the year 1675 to 1710, she lived practising the greatest 
5t>eritie3. She consecrated to heaven all that warmth of tender- 
iee3 which constituted lier natui*e ; and poured forth at the foot of 
l-die altar that passionate softness of which her heart was com- 
pounded. Her sweetness of temper enabled her to triumph in the 
worthiest — because the most Chiistian-spirrted manner — over her 
former rival ; for upon one occasion, when Madame de Montespan 
I came with the queen in April, 17G6, to see her, and inquii'ed if 
Ithere was any thing she wished to have said to the king, she 
' cvTided answering, with a grace and amiability the most complete, 
\ although feeling deeply hurt. Many years afterwards she achieved 


a still more signal triumph of meekness and forgiveness;! 
Ifailainft de Montespan, being herself no longer at court, ret 
to the convent of the Carmelites, where Madame de La Tallitre b^J 
came for her a kind of spiritual director. 

On the 6lh of June, IVIO, Louise de La Yalliere expired, i 
having been a long siiflerer from protracted and palnfiil infirmitki| 
The Abbe de Choisy, in his mcmoii^, has bequeathed U3 a irrit 
portrait of her : " Mademoiselle de La A^alli^re was not on 
those perfect beauties, who are often admired without being 
She was very lovcable, and this line of La Fontaine'^, 

' Et la graoe plus beUe encore que b bcauto/ 
[And grace more bcRutcous still ilian beauty's self,] 

deems to have been made expressly for her. She had a fine « 
plexion, an agreeable smile, blue eyes, with a look so tender, i 
at the same time so modest, that it awakened love and esteem !^ 
multaneously. Although possessed of little intellect, she never 1 
to cultivate it daily by continual reading. WitLout ambitio 
without vices, she was more occupied with tliinking of him »b 
loved, than with pleasing him. "VN'holly absorbed in herself 
her passion^ — wbich was the sole one of her life — ^prizing reputatio 
above all things, and eiposmg hei*self to the risk of death 
than once, rather than allow her frailty to be suspected ; 
tempered, liberal, timid, never forgetting that she had done 
ever hoping to return to the paths of virtue, this Christian 
ment obtained for her the treasures of Divine mercy, by cai 
her to pass a large portion of her life amid the solid and even i 
quisite joys of an austere penitence. From the time of her 
and the king's mutual attachment, she would never see her for 
friends, nor even hear speak of them ; solely occupied with he 
passion, which supplied to her the place of all else. It was not tl 
the king required of her this extreme seclusion ; he was not fore 



» be jealous — still loss, to be deceiveil. Bat it wa% tbat she wisli- 
3 constantly to see ber lover, or to think of him, without being 
isturbed by indiflferent pci'sons." 

This summary of her character wholly confirms our estimate of 
8 exclusiveness and limited qualities. It shows her tenderness ; 
nt it demonstrates that she was neither large-minded nor large- 
earted. It also offers another significant point of consideration— 
Ome out l)y similar particulars in the foregoing account of La 
"alliere — as displaj^ng the complaisance with which eqplesiastical 
ignitaries can extend leniency towards female error in the person 
f a king's mistress ; the moderation they can afford in treating of 
monarch's misdemeanours, and the chaiy terms in which they can" 
reas a royal favourite's lapse from virtue. Extenuation and apology 
ut on court sin. A poor deluded peasant-girl would have been 
Baped with scorn and reprobation ; while La VfiUicre is lauded as 
specimen of excellence, and hailed as an interesting and edifying 
lenitent. She has a palliative homily pronounced for her by a pro- 
)ective bishop ; her inaugural sermon is preached by one of France^s 
lost eminent prelates, an existing bishop; and her panegyric is 
litten by a literary Abb6. Queens, princesses, and marchionesses, 
to admire her ; a pattern-woman writes to her own daughter 
uding her ; while she herself is raised to be a duchess, and 
into a reputed saint. Verily, when female weakness is hardly 
with in the person of lowly women, it might be as well to 
mind the story of La Valliere. Error spnnging from a too 
r heart in those Loth indigent and ignorant, should jind some 
bearance, when the ultra-tenderness of La Valliere, rich, high* 
and educated, found such distinguished toleration. 

Luha Theresa was an embotliment of executive regality. She 
had the promptitude, forethought, and vigilance of a detective 
officer ; and discharged duty i^ith the rigid precision of a police- 
man. She was essentially practical, aud thoroughly industrious- 
minded. She was ready in an emergency, equal to a difficulty, 
and sturdy for order and regulation. She met reverses with bold- 
ness aud fortitude, and used prosperity for instituting reforms. 
She was greatly remedial ; remedying sudden mischances by en- 
countering them firmly ; and remedying existing evils with the 
strong hand of eradication. 

She was daughter of Charles ^^. of Austria, Emperor of Ger- 
many, and Elizabeth Christina, of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel. In 
default of male issue, Chai'les VI. appointed that his daughter, 
Maria Theresa, should be heiress of all the Austriau dominions • 
and, consent to this appointment — entitled the Pragmatic Sanction 
— ^was obtained from the Diet of the empire, aU the German 
princes, and several of th(f European powers. 

At the age of nineteen, Maria Theresa married Francis, of 
Lorraine ; who became Grand Duke of Tuscany the year after his 
nuptials; and accompanied by his consort, repau'ed to Florence. 
Upon her father^s death, in 1740, Maria Theresa lost no time in 




returning to Vienna, that ehe might assert her rights, and 
possession of those dominions bequeathed as her inheritance, 
had to maintain her patrimony against the varions claimants 
arose to dispute her succession : for the Elector of Bavaria, and 
Saxony, the Kings of Spain, France, and Sardinia, each adv; 
pretensions to certain portions of the Austrian Monarchy, wl 
they agreed to dismember, and di\ide among them in ri 

ares; while Frederick IL of Prussia, surnamed the Greal 
lei-ted that he was entitled to four Duchies in Sile^ 
Theresa met all these claims with the resolution and energy 
marked her character. She assumed immediate supremacy in 
Austria, Bohemia, and her other German states; and went R+rnVr^f 

to Presburg, took the constitutional oaths of Hungai,, 

caused herself to be proclainjed Queen of that kingdom. One of 
her first cares was to secm*e the joint nomination of her husband tw 
all the crowns she inherited ; conferring upon him the title of oo 
regent, while preserving to hei^elf all the rights of sovereignty 
guaranteed by the Pragmatic Sanction. ]\reautime her enemies 
pressed forward, Frederick of Prussia's offer to befriend the 
young monarch, on condition of her yielding SUesia to him, having 
been at once rejected, he proceeded to invade that province ; while 
the Elector of Bavaria, aided by France, marched upon Vienna, 
and forced Maria Theresa to retire from the capital. She rcpaircsl 
to Presburg, convoked the Hungarian Diet, and made personal 
appeal to them. Young, handsome, and spirited, she knew that the 
best method to secure the fealty of those assembled, was to arouse 
their chivalrous sentiment, and generous .feeling: she therefore flp* 
peared among them, bearing her little son in her arms, and said, 
that assailed on all sides by foes, abandoned by her friends, and 
,^ding even her own rehitives hostile to her, she had no hopes' 
,ve in the loyalty of those she addressed ; and that she had coma 

■s thev exiliri-r-l x-r.i ^..- -^ --. — "11 :_:^ r ; . : - 

Maria TIirT^L ' * * — -~ v 1.- " ~ ~ :i:l_ _!_.'_. T_ ' — 

the titir .-.: i ■ r 'rr^ :r- l-' - -.- ---.-..-_ - . -. 
female.] 7it iiL-r-r :r. . -_.------ 

lie act.r in H-zi^-ir- '^::~l - ".- .' ' :.-.-- T.- . 

oftheII:i::ririi:Lr-ri>: : T-: r: --_:::..:. 

whole mil;: j^:. Mr -z :-? i.-:i.-. :^: . ; --7 . -.- . 

queen':? ca-^r. 71 -7 : :.:- ,\L..-.-.- • 

the tr-X'j-s ?lr : -^1 ii>--' -.,-.-..-. - . . 

VL had l^f: ' -T -^.-n-: z...- ...:-.■ .■ 

tained ««:■! iirr7 : 11 : 1_: !.:..--■• • . ;- 

Engene'r r-rL— ri. -Li: - . -. i -._ - - -. - 

COULI }»-:tt^:r J-LirilTrT '':.-. ?•__-_.-. -. ' 

thou^azi'l trritir^." S l-r..v.-: -i". J. '.'..." ■ 
cinff hoitiliti-T^ IT ::- i!l v.r-'-. - - . - 

another cLilL =L-r ^sTTr •.....•:..- .->■-... - ;, ;^ 

raine: — " I hir-liv k- -r -;.'-..' .'-;.,... 
me,.where I can ly-: ::..' I: 7 --'->. •.;..•... - 
her throucrhoTit tLr; c :..-".:. ^*- 1 -iri; .!*! -. '.*' ;. • •^. • ' 

courage with whie!i -L- :..••: •!. :r.. ::r.i *;..•; r v. ..,,;* 
extricated hor-olf Iri-rn ti;-.-:.:. ••:.!' r: : i r-.;.-- * ' •. ■• .. f. s-.j I,- /,-..•, 
nentd; while the raultij.l'ci-:/ •.>:;-..■/'■:-- •l.r.t Min-.-itirnf;'! 1.. 1 /:,i , 
pympatliy suiroundi!:;: natioiL^ In Kiijj^Uuu' Uri' ' 

which her situation iiisjiired, ww h ^j,,. 

women there, that they dcten I 

Slim of one hundred thonsan 



widow, tlie Duchess Sarah, to be the mediom of their offer. It 
was deeply felt by IMaria Theresa ; but she did not think herself 
justified in accepting it at a time when the parliament Trera 
voting subsidies for her defence. 

Some of Maria Theresa's antagonists made peace \s'ith lier 
othei*s became her allies; and in*1745 the Elector of Bavaiia, wha 
had been created Emperor of Grermany, under the name of Charlel 
TH, dying, Maria Theresa's husband was called to the throne, 
Francis L The war of the Austrian succession was can'ied on 
during three years longer; when the peace of iVLs-la-ChapeUe, 
in 1748, terminated the struggle, leaving Maria Theresa in foil 
and undisturbed possession of all her hereditaiy dominions, with 
the exception of Silesia, which she had been compelled to violJ to 
. Frederick of Prussia. 

No sooner did Maria Theresa find herself settled in pcao^ful 
security, than she prepared to carry out her systems of internal 
reform. The vestiges of war were effaced; agriculture was 
revived ; commerce and the arts were encouraged ; shipping mte^ 
ests were regarded ; roads constructed and repaired ; Vienna was 
enlarged and embellished; manulactories of woollen clotjis, of 
porcelain, of glass, and silken stu&, were established. Science 
flourished in the foundation of several universities and colleges; 
while one of them, still enjoying celebrity, bears its sovereigu*5 
name m gratitude to its foundress — " Collegium Theresianum." 
Special schools of drawing, painting, and architecture were insti- 
tuted ; while Prague and Inspruck had public libraries endowed. 
Observatories, enriched with valual)le apparatus and instraments, 
arose in Vienna, in Gratz, and in Tii'nau ; Van Swiet^n was sum- 
moned to regenerate the study of medicine and surgery; and 
Metastasio was invited to help in disseminating a cultivation of the 
Italian muse on the banks of the Danube. Measures of import- 



ance and magnitude were effected by Maria Theresa in tlie govern- 
ment of her people. She introduced great nmelioration into the 
feudal system as it then existed in Bohemia; protecting the peas- 
antry from the worst oppressions of their seigneurial superiors, and 
freeing them from pei-sonal services, which she commuted for a 
snm of money. She abolished the torture m her hereditary states 
in lltPngary, and in Bohemia. Severe penalties were attached to 
literaiy ph'acy. She exerted herself to promote popular education 
thi'oughout her dominions, establishing a general system, and tak- 
ing means for its efficacious operation. She dinded into three 
»clas8es the schools she instituted : — firstly, " Normal Schools," one 
in each province, to serve as a model for all the other schools in 
the pro\ince ; secondly, " Principal School^" in the large towns ; 
and thirdly, " Conmiercial Schools," in the smaller towns and \il- 
.ages. The normal schools were superintended by a director: 
those of the large towns were under the supeiintendence of a 
magistrate ; and the commercial schools, under that of a parish 
priest, or an assessor of the communal council. A central commis- 
Bion of studies was likewise appointed for general super\T[sion of 
the -^diole, receiving annual reports, and examining candidates for 
masterships. Maria Theresa's practical mind, moreover, suggested 
that nominal labour should be added to intellectual culture in the 
instruction given at the communal schools. She granted extra 
emolument to those teachers whose wives taught the girk sewing, 
knitting, and spinning ; so that, children thus taught, were able to 
earn a daily addition to the family income. The system worked 
admirably ; and formed the basis of that extended popular educa- 
tion which operates so beneficially throughout the Austrian mon- 
archy. It was as if the ear of prescience had conveyed to Maria 
Tlieresa the import of Wordsworth's noble aspiration for a national 



" for the cotaiing of that glorious time 
When, prixing knowledge as her noblest wealth 
And best protection, this imperial Realm, 
M*hile Bhe exacts allegiance, shall admit 
An obligation, on her pari, to ieach 
Them vrho are born to serve her and obey ; 
Binding herself by statute to secure 
For all the children whom her soil maintains^ 
The rudiments of letters, and inform 
The mind with moral and religious truth, 
Both understood and practia'd — so that none, 
However destitute, be left to droop 
By timely culture unsustained ; or run 
Into a wild disorder ; or be forc"'d 
To drudgo through a weary life without the help 
Of intellectual implements and tools ; 
A savage hordo among the civiliz"'d, 
A servile band among the lordly free ! 
This sacred right the lisping babe proclaims 
To be inherent in hira by Heaven^s will, 
For the protection of his innocence; 
And the rude boy — who having overpassed 
The sinless age, by conscience is enroll'd, 
Yet mutinously knits his angry brow, 
And lifta his wilful baud on mi^tjhief bent, 
Or turns the godlike faculty of speech 
To impious use — by process indirect 
Declares his due, while he makes known his need. 
This sacred right is fruitlcs.'ily announo'd, 
This universal plea in vain addressed, 
To eyes and cars of parents who themsolrefl 
Did, in the time of their necessity', 
Urge it in vain ; and therefore, like a prayer 
That from the humblest floor ascends to Heaven 
It mounts to reach the state's parental ear ; 
Who, if indeed she own a mother's heart, 
And be not most unfeelingly devoid 
Of gratitude to Providence, will graCnt 
The unquestionable good." 

The active benefactions of Maria Tlierei^a embraced 



if her subjects, Tlie iniinu, or woimded soldiery, until tlien 
nffered to remain exi>osed to neglect, were received into large 
kospitals; wliile tlie widows of t)fficer8, and young ladies of decayed 
amilies, found refuge in asylums p^o^dded by liumanity and piety. 
^■Ih such a neighbour as Frederick of Prussia, Maria Tlieresa 
ould not but feci her period of peace to be a kind of armed 
«pose : she therefore maintained numerous troops, keeping them 
lonstantly exercised and disciplined; and she founded military 
icaderaies at Vienna, Neusfadt, and Antwei7>. 

iilaria Theresa was a pious Catholic ; but she yielded no im- 
)licit subservience to the court of Rome, and preserved strict 
liacrimination between spiritual and temporal jurisdictions. She 
naintained as a piinciple that all things, not of divine institution, 
li'ere subject to the supreme legislative authority of the state ; and 
reserved to the crown the right of executing several momentous 
reforms. She* effected some of these in the temporalities of the 
iergy ; and ordered all clerical property to be registered. She 
oppressed the pensions charged at Rome upon benefices ; and for- 
Hule the alienation of property in favour of ecclesiastical bodies. 
She "entrusted the spiritual rule of convents to the respective 
>ishops, and placed their secular afJairs under the controul of the 
livil magistrates. She restricted the arbitrary power of the Inqui- 
ution, then existing in her Italian dominions ; and withdrew from 
its hands the censorship of books, which she transferred to a com- 
niasion of civil magistrates appointed for that pnrpose. In Tus- 
•any, where government was administered by a council of regency 
name of her second son, Leopold, she directed that lay 
•re "Bhould be conjoined with the inquisitore in the prosecu- 
ion of all suits for heresy. The check she put upon the irrc^n 
ible and despotic operations of the Inquisition, led to its final 
iliahment in Lombardy and Tuscany at a sulweqnent period. 



Maria Theresa was a woman of the strictest morality. Sh* 
was imjuaculatcly virtaous herself; and she exercised seven? <ll«'i' 
pline over the morals of her snhjects. One of her acts i 
point in Shakespeare's play of " Measnre for Measnre ; " which, h 
the way, evinces the poet's extraordinary knowledge of local circnm- 
stances, and shows that in his time honses of ill-fame^ existed oa 


the same spot, as a Yienue^ public nuisance, which, at a later pfr 
riod, was cleansed by Maria Theresa's command. She suppressed 
the suburban taverns of Vienna, and endeavoured to clear bcr 
realms of impurity and vice, by exterminating haunts of proili* 
gacy, and by condemning their tenants to perpetual banishment 
Swarms of female dehnquents were conveyed down the Danube 
to manufactories established at Teneswar or Waradine, where they 
wore sentenced to hard labour. She carried her guardianship of 
public morals even into interference with the domestic arrfrnge- 
ments of her nobility ; for, if she discovered that a married noble» 
man so far forgot his conjugal duties as to court the smiles of an 
opera dancer, or other fraO celebrity, Maria Theresa sent her lieih 
tenant of police on a visit to the obnoxious personage, who, with- 
out farther ceremony, was ordered to take her departure from tlie 
Imperial city within twenty-four hours. The noted Signora Gabri- 
elli was thus summarily dismissed to her native city of Na])les, 
upon the empress's coming to the knowledge of the favours which 
this syren of song and gallantry conferred upon one of the noUe- 
men in her imperial Majesty's court. Rigorous etiquette was ft 
feature in !Maria Theresa's household : her own aucrast inflexibUitr 
both setting the example, and enforcing the observance of a 8tm<l 
decorum the most absolute. 

It must have cost the austere propriety of Maria Tbei'Cfia no 
slight effort, when she penned that letter to the meretricious fa- 
vourite of Louis XV., adtlressing Madame de Pompadour as " Ma 



cllt^re amie!" The necessity most have been stringent wLIcli 
could urge ilie imperial hand to trace such words as a form of ad- 
dress to such a woman. But Maria Theresa was not one to hesi- 
tate when a point was to be gained. Tliat she calculated justly in 
believing that her condescension would have its desired eflfect, was 
proved by the event; Prince Kaunitz, who possessed the entire 
coniidence of the empress, had been despatched by Maria Theresa, 
embassador to the coui*t of VereaiUes, with a view to inducing the 
French king to enter into fi'iendly alliance with Austria. For 
Bome time the royal favourite exercised her influence to prevent 
tjoms XV. from listening to the embassador's proposals ; — but 
when imperial prude-pimctilio yielded to imperial policy, and a 
letter came from Mariar Theresa to herself, beginning " Ma chere 
ajnie^ Pompadoui-'s self-love was so agreeably flattered, that she 
used her utmost efforts to obtain the king's acquiescence with the 
empress's wishes ; and France, long inimical to her claims upon the 
Aui5trian succeasion, became one of Maiia Theresa's most powerful 

It was in. memory of the success which crowned her arms at 
tlie* battle of Kollin, when victory was obtained under Marshal 
Daun, that Maria Tlieresa instituted the militaiy order whicli bears 
her name : and the peace of Hubertsbom-g, on the 15th February, 
1Y63, terminated the seven years' war, which Frederick the Great 
waged against the combined forces of Kussia, France, and Austria. 
It ended, lea^ing Austria with the same boundary of dominion as 
at its commencement. It is strange that the small amount of bu1> 
stantial alteration effected by war, seems never to teach mankind 
any lesson ; they still pertinaciously continue to expend millions of 
wealth, shed rivers of blood, and destroy multitudes of komes, in 
this fatal game — a game wherein all parties are losers. 

In the year 1765, the Emperor Francis I. died ; imd Maria The- 



resa lost a husband to whom she was strongly attached. She 
moui'ning for him until the period of her own decease ; and visited 
monthly the imperial mausoleum where his ashes reposed. Ilumit-^ 
ed with images of death, she caused her own coffin to he 
and sewed her shroud herself. In these very grave-clothes — n 
secretly by her own hand — it is said she was ultimately burie 
But while in private dedicating her thoughts to funereal reflection,' ' 
she still gave her attention to political interests and public dndei 
The dazzhug successes of a woman who, like herself, occupied an 
imperial throne with extraordinary pomp and brilliancy, excited 
her notice, and drew forth her energies into their wonted activity. | 
Catherine II. bore so hard upon Turkey by her force of arms, tlial | 
Liana ITieresa hastened to declare her intention of makini? common 
cause with the Ottomans, if the Russian troops crossed the Dan* | 
ube. A convention had even been already signed between Austria 
and the Sublime Porte at Constantinople, in 17 Tl. But on asud* 
den, a mutual underetanding was visibly taking place between tlie 
two empresses; and Europe was far fi'om conjecturing its cause.] 
It was only at the end of a twelvemonth that the dismemberment] 
of Poland, concerted between the courts of Petei*sburg, Berlin, and] 
Vienna, was made public by acts of taking possession, and by 
manifestos. Maria Theresa's jiarticipation in the iniquitous decdj 
of the partition of Poland rests a blot upon the policy of he 
reign. She has been rescued from the charge of having originated I 
the plan ; since the document of the secret convention, signed nt j 
St Petereburg on the 17th February, 1772, exists to prove 
contrary ; wherein it is stated that if the comt of Austria rcfu 
consent to the plan of partition, Prussia and Russiii will comlwne 
against her. This presented to Maiia Theresa a perplexing dde 
ma. She had to abandon Turkey to its fate ; and, moreover, 
risk a rupture with France, whose direct interest it was to suppor 



She soimded tlie court of Versailles ; and its hesitation 
iing her, she agreed to the dismemlierment and partition in 
3n. Her allotted share was sumptnoiis ; among other acqui- 
I were the lucrative salt districts of AVielitzka, Bochnia, and 
Dr. Amid the general-outcry that arose in Europe against 
5wned spoliators, Prederick the Great slily observed : — " As 
B, I fully expected all this uproar of blame ; but what will 
[ly of her saintship, my cousin ? " His cousin of Austria, the 
?us IMaria Theresa, was not a woman to care for popular dis- 
probation, when she had satisfactorily achieved a purpose, or 
^^ an advantage. She acted on the principle, " faites bien, et 
ms 'dire ; " especially when the " faites bien " could be interpre- 
U^ the large and double sense of the phrase rendered into Eng- 
l^do well." Thus considered, Maria Theresa was perfectly 
itent to " do well, and let them talk." 

On the death of her husband, Francis L, their son was elected 
peror, as Joseph II. : but Mai*ia Theresa continued to hold the 

Kf government ; using the power she retained, for the bene- 
Tile of her subjects. She exercised firm sway, and carried 
thority to the verge of hardness. She was an imperial mar- 
^t Whatever she deemed right, was to be done at all hazards ; 
atever she judged expedient, was to be fulfilled, without demur, 
I at any cost. An incident is related of her despotic decree in 
latter where she had willed obedience, which led to the sacri- 
Hf one of her own children. Her young daughter, the arch- 
jhess Maria Josepha, had been espoused by proxy to the 
g of the two Sicilies ; and pre\iously to the bride's depai'twre 
Naples, the empress-mother insisted that she should visit the 
penal sepulchre, and perform her orisons on the tomb of her 
tteed ancestors. A beloved sister had been lately laid there, 
^im to the ravages of that fearful disease, malignant smaU- 



pox; and the young princess siifiered invincible teiTor at the] 
thoiigbt of repairing to this gloomy spot She threw herself on bffj 
knees, entreated to be spared this shock, pleaded the dread i<he ( 
tertained lest her vivid recollection of the horrors slie had lately J 
witnessed in the death of her sister fj*Dm the awful malady, and he 
own fear of infection, niight lead to fatal consequences : — ^bot j 
in vain. Maria Theresa's fiat had gone forth ; and her will mn 
be obeyed. • The poor girPs alarm was but too well founded ; 
whether from this very pre-concelved and pre-disposing fright, ( 
whether from other causes, the bride-queen sickened and diedi 
short time after her enforced descent into the imperial raultai^ 
submission to her mother's command. Maria Theresa's st€ 
of discipline in exacting the fulfilment of a religious obscr 
and what she deemed an act of duty, sufficiently explains the mo 
tive of this cruel inexorability : but there are not wanting tho 
who impute the empress's tjrrannous conduct towards the yoimgl 
!Maria Josepha, to the fact of her being the only one of Jkl 
Theresa's daughters whom she could not hope to make the mediu 
of arriving at knowledge useful to her in her course of for 
policy. It was believed that the spirit of intrigue and mane 
belonging to diplomacy, caused Maria Theresa to make the 
ances of her beautiful daughters, the young arch-duchesses, with ^ 
ous crowned heads, a means of getting at the secret councils oft 
several cabinets in Europe ; and Maria Josepha was sup]>osed toj 
have shown symptoms that she would not prove equally tractal 
in revealing her consort's secrets. However, the fate of Marie 
tomette, and that of Maria Carolina, who subsequently bee 
quetn of Naples, in place of the deceased Maria Josepha, make ifl 
doubtful M'hether the gentle gh-l who died in her youth, had ; 
after all, a better destiny than her sistei-s. The tragical end of I 
Marie Antoinette, and the career of turmoil, conflict, aiid j)eril tla 



uttendeil jMaria Carolina to tLe close of life, makes tlie early death 
the yoimg creature who evinced sufficient moral principle to 
ider her betrayal of her future husband's confidence a matter of 
lonbt, appeal* blessed in compai'ison. 

In Belgium, Slaria Theresa was regarded with esteem and ven- 
tiou ; and her sulyects there proved, their attachment, by the 
idinesa with which they advanced the loans required by her 
I the prosecution of the seven years' war. 

Her adminstration of government in Lombardy was conducted 

fith energy and efficiency. Her minister, Count Firmian, carried 

Dut his imperial mistress's views with judicious exactitude. !Maria 

leresa gave orders for a new " ceusimento," or valuation of es- 

for the purpose of equitalily assessing the land-tax ; she 

inscd to be m^ade the " bilancio camerale," or regular budget of 

16 public revenue; she put a stop to a custom that had obtained 

lof farming out the vaiious branches of the indirect duties to the 

lighest bidder; she made regulations to protect the peasantry 

rainst the oppression of their feudal superior, and established 

Irepresentative communal council to superintend the local expen- 

iitnre : in short, she began and made considerable progress in 

effecting that great legislative and administrative reform which 

Lafterwards gained ground under her son and successor, Joseph II. 

iXhe encoui'ageraent which her minister, Count Firmian, gave to 

I men of letters, protecting them agtiinst the cabals of their enemies, 

i and conferring honourable offices upon themselves, reflected credit 

upon the imperial mistress in whose name he acted. Carli was 

I constituted j)resident of the council of commerce ; Beccaria was ap- 

I pointed professor of political philosophy ; and Pietro Verri was 

ie counsellor and president of the board of finance : while the 

lom and judgment of these able men were turned to state *ad- 



vantage, hj tlieir suggestions and ad^^ce being sought, lienrd frndl 

During Maria Theresa's sway, the "naviglio," or nangablccaajil| 
of Pademo, which join* the Adda to the Martesana, was executed I 
At the period of her coming into peaceable possession of LombardfJ 
in 1749, the duchy of Mikn numbered nine hundred thousand iu-\ 
habitants ; and in 1770 the population had increased to the] 
amount of a million one hundred and thirty thousand. E 
his " Storia d'ltalia," bears testimony to the merita of Maria Til^ I 
resa's government there, when he says : — " Lombardy had never] 
enjoyed so muoJi happiues.s and tranquillity as underher reign:— it j 
13 recorded to her praise, that she desii*ed to l)e informed of c? 
act of the administration ; that she afforded the poor and humWe,] 
as well as the noble and rich, free access to her presence ; that she j 
listened benignantly to all, either granting their petitions, or, ifehel 
denied them, giving reasons for her refusal, without delusive pronhl 
ises, or vague evasions. Just before her death, she declared tlutj 
if any thing reprehensible had been done in her name, it was ce^J 
taiuly without her knowledge, as she had always desired the vel* 
fi^'e of her subjects. During a forty years' reign, she invariably 
showed a love of justice and truth ; and she stated, as a principle 
of her conduct, that it is only the pleasure of alleviating dj3tr«B| 
and doing good to the people that can render the weight of i 
crowTi sujiportable to the wearer." 

Mai'ia Theresa gloried in the character of a benefactor ;- 
liked to bestow. She preferred that all advantages should Ao« 
from her immediate gift, rather than that they should Le obtaiae 
by iudepeudent exertion. This is precisely the bias of character 
which renders a sovereign in what is called £v " paternal govc 
ment," valuable to his or her subjects. Possessing thia inclLnatioij 

confer benefit, unrestricted poTver in n monarcli is advantageous ; 
mt Lunian beings, with tlieir fallible and imperfect natures are 
toely so fiiTn and constant in good intention as to be safely 
sntrusted witli limitless and iiTesponsible sway. Maria Theresa 
gained the title of " Mother of her people f and she deserved 
tf "by her benevolent solicitude for their interest ; at the same 
ime, it cannot be doubted that a queen like Isabella of Castile, 
rho considered pnbhc opinion, popular feeling, and even national 
>rejudice in acting for her subjects, was a nobler sovereign than 
he Empress Maria Theresa, who consulted chiefly her own views 
nd judgment in what she • decreed for the benefit of those she 
vied. Some of the anecdotes recorded by her biographers as 
►roof of her inexhaustible charity and goodness of heart, confirm 
he impression of that self-emanation which is to be traced in all* 
icr conduct. She seemed as if she wished every benefit to her 
nitjecta could proceed . directly from her own hand, — ^that she 
K)uld confer advantage by a nod ; or shower blessmgs upon them 
it a breath. One of these related incidents not only illustrates 
phis view of her character, but it tends to exhibit its haughty 
)elief in its own right to dispense advantage proportionately with 
ta desire to do so. Her imperial majesty's will to do good, 
challenges equality with Divine ordination ; and claims the power 
:o relieve distress in emulation of Omnipotence :-=-thus curiously 
arrogant in their fancied humility, are these austerely strict per- 
sonages apt to be. This is the anecdote in question : — one day, 
having perceived in the vicinity of her palace, a poor woman and 
two children, starving for want of food, she exclaimed in a tone of 
;Le deepest grief; — '*Alas! what have I done to Providence, that 
Bnch a fearfid spectacle should afflict my sight, and disgrace my 
reign V^ And thereupon she gave orders that the nniortunate 
Mother should be served with viands from her own table ; caused 


her to Le brought into Ler presence, questioned lier, and assigwd 
her a pennion from her own private funds. 

The sacrifioe of personal ease which Maria Theresa was ever 
ready to make in the discharge of her duty, tlie scrnpulous eiK^ 
ness ^nth which she fulfilled the various demands of her high gU* 
tion, the unl)lemished virtue of her own life, command the highest 
respect. She had been heard to say: — "I reproach, myself^ 
the time I spend in sleep, as so much robbed from my people." 

Frederick the Great, although politically her foe, entertained 
esteem for Maria Theresa's character, and manifested concern when 
he heard of her death. What he wrote to D'Alembert relative to 
her, testifies the sentiments with which ho regarded his imperial 
kinswoman. He said, that " although he had made war agaiasl 
her, he had never been her personal enemy ; that he had always 
respected her, and that she was an honour to her sex, and the 
glory of her throne." 

A contest for the succession of Bavaria, to whicb Joseph D. 
had induced his imperial mother to lay claim, was lirought to a 
close by the mediation of France and Russia, and residted in what 
Frederick of Prussia called " a war of the pen." Austria *was com* 
pelled to renounce its pretension, and the peace of Teschen^in 
1779, which terminated the affair, was the last political act of 
Maria Theresa. 

She expired at the age of sixty-three, on the 20th of Novem 
ber, 1780, leaving eight children; among whom the mcst remark- 
able are the Emperore Joseph IL and Leopold IL ; the Queen of 
Naples, Maria Carolina, and the Queen of France, Marie An- 

With Maria Theresa the house of Austria-IIapsburg ceased; 
and the present dynasty of Austria-Lorraine commenced. 

Possessed of great beauty, and a fine person, the dignity of thb 


egal woman's manner set ojQ^ her higli rank, and gave effect to her 
istingmshed mental qualities, 

Maiia Theresa was one of those energetic, active-thonghted 
romen, whose peculiar characteristics co-exist with the very»re- 
erse of a volnptmous temperament. She had none of the weak- 
esses incident to impassioned or sensuous natures; but at the 
ime time she had few of the generous impulses or warm emotions 
hicli belong to more ardent spirits. She was exempted by her 
sm inherent disposition from falling into error ; and the model of ^ 
irtue that she presented both in- her public and her private con- 
act, was a constitutional merit. 

Maria Theresa forms a striking picture of an Imperial "Woman 
r Business. 


This sovereign may he cited, as. a notorious, example of female 
oarseness. She was essentially a woman of gross appetites. Her 
Umbition was gross j-^itsickeued at no deed lipwever violent, 
laowever unscrupuloug,' to; secure its [object/ • Her love of .glory was 
^oss; — it strove atachieving.sliowy and ostentatious acts, rather 
tlian beneficial ones, for lierj^eople. Her love of fame was gross ; — 
condescending to; court. applause, : and cajole into flattering repre- 
acntation those who she thoucrht would be the chroniclers of her 
Tcign. Her love,- as regarded the affections, was gross — since it con- 
sisted in the most sensual and undisguised preference for those 
men distinguished by merely handsome persons : and .her love of 
the table was only, not gross, because her vanity led her to guard 
against the ill effects which excess in eating and drinking would 
have upon her good looks. She was a kind of female Henry the 
EightL Like him, not without talent — even great talent ; but 
combined with so large a preponderance of animal propensity, as 
to make the intellectual become merged in the physical nature. 
The nearest approach to an excuse for her private conduct, is, that 
in reading the history of her Russian predecessors, we perceive 
Catherine's mode of life to be no worse than the usual course pui^ 
eued by these semi-barbarians ; where swinish indulgence went 




hand in hand with cost and luxury ; where the only idea of refine- 
ment was expense and profusion ; where, wallowing in all kinds of 
debauchery was held to he the height of regal privilege; and 
where a monarch surnamed " the great," used to chastise those wki 
offended him with "blows, and administered corporeal punishment to 
culprits with his own royal hand, striking off their heads or inflict- 
ing the knout, as the case might be, instead of the headsman of 
common executioner. He not only struck ^Wth his fist courtiers, 
generals, and ministers, who committed slight faults ; but when tie 
Archbishop of Novogorod, the primate of Russia, crossed his wiD 
on one occasion, he brought him to obedience, by the means he 
used to any of his subjects who displeased him — ^by a shower of 
blows from a stick. 

The Empress Elizabeth daughter to Peter L and sister to 
Peter IT., named as her successor to the throne of Russia, her 
nephew, the young Buke of Holstein Gottorp, who afterwaiils 
reigned as Peter IIL lib imperial aunt chose him a consort in 
the person of Sophia Augusta von Anhalt, a princess possessed of 
youth and prettiness sufficient to attract the liking of the imperial 
heir ; and after changing her name to that of Catherina Alexiewna 
on adopting the Greek form of fifith, the marriage was decided 
upon. Catherine was about one year younger than her appointed 
husband; born at Stettin, on the 25th of April, 1729. She was 
BLSteen yeara of age when married to the Grand-duke of Rnssi^L 
But before the nuptials were solemnized, the intended bridegroom 
was attacked by a ^^olent fever, which terminated in malignant 
smaU-pox; and when he recovered from the malady, it hadao 
altered and disfigured him, that he was hardly recognizahla. 
Catherine's mother, the Princess of Zerbst- Anhalt, an intriguing and 
aspiring woman, used her utmost eftbrts to prepare her daughter 
for the change in her lover's appearance ; and this precaution not 


only enabled Catherine to controul any e^adence of disgust, but 
inspired lier witli sufficient courage and dissimulation to run 
Awards liini and express lier joy, on first seeing liim after liig 
restoration to health. Courage and dissimulation formed a part of 
Catherine's character. She never wanted for boldness in emer- 
gency, or for power of concealing her real feelings under an appear 
ance of ease and cheerfulness. On the present occasion, her feign 
ed delight cost her so great an effort, that on reaching her own 
opai-tment after the interview, she fell down in a swoon that lasted 
three hours, ere she recovered from her state of insensi]>llity. 

But on regaining her senses, they retnrned to her in their 
usual condition of sharp greed and blunted delicacy. She mastered 
lier disinclination for the present husband, by the strengtli of her 
inclination for the future emperor, and the marriage was celebrated. 
From such a beginning, what could ensue but unhappy wedlock ? — 
mutual indifterence ; mutual neglect ; mutual aversion. He, ill- 
educated, ill-mannered, and of intemperate habits, spent his time in 
drinking and revelry with boon companions : she, sprightly, well- 
informed, speaking several languages with facility and elegance, 
fond of company, amusement, and pleasure : he, ashamed and 
vexed at his wife's superiority of intelligence; she, vexed and 
asliamed of her husband's inferiority to herself. In a court like that 
in which the young couple lived, there were not wanting those 
who found their own interests in fomenting the mutual disagree- 
ment between the Grand-duke and Grand-duchess, and in re- 
presenting it disadvantageously to the Empress-aunt; while even 
those who were swayed by honcster motives, and ventured to re- 
monstrate with Elizabeth on the ignorance and want of cultm^e in 
which the heir to her throne was suffered to remain, were defeated in 
their attempts to effect improvement. Not only did the Grand- 
duke's own want of mental capacity with degraded tastes and hal)- 




its militate against his advancement, but the empress felt tkt 
strange mixture of kindliness and jealousy which is fireq^uently 
visible in reigning sovereigns towards their appointed heiiu It u 
said that one of these honester persons about the court (a privi- 
leged tire-woman of the empress) dared to express her wonder 
that her imperial mistress should not allow the Grand-duke to afc» 
tend the council-board, saying: — " If you do not let him learn any 
thing of that which he ought to know in order to govern, what do 
you think will become of him, and what vn\\ become of the em- 
pire ? " The empress made no other reply than by fixing her eyes 
angrily upon the speaker, with the words : — " Johanna, do you 
know where Siberia is ? " 

But for one generous partizau, there were scores of insidious en(> 
mies, who asked no better than the opportunities afforded by his 
own misconduct for injuring the Grand-duke in the opinion of )ai 
imperial aunt, and leading his young wife into retaliation of neg- 
lect and infidelity. They magnified his faults in repeating them to 
the empress ; they took advantage of his indifference towards i 
Catherine to seduce her fi'om him. The grand-chancellor, Besttn 
chefl^ was his chief enemy, politically, and strove to destroy bis \ 
favour with Elizal^eth ; while his chamberlain, Soltikoff, found 
means to supplant him in the good graces of Catherine. The em- 
press had bestowed on her nephew, on the occasion of his marriage, a j 
small palaco with pleasure-grounds, called Oranienbaum ; and here 
the Grand-duke and Duchess held theu' little court. Here it was, 
that in idleness, and the evils that grow out of idleness, the Grand- 
didce lounged away his time ; and here it was, that partly insti- 
gated by the hitriguing spirit of a vicious and unscrupulous mo- ] 
ther, and partly inspired liy natural inclLnation, the Grand-duche« | 
began her career of gallantry and political manoeuvre, pleasure, 
and ambitious plotting, that eventually flourished in such rampant 

growth. Tlie Princess of Zerbst-Anbalt instilled into lier daugliter 
ppeceptg of circumsi^ection and cantion ; and set her the example 
of joining craft with licence. Having awakened suspicion by her 
trickery and diplomacy, she waa watched ; her movements nar- , 
rowly observed: she hail , therefore, some difficulty in conveying 
Iier communications to those with whom she was in correspond- 
ence, soiTounded as she was by vigilant espial. Being at one of 
the court balls at Oranienbaum, and desiring to get a letter 
iraiLsmitted to her brother the King of Sweden, the princess, with 
her daughter, the Grand-tluchess, approached Lestocq, who waa a 
confidential emissary ; and, as ho stood convei"siug vdih a circle of 
ladies, the Grand-duchess threw hini her glove, saying she would 
dance with him, Lestocq perceived that it held a paper, and said 
with a ready smile : — " I accept your challenge, madam ; but in- 
stead of returning you your glove, favour me with its fellow, that 
I may present them both to my wife; and then your gracious pres- 
ent will l^e complete ; '' — and, securing the gloves within his vest, 
the moment the dance was concluded, the adroit courtier quitted 
the ball-room, lest the empress should have him searched before he 
could retire. 

Such was the school of intrigue in which Catherine graduated ; 
an apt pupil, she became an accomplished proficient in the art, and 
eventually excelled the maternal mistress under whose professor- 
ship she took her degrees. The Princess of Zerbst, soon after this, 
received an impeiial order to leave Kussia ; but the seed of her 
instructions remained behind to rcach maturity in the after-conduct 
of her daughter, the Grand-duchess. 

Catherine beheld her mother depart with regret ; but speedily 
a round of entertainments given at Oranienbaum, by the contriv- 
ance of the^ young chamberlain, Soltikof^ who suggested them 
to the Grand-duke for the behoof of the Grand-duchess, effaced 



all tLouglits but those of gaiety, gallantry, aud more deep 
beneath the semblance of frivolous pastime and festive amusement 
The bii'th of a son (who afterwards reigned as Paul I.) brougk 
little change of sedateness or higher moral feeling to Catlieriae. 
She cared no more for her husband now than she had ever done; 
and when the empress's eyes were opened to the scandal of the 
Grandnluchess's too great favour to Soltikoif. and that Elizabeth 
had sent him on an embassage to remote him from Russia, Cathe- 
rine replaced her first lover by a second. Count Poniatowsky. The 
chancellor, Bestuchefl^ who had been a main agent in effecting 
the removal of Soltikoffj lost no opportunity of conciliating tli€ 
good graces of the Grandnluchess, by favoring her partiality for 
Puniatowsky; and he prosecuted his schemes against the Grand- 
duke, by strengthening the i^arty which was gradually forming it- 
self in secret around the Grand-duchess, and making her interesta 
its centre ; but a counter-cabal was plotted against Bestuchef^ which 
ended in his disgrace, and the appointment of Count Worou2otf to 
succeed him in his office of chancellor. The picture of courtrcabala 
and com-t-intrigues in this Russian histor}', is deplorable, — and 
revolting as deplorable ; — ^but it affords a striking instance of the 
unenviable life passed amid such scenes. While one party scheined 
to undermine the Grand-duke in the favour of the empress, auoth^ 
vied in ministering to his low pleasures; and he himself passed bis 
hours in ajiing Frederick the Great, dressing up the soldiers in the 
Prussian uniform, mimicing the look, tone, and manners of his mili- 
tary idol ; and in the midst of his drunken rant, vowing that he 
would one day conquer the whole North, and imit-ate the great 
Frederick in the minutest particular himself, w^hile making all his 
subjects follow in the same track. One of thos^ who most vilely 
flattered tlie Grand-duke's coarse tastes, and shared in his lx^iste^ 
ous orgies, was Romanowna Woronzoff, sister to the chancellor who 



•lad suecceded BestucLeff; wliile the Princess Dasclikoff, anothei 
«f WoronzotYs sisters, attacht^d Lerself to the party of the Grand 
dachess, — planning pastimes, and hatching designs, with e<pial zeal 
^and vivacity. Meantime, the empress, Elizabeth, was rapidly 
declining in health ; but, with her natural indolence joined to her 
loatksome habits of excess, she neglected state affau's, and thought 
OdIj of balk, feasts, masquerades, and theatres, eating and drink- 
ingy and sleeping off the effects of her intemperance. When lier 
iUoesA oould no longer be mistaken, and her danger became immi- 
lient^ her death-bed was made a scene of indecent party-influence, 
and hollow mockery of the nearest relationships. The confessor 
of the empress was biassed by Comit Panino, tutor of the young 
Prince Paul, to induce the dying w^oman to affect a reconciliation 
1^ trith her nephew and his wife, in order that the interests of the 
boy-heir might not be prejudiced: a profession of esteem and at- 
tachment was therefore dictated by these intriguer, and uttered by 
Eliaabeth in favour of two people kneeling by her bedside as she lay 
there dying, whom she had long held in contempt and dislike. A 
Tib of monstrous and glaiing flagrancy, put into the mouth of an 
expiring sovereign by her spiritual du*ector at the instigation of 
a flC'lf-seekiug courtier, in presence of conniving attendanta, and 
addressed to hypocritical mourners ! — a more abhorrent picture of 
eonrt depravity could hardly be adduced. A biographer of this 
einpreiis, Elizabeth, sums up her chai*acter in these pithy words :-^ 
'^Her devotions often rendered her impious, and her clemency 
cruel " He adds in illustration, that " who had made a vow not to 
permit any sentence of death to be executed duiing her reign ; and 
the judges, therefore^ who could not have criminals belieadeJ, causcil 
tbcm to perish by the barbarous torture of the knout Moreover, 
never were there more tongues cut out, or moi'e wretches exiled to 
Siberia, than beneath the sway of this princess, so unworthily »ui^ 


named, * tlio clement/ Two anecdotes suffice to cliaracteria* 
Observing tliat one of tlie court-ladies assisting at her toilette 
in pain, she asked her the reason : * My legs are much 
answered the lady. * "VYell, then,' replied Elizabeth, ' le^n agai 
that bureau, and I will pretend not to see you.' She never 
mitted the ladies of the court to wear the same fashions and 
als as herself; to adopt them they must wait until she had done 
them, it Is true, indeed, that she changed them frequently ; for at 
her death, wei-e found in her wardrobe thirty thousand dresses." 

On the demise of the Empress Elizabeth, the Grand-dnb 
ascended the throne as Pi3ter HL, and at fii*st showed very diffe> 
ently in his new character of emperor from what he had done as 
heir to the crown. He showed himself just, forbearing, and beae- 
volent. Ke treated his wife ynth. consideration and respect; h 
behaved with generosity to those who had been friendly to hs 
cause, and with almost magnanimity towards those who had heea 
inimical to him. He recalled fi'om Siberia several of those wk 
had been tyrannously banished thither ; and the people, in conse- 
quence of these auspicious omens, hailed with enthusiasm tliis 
earnest of excellence in their new ruler. But this fit of good cote- 
duct was as transient as it was suddeu : he fell back into his old 
habits ; — he ceased to treat his wife with decent regard ; he paaeed 
his days in debauchery with his riotous companions, paid public 
attentions to llomanowna, Countess of Woronzoff, while openly 
slighting Catherine ; played off his absm'd baboonery of Frederick 
the Great ; and lastl}^, — to crown his delinquencies in the eyes of his 
subjects, — he made no secret of preferring the Lutheran to the 
Greek church. He lost his popularity in proportion as he tbos 
affronted the predilections of his subjects ; — he even went so far as 
to risk offending them, by devising a plan to repudiate his wife 
Catherine ; declaring her son, Prince Paul, to be illegitimate ; and, 



effecting the divorce and disgrace of tlie mother, creating his 

ilstress, Komanowna, empress in her stead. His only demur to 

ie scheme was, as to whom he should appoint for his successor in 

lien of the yotmg prince, Paul, A^Tien the previous empress, 

abeth, had been placed on the throne of Russia, Ivan, son to a 

ce of the empress, Anne, had been deprived of his appointed in- 

leritiince to make way for Elizabeth's accession : since when, this 

fortunate prince had languished in a prison-dungeon. Peter TTf. 

^bought of Ivan for his successor; he determined, therefore, to 

pair to the fortress of Schlusselburg ; where, in a secret interview, 

lannounced and unknown, he might judge of the prisoner's fitness 

iTor the post to which he destined him. This melo-dramatic inter- 

iew actually took place; and the Prince Ivan's behaviour was 

ich as to afford no reason that should induce the emperor to ulter 

intentions with regai*d to him ; nevertheless, he took no active 

to fulfil them, — ^having neither the mental resources, nor tlie 

>urage for carrying out such an enterprise against a woman of 

ich talent as he knew his wife to possess. 

But although these intentions* of Peter HI. were neither exe- 

ited nor known in their full estent to Catherine, their scope was 

ifficiently suspected to render her eager to frame some plan by 

rhich she might take advantage of the animosity they would gene- 

ite against her husband, and the interest they would inspire 

>wards hei^lf and son, so as to effect a decided movement in her 

ivour. Living retired at the palace of Peterhof, she hail leisure 

act only to devise schemes and conspiracies, but to replace Ponia- 

3wsky by a new favourite, — Gregory Orloff. This young officer was 

^ot only a gallant peculiarly suited to the taste of the imperial 

le-libertine, but he was a valuable confederate in the plot that 

Catherine was now designing in combination with the Princess 

)aschkoff ; whose spirit of intrigue and general cleverness render- 



ed lier a most active assistant in tlie secret project for detb 
Peter III., and causing CatLerine to be constituted empress i 
Btead. Under pretence of literary pursuits, and other elei 
amusements enjoyed together in the retirement of Peterhof, and io 
correspondence by letter, when the princess occasionally repaired 
to Petersburg in order the more effectually to prosecute their (OBf 
certed plans, Catherine and this lady carried on the coi 
aided by Orloff and his brothere; with Bibikofl^ Odart, iaum-. 
Razoumoff^iky, Wolkousky, the Archbishop of Novogorod, Glcbcrf? 
and others ; and oidy waited for a favourable opportunity to 
their designs in execution. Tlie membei's of the confedi 
differed in their several views respecting the plot in its ultimst* 
result, as they did in the measur(^ most advisable for its carrrii^ 
out. Catherine, ahd a few of her more devoted partizans, were for 
placing her on the throne as empress : others, — Panino chiefly,— 
were for appointing her regent during the minority of her son, 
Prince Paul. With regard to the manner of conducting the revoHi 
there were also differing opinions: some were for awaiting tk 
celebration of the festival of St Peter at the Palace of Peterhof 
which always occasioned a vast assemblage of maskers and revd* 
lers there: and the emperor's person might be secured daring one d 
the orgies sure to form part of the entertainment when he arrired 
Othei-s counselled more direct and open \nolence. Lieuteimtt 
Passeck, — a ferocious soldier and savage, — proposed stabbing hla 
in the midst of his court ; and he stationed himself with one of hil 
comrades in ambuscade during two whole days, with the intention 
of surpi-ising the czar as he passed ; but it so chanced that Petef 
did not come as expected. By means of Orloff and his brother^ 
some regiments of the troops were gained over ; and through thfi 
medium of a borroW.ed sum of money, Catherine bought over otJier 



soldiery, seeing tliat itwasgieatly essential tTiat tlie military 
be on lier side when the outbreak came, 
the mean time, the czar was preparing, on his part, a scheme 
only awaited the celebration of the festival of his namesake 
br execution. He intended an expedition against Denmark, for 
the Russian fleet was equipped and lay ready, partly at Cron- 
partly at Revel ; while the regiments that were to accompany 
ly land, were already assembling in Pomerania. The invasion 
lilstein was one of his objects ; and a visit to his idol and model, 
ing of Prussia, formed a scarcely less important one. Dm-lug 
ince, the arrest of Catherine was to take placd, as the fii-st 
her repudiation ; but she trusted that she might anticipate 
this plan, by her own. All now wanting, was opportunity, 
i was not glow in presenting itself. An inadvertence at 
iburg, had nearly occasioned the discovery there of the con- 
Iracy that was brewing; and this incident hastened its crisis. 
a the Princess Daschkoff's learning from one of her spies what . 
\d chanced, she dressed herself in men^s clothes, went out to 
set the chief conspirators, decided with them that it was best 
►t to wait till morning, but to take advantage of the silence 
id darkness of the night then setting in: — while, tjierefore, 
regory Orloff.and Bibikoff went to the barracks to prepare th^ 
Idiers to act at the first given signal, Alexius Orloff undertook to 

ing Catherine from Peterhof. 

Under pretext of leaving the principal apartments fi'ee for the 
►proaohing festival to be held here ; but, in fact, to be the better 
ady for getting, away, Catherine had established hei-self in a 
summer-house, situated at the extremity of the garden- 
;ds, on the banks of the gulf of Finland ; where a small vessel 
t hand, serving for clandestine visits from her gallants, and 




for metam of escape to Sweden, sliould the consi^iracy be discoT 
It is said, (and the anecdote is related as having been told by ] 
self,) that happening to walk through these grounds on the eve^ 
the insurrection, Cathei*ine perceived a seedling oak groTingl 
there, and being struck by thus meeting with a species of tree | 
somewhat rai-e in that country, she had it enclosed and pi 
Subsequently, growing into a fine tree, Catherine took pleasure m 
regarding it as an emblem of her reign. 

Alexius Orloff had been supplied by his brother Gregory vvk 
the key of the summer-house, and with instruction how to fiod bk 
way to the spot; while the Princess Daschkoff had given him A 
note, lu-ging -the empress to accompany him, without delay, to | 

It was two houi-s past midnight; — the empress expecting no I 
farther intelligence, had retired to rest, and was fast aisleei>, when 
she felt herself abruptly aroused, and saw standing by her bedtl 
soldier whom she did not recognize, who said hastily: — ^*ycwr| 
majesty has not a moment to lose ; be pleased to be prepared to j 
with me," — and hurried out. Catherine, bewildered, called to her| 
confidential attendant, Iwanowna, who assisted her mistress to : 
and di-e^ ; and both disguised themselves so as to pass the 
tinels without beiug recognized. They were no sooner thus equip 
ped, than the soldier, re-entering, conducted them to a coach 
the Princess Daschkofi* had kept in waiting for some days at i 
place not far distant. For some time all went well; but about 
half way, the horses being worn out, stopped short. The emj 
descended from the coach, expressing her readiness to proceed < 
foot; but, fortunately, they overtook a peasants cart; and ifl 
this, exhausted with fatigue and anxiety, but sufficiently mist 
of heiself to assume an air of- composure, and even cheerfidne 
Catherine arrived in the capital at seven o'clock in the morniwr* 




\he Trent straight to tlie soldiers^ quarters, wLere those regi* 
ients already gained over, were stationed ; Lut wliom the con- 
>irators had not permitted to turn out iintil her appearance, lest 
iy act of precipitancy should cause failure. On the report of her 
rrral, some score of half-dressed guards ran out and received her 
ith shouts of joy. Surprised and alai*mcd to see so small a num- 
?r of the soldiery, she was silent for a few moments, but recover- 
herself, she told them that imminent peril had forced her to 
line and seek their help : that the czar intended that very night 

kill her and her son ; that she had only avoided death by flight, 
td that she trusted sufficiently to theii* good will, to place herself 

their hands." Those who heard her flamed with indignation, 
id swore to die in her defence. Their example, and that of their 
Ilonel, Eazoumof&ky, soon incited the rest of the soldiery, who 

w poured in crowds round Catherine ; and they^all with one 
nee proclaimed her for their sovereign. The chaj^lain of the 
Igiment was summoned ; and he received, upon a crucifix, the 
til of allegiance from tlie troops. Some few voices amid the tu- 
nlt proclaimed Catherine regent ; but they were soon quelled by 
le menaces of Orloff, and drowned by the more numerous cries of 
Long live the Empress ! " 

A couple of hours' time sufficed to see Catherine surrounded 
f two thousand of the military, and a large portion of the popu- 
ce of St. Petersburg, who mechanically followed the movements 
the soldiery. This numerous concourse escorted her through 
le streets, — where the windows and door-ways were thronged 
ith spectators, mingling their welcoming acclamations with the 
louta of the soldiers, — ^to the church ; and there the archbishop 

Novogorod, attired in his sacerdotal robes, and attended by a 
rge body of the priesthood, — their long beards and flowing white 
nir in pictm'esque contraiit with the assembled multitude,— 


awaited her at the altar. The primate i)laced the imperial cr 
upon her head, and, with a loud voice, proclaimed her sover 
of all the Eussias, under the name of Catherine II. ; at the s 
time declaring the young Grand-duke, Paul, as her successor. 
Deum was then chanted, accompanied by the applauses of tlie 
titude. After this ceremony, the empress repaired to the p 
formerly occupied by Elizabeth ; when the doors being tli 
open to all who chose to enter, during many houi's the pp 
poured in, falling on their knees, and tendering then* vo^ 
loyalty and obedience to their sovereign and empress, Catb 
Meanwhile, the conspirators were not inert ; — ^they visited < 
quarter of the metropolis, establishing guard, and keeping cf 
ready appointed, encountering but little opposition. I 
George of Holstein, the czar's uncle, on oflfering some show < 
sistance, was instantly arrested, and conveyed to prison. Or 
gle man, named Bressan, who owed his fortune to the em; 
dared to prove his gratitude and fidelity. lie dressed uj^'oi 
his servants as a peasant, and despatched him with a note i 
emperor, who had left Oranienbaum for Peterhof. 

On arriving at the palace, Catherine had immediately 
detachment of soldiers for licr sod, Paul. The young priuc 
seized with a panic at the sight of so many armed men; for 1 
often been told of the designs which tlie czar, his fathc] 
formed against him ; but Count Panino, his tutor, took the cl 
his arms, and conveyed him to his mother. . She carried liiu 
her into the balcony, I'aising him up in view of the peoj^le, w 
doubled their acclamations at the sight. The nobles, fmdiiii 
the cm-rent of j^ublic feeling ran, were not slow in follow 
direction : — they also came, in the course of the day, to ten Joi 
homage to the empress. Towards noon, she put forth a mac 
which was distributed throughout the metropolis ; and plaoetl 



dis of all tLe foreign ministers. It is recorded, that tlie conspi- 

•"tor, Odai-t-, who had been entrusted with the secret printing of 

document, and had kept it hy him duiing some days^ ex- 

^-imed on the morrow of the revolution : — " Heaven he thanked ! 

quit of the fear of heing broken on the wheel ! " During the 

tribution of the manifesto, Catherine dressed lierseE in the uni- 

^nn of the guards, borrowing the suit of a young officer, named 

^llizin. She wore the order of St. Andi-ew ; mounted on horse- 

'*U?k, and went, accompanied by the Princess Dasehkoff (who also 

as cfpiipped in regimentals) to review the ranks. It was on this 

ion that Potemkin, then a young cavalry ensign, perceiving 

.t Catherine had nT) sword-knot, advanced to ofter her his. The 

he rode, accustomed to militaiy evolutions, and to form 

line, was some time ere it would retreat from beside the chai'ger 

on which the emj>ress sat ; so that she had leisure to remark the gi'ace 

and addi'css of him who, at a subsequent period, gained so great 

im ascendancy over her. The troops, well charged with beer and 

dy, and won by her imperial majesty's gi'acious conduct, were 

>aiious in their demonstrations of attachment, — ^their enthusiasm 

Teaching its climfix upon her dining near to an open window*, 

within view.of the soldiery and a multitude of gazers assemljled in 

the piincipal square. 

As yet Peter III. knew nothing of what was passing ; but^ the 
disguised emissary, sent by Bressan, brought the fatal news, and 
spread dismay amid the little baud of profligates that, as usual^ 
were immediately about the pei-sou of the dissolute czar. The 
chancellor, Woronzoft^ proposed going to Petersburg to parley 
with the empress, and induce her to return to her allegiance. 
The emperor 'accepted the proposal ; but, on the chancellor's arri- 
val in the capital^ Catharine received him with a quiet smile, and 
eaid: — "You see; it is not I who act; I yield but to the nation's 


doireJ* Tlie pliort dunodlor, who had sold his sister^a honour, 
md eoald one Hllle for his own, bowed to the necesBily, and inge- 
iDoaBly w i ggCBle d his hutg placed under guard : thus, hy a titil 
c oDlri T i ncey seeniing h» own safety from Catherine's partinsi, 
and ahekenng hnnBclf from the car's inevitalile sospieions. 

In the erenin^ Catherine agiun monnte<l on horseback ; and 
with a drawn sword in her hand, and a wreath of oak round her 
head, she prepared to lead her troops who were marshalling inito 
order for march; while Princes DaschkoflT and Colonel Jbaatk- 
motf&ky attended at her side. A crowd of cotxrtiers thronged 
aftmnd her ; and all vied in manifesting their eagerness to ^m 
her dangers and swell her trimnpk She halted at the head of her 
armr, in a little village, about seven versts fn)m Petersburg; 
and here she entered a cottage, where she slept for some houre oa 
a heap of military cloaks, which the ofltors who formed her escort 
piled np to make a coach for her. From first to last^ in short, of 
that eventful day, she enacted to perfection the part of a revolu- 
tionary heroine ; and sh^ secured the reward she had in view- 
firm and sole p oopcflo ion^ thencefbftii, of imperial dignity. 

Peter IIL, despoiled of power, and deprived* of respect by his 
pusHlanimoiis conduct and total want of decision or dignity, sank 
into a mere negation. He was made to sign a deed of renundi- 
tion ; and was condncted to a small country-house, belonging to 
Bazoumofl&ky, where he was kept under strict guard. He ha^l not 
been in tins retired spot more than six days, when Alexis Orlo? 
and a ruffian named Teplofl^ came into liis apartment, and told him 
that the object of their visit was to announce his speedy delivtg> 
ance ; at the same time inviting themselves to dine with him, Ac- 
cording to the Russian custom, glasses and brandy were brought 
in ; and while Teploff held the czar in talk, Orloff filled the glasses j 
with liquor, and dropped into one of them a poison furnished byaj 


►nrt-pliysiciaii of infamous memory, named Crousse. Tlie czar, 
iting nothing, took the draught and swallowed it ; but vroa 
immediately seized with such racking pains, that the whole truth 

ihed upon him, and he vehemently taxed Orloff with his foul 
, uttering loud cries for help. One of his valets ran to his as- 
si»t:ince ; but the man was quickly compelled to leave the room, 
while Baratinsky, who was captain of the guard on duty there^ 
came in during the scuffle that ensued. Alexis Orloff, who had 
flung the czar on the ground, knelt upon his breast, and with one 
powerfVd hand grasped his throat, while with the other he pressed 
in the skull. Baratinsky and Teploff passed a haiulkerchief round 
his throat, and drew it tight with a slip-knot. Peter, in struggling, 
inflicted a severe scratch on the face of Baratinsky, of wliich the 
traitor long bore the mark; but the wretched czar's strength 
quickly gave way, and the murderers finished their work of stran- 

A sudden attack of mortal illness was publicly announced as the 
,c»use of Peter lH.'s death ; and Catherine's behaviour, on the oc- 

ion, was marked by a prudence and self-possession which did 
greater honour to her powers of dissimulation than to her moral or 
natural feeling. She played her pai*t to admiration — such as it 
was. After Alexis Orloff brought her the news, she dined in pul> 
lie as usual ; held her couii; in the evening with the utmost gaiety ; 
and next day — causing the tidings to be announced to her while 
she was at table— she rose and retired, her eyes filled with tears. 
Certes, of such a woman's weeping, might be added what Shake- 
epeare'a Antony says of the crocodile : — " And the tears of it ore 

Catherine had a* strong idea of the value of keeping up appear- 
onces ; she neglected nothing that might tell well, that might gain 
her credit^ and make her pass for one who deserved the prosperitf 




that attenaed her. She knew the adsrantage of seemmg holy,— of 
"assuming a virtue if she had it not ; " and she, accordingly, among 
other convenient simulations, could put on a cloak of piety when 
she thought it requisite to have a regard for religion. For instance, 
at the i>eriod of the Empress Elizabeth's death, she courted popu- 
lar adnih'ation by frequenting the churches where prayers for the 
the imperial restoration to health were being offered up, althongk 
at other times not being eminent for religious observance. And 
on her first accession to the throne, she paid a sedulous deference 
to the dignitaries of the church, which she knew would win kr 
the affections of her people, but which her subsequent conduct to 
the clergy little bore out. Her want of gratitude to the Princess 
Daschkoff— who, however flighty and vain her motives miglit 
have been in aidhig the conspiracy, was still serviceable to Cathe- 
rine in her zeal throucchout the affair — was consistent with the r«t 
of her heartless conduct. Once securely established in her impe- 
rial seat, she disregarded all the princess's claims to notice and re- 
compense ; and upon iladame Baschkoff *s requesting — ^with tlie 
liveliness of her character and yeare (she was not much mort 
than eighteen) — ^the colonelcy of a regimcHt of guards, as her i* 
ward ; Catherine replied, smiling ii'onically, that she '* would figttPfi 
better in an Academy of Letters than in a military post." The 
princess, deeply hurt at this retort — which reflected upon her hte- 
rary pretensions — could not conceal her mortification ; with her 
native impetuosity, therefore, she spoke loudly among her friends 
of Catherine's ingratitude. This was reported to the ' empress, 
who forthwith ordered her to retire to Moscow. 

KeverthelesSj Catherine's private character, howevL-r u 
worthy of regard, shoidd not be allowed to act so far prejudicially, 
as to cause her bcmg denied the merits which were undoubtedly 
hers. She was a clevei^headed woman, with very little conscience, 



and no lieart. She was slirewd in perception, astute in jutlginent, 
apd hard in princii:»le. It was a maxim witli her, to be steadfast 
in adherence to design. She held this as a rule : — " It is requisite 
to observe constancy in projects. Better do ill than change a re- 
Bolation. Fools only are undecided." 

The reign of such a woman as Catherine, was felt to be gi*eatly 
ire important for Eussia and for Europe, than that of the feeble- 
minded debauchee who had preceded her on the thix^ne : and not 
only her subjects, but the other powers of the Continent soon be- 
came aware of her cousequence as a sovereign. She knew how to 
make herself looked up to, — if not vnth. respect and liking, at least 
"with deference. Frederick the Great, of Prussiii, Maria Theresa, 
of Austria, Louis XV., of France, and the cabinet of George III., 
oi England, each, in turn, learned to regard witl^ attention the 
acts of Catherine II., of Eussia. Tn Poland she exercised long 
dictatorship. Her favourite, Poniatowsky, had been appointed to 
the Polish throne, and reigned under the title of Stanislaus Augus- 
tus; while frequent appeals to the Eussian court from the king 
and senate of Warsaw, placed this unhappy country almost in 
vassalage to her power, until 1772, when Catherine IT., Frederick 
U., and Joseph II., agreed upon the inter-partition of Poland. In 
17S5, the long-continued war between Eussia and Turkey, ended 
in the Crimea becoming a province of the Eussian empire ; and in 
1787, Catherine made a progress to visit this addition to her do- 
minions. Her jom-ney was like one grand triumphal procession the 
whole of the vray. Palaces, like that of Aladtlin in the Eastern 
tale, sprang up to receive her when she halted ; villages arose, Hke 
magic, in the most desert spots ; whole populations crowded the 
banks of rivers, where a week before all was solitude and desola- 
tion; herds and flocks grazed in meadows that previously pre- 
lasnted no trace of living creature : but like the pageants at a thea- 





tre, as the scene shifted^ so did its occupant? make their ejdt^ but 
to re-appear in endless numbers. To please the eye of the Rnssi^n 
empress, and to give her an idea of smiling abundance-, this ehow 
was got up ; with just such a glittering falsehood as the palace of 
ice, erected to gratiiy the caprice of one of her predecessors, the 
Empress Anne, daughter of Peter the Great. The reader will not 
dech'ne a reminder of the poet Cowper's graceful description of 
the Imperial "Folly." 

" LesB worthy of applause, though more admir'd, 
Because a novelty, the work of man, 
Luperial mistress of the fur-clad Ku^is, 
Thy most magnificent and mighty freak, 
The wonder of the North. No forest fell 
"When thou wouldst build; no quarry sent ita stores 
T' cnticli thy walk ; but thou didst hew the floods, 
And make thy marble of the glassy ware. 
In such a palace Aristicus found 

Cyreuc, when he bore the plaintive tale < 

Of his lost bees to her maternal ear : 
In such a palace Poetry might place 
The armoury of Winter ; where his troops 
The gloomy clouds, find weapons, arrowy sleet, 
Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising bail, 
And snow, that often blinds the traveler's coarse, 
And wraps him in an unexpected tomb. 
Silently as a dream the fabric rose ; 
No sound of hammer or of saw was there : 
Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts 
Were soon conjoin'd, nor other cement ask'd 
Than water iutorfusM to make them one. 
Lamps gracefully dispos'd, and of all hues, 
IlluminM every side : a watVy light 
Gleam'd through the clear transparency, that seemed 
Another moon new risen, or meteor fall'n 
From hcav'n to earth, of lambent flame serene. 
So stood the brittle prodigy ;^ though smooth 
And slippery the matorials, yet frost-bound 
Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within, 


That rojal residence might well befit, 
For grandeur or for iwe. Long wavy wreaths 
Of flowVs, that feared no enemy but warmth, 
Bluah'd on the panncls. Mirror needed none 
Where all waw ritreoua ; but in order due, 
ConTirial table and commodious seat 
(What seem'd, at least, commodious seat) were there ; 
Sofa and couch, and high-built thi'one august. 
The eamo lubricity was found in all, 
And all was moist to the warm touch ; a scene 
Of evanescent glory, once a stream, 
And soon to slide into a stream agaio- 
Alas 1 'twas but a mortifying stroke 
Of undesigned severity, that glanc'd 
(Made by a monarch) on her own estate, 
On human grandeur and the courts of kmgs. 
'Twas transient in its nature, as in show 
'Twas durable ; as worthless, as it seem'd 
Intrinsically precious ; to the foot 
Treacherous and false j it smiPd, and it was cold. 
Great princes hare great playthings." 

So, for Catherine ; tliis pretty plaything of simulated villages, 
and pretended flourishing peasanti'ies, and supposed prospering 
forms, was brought together for her entertainment. An emperor 
(Joseph *IL of Austria) met her, and escorted her into the Crimea ; 
a ship was launched for her amusement ; and she inspected the 
clocks which were being constructed by her orders at Cherson on 
the Dnieper. 

Catherine gave token that she was competent to reign ad- 
Tantageously : she effected several useful reforms, and established 
maoy valuable institutions. She corrected the tribunals; she 
founded schools, hospital*, and colonies. She ameliorated the con- 
dition of the serfe ; and she encouraged popular instruction. She 
pix>motcd international intercourse; and sought to extend good 
understanding between her own and foreign courts. She began 


A T H E R I N E 

H L :-:? i A. 


geveral canals; and erected arsenals, Imnks, and nianufactorle, 
l>esido8 founding nuraorous towns. She composed a code of leguk- 
tive regnlations, founded on the works of Montesquieu, ami other 
writers on jurisprudence. This compoatiou gained her great and 
wide-spread renoim ; for Catherine was not a little proud of ker 
production, and forwarded copies of it to those sovereigns vih)^ 
applauiJG she was anxious to obtain. Among others, Frederick of 
Prussia, who knew her appetite for enlogium, \\Tote her a long 
letter, in which he placed her between Solon and Lycurgus,— 
(Catherine's capacity for gorging praise was indeed large !) aiui in 
the despatch to the Count de Solnis — of course meant to meet tie 
impeiial eye also — he added: " History informs us that Semirami* 
commanded armies ; that Elizabeth of England ranks among able^ * 
politicians ; that Maria Theresa showed great intrepidity on her 
coming to the throne; — ^but no female monarch has yet been a 
legislatress : this glory was reserved for the Empress of Russia, who 
has well merited the title." 

She encouraged the arts; and effected various excellent im- 
provements in the academy, where artists in the different brancha 
of painting, sculpture, architecture ; together with artificers ill 
watch-making, metal-founding, and instruments for physical and 
mathematical science, received instruction, and were boarded at 
the state expense. She took csj^ecial pains to mark her encou^ag^ 
ment-of literature ; she appointed the yearly sum of five thousand 
rubles, to pay those who would make vei^ions in the Russian Ian* 
guage of such foreign books as were worthy of translation : she 
gi'anted fresh privileges to the Academy of Science, in Petersbui^, 

I and invited several strangers of note to come and share in the 
honours it awarded. She was a patroness of literature, and made 
a point of displaying her cnconrngement of men of letters. Sh^* 
was a great admirer of the French wTiters, especially of thdr 




ic poets. She made gi-eat advances to their " savans," anil 
philosophers," and was muniiicent in her offers to them. She 
ed overtures to be made to D'-LVlembert, to induce him to come 
Petershnrg and finish the " Encyclopudie " there ; at the same 
le that he should undertake to superintend the education of the 
ad-duke Pad, a pension of two thousand pounds being named 
ius remuneration; but D'Alembert declined the proposal. 
paring that Diderot was straitened in his cii'cumstances, and 
ided selling his library to obtain a dowry for his only 
liighter, Catherine bought the library, and left the former owner 
enjoyment^ by appomting him librai'ian. Some of the anec- 
recorded of the pleasant terms of familiarity which she main- 
led in her intercourse with Diderot, are among the most agi'ee- 
|>lc relating to her social history. He was accustomed to converse 
her every day after <linner. Philosophy, legislation, politics, 
larily formed the topics of these discussions. Diderot used to 
lie upon his principles of liberty* and the rights of the ])eople, 
nth his accustomed enthusiasm and eloquence. The empress 
ppeared delighted ; but she was very fiir from adopting his views. 
ie h.'i^ been heard to say: — " Monsieur Diderot, in many tilings, 
hmjilred years of age ; in others, he is not mare tliau ten yeai*a 
She used to make the philosopher sit beside her ; and some- 
times, in the eagerness of his discourse, he would forgot the rank 
of his interlocutor, and tap the em])resii on the kneo with the back 
of his hand as he talked ; but her good sense never reproved iu 
him this breach of etiquette. To Voltaire she showed invariable, 
und marked deference; repeatedly innting him to Petersbwg; 
but the " dog-fox " sage knew better than to exchange tlie loxory 
of independence in his retreat at Feniey, for the uneasy distinc- 
tion of ft Rnesian court^residence. Catherine took ever}* pains to 
core Voltaire*s good opinion, and obtiun his good word. She 




knew that lie was the arch-dispenser of glory to EuropeausoTfrJ 
reigns at that period ; and that it rested nijunly with his pen to | 
deUueate them advantageously to the eyes of posterity ; she ne 
lected no means, therefore, that might win her his favonrahle report I 
Thus playfully and gaily she waa wont to write to him ; mingliDg 
graceful compliment with condescending familiarity: intimating,] 
at the same time, a desii'e for his applause, couched in th^ most j 
flattering terms : — " I shall feel pleased with myself, whenever 1 
shall obtain your approbation, sir. I have revised my instmctioMJ 
for the code, some weeks since, because I then thought tlie peace] 
nearer at hand than it was ; and I believe I acted riglitly in wliatj 
I did. It is true, this code, — ^for which a great deal of material kj 
preparing, and some is already arranged, — will still give me coB-j 
siderable work to do, before it becomes as peifect as I wish to seel 
it ; but no matter, it must be fimshed, although Tagaorok has the I 
sea on its south, and high grounds on its north. 

" Meanwhile, yom* projects respecting this place aumot l>e ca^ ] 
ried into effect before peace shall have secured its environs from 
all apprehension by either sea or land ; for until the captore of lie j 
Crimea, it waa the frontier place against the Tartars. Perhaps, 1 
ere long, they'll .bring me the Crime^ui Khan in person, I have 
just learned that he has not crossed the sea with the Turks; bat i 
that he remains up in the mountains, with a small band of follow- 
ers ; something like the Pretender in Scotland, after his defeat at 
Culloden. If the Khan come to me, we'U try what we can do tu i 
polish him a little ; and to revenge myself upon him, 111 make him ! 
dance, and he shall go to j;he French theatre." 

Catherine was fond of mingling a certain droUery with her 
rebukes. Her answer to the Princess Daschkofl^ already related, I 
contains an instance of this touch of humour in her sarcasm, — and I 
which, naturally, rendered it doubly pungent to the princess. Oal 



ier occasion, Tv'lien the empress had been dispensbg sumi)tnons 
apenses to her different generals, for their military services in 
ling of an important victory, some of them chose to consider 
emselves inadequately rewarded, and not only expressed their 
content^ but sent in their resignations, Catherine accepted 
I , and duiing the evening she said to her courtiers : — " I sent 
I courier to-day ; and I give you, as a riddle, to guess where I 
^him," No one (of course) could possibly imagine,— and 
not, if they could: but the next day the enigma was solved. 
* empress had sent for, from a village near Moscow, some 
of little peg-tops, — boys' playthings ; and these she dLrected 
be carried to the three generals who had just resigned, with 
lessage from her : — " that as henceforth they would be sadly 
work, she had sent them something to amiLse themselves 

)ne of the strong proofs of Catherine's superior talent, was her 

able to* do so very many things at once, and all well 

>ugh incessantly occupied with grand projects, she seemed as 

lolly given up to pleasure. The secret lay in her admirable 

ibution of time. She found time, — owing to her excellent 

S>my of hours, and orderly arrangement of them for each 

^yment, — to work at state-afl^irs with her ministers ; to decree 

iws ; to write T^dth her own hand the orders and despatches 

I to her ambassadors and generals ; to maintain a continued 

:)ondence with men of letters, and artists ; to give regularly 

minted audiences to her subjects; to be present at all the 

amusements ; and to attend to her intrigues and gallantries. 

tant in her "ambition, she was inconstant in her amom-s ; and 

, these opposed pursuits made large demands upon her time. 

Bep in view ambitious schemes, and to change a favourite, 

re gome attention and management ; and Catherine found time 



for both these occupations. The number of hei> favourites cboft- 
icled by name in the memoii-s of her time, amount to no fewer thaa 
twelve; while the numberless officers and courtiers who* were 
reported to have been regarded by her with an eye of partialitj, 
may be summed up in one word, — ^Legion. 

The way in which Catherine disposed of her discarded favoiff- 
ites, is characteristic. They received an order to travel ; and (Hi 
arri\ing at the first stage of their journey, they found mumficQit 
presents awaiting them, — diamonds, plate, money, and au estate 
valued at so many serfs' worth : estates in Russia being estimated 
by the amount of peasants — ^human live-stock ; so many heads of 
(not cattle, but) men and women — ^upon them. Some of tbe 
anecdotes related of the empress's favourites, serve to show the sort 
of men she approved, as well as to exhibit traits of her own cbff- 
acter. One of them, named Zoritz, complained of his suddffli 
tlisinissal, and besought a friend in i>ower to enquire the cause of 
liis iuiperial mistress. She answered lightly : — " Yesterday I liked 
him ; — to-day I don't like him. PerhapsF if he were better educated, 
I should like liim still ; but his ignorance makes me blusli" 
[Catherine's Uushcs !'] " He can speak nothing but Eussiau. He 
must travel in France and Euc^land to learn other laniruaffes." 
And Zoritz, accordingly, was sent on his travels. Another young 
officer, EimskyKorzakoff, who succeeded Zoritz in imperial liking, 
wishing, probably, to profit by the exam])le of his predecessor's 
defoct, was so anxious to suj)ply the deficiency in his ment^U en- 
dowments, of which he was conscious, that he sought to give liim- 
seli the reputation of a reading man ; and accordingly ordered one 
of the first booksellers in Petersburg to fit him up a library ; but 
when asked w^hat description of books he would have, the court- 
military-dunce replied :— " You ought to know that better than I; 

lat's your aftair. Put big books below, and little ones a-top ; 
lat's bow tbey are in the empresses library." 

The mode in which Catherine behaved, when .she found a 
ivoui-ite possessing more intellect than Zoritz and Korzakoff, is 
oticeable in her conduct to Potemkin ; and, in its way, not a whit 
!ss characteristic. The first-rate politician was not to be tm*ncd 
drift, like the young fribbles above alluded to : both his adroit- 
ess and her shrewdness forbade this. When, therefore, Potem- 
in, like tTie rest, had ceased to please, ho received the order to 
ravel ; but the very next evening, instead of being on his way^ he 
oietly presented himself at the empress's whist-table, and took his 
pat opposite to her, just as she was beginning the game. WLth- 
rat noticing his flagi'ant disobedience, she dealt him a card, ob- 
BTving that he was " a lucky player ; " — and *[io fai'ther mention 
ras made of his retirement. She, on the contrary, made a friend 
f the discarded favourite ; and retained him near her, as her con- 
dential minister, availing herself of his consummate abilities as a 
atesman, untU the period of his death. "When this occurred^ 
latherine gave an energetic Y>rooi of her diligence and business- 
abits ; she shut herself up, and dedicated herself to work in the 
dministration and government of the empire, for fifteen hours at 

le, and apportioned out among her other ministei's the duties 
Potemkin had, till then, so ably discharged. 

Catherine knew how to make her feelings subservient to her 
In the fii-st place, her feelings were not sensitive ; and in 

aext place they were entirely under controul. She had secret 
Seties lest she should be dethroned, or her life attempted : but 
rhenever these beset her, she used to talk with gaiety of the long 
prosperous course she hoped to enjoy. She once found 

Dfij her papers, in her study, where she was in the habit of 


spending many lioui'a alone, heading or writing, a little note, 
taining a menace of a-ssassination ; — and never Lad she worail 
conntenance of greater composure and confidence than upon that 
occasion. Her thii-st for gloiy enabled her to constrain her fej^j 
tnres to assume what expression she chose ; and to feign such sad 
timents as she thought most likelj to win panegyric, "WTien her I 
interests demvanded it, she could be fall of glowing profession, and| 
zealous show ; when her purposes required an appearance of 
ness, she could talk virtuously ; but her actions rarely 
he? protestations. She cloaked defective worth with large wo 
and when liking waned, concealed it by profuse gifts/ 

•' WTien love begins to sicken and decay, 
It uscth an enforced ceremony," 

Certainly Catherine's did : she heaped presents, as soon as ghel 
cared not a straw for the object of her munificence. She was a| 
pattern-politician for a hollow world. 

The pleasantest points to contemplate in Catherine, are her oc-J 
casional ease of condescension, and graciousness of demeanour, in 
the miilst of her imperial hai*diness, and haughtiness of etiquette i 
and her fondness for children. The former is noted in her frimiiiM^I 
ity of behaviour with Diderot, and her manner of sufferii 
freedoms from a few privileged adherents. An example of tb« 
latter is recorded, in her allowing herself, in one or two instanc 
to be called " Katinga," or " Katouschka," which are the Rn.ssifl 
diminutives for Catherine. A certain facetious doctor of the ; 
Janijossy, adLiressed her thus : she was occasionally subject to 1 
of depression ; and when he observed her under the influence of 
one of these moody humoui*s, he used to say, jocosely; 
come, Katinga ; we must be gay if we wish to be well ; and 
must take exercise if we wish to be gay." iVnd then he wonl^ 
take her arm in Ms, and walk her with him round the palace , 


It recalls Dick Tarlton's style with Qoeen Bess, as related 
iller ; who says tliat wlieii her majesty was gloomily disposed, 
privileged 'jester could *' undumpish her at pleasure." 
3atherine*s fonilness for childrea is made manifest by the care 
which she provided for their educatioa ; and by the delight ] 
ok in having them constantly about her. She had a number 
sm always in her departments ; and allowed them to use the 
liberties and freedom of intercourse with her, as the young 
ces, her grandsons. They never* called the empress by any 
tlier title than gi*andmtimma ; and she received, and returned 
caresses with pleased cordiality. She not only promoted 
lie education with ceaseless interest, but she gave it her per* 
superintendence and inspection; and the minuteness with 
she entered into the details of her grandchUdi-en^s instruc- 
, is even beautiful, from such a woman. She directed its course 
Blf ;^ — she devoted a portion of her time, daily, to its progress : 
rrote several essays on history and moral philosophy for the 
>f the young princes, and chose a very superior woman jis 
mess to the young princesses. She attended tlweir lessons, 
Dked over their studies and copy-books, appending notes to 
iem with her own hand, addressed sometimes to the pupik, some- 
les to the teachei's. One day, chancing to come into their 
[>l-room in their absence, she perceived that the mornings 
had for its subject, the government of Switzerland ; and 
the tutor had treated the theme with the candour and warmth 
man who knew how to appreciate the aavantages j)ossessed 
j free people. She WTOte at the foot of the page : — " Monsieur 
pe, pray continue your lessons in this manner. Your senti- 
extremely please me." Later on, the French revolution 
' a check to the empress's liberal sentiments ; but it was some- 
for her to have seen the value of liberality at any til 



especially when iufluoncing the opinions of those who were to k 
the future nilers of the Russian empire. 

Catherine was still in the full ardour of her anfbitious aspira* 
tions, and the eager pui-siiit of her projects for extending the po^ 
sessions of Russia, together with her own aggrandLsemeut and 
glory, when a sudden death put an end to her schemes and her life 
at once. She expired on the 17th November, 1796, after having 
reigned thirty-five years. 

Catherine 11. was pretty cfuring her youth ; and when in matn- 
nty, she possessed both grace and majesty. She was of medium 
height, but well proportioned ; and as she carried her head very 
upiight, she seemed taller than she really was. Her forehead was 
ample ; her nose rather aquiline ; her mouth well cut, and ple^ 
ing; her chin somewhat long, but not ill-formed. Iler hair "^eas of 
a chestnut brown ; her eyebrows, dark and full. Her blue eyes 
were capable of sweetness, which they often put on ; but still 
ofteuer wore a haughty look. Her countenance was not wantii^ 
in expression ; but this expression served but little to reveal what 
was passing within, — or rather, she made it a means of the better 
disguising what she really felt She generally wore the Rusainn 
costume, — a green or scarlet dress (those being the favourite 
national colours) which formed a shortish robe, opening in front, 
with light sleeves descending to the wrist Her harr, lightly 
powdered, lay in curls upon her shoulders ; and on the top she 
wore a little cap covered with diamonds. Towards the latter years 
of her life she routed highly, thinking to hide the traces of time, 
— and perhaps because it was a prevalent mode in France, the 
Russians ha\dng been always fond of adopting Paris feshions 
(which people are not ?) as a mark of refinement. She took a far 
better method for preserving her complexion in juvenile cleamesB 
and smoothness, — she was abstemious in her meals ; taking but a 


ligM breakfast, eating moderately at dinner, and never indulging 
in gnppers. So temperate a diet was the more remarkable, in one 
who lived where the richest viands and rarest wines were partaken 
of to excess : — ^but possibly, the very examples she had before her 
eyes, served as a warning to a woman of Catherine's shrewd good 


In order truly to depict her character, particulars have been 
narrated in the course of this account which otherwise would not 
liave been discussed. But it was impossible to give a faithful pic- 
ture of Catherine H, and not allude to her moral, or rather her 
immoral principles. It would have been unjust to a pure and 
noble woman, illustrious, and, morally, a perfect woman, like 
Isabella of Castile — seeing that, as a queen, she combined all 
that was finest in virtuous conduct with all that was greatest in 
r^al accomplishment — ^not to have represented the Empress 
Catherine in her true colours. She was a female sovereign of 
even masculine energy of cleverness ; but she was masculine in her 
views of morality. Catherine U. of Eussia had male favourites as 
kings have mistresses ; and she would doubtless have asserted her 
eqnal claims — Shaving equal power with the kings — to act as they 
did : it would therefore be drawing but an imperfect pourtrayal 
of her character, were not this coarse particular adduced, while 
recording the talent for state adminis tration, and for extension of 
territorial dominion, which distinguished her ; and which rendered 
this empress, perhaps, the most eminent monarch that ever occu- 
pied the Russian throne. 

Ii r 


NTSTEAD of Commencing the present subject, like the rest, with a 
efinition of the peculiar characteristic embodied by her, as one of 
or World-Noted Women, it might perchance be better to begin 
ith an apology for venturing to introduce a living personage at 
II in a book discussing character. It has been justly said by a 
ilebrated Fi'ench writer : — " On doit des 6gards aux vivants ; on 
3 doit aux morts que la v6rit6," [We owe consideration to the 
ving; while to the dead, we owe but truth.] Happily, mere 
•uth is the most honouring consideration that can be paid to the 
aaracter of Miss Nightingale. The only injustice that could be 
one to her merit, would consist in forbearing to state simply and 
indidly the facts of her career, or to pass them over in silence ; 
)r no written praise can add honour to the merit of her, who, as 
hake4)eare says, is — 

" One that czcols the quirks of blazoning pens, 
And in the essential vesture of creation 
Does bear all excellency." 

Tierefore encomium may be spared, not only out of regard to her 
lodesty, — ^for hers are just the kind of virtues which of all others 
lost shi'ink from laudation ; — ^namely, Philanthropy, Charity, Be- 
evolence, — ^but because their very existence and exercise bespeak 


their owu homage. Happy the deeds, which in their bare enomer 
atioii prockim their own surpassing worth. The hahl chronieJe 
of 'Miss Nightingale's actions suflScea at once to record and eulogize 

It were difficult to wi'ite of a living illustrious woman without 
dread of wounding her sensitive delicacy; hut the reverential epirit 
in which her character is held forth to admiration, — ^the wholesome 
emulation excited by relating such deeds, — the hope of thus pn> 
ducing yet another good, in addition to all that she has effected, 
^\'ill, it is trusted, plead in extenuation with the object of this iir«^ 
rative, for making her the subject — not of panegyric, that has been 
shown to be out of the question, but — of admiiing discussion, 

IMiss Florence Kightingale is the youngest daughter and pi>s- 
sumptive co-heiress of ^Ii\ William Shore Nightingale, of Embley 
Pai'k, Hampshire, and the Lea Hurst, Derbyshire, in England 

As it has been frequently stated in the British public prints 
that IMiss Nightingale numbers the same years with the Queen of 
England, and as that royal lady playfully entered her age in the 
list, at the time the census was taken of the population of Greiit 
Britain, it would l^e no infringement of discretion to place the 
period of Miss Nightingale's birth somewhere about the year 1819; 
but one authority affii'ms that she was bom at Florence in the 
year 1823, and received her Chi-istian name in memory of that fair 
Italian city. It is well known also, that she is a young lady df 
singular endowments, both natural and acquired. She possesses ft 
knowledge of the ancient languages, and of the higher branches of 
mathematics; while her attainments in general art, science, and 
literature, are of no common order. Her command of modem 
languages is extensive; and she speaks French, German, and 
Italian, fluently as her native English. She has visited ami 
studied the various nations of Europe, and has ascended the Nile 



farthest cataract. WliOe in Egypt, she tended the siclc 
lbs with whom she came in contact ; and it waa fi-eq^uently in 
power, by judicious advice, to render them important se^^^ce9 
eful, feminine, rich, and popular, her influence over those with 
irhom she comes in contact is powerful as it is gentle and per- 
ve. Her friends and acquaintance embrace a large cii'cle, and 
ide persons of all classes and persuasions ; but her happiest 
has ever been her home ; where, — in the. centre of numerous 
iDgnished relatives, and in the simplest obedience to hfer admir- 
parents, she dwelt. 
Yet this was the life she left — a life not only blessed with all 
hat renders existence piivileged, but with all that mates it usefnl 
o othera (the dearest of all pi-ivileges to her nature)— to fulfil a 
elf-imposed duty. 

It was beciiuse she felt the sphere of her utility to be even 
^ker than the one afforded by her affluent home, that she gave up 
Ht home. From infancy she had a yearning affection for her 
iiid, — a sympathy with the weak, the oppressed, the destitute, 
he suffering and the desolate. The schools and the poor around 
^ea Hurst and Embley firat saw and felt her as a visitor, teacher, 
onsoler, and expounder. Then she frequented and studied tlie 
chools, hospitals, and reformatory institutions of London, Edin- 
mrgh, and the Continent. In 1851, when the whole civilized 
rorld had a holiday during the Great Exhibition, and were en- 
aged in parties of pleasnre, ^liss Nightingale was within the walls 
f one of the German houses, or hospitals, for the care of the lost 
nd infirm. At the Great Lutheran hospital, established at 
Liuserwerth, near Diisseldoi*^ on the Bhine, — an establishment 
ut of which no person is allowed to pass to practise as a nm-se, 
xcept after having gone through severe examination, — ISIiss 
rightingale spent some months in daUy and nightly attendance on 

the sick and the imseral)le, accumukting exxxjiience in all tiie 
duties and labours of female ministration. The gentleman at the 
head of that establish men t, the Pasteur Fliedner, asserted that 
since he had been director of that institution, no one had ever 
parsed so distinguished au examination, or shown herself so 
thoroughly mistress of all she had to learn, as Miss Nightingale. 

On her return to England, she, for a space, became again tie 
delight of her o\mi happy home ; but it was not long before lier 
desu'e to extend her aid to those who needed relief, pifvaileJ 
to bring her forth, The hospital established in London for sick 
governesses was about to faU for want of proper management; 
and Miss Nightingale consented to be placed at ita heath Derby* 
shire and Hampshire were exchanged for the naiTow, dreaiy 
establishment in Harley Street, to which she devoted the whole of 
her time, and her fortune. While her friends missed her at agsem- 
blies, lectures, concerts, exhibitions, and all the entertainments for 
taste and intellect with which London in its season abounds, sbe 
whose powers could have best appreciated them, was sitting besiile 
the bed and soothing the last complaints of some poor dyingi 
homeless, hapless governess. Miss Nightingale found pleasure iH 
tending these poor destitute women in their infirmities, their wr- 
rows, their deaths, or their recoveries. She was seldom seen out of 
the walls of the institution ; and the few fiiends whom she dlinJP 
ted, found her in the midst of nurses, letters, prescriptions, flfr 
counts, and inteiTuptions. Her health sank under the heavy 
pressure ; but a little Hampshire fresh air restored her ; and tho 
failincr institution was saved. 
' Then came the disastrous accounts of the sufferings in the East j 

of the adtlitional rigoure that the soldiery were enduring from want 
of effectual hospital treatment, and from defective management 
in supplying stores and necessary relief. There arose at once an 




cntLusiastic dcsii^e to remedy the evil. The Englisli, with their 
energy of resolve, where existing mischief demands instant cure, 
raised a fund whicli should furnish the requisite power to provide 
wliat was needed immediately, without waiting for forms, and 
beards, and official obstruction under the name of authorized 
organization. A subscription was set afoot ; and in less than a 
fortnight the sum of ^15,000 was sent into the Times Office for 
tlie above purpose. The proprietors of that journal sent out a 
special commissioner, Jlr. Macdonald, to administer this fund, from 
which thousands of shirts, sheets, stockings, flannels, quDted coats, 
and hospital utensils, besides large quantities of an'ow-root, sago, 
*8ugar, tea, soap, wine, and brandy, were supplied. One of the 
chief points in which the deficiency of proper comfort and relief 
for the sick and wounded sufferers was felt, was the want of good 
nursing. To send out a band of skilful nurses was soon found to 
be one of the most essential of all supplies. But unless these were 
really skilled, more harm than good would certainly accrue : zeal^ 
without experience, could effect little ; and a bevy of incompetent, 
or ill-organized nm^ses, would prove an incumbrance, instead of an 
assistance. Now it was that a field was opened for the wider 
exercise of IMiss Nightingale's genius and •philanthropy ; and now 
it was, that her admirable abilities were secured for the great 
bject in view. At the request of the Right Hon. Sydney Her- 
ert, Miss Nightingale at once accepted the proposal that she 
lould undei-take to form and controul the entire nursing establish- 
3nt for the British sick and wounded soldiers and sailors in the 
!lrimea. Indeed, it is asserted, that by a strange coincidence — one 
those coincidences arising out of urgent necessity felt and met 
once — she had herself written to !Mr, Herbert on the very same 
iy, volunteering her services where they were so much needed, 
le task was one which involved sacrlficei* and responsibilities of 



fonniclable magnitude : — tlie risk of her own life, the pang of sepa- 
ration from her family and friends, the certainty of encountering 
hardships, dangers, toils, and the constantly recurring scene of 
human suffering amidst all the worst horrors of war; together 
with an amount of ohstacle and difficulty in the carrying out 
of her noble work, wholly incalculable. Few but would have 
recoiled fi-om such a prospect ; !Miss Nightingale, however, met it 
with her own spirit of welcome for occasion to devote herself in 
the cause of humanity. Heroic was the firmness -with which she 
voluntarily encountered her task ; glorious was the constancy with 
which she persevered in, and achieved it. The same force of natnre 
which had enabled her quietly and resolutely to accumulate powei^. 
of consolation and relief for the behoof of her fellow-creatur^ 
enabled her to persist steadily to the end,^and carry out her high 
purpose with a success, holy as it was triumphant. 

On Tuesday the 24th of October, 1854, Miss Nightingale, ao j 
companied by the Revd. Mr. Bracebridge, and his wife, and a staff 
of thirty-seven nurses, set out from England. On her way 
through France, she and her companions were received with the 
most respectfid attention ; hotel-keepera refusing pa3ment for 
their accommodation, • servants* declining the customary fees, 
and all classes vieing to show sympathy with their mission. Ott 
passing thi'ough the Freijch metropolis, one of the Paris journals 
made a characteristic remark upon ]\Iis3 Nightingale's appearance, 
which, coming from the source whence it did, was the extreme of 
intended compliment and interest-. The paper observed, that '* her 
toilet was charming ; and she was almost as graceful as a Parbi- 
enne.'* On the Friday following. Miss Nightingale and her com- 
panions embarked at Marseilles in the Veciis steamer ; and, s£tet 
a stonny passage, they reached Scutari on the 5th of November, 
just before the wounded in the action of J3alaklava began to aniv& 



rooms wlxicli Lad been set apart for wounded general officei'ST 
liappily unoccupied ; and these were assigned to Mss Night- 
id her nurses ; who, in appearance and demeanour, formed 
contrast to the usual aspect of hospital attendants. Uu- 
I soch management, the chaotic confusion of tlie vast hospital 
[ quickly reduced to order : — ^the wounded, before left for many 
unattended, now scarcely uttered a groan without some 
|kle nurse being at hand to adjust their pillow, and alleviate 
discomfort : — tears stood in the eyes of many a veteran while 
confessed his conviction, that indeed the British soldier wfis 
for by his couutiy ; since Indies would leave the comforts 
. loxories of home to come and tend him in his misery. Far from 
Hzing the feare which had been entertained by officials, that 
new addition to the. staff of a military hospital would not 
^k well, ^liss Nightingale and her nurses were " never found in 
ray, except to do good." — ^Wlienever, as after the battle of In- 
lann crowds of wounded arrived, there was feminine ministry at 
[ to tend them ; and when medical stores failed, or demand arose 
tides not forthcoming, the Times Commissioner supplied Miss 
rightingale at once with what was needed, if it could be procured 
[>y money in the bazaars or stores of Constantinople, This promj)- 
fcitude of Mr, Macdonald in secontling Miss Kightingale's exertions, 
rvcs all i>raise ; for it miunly enabled her to carry out the im- 
liate i-equiaitea of her plan, lUs own excellent letters, written 
it the time, give a most vivid picture of the difficulties she had to 
Ktand with, in the shape of ill-contrived arrangements alone, be- 
other obstructions to her procedure, A rule of the service^ 
ch required, that article.^ (needed for present use) should b« 
obtained from home through the Commissariat ; and a regulation 
pch api>ointed that a *'bo"hrd'' must sit upon stores already 
led, before they could be given out, will serve as instancca to 



show what were some few of the obstacles against which Mia 
Nightingale had to exert her energies of discretion and presence of 
inind. To comprehend the evils occasioned by snch impediments 
an extract from one of the nurses' letters will offer an example:— 
" I know not what sight is most heart-rending ; to witness fine-lookiiig, 
strong young men worn down by exhaustion, and sinking under it, 
or others coming in fearfully wounded. The whole of yefiterday 
was spent in sewijig men's mattrasses together ; then in washing 
and assisting the surgeons to dress their wounds ; and seeing the 
poor fellows made as comfortable as their circumstances wonld 
admit of after five days' confinement on board ship, during irliidi 
their wounds were not dressed. Out of the four wards committed 
to my charge, eleven men died in the night, simply from exhaus- 
tion ; which, humanly speaking, might •have been stopped, could 
I have laid my hands upon such nourishment as I know tbey 
ought to have had." 

In the article of hospital clothing, the same deplorable effects 
resulted from • the delay and confusion which existed before Mis 
Nightingale's remedial measures came into operation. The origiiw] 
supply of these articles, inadequate as it was, had been long reduced 
so low, that but for the purchases made with the money of the 
Fund, and distributed throtigh ^liss Nightingale, a large prop(»^ 
tion of the invalids must have been without a change of unde^ 
clothing, condemned to wear the tattered filthy rags in which they 
were brought doTVTi from the Crimea. A washing contract ex- 
isted, indeed, but it was entirely inoperative ; and the consequence 
was, that not only the beds, but the shh'ts of the men were in a 
state foul and unwholesome beyond description. To remedy this, 
a house well supplied with water, was engaged at the ch.orge of 
the Fund, close to the BaiTack Hospital, where tho clothing soji 
plied by IMiss Nightingale might be cleansed and dried- Her 


BDperrision bad an eye for all needa ; Ler experience liad a know 
ledge for all tliat should be done ; and her energy enabled her to 
'hsLve earned into effect tliat which she saw and knew onght to be 

In ten days after their arrival, Miss Nightingale and her as- 
sistants fitted op a soi-t of impromptu Idtchen ; and from this hastily 
constructed resource eight hundred men were daily supplied with 
tjieir respective needful quantities of well-cooked food, besides 
Ijeef-tea in abundance. They who ai'e acquainted with the plan of 
cookery pui-sued in barracks, where all a company's meat and 
vegetables are Ijoiled in one copper, the portions belongiDg to 
messes being kept in separate nets, will know how that food is 
likely to suit the sickly appetite of a fevered patient, and how 
invaluable a 8}^tem which provided the needful light ' diet pre- 
pai'ed with due quickness as well as nicety, would be in hospi- 
tal treatment. This was effected by Miss Kightingale's kitchen, 
even in its early operation ; and it subsequently attained a degree 
of excellence productive of extensive benefit scarcely to be es- 
timated by those unacquainted with the importance of such de- 
tails. Her extraordinary intelligence and capacity for organiza- \ 
tion, showed itself in subordinate, as well as principal points of ai*- 
rangeraent. lu what might be called " house-keeping duties," she 
showed womanly accomplishment, no less than nice judgment. 
When the nm'ses were not needed at the bedsides of the sick and 
wounded, they were employed by her in making up needful 
articles of bedding, and surgical requisites, — such as stump pillows 
for amputation cases. Not only was the laundry in excellent 
vorking-order, but by the strong representation of Miss Kightin- 
gale the dysentery wards were cleansed out, and general pm'ifica- 
tion was made a diligently regarded particuUir. 

During the first two months of her arrival, when there was no 




one else to act, IMiss Niglitingale was tlie real ptirveyor of ihow 
vast establisliments — the liospitals at Scutari ; providing what coulii 
not be obtained tbrongli the regular channela of ihe service, and, 
especially from her kitchen, supplying comforts without whleli 
many a poor fellow would have died. Iler name and benevolent 
services w:ere the theme of frequent and grateful praise among tlie 
men in the trenclies ; and the remark was made, that she nude 
the barrack hospital bo comfortable, that the convalescents began 
to show a decided reluctance to leave it. Stores of shirts, flannek 
80ob«, and a thoasand other articles, wLicli she and her nurges dis- 
tributed ; brandy, wine, and a variety of things, requu*ed at a mo- 
ment's notice, and which could be procured from Miss Nightingale's 

cpiartere without delay or troublesome formality, rendered her the 


virtual purveyor for the whole of that period, during which she 
was avowedly the person in whose keeping rested not only the 
comfort, but the existence of several thousand sick and wounded 
soldiers. One of Mr. Macdonald's impressive sentences serve* to 
paint the condition of the spot in which Miss Nightingale at that 
time drew breath. He says : " Wounds almost refuse to he^ iu 
this atmosphere ; the heavy smell of pestilence can be perceired 
outside the very walls." In one of the last letters he wrote, before 
he was compelled by falling health to return to England, the Times 
Commissioner bore the following earnest testimony to Miss Nigh^ 
ingale's excellence. It affords a beautiful picture of her in tbe 
midst of her self-imposed task of mercy and charity. These are 
his words : — " Wherever there is disease in its most dangerous form 
and the hand of the spoiler distressingly nigh, there is that incom- 
parable woman sure to be seen ; her benignant presence is an influ- 
ence for good comfoii;, even amid the struggles of expiring nature. 
She is a * ministering angel,' without any exaggeration, in the^e hos» 
pitals : and as her slender form ghdes quietly along each coiridor, 

svery poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her 
Wheu all the medical officers have retireil for the night, and si 
lence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate 
Bck, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, 
making her sohtary rounds. The popular instinct was not mistaken 
which, when she set out from England on her mission of mercy, 
bailed her as a heroine ; I trust that she may not earn hef title to 
HA^gher though sadder appellation. No one who has observed 
PSr fragile figure and delicate heaith, can avoid misgivings lest 
these should fail With the heart of a true woman, and the man- 
ners of a lady, accomplished and reiined beyond most of her sex, 
fihe combines a surpiising calmness of judgment and promptitude 
and decision of character. » * * I confidently assort, that, 
but for Miss JS^ightingale, the people of England would scarcely, 
with all theii* solicitude, have been spared the additional pang of 
knowing, which they must have done, sooner or later, that their 
soldiers, even in hospital, had found scanty refuge and relief from 
the unparalleled miseries with which this war has hitherto been 

The difficulties of Miss Nightingale's task were not only those 
arising out of its own appertaining perils and sacrifices, and those 
which resulted from official mismanagement ; but she encountered 
much opposition springing from professional prejudices and jeal- 
ousies, Ou their fii-st arriving, so far from being welcomed, the 
advent of the nurses was looked upon as an evil, resented as an 
*nterference, and treated with tacit, if not open discountenance. 
At the best, they were tolerated, not encouraged. Cabals were 
got up, ill-feeling fostered, pai-ty differences disseminated and fo- 
mented. Passive resistance in every shape was resorted to, to 
prevent the installing of the nurses in the military hospitals. 
Against all this, nothing but the exj^uisite tact, firmness, 'and goo** 



sense of Misa Niglitingale could have prevailed. Uaviiig pro 
hei^self a vigorous reformer of hospital misrule, slie liad to eucunn* 
ter the tacit opi)osition of nearly all the priucipid medical officea: 
her Bursea were spai-ingly resorted to, even in the Barrack Hospi* 
tal^ while in the General Hospital, — the head-quarters of one of 
the chief medical authorities — she held a very insecm'e footing. 
But the* return of this pei*son to England, the continued deficien- 
cies of the pm'veying, and the increashig emergencies of the hos- 
pital service, enabled Ikliss Nightingale to extend the sphere of her 
sfulness ; and thus, together with her own admirably patient pa> 
Bverauce, she succeeded in having her nurses employed m llieir 
proper posts, and her own system established in perfect working 

It seems incredible that even professional prejudice should io- 
spire men with such narrow-minded fears, and actuate them to such 
unworthy conduct ; but, more mcredible still, that the grand Chris' 
tianity of Miss Nightingale's undertaking could not protect hei 
from Pharisaical attacks. It is truly marvellous, that a sellVlevo 
tion so pure, and so noble, that it spoke ita own sacred spirit of 
piety and holiness, shoidd require not only explanation, but actual 
Aandication. In one instance, a friend had to write a defence of 
Miss Nightingale from one of these invidious attacks — a defence of 
her, who deserved universal veneration for her sublime self-dedica- 
tion to deeds divine in their charity and goodness ! "Wlule Wsa 
Nightuigale was still in the outset of her onerous t^k in the East, 
this was the letter which the Hon. INIrs, Sydney Ilerbert wrote on 
l:)ehiilf of her absent friend — the friend of thousands of sick, 
wounded, and dying brethren at that very time : — 

'UO Bei.GRATS Sq^akk, Dte, t, ^L 

" Madam : By this post I send you a Chinstian Tunes of Friday 
week hist, by which you will see how cruel and unjust are the rn- 



orta you mention about Miss Nightingale and Ler noble work 
Bnce then we have, sent forty-seven nurses, of which I enclose you 
I list. It is melancholy to thiuk that in Christian England no one 
Ban undertake any thing without the most uncharitable and secta- 
dan attacks ; and, had you not told me so, I should scarcely have 
believed that a clergyman of the ^Established Church would have 
been the mouthj^iece of slander. ^Ess Nightingale is a member of 
file Established Church of England, and what is called rather Low 
[Jhnrch. But ever since she went to Scutari, her religious opinion 
Kid character have been assailed on all points : — one person wrile^ 
to npbraid us for having sent her, * understanding she is a Unita- 
rian ; ' another, * that she i^ a Roman Catholic,' and so on. It is a 
cruel return to malce towards one to whom England owes so much. 
As to the charge of no Protestant nuiles being sent, the sul> 
Joined list will convince you of its fallacy. We made no distinc- 
tions of creed ; any one who w^as a good and skilful nurse, and un- 
derstood the practice in surgical wards, was accepted, provided, of 
course, that we had their friends' consent, and that in other re- 
spects, as far as we coidd judge-, they were of unexceptionable 
character. A large portion of the wounded being Roman Catho- 
lics, we accepted the services of some of the Sisters of Charity 
from St. Stephen's hospital, Dublin. I have now told you all, and 
feel sure that you will do your utmost to set these facts plainly 
before those whose minds have been disquieted by these false and 
onjust accusations. I should have thought that the names of Mr. 
and -Mrs. Bracebridge, who accompanied and are remdning with 
"Miss Nightingale, would have been sufficient guarantees of the 
evangelical natui-e of the work. But it seems nothing can stop 
the stream of sectarian bitterness. 

" I remain, madam, yours faithfully, 

"Elizabeth Hekssbt.'' 


On a subsequent occasion, in a speech delivered by Mr. S}(liie7 
Herbert at Oxford, on the same subject, he said : " I recollect an 
Kcellent answer being given to a query of this kind by an Irkli 
clergyman, who when he was asked to what sect Miss Nightingalo 
belonged, replied : ' She ]:>elong3 to a sect which uufortunatelj is » 
very rare one — the sect of the Good Samaritans,^ " 

The Hon. and Revd. Sydney Godolphin Osborne, in Iiis 
painfully interesting work upon " Scutari and its Hospitals,'^ i>b« 
serves, relative to these disgraceful animadversions upon Miss 
Nightingale ; — " I have heard and read with indignation, tlie rb- 
marks hazarded upon her religious character. I found her myself 
to be in her every word and action a Chi'istian ; I thought tixis 
quite enough. It would have been in my opinion the most cmi 
impei-tinence, to scrutimze her words and acts, to discover to 
which of the many bodies of true Christians she belonged. 1 
have conversed with her several times on the deaths of those, wlio 
I had visited ^ministerially in the hospitals, with whom she hflil 
been "vvhen they died. I never heard one word from her lips, that 
would not have been jast what I should have expected from the 
lips of those who I have known to be the most experienced 
and devout of our common faith. Her work ought to answer for 
her faith ; at least none should dare to call that faith in qoestioii, 
in opposition to such work, on grounds bo weak and trivial as 
those I have seen urged. That she has been equally kind and «fe- 
tentive to men of every creed ; that she would smooth the pilloir 
and give water to a dying fellow-creature who might own no 
creed, I have no doubt; all honour to her that she does feel, tbM 
hers is the Samaritan's — ^not the Pharisee's work. If there a 
blame in looking for a Roman Catholic Priest to attend a drnic 
Romanist, let me share it with her — ^I did it again and agaii.. 

This gentlemim's more particular description of the Lidy hst 



f, is especiiilly iuterestiDg. He says : — " Miss Niglitlngale in ap- 
arauce, is just wliat you would expect in any otlier well-bred 
Dman, who may liave seen, perhaps, rather more than thirty 
of life : her manner and countenance are prepossessing, and 
without the possession of positive beauty: it is a face not 
ly forgotten, pleasuig in its smile, with an eye betokening gi*eat 
elf-possession, and giving, when she wishes, a quiet look of firm 
determination to every featui'e. Her general demeanom* is qmet, 
and rather reserved : still, I am much mistaken if she is not gifted 
with a very lively sense of the ridiculous. In conversation, she 
speaks on matters of business with a gi-ave earnestness, one would 
not expect from her appearance. She has evidently a mind dis- 
ciplined to restrain under the principles of the action of the 
moment, every feeling which would interfere with it. She has 
trained herself to command, and learned the value of concihation 
towards others, and constraint over herself. I can conceive her to 
he a strict disciplmarian : she throws herself into a work — as its 
Head — as such she knows well how much success must depend 
upon literal obedience to her every order. She seems to under- 
stand business thoroughly. Her nerve is wonderful ; I have been 
with her at veiy severe operations ; she was more than equal to 
the trial. She has an utter disregard of contagion. I have known 
her spend hours over men dying of cholera or fever. The more 
awful to every sense any particular case, especially if it was that of 
a dying man, her shght form would be seen bending over him, ad- 
ministering to his ease in every way in her power, and seldom 
quitting his side till death released him." 

Inexpressibly delightful is that intimation that Miss Nightin- 

le gives token of being " gifted with a lively sense of the ridicu- 

Possessing the exquisite perception of the pathetic in es- 

which her whole career proclaims her to have, — ^it would 




have been a defect in her nature, — ^nay, a lack of tlie complete 
feeliDg for pathos itself — ^had she not betrayed a capacity for re- 
ceiving humorous impressions. Humom* and pathos are so nearly 
allied, in their source within the human heart, — so mingled in 
those recesses whence spring human tears at the touch of sympa- 
thy, that scarcely any being deeply affected by mournful emotion^ 
can remain insensible to the keen nppeal tliat resides in a ludicrous 
idea. Shakespeare, — who comprehended to perfection every im- 
pulse of humanity — ^affords multitudinous illustrations of this clcne 
consociation of a sense of pathos and a sense of humour in the finert 
natures. That particular feature chronicled by IVIr. Osborne b Im 
pei*sonal description of Miss Nightingale, is just the exquisite point 
— to our imagination — ^that crowns her admirable quahties. It 
accords with an intensely beautiful account of her, that was related 
by Mr. Sydney Herbert at a public meeting, convened in Mi» 
Nightingale's honour. He said, an anecdote had lately been sent 
to him by a correspondent showing her great power over all with 
whom she had come in contact. He read the passage from the 
letter, which waa this: — "I have just heard such a pretty account 
from a soldier, describing the comfort it was, even to see Florence 
pass — * She would speak to one and to another, and nod and smile 
to a many more; — but she couldn^t do it to all, you know; 
we lay there by hundreds ; but we could kiss her shadow as it fell, 
and lay our heads on the pIUow again, content.' — What poetry 
there is in these men ! I think I told you of another, who said, 
' Before she came, there was such cussin and swearin ; and after 
that^ it was as holy as a church.' " That consoling word or two, 
that gentle " nod and smOe " in passing, were precisely the totens 
of sympathy that would come with such home-felt charm to those 
manly hearts from a face possessing the emotional expression which 
we can conceive it naturally to have. Just the woman, with just 



! countenance to exercise an almost magical moral influence over 

a's minds. We are told, — eye-witnesses Lave aveiTed, that it 
'^as singular to remark Low, wLen men, frenzied, perliaps by tLcir 
tronnds and disease, had worked theraselves into a passionate re- 
fbsid to submit to necessary operations, a few calm sentences of 
seemed at once to allay the storm ; and the men would, sub- 
willingly to the painful ordeal they Lad to undergo " — ^Noble 
eing ! Exactly that blended firmness and gentleness which makes 
a woman's nature so all-potent in its beneficial ascendancy over 
manhood. Rough, brave fellows, tLat would have resisted like 
iron, any amoimt of men's persuasion, would melt at once into sub- 
mission at a " few calm sentences " fi*om those lips of hers. We 
can fancy the mouth,^capable of smUes, or quivering with deepest 
feeling, — compressed into resolute steadfastness, as it pei'suaded 
the men into reasonable acquiescence with what was for their good, 
while betraying the latent sympathy with their every pang. 

Florence Nightingale is a woman for every living woman to be 
proud of calling sister ; and she herself is one who would not disdata 
to allow the claim of sisterhood from the very lowliest of her sex. 

Long before Miss Nightingale returned from the East — and she 
would not Lear of going back to England, until tLe war was over ; 
altLough her LealtL and strength were so far impaired, tLat wLen 
a yacht was placed at Ler disposal by Lord Ward to admit of her 
taking temporary cLange of air in sea-excursions to recruit Ler for 
fartLer work, sLe Lad to be carried down to tLe vessel, carefully 
and reverently, in the arms of the men, amidst their blessings and 
prayere for her speedy recovery— -the Nation's gratitude could not 
be restrained from its eager desire to bestow somepubUc token of ac- 
knowledgment towards a woman, who they felt, Lad earned so im- 
irative a title to tLeir aftectionate thanks. A testimonial of some 
was agreed upon as tLe only means of exhibiting tLeir miani- 





mous feeling, and of permitting every one to contribute their sLwe 
in tlio offering. But of wliat was it to consist ? Sums of money to 
a lady in affluent circumstancca, would be futile ; omaijients to one 
whose chosen sphere was by the bedside of the sick, the j)oor, and 
the dying, would be idle. Any gift to herself, who had given her 
most precious possessions, her time, her attentions, her sympathy 
to others, was not to be thought of. lu the first place, it ww 
like an attempt to -reward that which was beyond reward,— 
to pay for that which was a free donation, and, moreover, }'\m 
Nightingale herself distinctly declined receiving any thing/or her- 
self. The only thing that remfuned then, was to raise a funil for 
benevolent purposes ; and to place it at her disposal, that she 
might appropriate it according as her own philanthropic heart and 
admirable practical judgment should think best. PubUc meedogs 
were called, presided over by a prince of the blood-royal, and one 
who had been a personal witness of ]MiS8 Nightingale's grand wort 
in the East ; and attended by peers, members of parliament, and 
some of the highest men in professional repute. They debated the 
question of the proposed " Nightingale Fund " in the noblest spirit 
of consideration ; — consideration for the delicate feelings of her 
who was the object of this testimonial of a nation's gratitude ; and 
consideration for those who were desirous of making this pnl»lic 
proflor of their homage. It was decided that " a fund to euahle 
her to establish an institution for the trauiing, sustenance, and piv)- 
tection of nurses and hospitiil attendants " would be the best form 
for this national testimonial to take ; and a copy of the proceed- 
ings was sent out to IMiss NigLtingale. Her own reply will best 
express the feelings with which she received it ; — 

" SoircABi Bas&ack Bod^At, JdMury 6, lS5i. 

" Deab Mks. Herbebt, — ^In answer to your letter (which ful* 
lowed me to the Crimea and back to Scutai-i) proposing to me the 

idertakiBg of a Training School for Narees, I will fii-st beg to say 
lat it is impossible for me to express wliat I have felt in regard to 
i sympathy and the confidence shown to me by the originators and 
"^apportere of this scheme. Exposed as I am to be misinterpreted 
and misunderstood, in a field of action in which the work is new, 
complicated^ and distailt from many who sit in judgment upon it, — 
it is, indeed, an abiding support to have such sympathy and such 
appreciation brought home to me in the miikt of labour and diffi- 
culties all but ovei-powering, I must add, however, that ray present 
work is such as I would never desert for any other, so long as I see 
room to believe that what I may do here is unfinished. May I, then, 
beg yon to express to the Committee that I accept their proposal, 
provided I may do so on theb understanding of this great uncer- 
tainty, as to when it will be possible to me to carry it out. 
" Believe me to be, • 

" Yours very taruly, 

"Florence NionTDroALE." 
Like all her lettere, tlus one is most characteristic. The steady 
pei*severance in the work she had in hand, and the determination 
not to abandon it, nntil it were comi)leted, is precisely the practiml 
and constant spirit which enabled her to achieve so much ; while 
the reference to the contingent uncertainty, is consistent with one 
who waa houi-ly witness to the precariousness of human projects, 
human hopea^ human existence. 

This " Nightingale Fund," in its ultimate destination, is in fiict, 
"but giving the admirable lady more work to do ; but as her fi-iend, 
Mr. Sydney Herbert, observed : — " iliss Nightingale looks to her 
reward from this country in having a fresh field for her labours, and 
means of extending the good that she has already begun. A com- 
pliment cannot be paid dearer to her heart thim in giving her more 
work to do," The object of the "Training School for Nurses,'' id 



to educate Nurses in the Central Institutioa, to practise them ia 
the schools for such duties which the various iine hospitals abe-idj 
m existence present, and to send them out fitted to re-instnict other 
nurses, in branches of the parent institution ; thus establishing a 
kind of normal college for nurses, that shall ramify throughout the 
whole country in its beneficial effects. Thtfe, at least, tlie present 
idea of the institution seems to be ; but its future details are ju- 
diciously left entirely at the discretion of her who has proved lie> 
self consummately competent to judge and act on this subject ; and 
to whom, moreover, the Fund is offered as a peoples' ^ft of grafr 

But while the nation was preparing its tritnte, crowned heads 
presented their individual tokens of admiration to the woman who, 
as Mr. Osborne forcibly remarked, was " the- one individual, who in 
this whole unhappy war, has shown more than any other, what real 
energy, guided by good sense, can do to meet the calls of suddea 

Oriental taste and good feeling in the person of the Sultan, 
presented IMLss ^Nightingale with a magnificent bracelet, set in 
brilliants, " as a mark of his estimation of the devotion evinced 
by this lacly in the British hospitals." English heart in the pe^ 
son of England's queen, the gracious sovereign, who with her own 
royal hand vrrote those cordial words : — " I wi^h Miss Nightingale 
and the ladies would tell these jioor noble, wounded,, and sickiaen 
that no one takes a warmer interest, or feels more for their snffe^ 
ings, or admires their courage and heroism more than their queen ; 
day and night she thinks of her beloved troops,'' — sent Miss Night- 
ingale a jewel, the design of which was even more precious, in its 
beautiful emblematic significance, than even the costly gems that 
composed its adornment. It is described as being formed of a St 
George's cross, in ruby-red enamel, on a white field, representing 

MISS N I G H T I N a A L E . 397 


aglanJ. This i.s encircled by a black band, t}^if}iBg the office 
cliarity, oa wliich is inscribed a golden legend, " Blei^sed are the 
lerciful."" The letters * V, 11.' siii'moimted by a crown in diamonds, 
re impressed upon the centre of the St. George's Cross, from which 
lanate rays of gold. Wide-spreading branches of palm in bright 
Ben enamel, tipped with gold, form a framework for the shield, 
leir stems being banded with a riband of \A\iq enamel, inscribed 
ith the word, * Crimea.* At the top three brilliant stars of dia- 
londs illustrate the idea of the light of Ileaven shed upon labours 
]!Hercy, Peace, and Charity. On the back of the jewel is an in- 
cription written by her Majesty, recording it to be a gift in memory 
8er\dce3 rendered to her brave army by Miss Nightingale." 
Meantime, the lady was diligently pursuing to a close her 
plorious task in the East ; and while these marks of home sym- 
pathy reached herself, she was still impersonating the sympathy of 
iiome to many a poor fellow dying far away. She not only shed 
this balm over t!io hearts of those hapless ones whom she had 
taken beneath the wings of her dove-like ministry ; but she sped 
homeward, on the wings of her kindly feeHug, missives of consola- 
tion and aid scarcely less needed. A poor woman, named Lau- 
rence, living in South Shields, whose husband was in the 89th 
egiment in the Crimea, not having heard of him for many months, 
emboldened to write to I^Iiss Nightingale, soliciting her to 
ie enquii'les regarding his fate. This was the reply : — 

" Scirrxjii Babrack Hostitai^ 6th March, 1866. 

' Dear 3Irs. Laurence, — ^I was exceedingly grieved to receive 

letter ; because I have only sad news to give you in return. 

las ! in the terrible time we had last year, when we lost from 

feventy to eighty men per day in these hospitals alone, many 

jridows hud to suffer like you ; and your husband, I regret to say, 


was among the number. He died in this hospital, February 2(*di, 
1855, jiist at the time when onr mortality reached its hei^^litiif 
fever and dyaenteiy ; and on that day we buried eighty men. In 
order that I might be sure that there was no mistako in the name, 
I wrote up to the colonel of his regiment, who confirms the new3 
in the note I enclose ; and though he is mistaken in the precise 
date of your husband's death, there is no mistake, alas I in the 
fact. I wisl\ed to get this reply before I wrote to you. Your 
husband's balance due to him was £1. 2. 4i, which was remitted 
home to the Secretary of War, September 25th, 1855, from whom 
ou can have it on apj^lication. As you were not aware of 
ling a widow, you are, of course, not in receipt of any aHowaace 
as a widow. You should^ therefore, make application to Colonel 
Lefroy, R. A., Hon. secretary of the Patriotic Fund, 16 a, Great 
George Street, Westminster, London. I enclose the necessary 
papers for you to fill up. Your coloucPs letter will be sufficient 
proof of your husband's death, I enclose it for the purpose. You 
;rill state all paiticulars about yonr children. Your minister 
will help you to fill it up. I am very sorry for you and your 
trouble. Should you have any difficulty about the Patriotic 
Fund, you may make use of this letter, which ^ylL\ be sufBcient 
evidence for you to produce of your being a widow. With sincere 
sympathy for your great loss, 

" I remain, yo\irs truly, 


Thus minutely did this gentle-hearted woman enter into the 
griefs and wants of those, only indirectly connected with her self* 
appointed work : in the midst of all her arduous duties, present 
and immediate, she could still find time for consolation and assi^'t' 
ance to those at a distance, even in veriest details. Among all to 
anxieties, responsibilities, and more vital affidrs, also, slie foaii<l 



►portuftity to attend to inteUigential needs ; for on one occasion, 
'e find from a letter written in tlie camp "before Sebastopol, dunng 
e spring of 1856, that " tliroiigli the exertions of IVIiss Nightln- 
le, a consideraljle qeantity of school materials, snch as maps and 
ites, was supplied to the schools." From her own stores she sup- 
iied books and games to cheer the dull hours of convalescence . 
id was foremost in every plan for affording the men harmless 
reation. On her own responsibility, ehe advanced from the 
Times Fund " the necessary sum for completing the erection of 
e Inkermann Caf6 ; she aided the active senior chaplain in estab- 
ihing a library and school-room, and warmly supported him in get- 
ang up evening lectures for the men. She took an interest in their 
ivate affali"s, and forwai'ded their little sa"vings to then* families in 
gland at a time when there was no provision for sending home 
all sums ; she ^vrote letters for the sick, took charge of bequests 
ir the d jing, and punctually forwarded these legacies of affection to 
ilatives ; she studied the comfort of those who recovered, and had 
a tent made to protect such of them as were permitted to take the 
air from the searching rays of an eastern sun, — moreover, enduring 
the mortification of a refusal from the hospital authoriti^ to have 
this tent put up. Her activity of intelligence was almost miracu- 
^Bus ; one of its personal observers, Dr. Pincofii, declares : — " I be- 
^Beve that there never was a severe case of any kind that escaped 
^Ber notice ; and sometimes, it was wonderful to see her at the bed- 
side of a patient who had been admitted perhaps but an hour 
before, and of whose arrival one would hardly have supposed it 
possible she could already be cognizant." 

And now the time approached when her noble duty m the 
East came to a close, by the declaration of peace. The date of 
her intended return to England was kept a profound secret, out 
of dread of that publicity which she has ever carefully shunned. 

Not only were the day and spot of Lcr probable lamling preserveil 
unknovm, lest the popular welcome that would have greeted her 
arrival should take place ; but desirous of maiutaining the strictest 
incognito, she refused the ofter of a passage in a British mm of 
war, and embarked on board a French vessel, passing througli 
Franco by nighty and travelling throagh her own country unrecog- 
mzed^ until she arrived at her own home in Derbyshire, on FricLiy, 
August 15th, 185G. 

The respect observed towards her evident desire for privacy, » 
well expressed in some graceftd stauzas that appeared in "Punch" 
for August 28th, 1856 :— 



Jlost bleaaod lUings come sUontly, and silently depart ; 
Noiseless steals spring-time on the year, and comfort on the L- aif : 
And still, and liglit, and gentle, like a dew, the raia mast bo 
To quicken seed in furrow, :uid blossom upon tree. 

Nile has its foaming rapids, freshes from mountain snows : 
But ^licre hia streams breed fruitfulness, serene and caloi it (Iowa ; 
And wbcn be over-brims, to cheer his banks on either side, 
You Bcarco can mark, so gradual, the swelling of his tide. 

Tho -wings of Angels make no stir, as thoy ply their work of ' 
But by the balm thoy shed around, we know them that they i 
God spake not in the thunder, nor in tho crashing blast ; 
His utterance was in the '* still small toIog " that come at last. 

So she, our sweet Saint Florence, modest, and still, and caln 
With no parade of martyr's cross, no pomp of martyr's palm, 
To the plaoe of plague and famine, foulness, and wounds, and pain, 
"Went out ppon her gracious toil, and so returns again. 

No shouting crowds about her path, no multitude's hot broat! 
To feed with wind of vanity the doubtful fires of faith : 
Uer path by hands official all unsmooth'd, her aims decried 
By tho Levites, who, when need was, paes'd on the other side. 


Wben titles, pensions, orders, with random hand aro shower'd, 
'Tis well tbat, save with blessings, she still should walk undowcr'd. 
What title lilto her own Bwe^t name, with the music all its own ? 
What order like the halo^hy her good deeds round her thrown ? 

Like her own hird — all voiceless while the daylight songsters trill, 
Sweet singer in the darkness, when all songs else are still, — 
She on that night of suff'riug, that cLill'd other hearts to stone, 
Came with soft step and gentle speech, yet wise and firm of tone. 

Tliiuk of the prayers for hor, that to the praying heart came back 
In rain of blessings, seeming still to spring upon her track : 
The comfort of her graciousncss to those whose road to dea^i 
Was dark and doubtful, till she showed the light of love and faitL 

Then leave her to the quiet she has chosen : she demands 
No greeting from our brazen throats, and vulgar clapping hands. 
Leave her to the still comfurt the saints know, that have striven. 
What are our earthly honours ? Her honours are in heaven 

There was one gracious welcome that Miss Nightingale could 
not but accept ; and that was from' the Royal Lady who was the 
Bovereign head of the army which had so long been the especial ob- 
ject of Miss Nightingale^s devoted care. A visit of some days at 
Balmoral, where the Queen was then staying in highland seclusion 
and enjoyment, was spent by IMiss Nightingale in the sunshine of 
kindly favour ; beiug treated, during her sojourn there, with the 
most marked distinction by lier Majesty and every member of the 
royal family. • 

Since her return home, Miss Nightingale's name baa met the 
public ear, l)ut in quiet deeds of practical goodness, consistent with 
her whole career. Iler own letters best serve to show the single- 
minded views that actuate her. Wlien a desii*e was testified by 
some of the working men of Sheffield to erect a monument in that 
town to the memory of their countrymen who fell in the Crimea, 
application was made to 3Iiss Nightingale, through her relative, 

3 Shore, of Meersbrook Hall, requesting that she would consent 



to lay tlie foundation-stone. Miss* Kigbtiugalea reply -w8B 


' Lea HrBST, Mazuqck^ Oct 23, Ifl 

" Mr DEAu Ltdia : — ^The puri)osG mentioned to me 
ter Las my deepest sympathy. It would have been most congenial 
with my feelings, on my return from the death-beds pf so many 
l>rave men to take a part in it. I shall be ^rith the men of She^ 
field in spirit whenever they execute their proposed plan. It is 
with real pain that I feel compelled to decline the pri\ilege which 
they offer to^me, of laying the first stone, But I believe I shall 
best honour the cause of those brave dead by abstaining from ap- 
pealing to tiourt that publicity which I consider to have been my 
greatest impedinfent in th/j work I have been engaged in for their 
sakes ; impeding it by arousing in some minds care for worldly 
distinctions. I will ask you to give this letter to Mr. Overend; 
and I should be glad that Mr. 'Overend should make known to 
those who had expressed a desire that I should lay the tet $Umt, 
my reasons and my sorrow for not doing so ; and I should say a)so 
that I feel an especial regret in declining this at Sheffield, from old 
and dear family recollections connected with the place, I miLst 
apologize for 80 late an answer, as I have only just returned 

" Pray believe me, my dear Lydia, 

" Very truly yours, 


Enclosed was a check for £20 towards the object proposed. 

These letters of Miss Nightingale are singularly auto-cl 
istic ; they exhibit that beautiful union of vigour and gentleness, firm 
decision and quiet modesty, fine judgment and enthusiastic feelingt 
which compose her womanly chai'acter. 

A striking instance of the right-minded firmness and spiri; slie 



coiil«l display, T;\'beii occasion demanded self-assertion, is contained 
in a letter Tvliicli accompanied tlie one that slie wrote fj'om Scutari, 
accepting the original proposal of the " Nightingale Fund." The 
remarks in this subjoined letter appeared to the committee (to ase 
their own expression) " so replete with sound common sense, that 
they iLsed the pernjission they had received to quote them." Tliese 
are her words : — 

" The confidence which the subscribers to this fund have shown 
me has been so generous and extraordinary that it is perhaps hai-dly 
necessary for me to allude to a veiy natural letter, which I am told 
•lias been printed, to the effect that I must forward a prospectus of 
what I am going to do, before I can exj^ect to have money sul> 
sci-ibed to do it. I think thLs perfectly reasonable if I originally 
had asJced for tlie money, which, of course, I did not. But to fur- 
nish a cut and dried prospectus of my plans, situated as I am here, 
when I cannot look forward a month, much Ic-ss a year, is what I 
would not if I could, and I could not if I would. I would not if 
I oould, because every thing which .succeedB is not the production 
"Of a scheme of rules and regulations made beforehand, bCit of *B 
mind observing and adapting itself to wants and events. I could 
not if I would, because it is simply impossible to find time in the 
midst of one overpowering work to digest and concoct another ; 
and if it could be done it would be simply bad, and to be hereaf- 
ter altered or destroyed." 

In these few pithy sentences lies the clue to underetand much 
that is aljuost incomprehensible in the wondrous magnitude, diffi- 
culty and complication of the work that Miss Nightingale achieved 
She possesses that mind capable of " ol>8erving and adapting itself 
to wants and events ; " the power of seizing at once the scope and 
necejisities of emergencies as they arise ; the courage and ability to 
meet them ; and the facult}' of fivstening the attention upon that 

particnlar work which demands immediate doing. The being able 
to concentrate the whole thought ui)on the present act in hand, to 
cope with it promptly, and to execute it solely — one thing at a 
time — is the way to perform these wonders of accumulated achieve- 
ment. Probably no one — ^not even eye-witnesses of the perplexi- 
ties and painful duties that surrounded her — ^will ever be able fully 
to conceive the amount of spirit-toil as well as body-toil which that 
truly-called " incomparable woman " went tlirough, while carrying 
out her great design in the East ; and, therefore, it is ue2ct to im- 
possible duly to estimate the true bulk of what she accomplished; 
but even so far as we can discern of that which she effected, it is a 
marvel of womanly achievement. 

It was just one of those extraordinary tasks, — entirely out of the 
ordinary course of events — ^that none but a woman could execute; 
yet, that not one woman in ten million could have performed. It re- 
quired a woman's tenderness, a woman's delicacy, a woman's instinct 
of discernment, in its nursing ministry ; whUe it required the intellect, 
the moral command, and the nerve, — rarely to be found united itt 
woman, — necessary to meet the multifarious difficulties it involved. 

The grand point in Miss Nightingale's character is this rare 
combination of invincible spuit, and softest charity. Her higli 
spirit is of the noblest sort; it gives her perfect contronl over h»* 
self and others, — ^temper, patience, endurance in herself ; courage, 
firmnness, influence ^\ith. others. Her charity is of the largest 
kind ; it includes forbearance, gentleness, loving sympathy with all 
her human brethren. It inspired her with the divine desire to 
soothe care, to minister tp sickness, to cheer and console death it* 
self: it taught her how to alleviate distress in the living, and oven 
how best to comfort sm'vivors. 

The liberal-minded, as well as liberal-hearted way in which this 
lady confers her benevolences, may be illustrated by the following 



incident and letter. There is a clxaritable institution in France, 
galled the " (Euvre de Notre Dame D'Orient," under the dii'ection 
tlie Abb6 Legendre, almoner of the hospital of Bourbonne-les- 
ins, a town where a great number of military men are accns- 
aed to resort every year for the benefit of the waters. On the 
lation of a relief fund, destined to ameliorate the condition of 
infirm soldiers after they are discharged from the hospital, Miss 
Nightingale forwarded her donation of a hundred francs through 
Lady Fox Strangways, widow of the general who was killed at In- 
kermann ; the donation being accompanied by this letter addressed 
to the Abb6 Legendrfe : — 

" SiEj — I feel the warmest sympathy with yon in the touching 
object of your work, and I am happy to join in it to the limited ex- 
tent which my own engagements allow, I received, too, from the 
excellent religious ladies who were attached to the French army in 
the East, so many tokens of their friendship, -^they gave me their 
assistance with such entire self-denial, and lightened my hard task 
in the hospitals with so much devotedness, that I shall always seek 
any opportunity of showing my gratitude to France, and to her 
brave children, whom I have been taught by those ladies to love 
and respect. 

" I am, sir, youi-s truly, 

"Floiience Nightingale." 



From slight but significant CLrcumstances constantly transpiring, 
tlie public may gather how faithfully and steadily Miss Nightin- 
gale is persevering in the lofty course she has adopted as that of 
lier life's aim. They find that she is quietly adding to those stores 
of practical knowledge and experience, which she has hitherto so 
effectively devoted to the service of her suffering fellow-creatures, 


■?9 290A6 


In Florence Nightingale all the world glorifies a woman who 
eml)odies the principle of devotion, in the widest sense of the 
word ; trne devoutness to God, — ^worshipping him by best service, 
in benefiting her fellow-mortals ; and fervent consecration of her- 
self to a high and immortal cause. 


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