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Lessons from Women's Lives.-Frontispiece.
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kUTH TRESS OF WOMEN'S RECORD," 2TC.
LONDON : 14 KING WILLIAM STREET, STRAND;
PRINTEDD BY M'FARLANE AND ERSKINE
(late Schenck & l'Farlane),
ST JAMES SQUARE,
JOAN OF ARC, .
ANNE BOLEYN, .
LucY HUTCHINSON, .
LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU,
IMRS BARBAULD, .
HANNAH MORE, .
MADAME DE STAEL,
CHARLOTTE CORDAY .
LADY JANE GREY, .
SARAH MARTIN, .
in 1410, at the
Domremy, in Lorraine.
She was -il
of Orleans," was
little village of
Her father was
id his wife, Isa-
mother, and was
often accustomed to nurse the sick,
assist the poor, receive travellers, and take care of her
played in sewing
of sheep; but
she was generally
She also spent a great
deal of time in a chestnut grove near her
She was noted, even when a child, for the
sweetness of her temper, her prudence, her
and her devotion,
During that period
of anarchy in France
supreme power, which had fallen from the
hands of a
of his reason, was disputed for
the rival houses of Orleans and
Burgundy, the con-
2 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
tending parties carried on war more by murder and
massacre than by regular battles. When an army was
wanted, both had recourse to the English, and these
conquering strangers made the unfortunate French
feel still deeper the horrors and ravages of war. At
first the popular feeling was undecided; but when, on
the death of Charles VI., the crown fell to a young
prince who adopted the Armagnac side, whilst the
house of-Burgundy had sworn allegiance to a foreigner
(Henry V.) as king of France, then, indeed, the wishes
and interests of all the French were in favour of the
Armagnacs, or the truly patriotic party. Remote as
was the village of Domremy, it was still interested in
the issue of the struggle. It was decidedly Armagnac,
and was strengthened in this sentiment by the rivalry
of a neighboring village which adopted Burgundian
Political and party interests were thus forced upon
the enthusiastic mind of Joan, and mingled with the
pious legends which she had caught from the traditions
of the Virgin. A prophecy was current that a virgin
should rid France of its enemies, and this prediction
seems to have been realized by its effect upon the
mind of Joan. The girl, by her own account, was about
thirteen when a supernatural vision first appeared to
her. She describes it as a great light, accompanied
by a voice telling her to be devout and good, and
JOAN OF ARC.
her the protection of
sponded by a vow of eternal chastity.
In this there
Joan, and to
the voice or voices continued
echo the enthusiastic and
wishes of her own heart.
We shall not lay much stress
on her declarations
appointed by the king
into the credibility
Her own simple
and early account
was, that "voices were her visitors and advisers; and
that they prompted her to quit her native place, take
up arms, drive the foe before her, and procure for the
young king his
set out upon
coronation at Rheims.
not influence enough to induce
the hazardous mission, until a 1
Burgundians, traversing and plundering the country,
had compelled Joan, together with her parents, to take
refuge in a neighboring town.
When they returned to
their village, after the departure of the marauders, they
of Domremy in ashes.
dents were well calculated to arouse
the enthusiasm of Joan.
and incessantly directed her
but to commence by making
to set out for
De Baudricourt, commander at Vaucouleurs.
parents, who were acquainted with Joan's martial pro-
pensities, attempted to force her into a marriage; but
paying a visit to an
whose company she made
before the governor of
De Baudricourt at first refused
granting an interview, treated
to see her, and, upon
She then returned
to her uncle's abode,
where she continued to announce her project, and
insist that the prophecy, that "France,
virgin from the frontiers
of Lorraine," alluded to her.
She it was, she asserted, who could
save France, and
not either kings, or dukes, nor yet the King of Scot-
she was as to
rumours of the day.
The fortunes of the
Charles at this
had sunk to the lowest ebb;
Orleans, almost his
loss of the "Battle
away all hope
of saving the
city from the English.
In this crisis, when all human support seemed
Baudricourt no longer
natural aid promised by the
damsel of Domremy, and
gave permission to
two gentlemen who had
to the truth of her divine mission, to conduct
Arc to the dauphin.
They purchased a horse for her,
JOAN OF ARC. 5
and, at her own desire, furnished her with male habits,
and other necessary equipment. Thus provided, and
accompanied by a respectable escort, Joan set out
from Vaucouleurs on the I3th of February 1429. Her
progress, through regions attached to the Burgundian
interest, was perilous, but she safely arrived at Fierbois,
a place within five or six leagues of Chinon, where the
dauphin then held his court. At Fierbois was a cele-
brated church, dedicated to St Catherine, and here
she spent her time in devotion, whilst a messenger was
despatched to the dauphin to announce her approach.
She was commanded to proceed, and reached Chinon
on the eleventh day after her departure from Vau-
Charles, though he desired, still feared to accept the
proffered aid, because he knew that the instant cry of
his enemies would be, that he had put his faith in
sorcery, and had league himself with the infernal
powers. In consequence of this, Joan encountered
every species oi distrust. She was not even admitted
to the dauphin's presence without difficulty, and was
required to recognize Charles amidst all his court.
This Joan, happily, was able to do, as well as to gain
the good opinion of the young monarch by the sim-
plicity of her demeanour. Nevertheless, the prince
proceeded to take every precaution before he openly
trusted her. He first handed her over to a commis-
6 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
sion of ecclesiastics, to be examined; then sent her
for the same purpose to Poictiers, a great law-school,
that the doctors of both Faculties might solemnly
decide whether Joan's mission was from heaven or
from the devil; for none believed it to be merely
human. The greatest guarantee against sorcery was
considered to be the chastity of the young girl, it
being an axiom that the devil would not or could not
take part with a virgin; and no pains were spared to
ascertain her true character in this respect. In short,
the utmost incredulity could not have laboured harder
to find out imposture than did the credulity of that
day to establish its grounds of belief. Joan was fre-
quently asked to do miracles; but her only reply was,
" Bring me to Orleans, and you shall see. The siege
shall be raised, and the dauphin crowned king at
They at length granted her request, and she received
the rank of a military commander. A suit of armour
was made for her, and she sent to Fierbois for a sword,
which, she said, would be found buried in a certain
spot within the church. It was found there, and con-
veyed to her. The circumstance became afterwards
one of the alleged proofs of her sorcery or imposture.
Her having passed some time at Fierbois amongst
the ecclesiastics of the place must have led, in some
way or other, to her knowledge of the deposit. Strong
JOAN OF ARC.
in the conviction of her mission, it was
to enter Orleans from the north, and
the other leaders, at length overruled her, and induced
the little company
of pious com-
she had raised,
beleaguered city by water, as the
and to enter the
least perilous path.
in carrying with
her a convoy of pro-
visions to the besieged.
The entry of Joan of Arc
into Orleans, at the end of April, was itself a triumph.
The hearts of the besieged were raised from despair to
of success; and
who in every encounter had defeated the
their courage paralysed by the coming ol
f this simple
her arrival to
the foe by
herald, bearing a summons to the English
be gone from the land, or she, the Pucelle, would slay
of the English was increased
threatened to burn him, as a specimen of the
ment which they reserved for his mistress.
But in the
from being under the
influence of terror, or through some unaccountable
want of precaution, allowed the armed
and left behind by Joan to reach Orleans unmolested,
traversing their intrenchments.
of feeling on both
sides, Joan's ardour
8 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
to take advantage of it. Under her banner, and
cheered by her presence, the besieged marched to the
attack of the English forts one after another. The
first carried was that of St Loup, to the east of Orleans.
It was valiantly defended by the English, who, when
attacked, fought desperately; but the soldiers of the
Pucelle were invincible. On the following day, the
6th of May, Joan, after another summons to the
English, signed "Jhesus Maria and Jehanne la
Pucelle," renewed the attack upon the other forts.
The French being compelled to make a momentary
retreat, the English took courage, and pursued their
enemies; whereupon Joan, throwing herself into a
boat, crossed the river, and her appearance was
sufficient to frighten the English from the open field.
Behind their ramparts they were still, however, formid-
able; and the attack led by Joan against the works
to the south of the city is the most memorable achieve-
ment of the siege. After cheering on her people for
some time, she had seized a scaling-ladder, when an
English arrow struck her between the breast and
shoulder, and threw her into the fosse. When her
followers took her aside, she showed at first some
feminine weakness, and wept; but seeing that her
standard was in danger, she forgot her wound, and ran
back to seize it. The French at the same time pressed
hard upon the enemy, whose stronghold was carried
JOAN OF ARC, 9
by assault. The English commander, Gladesdall, or
Glacidas, as Joan called him, perished with his bravest
soldiers in the Loire. The English now determined
to raise the siege; and Sunday being the day of their
departure, Joan forbade her soldiers to molest their
retreat. Thus in one week from her arrival at
Orleans was the beleaguered city relieved of its dread-
ful foe, and the Pucelle, henceforth called the Maid of
Orleans, had redeemed the most incredible and im-
portant of her promises.
No sooner was Orleans freed from the enemy than
Joan returned to the court, to entreat Charles to place
forces at her disposal, that she might reduce the towns
between the Loire and Rheims, where she proposed
to have him speedily crowned. Her projects were
opposed by the ministers and warriors of the court,
who considered it more politic to drive the English
from Normandy than to harass the Burgundians, or to
make sacrifices for the idle ceremony of a coronation;
but her earnest solicitations prevailed, and early in
June she attacked the English at Jargeau. They
made a desperate resistance, and drove the French
before them, till the appearance of Joan chilled the
stout hearts of the English soldiers. One of the Poles
was killed, and another, with Suffolk, the commander
of the town, was taken prisoner. This success was
followed by a victory at Patay, in which the English
io LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
were beaten by a charge of Joan, and the gallant
Talbot himself taken prisoner. No force seemed able
to withstand the Maid of Orleans. The strong town
of Troyes, which might have repulsed the weak and
starving army of the French, was terrified into sur-
render by the sight of her banner; and Rheims itself
followed the example. In the middle of July, only
three months after Joan had come to the relief of the
sinking party of Charles, this prince was crowned in
the cathedral consecrated to this ceremony, in the
midst of the dominions of his enemies. Well might
an age even more advanced than the fifteenth century
believe that superhuman interference manifested itself
in the deeds of Joan.
Some historians relate that, immediately after the
coronation, the Maid of Orleans expressed to the king
her wish to retire to her family at Domremy; but
there is little proof of such a resolution on her part.
In September of the same year, we find her holding a
command in the royal army, which had taken posses-
sion of St Denis, where she hung up her arms in the
cathedral. Soon after, the French generals com-
pelled her to join in an attack upon Paris, in which
they were repulsed with great loss, and Joan herself
was pierced through the thigh with an arrow. It was
the first time that a force in which she served had
suffered defeat. Charles immediately retired once
JOAN OF ARC. II
more to the Loire, and there are few records of Joan's
exploits during the winter. About this time a royal
edict was issued ennobling her family, and the district
of Domremy was declared free from all tax or tribute.
In the ensuing spring, the English and Burgundians
formed the siege of Compiegne, and Joan threw her-
self into the town to preserve it, as she had before
saved Orleans, from their assaults. She had not
been many hours in it when she headed a sally
against the Burgundian quarters, in which she was
taken by some officers, who gave her up to the Bur-
gundian commander, John of Luxemburg. Her
capture appears, from the records of the Parisian Par-
liament, to have taken place on the 23d of May 1430.
As soon as Joan was conveyed to John of Luxem-
burg's fortress at Beaurevoir, near Cambray, cries of
vengeance were heard among the Anglican partisans
in France. The English themselves were not fore-
most in this unworthy zeal. Joan, after having made
a vain attempt to escape by leaping from the top of
the donjon at Beaurevoir, was at length handed over
to the English partisans, and conducted to Rouen.
The University of Paris called loudly for the trial of
Joan, and several letters are extant in which that
body reproaches the Bishop of Beauvais and the Eng-
lish with their tardiness in delivering up the Pucelle
S2 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES'
The zeal of the University was at length satisfied
by letters patent from the King of England and
France, authorising the trial of the Pucelle, but stating
in plain terms that it was at the demand of public
opinion, and at the especial request of the Bishop of
Beauvais and of the University of Paris--expressions
which, taken in connection with the delay in issuing
the letters, sufficiently prove the reluctance of the
English Council to sanction the extreme measure of
vengeance. After several months' interrogatories, the
judges who conducted the trial drew from her confes-
sions the articles of accusation. These asserted that
Joan pretended to have had visions from the time
when she was thirteen years old: to have been visited
by the archangels Gabriel and Michael, the saints
Catharine and Margaret, and to have been accom-
panied by these celestial beings to the presence of
the Dauphin Charles; that she pretended to know St
Michael from St Gabriel, and St Catharine from St
Margaret; that she pretended to reveal the future;
and had assumed male attire by the order of God.
Upon these charges her accusers wished to convict
her of sorcery. Moreover, they drew from her answers
that she declined to submit to the ordinances of the
Church whenever her voices told her the contrary.
This was declared to be heresy and schism, and to
merit the punishment of fire.
JOAN OF ARC. 13
These articles were despatched to the University of
Paris, and all the Faculties agreed in condemning such
acts and opinions as impious, diabolical, and heretical.
This judgment came back to Rouen; but it appears
that many of the assessors were unwilling that Joan
should be condemned; and even the English in
authority seemed to think imprisonment a sufficient
punishment. The truth is, that Joan was threatened
with the stake unless she submitted to the Church, as
the phrase then was-that is, acknowledged her
visions to be false, foreswore male habits and arms,
and owned herself to have been wrong. Every means
were used to induce her to submit, but in vain. At
length she was brought forth on a public scaffold at
Rouen, and the Bishop of Beauvais proceeded to read
the sentence of condemnation, which was to be fol-
lowed by burning at the stake. Whilst it was read-
ing, every exhortation was used, and, Joan's courage
for once failing, she gave utterance to words of con-
trition, and expressed her willingness to submit, and
save herself from the flames. A written form of con-
fession was instantly produced and read to her, and
Joan, not knowing how to write, signed it with a cross.
Her sentence was commuted to perpetual imprison-
ment, to the bread of grief and the water of anguish."
She was borne back from the scaffold to prison; whilst
those who had come to see the sight displayed the
14 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
usual disappointment of unfeeling crowds, and even
threw stones in their anger.
When brought back to her prison, Joan submitted
to all that had been required of her, and assumed her
female dress; but when two days had elapsed, and
when, in the solitude of her prison, the young heroine
recalled this last scene of weakness, forming such a
contrast with the glorious feats of her life, remorse
and shame took possession of her, and her religious
enthusiasm returned in all its ancient force. She
heard her "voices" reproaching her; and under this
impulse she seized the male attire, which had been
perfidiously left within her reach, put it on, and
avowed her altered mind, her resumed belief, her late
visions, and her resolve no longer to belie the power-
ful impulses under which she had acted. What I
resolved," said she, I resolved against truth. Let
me suffer my sentence at once, rather than endure
what I suffer in prison."
The Bishop of Beauvais knew that if Joan were
once out of the power of the court that tried her, the
Chapter of Rouen, who were somewhat favourably
disposed, would not again give her up to punishment;
and fears were entertained that she might ultimately
be released, and gain new converts. It was resolved,
therefore, to make away with her at once, and the
crime of relapse was considered sufficient. A pile of
JOAN OF ARC. 15
wood was prepared in the old market at Rouen, and
scaffolds placed round it for the judges and ecclesi-
astics. Joan was brought out on the last day of May
1431; she wept piteously, and showed the same weak-
ness as when she first beheld the stake. But now no
mercy was shown. They placed on her head the cap
used to mark the victims of the Inquisition, and the
fire soon consumed the unfortunate Joan of Arc.
When the pile had burned out, all the ashes were
gathered and thrown into the Seine.
It is difficult to say to what party most disgrace
attaches on account of this barbarous murder; whether
to the Burgundians, who sold the Maid of Orleans;
the English, who permitted her execution; the French,
of that party who brought it about and perpetrated it;
or the French, of the opposite side, who made so few
efforts to rescue her to whom they owed their libera-
tion and their national existence. The story of the
Maid of Orleans is, throughout, disgraceful to every
one, friend and foe; it forms one of the greatest blots
and one of the most curious enigmas in historic record.
It has sometimes been suggested that she was merely
a tool in the hands of the priests; but this supposition
will hardly satisfy those who read with attention the
history of Joan of Arc.
No scrutiny has ever detected imposture or artifice
in her. Enthusiasm possessed her, yet it was the
16 LESSONS FROM WOMEA'S LIVES.
lofty sentiment of patriotic zeal; not a particle of
selfish ambition shadowed her bright path of victory
and fame. She seemed totally devoid of vanity, and
showed in all her actions as much good sense, pru-
dence, firmness, and resolution, as exalted religious
zeal and knowledge of the art of war. Her purity of
life and manners was never doubted. During all the
time she was with the army, she retired, as soon as
night came, to the part of the camp allotted to females.
She confessed and communed often, and would never
allow a profane word to be uttered in her presence.
She always tried to avoid the great deference paid to
her; and when, at one time, a crowd of women pressed
around her, offering her different objects to touch and
bless, she said laughingly to them, Touch them your-
selves; it will do just as well." And yet she would
never allow the slightest familiarity from any one. Not
the least remarkable part of her character was the
influence she invariably acquired over all with whom
she was brought into contact.
E BOLEYN, or,
of Sir Thomas
Bullen, the representative of an ancient
was born in 1507, and in 1514 was carried to France
when she went to marry Louis XII.
After the death
in France, in the service of Claude,
I., and, after her
death, with the Duchess of
The beauty and accomplishments of Anne,
even at that early age, attracted
the French court.
She returned to England, and, about
maid of honour to Catherine of Arragon, wife of Henry
Here she was receiving the addresses of Lord
eldest son of the Duke of
18 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
when the king fell violently in love with her. But
Anne resolutely resisted his passion, either from prin-
ciple or policy; and at length the king's impatience
induced him to set on foot the divorce of Catherine,
which was executed with great solemnity. The Pope,
however, would not consent to this proceeding; so
Henry disowned his authority and threw off his yoke.
He married Anne privately, on the 14th of November
1532. The marriage was made public on Easter-Eve,
1533, and Anne was crowned the ist of June. Her
daughter Elizabeth, afterwards queen, was born on
the 7th of the following September. Anne continued
to be much beloved by the king till 1536, when the
disappointment caused by the birth of a still-born son,
and the charms of one of her maids of honour, Jane
Seymour, alienated his affections, and turned his love
He caused her, on very slight grounds, to be in-
dicted for high treason; and she was taken to the
Tower, from which she addressed the following touch-
ing letter to the king:-
"SIR,-Your grace's displeasure and my imprison-
ment are things so strange unto me, as what to write,
or what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant. Whereas
you send unto me, willing me to confess a truth,
and so obtain your favour, by such an one whom
I know to be mine ancient professed enemy, I no
sooner received this message by him than I rightly
conceived your meaning; and if, as you say, con-
fessing a truth indeed may procure my safety, I
shall with all willingness and duty perform your com-
But let not your grace ever imagine that your
poor wife will ever be brought to acknowledge a fault
when not so much as a thought thereof preceded.
And, to speak a truth, never prince had wife more
loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, than you
have ever found in Anne Boleyn, with which name
and place I could willingly have contented myself, if
God and your grace's pleasure had been so pleased.
Neither did I at any time so far forget myself in my
exaltation or received queenship but that I always
looked for such an alteration as I now find; for the
ground of my preferment being on no surer founda-
tion tlhin your grace's fancy, the least alteration, I
knew, was fit and sufficient to draw that fancy to some
other object. You have chosen me from a low estate
to be your queen and companion, far beyond my desert
or desire. If, then, you found me worthy of such
honour, good your grace let not any light fancy, or
bad counsel of mine enemies, withdraw your princely
favour from me ; neither let that stain, that unworthy
tainn, of a disloyal heart towards your good grace,
20 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
ever cast so foul a blot on your most dutiful wife, and
the infant princess your daughter. Try me, good
king, but let me have a lawful trial, and let not my
sworn enemies sit as my accusers and judges; yea,
let me receive an open trial, for my truth shall fear no
open shame; then shall you see either mine innocence
cleared, your suspicions and conscience satisfied, the
ignominy and slander of the world stopped, or my
guilt openly declared. So that whatsoever God or
you may determine of me, your grace may be freed
from an open censure; and mine offence being so
lawfully proved, your grace is at liberty, both before
God and man, not only to execute worthy punish-
ment on me as an unlawful wife, but to follow your
affection already settled on that party for whose sake
I am now as I am, whose name I could some good
while since have pointed unto, your grace not being
ignorant of my suspicions therein.
But if you have already determined of me, and
that not only my death but an infamous slander must
bring you the enjoying of your desired happiness, then
I desire of God that He will pardon your great sin
therein, and likewise mine enemies, the instruments
thereof, and that He will not call you to a strict
account for your unprincely and cruel usage of me,
at His general judgment-seat, where both you and
myself must shortly appear, and in whose judgment, I
ANlNE B OLEiYN. 21
doubt not, whatsoever the world may think of me,
mine innocence shall be openly known and sufficiently
cleared. My last and only request shall be, that my-
self may only bear the burden of your grace's dis-
pleasure, and that it may not touch the innocent souls
of those poor gentlemen who, as I understand, are
likewise in strait imprisonment for my sake. If ever
I have found favour in your sight, if ever the name of
Anne Boleyn hath been pleasing in your ears, then
let me obtain this request, and I will so leave to
trouble your grace any further, with mine earnest
prayers to the Trinity to have your grace in His good
keeping, and to direct you in all your actions. From
my doleful prison in the Tower, this sixth of May.
Your most loyal and ever faithful wife,
"4 ANNE BOLEYN."
This pathetic and eloquent address failed to touch
the heart of the tyrant, whom licentious and selfish
gratification had steeled against her.
Four gentlemen, Norris, Weston, Brereton, and
Smeton, who were accused with her, were brought to
trial; but no legal evidence could be produced against
them, nor were they confronted by the queen. Smeton,
by a vain hope of life, was induced to confess his
guilt; but even her enemies despaired of gaining any
"advantage from this confession, and he was imme-
22 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
diately executed, together with Weston and Brereton.
Norris, a favourite of the king, was offered his life if
he would criminate Anne; but he replied that, rather
than calumniate an innocent person, he would die a
Anne and her brother were tried by a jury of peers,
of which their uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, one of
Anne's most inveterate enemies, was president. The
sittings of this commission were secret, and all records
of its proceedings were immediately destroyed. None
of the ladies of the queen's household were examined,
and the queen was unassisted by legal advisers; but,
notwithstanding the indecent impatience of the pre-
sident, she defended herself with so much clearness
and presence of mind, that she was unanimously
believed guiltless. Judgment was, however, passed
against her and her brother, and she was sentenced
to be burned or beheaded, according to the king's
pleasure. Not satisfied with annulling the marriage,
Henry had her daughter Elizabeth declared ille-
The queen, hopeless of redress, prepared to submit
without repining. In her last message to the king,
she acknowledged obligation to him for having ad-
vanced her from a private gentlewoman, first to the
dignity of a marchioness, and afterwards to the throne;
and now, since he could raise her no higher in this
ANNE BOLE YN 23
world, he was sending her to be a saint in heaven.
She earnestly recommended her daughter to his care,
and renewed her protestations of innocence and
fidelity. She made the same declarations to all who
approached her, and behaved not only with serenity,
but with her usual cheerfulness.
The executioner," said she to the lieutenant of
the Tower, "is, I hear, very expert; and my neck
(grasping it with her hand, and laughing heartily) is
When brought to the scaffold she assumed a more
humble tone, recollecting the obstinacy of her pre-
decessor, and its effects upon her daughter Mary:
maternal love triumphed over the just indignation of
the sufferer. She said she came to die, as she was
sentenced by the law; that she would accuse no one,
nor advert to the ground upon which she was judged.
She prayed fervently for the king, calling him a most
merciful and gentle prince, and acknowledging that
he had been to her a good and gracious sovereign.
She added, that if any one should think proper to
canvass her cause, she desired him to judge the best.
She was beheaded by the executioner of Calais, who
was brought over for the purpose, as being particu-
larly expert. Her body was thrown into a common
elm chest, made to hold arrows, and buried in the
24 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
The innocence of Anne Boleyn can hardly be ques-
tioned. The tyrant himself knew not whom to accuse
as her lover; and no proof was brought against any
of the persons named. An occasional levity and
condescension, unbecoming the rank to which she
was elevated, is all that can be charged against her.
Henry's marriage to Jane Seymour, the very day after
Anne's execution, shows clearly his object in obtaining
It was through the influence of Anne Boleyn that
the translation of the Scriptures was sanctioned by
Henry VIII. Her own private copy of Tindal's
translation is still in existence. She was a woman of a
highly cultivated mind; and there are still extant some
verses composed by her shortly before her execution,
which are touching, from the grief and desolation they
express. The following is an extract from them:-
O Dethe rocke me on sleepe,
Bringe me on quiet rest;
Let pass my very guiltlesse goste
Out of my careful breste.
Toll on the passing bell,
Ringe out the doleful knell,
Let the sound my dethe tell,
For I must dye,
There is no remedy,
For now I dye.
ANNE BOLE ]K. 25
"' Farewell my pleasures past,
Welcum my present payne !
I f:ce my torments so increase
"That Ivfe cannot remavne.
case now the passinie bell,
n is my dolhll knell,
For tlhe sounded my dcetle doth( tel';
S)ethe dothl draw nye,
Sounde my end dolefully;
I or now I dye.',
mAS the daughter of Henry VIII. by his
second wife, Anne Boleyn, and born
September 7, 1533. Upon the king's
marriage with Jane Seymour, in 1535,
she was declared illegitimate, with her half-sister Mary;
and the succession to the crown established on the
king's issue by his third wife. Her mother, at her
death, had earnestly recommended her to the care of
Dr Parker, a great Reformer, and afterwards Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, who had the charge of her
education, and instructed her carefully in the prin-
ciples of the Christian religion. She spent her youth
in the manner of a private person, and was unmo-
lested; but, when her sister Mary ascended the throne,
she was imprisoned on suspicion of being concerned
in Lady Jane Grey's promotion, and, in March 1557,
committed to the Tower. She came near losing her
Q UEEN ELIZABETH. 2 7
life, for Bishop Gardiner was against her, supposing
Popery but half re-established while she lived. But
Philip of Spain, Mary's husband, interceded for her,
and saved her. For as Philip and Mary had no
children, he considered that, if Elizabeth were removed,
the crown of England, after Mary's death, would pass
to Mary of Scotland, who had just married the dau-
phin of France; and his hatred of France proved
stronger than his zeal for his religion. Nevertheless,
Elizabeth underwent great sufferings and ill treatment
during her sister's reign.
Elizabeth began to reign in 1558. She was then
twenty-five, and highly accomplished. Her person
was graceful, her carriage noble and majestic; and
though her features were not regular, yet her fair
complexion, her lustrous eyes, and intelligent, ani-
mated expression, hardly suffered smaller imperfections
to be observed. She was endowed with great talents,
enlarged, cultivated, and refined by education. She
wrote letters in English and Italian at thirteen; and,
before she was seventeen, was perfect in the Latin,
Greek, and French, and not unacquainted with other
European languages. She also studied philosophy,
rhetoric, history, divinity, poetry and music, and
everything that could improve or adorn her mind.
Her first object, after her accession, was to restore
the Protestant religion; to this she was led by interest
28 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
as well as principle. For the Pope treated her in
such a manner that she clearly perceived, if she pro-
fessed Popery, she must allow her father's divorce
from Catherine of Arragon to be void, and conse-
quently herself illegitimate; and this would have
annulled her pretensions to the crown. She has been
strongly suspected by some of an inclination to the
Roman Catholic religion; but there is no proof of
this. Indeed she was the real foundress of the English
Episcopal Church, as it now exists. True, she was
greatly assisted by her counsellor, Cecil, afterwards
Lord Burleigh; still Elizabeth herself always held the
reins of government over the Church, as well as over
the State; and what she founded and upheld steadily
for fifty years must have been conformable to her own
The queen, wiile she was princess, had a private
proposal of marriage from the King of Sweden; but
she declared "she could not change her condition,"
though it was then very disagreeable. Upon her
becoming queen, Philip of Spain, her late sister's
husband, made an offer of himself to her, which she
declined. In the first parliament of her reign, the
House of Commons addressed her, and represented
to her how necessary it was, for the happiness of the
nation, that she should think of marrying. She
Q UEE"N ELIZABETI. 29
That, by the ceremony of her inauguration, she
was married to her people, and her subjects were to
her instead of children; that they should not want a
successor when she died; and that, for her part, she
should be very well contented to have her tomb-stone
tell posterity, Here lies a queen, who reigned so long,
and lived and died a virgin.'"
Several matches were afterwards proposed to her
by her people, and many distinguished personages were
desirous of uniting themselves to this illustrious prin-
cess ; but she maintained her celibacy.
It was not long before Elizabeth, by the advice of
her council, began to interfere in the affairs of Scot-
land. Mary, the young queen of that country, was
Sthe next heir in blood to the crown of England;
and as the zealous Romanists considered the birth of
Elizabeth illegitimate, and her succession as rendered
invalid by the papal excommunication she had under-
gone, they regarded Mary as the true sovereign of
England. In accordance with this idea, when Queen
Mary died, Mary of Scotland and her husband, the
dauphin of France, openly assumed the arms and title
of English royalty. This act of hostility Elizabeth
never forgot. When Mary returned to Scotland,
some ineffectual attempts were made to induce
Elizabeth to recognize her as presumptive successor
to the English throne; but Elizabeth then, as ever
30 LESSONS EROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
afterwards, displayed the greatest aversion to the
nomination of a successor. The matter was suffered
to rest, and the two queens lived in apparent amity.
The Queen of England always evinced a weak jealousy
of Mary's superior personal charms, and attempted a
rivalry in that respect, as mean as it was hopeless.
Another weakness of hers was a propensity to adopt
court favourites, whom she selected rather on account
of their external accomplishments than their merit.
This foible was sometimes detrimental to her state
affairs; though she generally gave her ministers
and counsellors, who were chosen for their real
merit, a due superiority in business affairs over her
One of the most conspicuous of these, Dudley, Earl
of Leicester, who obtained a great ascendency over
her, aspired to her hand; but she checked his pre-
sumption, and proposed him as a husband to the
Queen of Scotland, whom she had thwarted in every
attempt she made to ally herself to a foreign potentate.
But when Mary seemed disposed to listen favourably
to this proposal, Elizabeth interfered and prevented
her rival from taking away her favourite. Elizabeth
and her ministers had also fomented those political
dissentions which gave Mary so much disquiet.
In 1568, Mary fled from Scotland, and took refuge
in England; having previously informed Elizabeth of
QUEEN LIZABETH. 31
her determination. The English queen resolved to
detain her rival in perpetual imprisonment, in con-
sequence of which two or three rebellions were excited
by the Catholics of England; but these were soon
quelled by the prompt measures of Elizabeth.
The Puritan party began at this time to give the
queen some uneasiness; for, with a haughty and
arbitrary temper, and a high idea of her prerogative,
she was greatly offended by the spirit of civil liberty
which, from their earliest rise, marked the Puritans.
Elizabeth, however, understood so well the art of
making concessions, and at the same time of sup-
porting her dignity, that, though she ruled her people
with a rigorous hand, she always retained their confi-
dence and affection. Her wise frugality prevented
her from being burdensome to the nation; and she
is a singular instance of a sovereign who returned
a portion of the people's grants. The principal
pecuniary cause of complaint in her reign arose
from her custom of rewarding her courtiers with
One of the most singular instances of contention
between the feminine weakness and the political
prudence of Elizabeth, was her conduct with respect
to her suitor, the Duke d'Anjou, youngest brother of
Charles IX. of France. This prince, about twenty-
five years younger than herself, had been encouraged
32 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
to come over to England, and prosecute his courtship
in person. The negotiations for the marriage were
nearly completed; and the queen was seen, in public,
to take a ring from her own finger and put it on his,
as a pledge of their union. At length, perhaps in
consequence of the great dislike of the nation to the
match, she suddenly broke off the affair, and sent
back the enraged prince to his government of the
In 1585, Elizabeth openly defied the hostility of
Spain, by entering into a treaty with the revolted Low
Countries, by which she bound herself to assist them
with a considerable force, on condition of having some
ports in her hands for her security. She refused the
offer, which was twice made, of the sovereignty of
these provinces, but stipulated for the admission of
her general into the Council of the States. The person
she chose for this high trust was the Earl of Leicester,
who did little honour to her choice. She at the same
time sent a powerful armament against the Spanish
settlement of the West Indies, under Sir Francis Drake.
She likewise made a league of mutual defence with
James, King of Scotland, whose friendship she courted,
while she kept his mother imprisoned.
In 1586, a conspiracy was formed against the life
of Elizabeth, the detection of which had very important
consequences. Ballard, a Catholic priest, induced
Q UEEN ELIZABETH. 33
Anthony Babington, a Derbyshire gentleman of for-
tune, to undertake the queen's assassination. He was
acting in the service of the Queen of Scots, but it
is doubtful whether Mary was aware of the intended
murder of Elizabeth. The plot was discovered, and
letters of Mary found, which rendered her participa-
tion in it, to a certain extent, a matter of judicial proof.
Fourteen of the principal conspirators were executed,
and Mary was tried and condemned to death. Eliza-
beth, though consenting to her execution, practised
all the artifice and dissimulation which belonged to
her character, to avoid as much as possible the odium
of putting to death a queen and a near kinswoman.
She wept and lamented as though she had lost a dear
friend; she stormed at her council, and inflicted on
her secretary, Davison, who had sent off the warrant,
a ruinous fine.
The next great event of this reign was the expe-
dition sent against England by the Spaniards. A
large fleet, the Invincible Armada, as it was called,
set sail in the summer of 1588, and presented a more
formidable spectacle in the English Channel than had
been witnessed for many centuries. Elizabeth exerted
all her energy to infuse confidence in her subjects.
She rode on horseback through the camp at Tilbury,
with a cheerful and undaunted demeanour, and ad-
dressed the troops with the true spirit of a hero.
34 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
Happily the English fleet, aided by the winds, con-
quered the invincible armada before it reached the
coast. Elizabeth also assisted Henry IV. of Navarre
in obtaining possession of the throne of France.
In these enterprises by land and sea, the gallant
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, distinguished him-
self very much. On the death of Leicester, he had
succeeded to his place in the estimation of the queen;
and his splendid qualities and heroic valour seemed
to justify her partiality. Her partiality, however, did
not prevent her from asserting her own dignity; and
once, when in the heat of debate he had turned his
back upon her, she resented the affront by a sound
box on his ear. She afterwards mollified his deeply-
injured pride, and sent him over to Ireland as Lord-
Lieutenant. Through his mismanagement the expe-
dition failed. Upon his unpermitted return to justify
himself, she at first received him graciously; but, after
a few hours of reflection, her conduct changed so
towards him that he became really ill. This roused
the pity of the queen, who sent her physicians to him
with kind messages. After his recovery he again lost
her favour, and, urged by his enemies and his own
impetuous temper, Essex broke out in open rebellion
against his sovereign. Elizabeth, after a long delay,
signed his death-warrant with the most painful reluc-
tance. He was executed in 1600.
Q UEEN ELIZABE TI. 35
In i6oi, Elizabeth held a conference with Sully,
who came from Henry IV. of France, concerning the
establishment of a new system of European power,
which was to produce a lasting peace. Sully returned
much impressed by the solidity and enlargement of
her views. She never was more respected abroad,
or more beloved and cherished by her subjects, than
just at the termination of her reign. But the last
scene was darkened by a deep melancholy, and she
died in a most deplorable state of despondency.
An incident relative to the unfortunate Essex has
been suggested as the cause of her grief. She had
given him a ring as a pledge of her affection, promis-
ing him at sight of it a favourable hearing, with what-
ever offences he might be charged. After his con-
demnation, Essex had sent this ring to the queen by
the Countess of Nottingham, who had been persuaded
by her husband, an enemy of the Earl, to retain the
pledge. On her death-bed, the countess sent for the
queen, and revealed the secret to her, entreating her
pardon. The queen, in a violent rage, shook the
dying countess in her bed, exclaiming-
That God might pardon her, but she never could!"
From this time she rejected all consolation, refused
food, and, throwing herself on the floor, passed days
and nights without changing her place. Nature at
length began to sink, and as her end drew near she
36 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
was urged to declare her successor. She said she had
held a regal sceptre, and would have none but a king
to succeed her; and who should that be but her
nearest kinsman, the King of Scots ? She died March
24, 1602, in the seventieth year of her age.
Elizabeth was rather noble as a queen than amiable
as a woman. Pope Sixtus V., who highly admired
her, gave her a place among the only three persons
then living who deserved to reign-the other two
were himself and Henry IV. The character of this
great queen has been misunderstood, because she-has
been judged as a woman rather than as a sovereign.
It should never be forgotten that she voluntarily re-
linquished the enjoyment of domestic life, where
woman's nature is most truly and beautifully dis-
played, in order to devote herself to the cares of state
and the happiness of her people. She should there-
fore be judged as a ruler; only it should ever be borne
in mind that a higher degree of moral power ought to
be found in the character of woman, in whatever
station she occupies, than is manifested by man. It
was this moral sense, in which Elizabeth excelled all
the kings of England, from the time of Alfred to her
own day, that made her power and her glory. This
intuitive wisdom guided her in the choice of able
counsellors, kept her true to the best interests of her
subjects, and inspired her to preserve the manners
Q UEEN ELIZABE TH. 37
of her court in that chastity which is the atmo-
sphere of the highest genius as well as the purest
patriotism. Thus it was from her wise rule that the
English nation prospered; and, as an eloquent writer
The kingdom under her government acquired and
maintained a higher and more influential place among
the states of Europe, principally by policy, than it had
ever been raised to by the most successful military
exertions of former ages. Commerce flourished and
made great advances, and wealth was much more
extensively and more rapidly diffused among the
body of the people than at any former period. It is
the feeling of progress, rather than any degree of
actual attainment, that keeps a nation in spirits; and
this feeling everything conspired to keep alive in the
hearts of the English in the age of Elizabeth; even
the remembrance of the stormy times of their fathers,
from which they had escaped, lending its aid to
heighten the charm of the present calm. To these
happy circumstances of the national condition was
owing, above all, and destined to survive all their
other products, the rich native literature, more especi-
ally in poetry and the drama, which now rushed up,
as if from the tillage of a virgin soil, covering the
land with its perennial fruit and flowers. Spenser
and Shakspeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Raleigh
38 LESSONS FROM TVOMEN'S LIVES.
and Bacon, and many other distinguished names,
gained their earliest celebrity in the Elizabethan
Elizabeth was herself fond of learning, and no mean
scholar in her attainments. She was well skilled in
Greek, and translated from that language into Latin a
dialogue of Xenophon, two orations of Isocrates, and
a play of Euripides; she also wrote a Commentary
on Plato." From the Latin she translated Boethius'
" Consolations of Philosophy," Sallust's "Jugurthian
War," and a part of Horace's "Art of Poetry." In
the "Royal and Noble Authors of Lord Orford may
be found a catalogue of translations from the French,
prayers, meditations, speeches in parliament, and
letters, which testify sufficiently to the learning and
general capacity of Elizabeth. She was also skilled
in the art of poetry. Being pressed by a Catholic
priest, during the life of her sister Mary, while she
was undergoing great persecution, to declare her
opinion concerning the real presence of Christ in the
wafer, she answered in the following impromptu:-
Christ was the Word that spake it;
He took the bread and brake it;
And what that Word did make it,
That I believe, and take it."
When she was a prisoner at Woodstock, she com-
Q UEEN ELIZABE TH.
charcoal on a shutter :-
Oh, Fortune how thy restlesse wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled witt!
"Witness this present prison, whither fate
Could beare me, and the joys I quit.
Thou causedest the guiltie to be losed
From bands, wherein are innocents inclosed :
Causing the guiltles to be straite reserved,
And freeing those that death had well deserved.
But by her envie can be nothing wrought,
So God send to my foes all they have thought.
to be praised
than her poetry
encouragement she gave to the design
English the large folio edition
of printing in
of the Holy Scriptures,
known as The Bishop's
translation of the sacred
This was the best
had then ap-
It was printed
and the version
of King James
the Bible used by Elizabeth.
That she did not conform
her own spirit to the
violent temper, and selfishness frequently to obscure
her many great qualities, is to be regretted;
pared with the kings
above their standard
her successors, she rises so high
I of character that we almost
LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
forget to record her faults.
historian, The page
the remarks of
of history has seldom
to record a reign more honourable to the intellect and
capacity of the person
Elizabeth of England."
presiding over it
^^OCAHONTAS, the daughter of Powhatan,
I a celebrated Indian chief of Virginia, was
born about the year 1594. According to
a custom common among the Indians of
bestowing upon their children several symbolic names,
she was sometimes called Matoaka. When the well-
known and adventurous Captain John Smith went to
America for the purpose of promoting its settlement
by the English, while exploring the James River, he
was taken prisoner by some of the warriors of the
tribes under Powhatan, and brought before this power-
fil chief to be disposed of. The fame and exploits of
Smith had reached Powhatan, and he was considered
too dangerous an enemy to be permitted to live. A
council was called, and his fate decided; he was con-
demned to be bound and placed upon the earth, with
his head upon a stone, and his brains beaten out with
clubs. Pocahontas, though but a child of twelve or
42 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
thirteen years, was present at this council, and heard
the sentence; but when it was about to be executed,
yielding to the generous impulses of her nature, she
flung herself upon the body of Smith, beneath her
father's uplifted club, and protected his life at the risk
of her own. Touched by this act of heroism, the
savages released their prisoner, and he became an
inmate of the wigwam of Powhatan, who, soon after,
gave him his liberty.
About two years later, the Indians, alarmed at the
extraordinary feats of Smith, and fearing his increasing
influence, began to prepare for hostilities, and laid a
plan for entrapping him. When on the eve of effect-
ing their object, while Smith was on a visit to Pow-
hatan for the purpose of procuring provisions, he was
preserved from this fate by the watchful care of Poca-
hontas, who ventured through the woods more than
nine miles, at midnight, to apprise him of his danger.
For this service Smith offered her some trinkets, which,
to one of her age, sex, and nation, must have been
strongly tempting; but she refused to accept anything,
or to partake of any refreshment, and hurriedly retraced
her steps, that she might not be missed by her father
or his wives.
For three or four years after this, Pocahontas con-
tinued to assist the settlers in their distresses, and to
shield them from the effects of her father's animosity.
PO CAHONTA S. 43
Although a great favourite with her father, he was so
incensed against her for favouring the whites that he
sent her away to a chief of a neighboring tribe,
Jopazaws, chief of Potowmac, for safe keeping; or, as
some suppose, to avert the anger of her own tribe,
who might be tempted to revenge themselves upon
her for her friendship to the English. Here she re-
mained some time, when Captain Argall, who ascended
the Potomac on a trading expedition, tempted the
chief by the offer of a large copper kettle, of which he
had become enamoured as the biggest trinket he had
ever seen, to deliver her to him as a prisoner; Argall
believing that by having her in his possession as a
hostage, he could bring Powhatan to terms of peace.
But Powhatan refused to ransom his daughter upon
the terms proposed; he offered five hundred bushels
of corn for her, but it was not accepted.
Pocahontas was well treated while a prisoner, and
Mr Thomas Rolfe, a pious young man and a brave
officer, who had undertaken to instruct her in English,
became attached to her, and offered her his hand.
The offer was communicated to Powhatan, who gave
his consent to the union, and she was married to
Rolfe after, the form of the Church of England, in
presence of her uncle and two brothers. This event
relieved the colony from the enmity of Powhatan,
and preserved peace between them for many years.
44 LESSONS TFROMl WOMEN'S LIVES.
In the year I616, Pocahontas accompanied her
husband to England, where she was presented at
court, and became an object of curiosity and interest
to all classes, her title of Princess causing her to
receive much attention. Though the period of her
conversion is disputed, it is generally believed that
she was baptised during this visit to England, when
she received the name of Rebecca. In London, she
was visited by Captain Smith, whom, for some un-
known purpose, she had been taught to believe was
dead. When she first beheld him, she was overcome
with emotion, and, turning from him, hid her face in
her hands. Many surmises have been hazarded upon
the emotion exhibited by Pocahontas in this inter-
view. The solution of the mystery, however, is
obvious. The dusky maiden had no doubt learned to
love the gallant soldier whom she had so deeply
benefited; and, upon his abandonment of the country,
both the colonists and her own people, aware of her
feelings, and having some alliance in view for her to
the furthering of their own interests, had imposed upon
her the tale of his death. Admitting this to be the
case, what could be more natural than her conduct,
and what more touching than the picture which this
interview presents to the imagination?
Captain Smith wrote a memorial to the queen in
her behalf, setting forth the services which the Indian
Princess had rendered to himself and the colony,
which secured her the friendship of the queen.
Pocahontas survived but little more than a year after
her arrival in England. She died in 1617, at Graves-
end, when about to embark for her native land, at
the age of twenty-two or three. She left one son, who
was educated in England by his uncle, and afterwards
returned to Virginia, where he became a wealthy and
distinguished character, from whom has descended
several well-known families of that state.
Pocahontas has been the heroine of fiction and of
song; but the simple truth of her story is more inte-
resting than any ideal description. She is another
proof of the intuitive moral sense of woman, and the
importance of her aid in carrying forward the progress
of human improvement.
Pocahontas was the first heathen who became con-
verted to Christianity by the English settlers. The
religion of the Gospel seemed congenial to her nature.
She was like a guardian angel to the white strangers
who had come to the land of the Red Men. By her
the races were "united; thus proving the unity of the
human family through the spiritual nature of the
woman; ever, in its highest development, seeking the
good and at enmity with the evil: the preserver, the in-
spirer, the exemplar of the noblest virtues of humanity.
UCY HUTCHINSON was the daughter
of Sir Allan Aspley, and was born in
1624. At the age of eighteen she was
married to Colonel John Hutchinson, who
distinguished himself as one of the most efficient
among the Puritan leaders in the war between Charles
I. and the Parliament. Their courtship was a very
romantic one, as it is given by the lady in her Me-
moir" of her husband. She says-" Never was there
a passion more ardent and less idolatrous: he loved
her better than his life, with inexpressible tenderness
and kindness; had a most high, obliging esteem of
her, yet still considered honour, religion, and duty
above her; nor ever suffered the intrusion of such a
dotage as should blind him from marking her imper-
fections." That it was "not her face he loved," but
"1 her honour and her virtue were his mistresses," he
Z UC Y HTUTCIINSON. 47
abundantly proved; for, "on the day fixed for the
marriage, when the friends of both parties were
assembled, and all were waiting the appearance of the
bride, she was suddenly seized with an illness, at that
time often the most fatal to life and beauty. She was
taken ill of smallpox; was for some time in imminent
danger; and, at last, when her recovery was assured,
the return of her personal attractions was considered
more than doubtful." She says, indeed, herself, that
her illness made her, for a long time after she had
regained her health, the most deformed person that
could be seen." But Mr Hutchinson's affection was
as strong as his honour. He neither doubted nor
delayed to prosecute his suit; but, thankful to God
for her preservation, he claimed her hand as soon as
she was able to quit her chamber, and when the
clergyman who performed the service, and the friends
who witnessed it, were afraid to look at the wreck
of her beauty. He was rewarded; for her features
were restored, unblemished as before; and her form,
when he presented her as his wife, justified his taste
as much as her more intrinsic qualities did his
judgment. They were united to each other on the
3d of July 1638.
Their union was an example of the happiness
which marriage confers on those who fulfil its duties
in holy truth and faithful love. In the perils of war
48 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
Mrs Hutchinson was an attendant on her beloved
husband; and when, after the restoration of Charles
II., Colonel Hutchinson was imprisoned in the Tower,
she followed him, and never ceased her exertions and
importunities till she was permitted to visit him.
When her husband was removed to Sandown Castle,
in Kent, she, with some of her children, went also,
and used every entreaty to be permitted to reside in
the castle with him. This was refused; but she took
lodgings in Deal, and walked every day to Sandown
to see and cheer the prisoner. All that could be done
to obtain his pardon or liberation, she did; but as
Colonel Hutchinson was a Puritan and a Republican
on principle, and would not disclaim his opinions,
though he would promise to live in quiet, his enemies
listened to no pleadings for mercy. What was to
have been his ultimate punishment will never be
known. The damp and miserable apartment in which
he was confined brought on an illness which ended
his life, September I 1664, leaving his wife, with
eight children and an embarrassed estate, to mourn
his irreparable loss. Mrs Hutchinson was not with
him at his death; she had gone to their home to
obtain supplies, and bring away the children left there.
His death-scene shows the estimation in which he
held her. So long as he was able to sit up, he read
much in the Bible; and on looking over some notes
L UC Y HUTCHINS ON.
Epistle to the Romans
" When my
will no more observe
her children are all near, I will
have her in the chamber with me, and they shall not
pluck her out of my arms.
During the winter evenings
she shall collect together the observations I have made
on this Epistle since I have been in prison."
As he grew worse, the doctor
feared delirium, and
his brother and
not to defer
thing they wished to say to him.
Being informed of
his condition, he replied, with much composure, The
will of the Lord
be done; I
gave directions concerning the disposal of his fortune,
and left strict injunctions that his
guided in all things by their mother.
said he, that as she is
"And tell her,"
above other women, so must
she on this occasion
show herself a good
and above the pitch of ordinary minds."
her sorrow and her love, not by useless repinings, but
"by training up her children to be like their father, and
employing her talents in constructing a monument to
For this purpose she undertook her great
work, The Life of Colonel Hutchinson, by his Widow,
has been often republished, and
the Edinzburgh Review, some years ago, thus
notice of the work:-
50 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
Education is certainly far more generally diffused
in our days, and accomplishments infinitely more
common; but the perusal of this volume has taught
us to doubt whether the better sort of women were
not fashioned of old by a purer and more exalted
standard; and whether the most eminent female of
the present day would not appear to disadvantage by
the side of Mrs Hutchinson. There is something in
the domestic virtue and calm commanding mind of
this English matron, that makes the Corinnes and
Heloises appear very insignificant. We may safely
venture to assert that a nation which produces many
such wives and mothers as Mrs Lucy Hutchinson,
must be both great and happy."
We should do injustice to the worth of female
genius if we omitted to give an extract from this
work of Mrs Hutchinson. "An Address to her
Children" forms the introduction to the Memoir.
Thus she writes :-
I, who am under a command not to grieve at the
common rate of desolate women, while I am studying
which way to moderate my woe, and, if it were possible,
to augment my love, can find out none more just to
your dear father, or more consoling to myself, than
the preservation of his memory, which I need not
gild with such flattering commendations as the hired
preachers equally give to the truly and the nominally
L UC Y HUTCCHINSON. 51
honourable. An undressed narrative, speaking the
simple truth of him, will deck him with more sub-
stantial glory than all the panegyrics the best pens
could ever consecrate to the virtues of the best men.
To number his virtues is to give the epitome of his
life, which was nothing else but a progress from one
degree of virtue to another. His example was more
instructive than the best rules of the moralists; for his
practice was of a more divine extraction, drawn from
the Word of God, and wrought up by the assistance
of His Spirit. He had a noble method of government,
whether in civil, military, or domestic administration,
which forced love and reverence even from unwilling
subjects, and greatly endeared him to the souls of
those who rejoiced to be governed by him. He had
a native majesty that struck awe into the hearts of
men, and a sweet greatness that commanded love."
His affection for his wife was such, that whoever
would form rules of kindness, honour, and religion, to
to be practised in that state, need no more but
exactly draw out his example. Man never had a
greater passion or a more honourable esteem for
woman; yet he was not uxorious, and never remitted
that just rule which it was her honour to obey; but
he managed the reins of government with such pru-
dence and affection, that she who would not delight
52 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
in such honourable and advantageous subjection must
have wanted a reasonable soul. He governed by
persuasion, which he never employed but in things
profitable to herself. He loved her soul better than
her countenance; yet even for her person he had a
constant affection, exceeding the common temporary
passion of fond fools. If he esteemed her at a higher
rate than she deserved, he was himself the author of
the virtue he doated on; for she was but a faithful
mirror, reflecting truly, but dimly, his own glories upon
him. When she ceased to be young and lovely, he
showed her the most tenderness. He loved her at
such a kind and generous rate as words cannot ex-
press; yet even this, which was the highest love any
man could have, was bounded by a superior feeling;
he regarded her, not as his idol, but as his fellow-
creature in the Lord, and proved that such a feeling
exceeds all the irregularities in the world."
HRISTINA, Queen of Sweden, daughter
of the great Gustavus Adolphus, King of
Sweden, and of Maria Eleonora of Bran-
denburg, was born December 18, 1626.
Her father was very fond of her, and carried her
about with him in all his journeys. When she was
about two years old, she was taken to Calmar, the
governor of which hesitated, on her account, whether
to give the king the usual salute ; but Gustavus ex-
claimed, "Fire the girl is a soldier's daughter, and
should be accustomed to it betimes." The noise
delighted the princess, who clapped her hands, and,
in her infantile language, cried, "More, more !" show-
ing thus early her peculiarly bold and masculine turn
Her father died in 1633, and Christina, a girl of
seven years old, was placed upon the throne, and
54 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
even at that early age she appeared to be con-
scious of her high destiny, and in all trying cir-
cumstances conducted herself with great firmness
The queen-mother was a woman of weak judgment
and capricious temper, and her injudicious manage-
ment of the young Christina was doubtless the first
cause of her dislike for her own sex, which was further
increased by the manner of her education. She early
displayed an antipathy," to use her own words, to
all that women do and say;" but she was an excellent
,classical scholar, admired the Greeks and Romans,
and all the heroes of antiquity, particularly Homer
and Alexander the Great. At the age of fourteen she
read Thucydides in the original; she rode and hunted,
and harangued the senate, and dictated to her minis-
ters; but in the gentler graces and virtues of her own
sex she was deficient. She grew up self-willed, arro-
gant, and impatient, and yet was flattered because she
was a queen. She understood this, and observes that
"princes are flattered even in their cradles; men fear
their memory as well as their power; they handle them
timidly, as they do young lions, who can only scratch
now, but may hereafter bite and devour."
Her character, at the time she assumed the reins
of government, promised extraordinary excellence.
Mrs Jameson, in her elegant work, Memoirs of
Celebrated Female Sovereigns," thus sketches, with
singular felicity, the portrait of this youthful sove-
Christina had been born to the throne, cradled,
as she says, amid laurels and trophies of victory,
assumed a sceptre which was hers by the double right
of hereditary claims and the free consent of the States-
General. She was in the bloom of youth, full of
health, vigour, and activity; the natural cheerfulness
of her spirits had been preserved by constant exercise
of body and mind; and although she was proud,
passionate, and capricious, she was also gay, frank,
and generous. She entertained, at this time, a lofty
and even sublime idea of the high destiny to which
she was called, and of the multiplied duties and
tremendous responsibility it imposed on her. All her
resolutions and intentions appear to have been right
and just; and, to put the intentions into practice, she
had youthful enthusiasm, surpassing talents, a strong
constitution, and the prospect of a long life and reign
before her. Though learned beyond most of her sex,
the vanity of learning had not yet seized her, and lite-
rature was to her, what it ought always to have been,
an amusement, not a pursuit. She understood most
of the languages of Europe. Latin, French, German,
Italian, she wrote and spoke as fluently as her native
tongue. Her proficiency in Greek has already been
56 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
mentioned. At this time she seems to have preferred
the French language, and it was spoken almost habi-
tually in her court. She would have no prime minister;
and from the very commencement of her reign (dating
it from the dissolution of the regency) she received
and read all the despatches, dictated the replies to
her secretaries, which she afterwards looked over and
corrected herself; and, while the regal power had all
the gloss of novelty, she certainly wore it with dignity
and grace. Her indefatigable attention to the busi-
ness of state excited the astonishment of the foreign
ministers and the admiration of her people; she con-
stantly attended all the deliberations of her council,
and, by the force of her character and her resolute
temper, she exercised the most unbounded influence
over the senate, who yielded to her more than they
would have accorded to a monarch of their own sex.
It is asserted that she was at this time more despotic
than any Swedish sovereign from the time of Eric
XIV. to the change of the constitution under Gus-
In person she was not handsome; her figure was
below the middle size, but well formed, with the
exception of a slight deformity in one of her shoulders,
caused by a fall in her infancy; it was, however,
scarcely perceptible, and her deportment and all her
movements were remarkable for dignity, ease, and
freedom. Her features were rather large and striking
in proportion to her figure, and her whole counte-
nance, unless controlled for especial purposes, was
singular for its mobility and vivacity. Her eyes were
of a brilliant hazel, quick and penetrating; her nose
aquiline; her mouth too wide, and, when at rest, not
agreeable in its expression; her smile, however, was
bright and pleasing, and her teeth fine, though she
took little care of them. She had a profusion of light
brown hair, which she seldom combed; and a man's
fur-cap or a knot of riband was in general her only
coiffure, till, later in life, she exchanged these for a
periwig. She was extremely negligent in her dress,
and never allowed herself more than a quarter of an
hour at her morning toilet. Except upon state occa-
sions, her attire was very simple and uniform; it con-
sisted of a suit of plain grey stuff or cloth, shorter
than was usually worn, for the convenience of
walking and riding, with a black scarf round her
neck, and rarely a single ornament. She was tem-
perate, and even abstemious in eating, apparently
quite indifferent as to what was placed before her,
and was never heard to praise or dispraise any dish
When Christina had assumed the reins of govern-
ment in 1644, many of the most distinguished kings
and princes of Europe aspired to her hand; but she
58 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
uniformly rejected all their proposals, and caused one
of her suitors, her cousin Charles Gustavus, to be
appointed her successor. Her love of independence
and impatience of control had exhibited themselves
from childhood in a distaste to marriage. Do not,"
said she to the States, compel me to make a choice;
should I bear a son, it is equally probable that he
might prove a Nero as an Augustus."
Christina had an opportunity to display her mag-
nanimity in the early part of her reign. While she
was engaged in her devotions in the chapel of the
castle at Stockholm, a lunatic rushed through the
crowd, and attempted to stab her with a knife. He
was seized, and Christina calmly continued her devo-
tions. Learning that the man was insane, she merely
had him put under restraint.
One of the most important events of Christina's
reign was the peace of Westphalia, to which her
influence greatly contributed. It was settled October
1648, and by this treaty Sweden was confirmed in
the possession of many important countries. The
services of Salvius, one of her plenipotentiaries on
this occasion, were rewarded by the dignity of
senator, a prerogative which had till then belonged
to birth, but to which the queen thought merit had a
During the remainder of her reign, a wise adminis-
tration and a profound peace reflect upon Christina
a higher praise than can be derived from subtle nego-
tiations or successful wars. She enjoyed the entire
confidence and love of her people. All persons dis-
tinguished for their genius or talents were attracted
by her liberality to the Swedish court; and although
her favour was sometimes controlled by her par-
tialities or prejudices, and withheld from the deserv-
ing, while it was lavished on those who flattered her
foibles, yet she soon discovered and repaired such
She at length began to feel her rank, and the duties
it devolved upon her, a burden, and to sigh for free-
dom and leisure. In 1652, she communicated to the
Senate her resolution of abdicating the throne; but
the remonstrances of the whole people, in which
Charles Gustavus, her successor, joined, induced her
to wear the crown for two years longer, when she
resumed her purpose and carried it into effect, to the
great grief of the whole nation.
In leaving the scene of her regal power, she ap-
peared to rejoice as though she had escaped from
imprisonment. Having arrived at a small brook which
separated Sweden from Denmark, she alighted from
her carriage, and, leaping over it, exclaimed, "At
length I am free, and out of Sweden, whither I hope
never to return ," Dismissing with her women the
60 LESSONS FROM WOMEV'S LIVES.
habit of her sex, she assumed male attire. "I would
become a man," said she; but it is not that I love
men because they are men, but merely that they are
On her arrival at Brussels she publicly and solemnly
abjured the Lutheran faith, in which she was educated,
and joined the Roman Catholic communion. From
Brussels she went to Rome, which she entered with
great pomp. She was received with splendid hospi-
tality by the Pope, and the Jesuits affirmed that she
ought to be placed by the Church among the saints.
" I had rather," said Christina, "be placed among the
She then went to France, where she was received
with royal honours, which she never forgot to claim,
by Louis XIV. But she disturbed the quiet of all
the places which she visited by her passion for inter-
fering and controlling, not only political affairs, but
the petty cabals of the court. She also disgusted the
people by her violation of all the decencies and pro-
prieties of life, by her continuing to wear the dress of
the other sex, and by her open contempt for her own.
But the act that roused the horror and indignation of
Louis XIV. and his whole court, and obliged Christina
to leave France, was the murder of Monaldeschi, an
Italian, and her master of the horse, who is supposed
to have been her lover, and to have betrayed the
CHRIS TINA. 61
intrigue, though the fault for which he suffered was
never disclosed by Christina. This event occurred in
November 1657, while she was residing in the royal
palace of Fontainebleau. Monaldeschi, after having
been allowed only about two hours from the time
when the queen had made known to him her dis-
covery of his perfidy, was put to death, by her
orders, in the gallery aux Ccifs of the palace, by three
Louis XIV. was highly indignant at this violation
of justice in his dominions; but Christina sustained
her act, and stated that she had reserved supreme
power over her suite, and that wherever she went she
was still a queen. She was, however, obliged to
return to Rome, where she soon involved herself in a
quarrel with the Pope, Alexander VII. She then
went to Sweden ; but she was not well received there,
and soon left for Hamburg, and from thence to Rome.
She again returned to Sweden, but met with a still
colder reception than before. It is said that her
journeys to Sweden were undertaken for the purpose
of resuming the crown, as Charles Gustavus had died
in I66o. But this can hardly be true, as her adopted
religion, to which she always remained constant,
would be an insuperable obstacle, by the laws and
constitution of Sweden, to her reassuming the govern-
62 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
After many wanderings, Christina died at Rome,
April 15, 1689, aged sixty-three. She was interred
in the Church of St Peter, and the Pope erected a
monument to her, with a long inscription, although
she had requested that these words, Vixit Christina
annos LXIII.," should be the only inscription on her
tomb. Her principal heir was her intendant, Cardinal
Azzolini. Her library was bought by the Pope, who
placed nine hundred manuscripts of this collection in
the Vatican, and gave the rest of the books to his
A traveller, who saw her at Rome when she was
about sixty, thus describes her dress and appearance:
"She was usually habited in a coat, or vest, of
black satin, reaching almost to the knees, and but-
toned down the front; under this, a very short petti-
coat. Her own light brown hair, once so beautiful
and luxuriant, was cut short, and combed up so as to
stand on end, without covering or ornament. She
was very short, fat, and round; her voice, her features,
and complexion, were completely masculine, and had
ceased to be in any respect agreeable. Her eyes,
however, retained their brilliancy, and her tongue
bewitched as oddly as her eyes. Her manners, when-
ever she chose, were winning." Such was the dis-
agreeable, unhonoured age of a woman who despised
the manners, duties, and decorums of her sex. Yet,
in a letter written about this time to Mademoiselle
de Scuderi, the poor, mistaken Christina shows that
she could not divest herself of all feminine feelings.
"You must know," she writes, "that, since you saw
me some years ago, I am not grown handsomer-far
from it; and, to confess the truth, I am still, in spite
of flattery, as ill satisfied with my own person as ever
I was. I envy not those who possess fortune, do-
minions, treasures; I raise myself above all mortals
by wisdom and virtue; and that is what makes me
discontented. Au reste, I am in good health, which
will last as long as it pleases God. I have naturally
an extreme aversion to grow old, and I hardly know
how I can get used to the idea. If I had had my
choice between old age and death, I think I should
have chosen the latter without hesitation. But since
we are not consulted on this point, I shall resign
myself to live on with as much pleasure as I can.
Death, which I see approaching step by step, does
not alarm me. I await it without a wish and without
Christina wrote a great deal; but her Maxims and
Sentences," and "Reflections on the Life and Actions
of Alexander the Great," are all that have been pre-
served. She had good business talents, and a won-
derful firmness of purpose. The great defects of her
character, and the errors of her life, may be traced to
64 LESSONS FROMi WOMEN'S LIVES.
her injudicious education, including the dislike she
felt for women and her contempt of feminine virtues
and pursuits. She should be a warning to all those
aspiring females who would put off the dignity, deli-
cacy, and dress of their own sex, in the vain hope
that, by masculine freedom of deportment and attire,
they should gain strength, wisdom, and enjoyment.
We give a few fragments from her works:-
Fools are more to be feared than the wicked.
Whatever is false is ridiculous.
There is a species of pleasure in suffering from the
ingratitude of others which is reserved for great minds
We should never speak of ourselves either good or
evil. (This was a maxim which she was continually
violating in her own person: she appears to have
been the greatest egotist extant, for a female.)
To suffer for having acted well is itself a species of
We read for instruction, for correction, and for
There is a star above us which unites souls of the
first order, though worlds and ages separate them.
Life becomes useless and insipid when we have no
longer either friends or enemies.
We grow old more through indolence than through
law, which excludes women from
throne, is a just and a wise law.
Cruelty is the result of baseness and of cowardice.
To speak truth and
to do good is to resemble, in
some sort, the Deity we worship.
This life is like an inn, in which the soul spends a
few moments on its journey.
LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU
AS the eldest daughter of Evelyn, Duke
of Kingston,' and Lady Mary Fielding,
daughter of the Earl of Denbigh. She
Swas born at Thoresby, in Nottingham-
shire, about the year I690. She early gave such
evidence of genius that her father placed her under the
same preceptors as her brother, and she acquired a
singular proficiency in classical studies. Brought up in
great seclusion, she was enabled to cultivate her mind
to a degree rarely seen in women of that period. In
I712 she became the wife of Edward Wortley Mon-
tagu, and continued to live in retirement until her
-husband's appointment, on the accession of George I.,
to a seat in the treasury, which brought her to London.
Introduced at court, her wit and beauty called forth
universal admiration, and she became familiarly ac-
quainted with Pope, Addison, and other distinguished
LADY MARY MONTA G U. 67
writers. In 1716, Mr Wortley was appointed am-
bassador to the Porte, and Lady Mary accompanied
him. Here began that correspondence which has
procured her such wide-spread celebrity, and placed
her among the first of female writers in our tongue;
and here, too, her bold, unprejudiced mind led her
to that important step which has made her one of the
greatest benefactors of mankind. While dwelling at
Belgrade, during the summer months, Lady Mary
observed a singular custom prevalent among the Turks
-that of engrafting, or, as it is now called, inoculat-
ing, with various matter, to produce a mild form of
smallpox, and stay the ravages of that loathsome
disease. She examined the process with philosophical
curiosity; and, becoming convinced of its efficacy, did
not hesitate to apply it to her own son, a child of
three years old. On her return home, she introduced
the art into England by means of the medical atten-
dant of the embassy; but its expediency being ques-
tioned among scientific men, an experiment, by order
of the Government, was made upon five persons under
sentence of death, which proved highly successful.
What an arduous and thankless enterprise Lady Mary's
was, no one, at the present day, can form an idea.
She lived in an age obstinately opposed to all inno-
vations and improvements; and she says herself, "that
if she had foreseen the vexation, the persecution, and
68 LESSONS FROM WOMEN' VS LIVES.
even the obloquy which it brought upon her, she
would never have attempted it." The clamours raised
against it were beyond belief. The medical faculty
rose up in arms, to a man; the clergy descanted from
their pulpits on the impiety of seeking t'o take events
out of the hands of Providence; thus exhibiting more
narrowness than the Turks, whose obstinate faith in
predestination would have naturally led them to this
conclusion. Lady Mary, however, soon gained many
supporters among the enlightened classes, headed by
the Princess of Wales, afterwards queen of George
II.; and truth, as it always does, finally prevailed.
She gave much of her time to advice and superinten-
dence in the families where inoculation was adopted,
constantly carrying her little daughter with her into
the sick room, to prove her security from infection.
The present age, which has benefited so widely by
this art and its improvements, can form but a faint
estimate of the ravages of that fearful scourge before
the introduction of inoculation, when either a loath-
some disease, a painful death, or disfigured features
awaited nearly every being born. This may account,
in some measure, for the absence of that active grati-
tude which services such as hers should have called
forth. Had Lady Mary Wortley lived in the days of
heathen Greece or Rome, her name would have been
enrolled among the deities who have benefited man-
LAD Y MAR Y MONT IG U. 69
kind. But in Christian England, her native land, on
which she bestowed so dear a blessing, and, through
it, to all the nations of the earth, what has been her
recompense? We read of colossal endowments by
the British Government upon great generals ; of titles
conferred and pensions granted, through several gene-
rations, to those who have served their country; of
monuments erected by the British people to states-
men and warriors, and even to weak and vicious
princes; but where is the monument to Lady Mary
Wortley Montagu? Where is recorded the pension,
the dignity, bestowed upon her line, as a sign to future
generations that she was a benefactor to the human
race, and that her country acknowledged it ? In the
page of history, and in the annals of medicine, her
name must find its place; but there alone is the deed
recorded, which, beneath every roof in Christendom,
from the palace to the pauper's hut, has carried a
On her return to England, Lady Mary Wortley
took up her residence, at the solicitation of Pope, at
Twickenham; but their friendship did not continue
long after. Pope, it is asserted, made a violent de-
claration of love to her, which she, treating with
ridicule, so offended him that he never forgave her.
A paper war ensued between them, little creditable to
either party. Lady Mary continued to exercise con-
70 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
siderable influence in society till 1739, when, her
health declining, she resolved to pass the remainder
of her days in the milder climate of Italy. She
was not accompanied by her husband, which has
given rise to many surmises; but as he always cor-
responded with her, and gave repeated proofs of his
confidence in her, there is no ground for believing that
there was any objectionable reason for her conduct.
Lady Mary's correspondence during this period of her
life is marked by the same wit, vivacity, and talents
as that of her earlier years, and is published with her
collected writings. The following extract from one of
her letters to her daughter will serve to show how she
passed her time:-
"I generally rise at six, and, as soon as I have
breakfasted, put myself at the head of my needle-
women, and work till nine. I then inspect my dairy,
and take a turn among my poultry, which is a very
large inquiry. I have at present two hundred chickens,
besides turkeys, geese, ducks, and peacocks. All
things have hitherto prospered under my care; my
bees and silkworms are doubled. At eleven o'clock I
retire to my books. I dare not indulge myself in
that pleasure above an hour. At twelve I constantly
dine, and sleep after dinner till about three. I then
send for some of my old priests, and either play
at picquet or whist till it is time to go out. One
LAD Y ivIARY MONTA G U.
take the a
walk in my wood,
ir on horseback tl
the water the third.
where I often sup,
he next, and
of this part of the
river belongs to me, and my fisherman's little boat (to
which I have a green lutestring
awning) serves me for
"I confess I sometimes long
a little conversation ;"
as she observes,
" quiet is all the hope that can reasonably be
pected at my age; for my health is so often impaired
that I begin to be as weary of it as mending old lace:
it is patched
in one place, it breaks
beauty was now become
so indifferent to her personal appearance that, speak-
looks, she says, "I
matter, as it is now eleven years since I have seen my
in a glass, and the last reflection I saw there
was so disagreeable that I resolved to spare
the mortification for the future."
returned to England
of twenty-two years, Lady Mary
but she did not long survive the
removal: she died in less than a year after, at the age
Of her two
children, both of whom
survived her, one was the eccentric
Montagu, who was a source of con-
tinual unhappiness to
became the wife
of the Marquis of Bute, a distin-
72 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
guished nobleman, and was the mother of a large
Lady Montagu's letters were first printed, surrep-
titiously, in 1763. A more complete edition of her
works was published, in five volumes, in 1803; and
another, edited by her great-grandson, Lord Wharn-
cliffe, with additional letters and information, in I837.
The letters from Constantinople and France have
been often reprinted. An eminent British critic*
thus graphically describes her works :-
The wit and talent of Lady Mary are visible
throughout the whole of her correspondence, but there
is often a want of feminine softness and delicacy.
Her desire to convey scandal, or to paint graphically,
leads her into offensive details, which the more decor-
ous taste of the present age can hardly tolerate. She
described what she saw and heard without being
scrupulous; and her strong masculine understanding,
and carelessness as to refinement in habits or expres-
sions, render her sometimes apparently unamiable and
unfeeling. As models of the epistolary style,-easy,
familiar, and elegant, no less than as pictures of
foreign scenery and manners, and fashionable gossip,-
the letters of Lady Mary must, however, ever main-
tain a high place in our national literature. They are
truly letters, not critical or didactic essays, enlivened
Robert Chambers, LL D.
LAD Y MAR Y MONTA GU 73
by formal compliment and elaborate wit, like the cor-
respondence of Pope."
EXTRACTS FROM THE LETTERS.
To E. IT. Moztagzu, Esq.-In -prospect of A-l-rriage.
One part of my character is not so good, nor t'other
so bad, as you fancy it. Should we ever live together,
you would be disappointed both ways; you would
find an easy equality of temper you do not expect,
and a thousand faults you do not imagine. You
think if you married me I should be passionately
fond of you one month, and of somebody else the
next. Neither would happen. I can esteem, I can
be a friend; but I don't know whether I can love.
Expect all that is complaisant and easy, but never
what is fond, in me. You judge very wrong of my
heart when you suppose me capable of views of in-
terest, and that anything could oblige me to flatter
anybody. Was I the most indigent creature in the
world, I should answer you as I do now, without
adding or diminishing. I am incapable of art, and
'tis because I will not be capable of it. Could I
deceive one minute, I should never regain my own
good opinion; and who could bear to live with one
If you can resolve to live with a companion that
will have all the deference due to your superiority of
74 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
good sense, and that your proposals can be agree-
able to those on whom I depend, I have nothing to
say against them.
As to travelling, 'tis what I should do with great
pleasure, and could easily quit London upon your
account; but a retirement in the country is not so
disagreeable to me, as I know a few months would
make it tiresome to you. Where people are tied for
life, 'tis their mutual interest not to grow weary of one
another. If I had all the personal charms that I
want, a face is too slight a foundation for happiness.
You would be soon tired with seeing every day the
same thing. Where you saw nothing else, you would
have leisure to remark all the defects, which would
increase in proportion as the novelty lessened, which
is always a great charm. I should have the displeasure
of seeing a coldness, which, though I could not rea-
sonably blame you for, being involuntary, yet it would
render me uneasy; and the more, because I know a
love may be revived which absence, inconstancy, or
even infidelity has extinguished; but there is no
returning from a degout given by satiety.
To the same.- On Matrimonial Hapyiness.
If we marry, our happiness must consist in loving
one another: 'tis principally my concern to think of
the most probable method of making that love eternal.
LAD Y MAR Y OMONTA G U.
You object against living in London.
I am not fond
of it myself, and
to you, though I
needs more art to keep a fondness
alive in solitude, where it generally preys upon itself.
There is one article absolutely necessary-to be ever
beloved, one must be ever agreeable.
such thing as being
good humour, a natural sweetness of temper, enlivened
Whatever natural funds
one is born with,
'tis necessary to be entertained
pleasure, when they confine
themselves to one place,
care 'tis the place in the world the most
perhaps, you have some fondness
your love should continue in
its full force, there are
human nature that
fond; you would 1
)le are not for eN
they should be)
to find in me the
is it in
and the companion.
To be agreeably the
is necessary to
be gay and
in a place where you see
to raise your spirits, at length wears them out, and
conversation insensibly falls
into dull and insipid.
I have no more to say to you,
me no longer.
is that view!
LESSONSS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
will reflect, for my sake you have abandoned the
conversation of a friend that you liked, and your
situation in a country where all things would have con-
tributed to make your life pass in (the true vohlfte) a
smooth tranquillity. I shall lose the vivacity which
should entertain you, and you will have nothing to
recompense you for what you have lost. Very few
people that have settled entirely in the country but
have grown at length weary of one another. The
lady's conversation generally falls into a thousand
impertinent effects of idleness; and the gentleman
falls in love with his dogs and his horses, and out of
love with everything else. I am not now arguing in
favour of the town; you have answered me as to that
point. In respect of your health, 'tis the first thing
to be considered, and I shall never ask you to do
anything injurious to that. But 'tis my opinion
'tis necessary, to be happy, that we neither of us
think any place more agreeable than that where we
To fMr Poe.-Eastern Manners and Language.
ADRIANOPLE, April I, O.S., 1717.
I no longer look upon Theocritus as a romantic
writer; he has only given a plain image of the way of
life amongst the peasants of his country, who, before
oppression had reduced them to want, were, I suppose,
LADY MAR Y MONTA GU. 77
all employed as the better sort of them are now. I
don't doubt, had he been born a Briton, but his
Idylliums had been filled with descriptions of thrashing
and churning, both which are unknown here, the corn
being all trodden out by oxen, the butter (I speak it
with sorrow) unheard of.
I read over your "Homer" here with an infinite
pleasure, and find several little passages explained that
I did not before entirely comprehend the beauty of;
many of the customs, and much of the dress then in
fashion, being yet retained. I don't wonder to find
more remains here of an age so distant than is to be
found in any other country; the Turks not taking
that pains to introduce their own manners, as has
been generally practised by other nations that imagine
themselves more polite. It would be too tedious to
you to point out all the passages that relate to present
customs. But I can assure you that the princesses
and great ladies pass their time at their looms, em-
broidering veils and robes, surrounded by their maids,
which are always very numerous, in the same manner
as we find Andromache and Helen described. The
description of the belt of Menelaus exactly resembles
those that are now worn by the great men, fastened
before with broad golden clasps, and embroidered
round with rich work. The snowy veil that Helen
throws over her face is still fashionable; and I never
78 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
see half-a-dozen of old bashaws (as I do very often),
with their reverend beards, sitting basking in the sun,
but I recollect good King Priam and his counsellors.
Their manner of dancing is certainly the same that
Diana is sung to have danced on the banks of Eurotas.
The great lady still leads the dance, and is followed
by a troop of young girls, who imitate her steps, and,
if she sings, make up the chorus. The tunes are
extremely gay and lively, yet with something in them
wonderfully soft. The steps are varied according to
the pleasure of her that leads the dance, but always
in exact time, and infinitely more agreeable than any
of our dances-at least in my opinion. I sometimes
make one in the train, but am not skilful enough to
lead; these are the Grecian dances, the Turkish being
I should have told you, in the first place, that the
Eastern manners give a great light into many Scripture
passages that appear odd to us, their phrases being
commonly what we should call Scripture language.
The vulgar Turk is very different from what is spoken
at court, or amongst the people of figure, who always
mix so much Arabic and Persian in their discourse
that it may very well be called another language.
And 'tis as ridiculous to make use of the expressions
commonly used, in speaking to a great man or lady,
as it would be to speak broad Yorkshire or Somerset-
LA D Y MAR Y MONTA G U. 79
shire in the drawing-room. Besides this distinction,
they have what they call the sublime, that is, a style
proper for poetry, and which is the exact Scripture
style. I believe you will be pleased to see a genuine
example of this; and I am very glad I have it in my
power to satisfy your curiosity, by sending you a
faithful copy of the verses that Ibrahim Pasha, the
reigning favourite, has made for the young princess,
his contracted wife, whom he is not yet permitted to
visit without witnesses, though she is gone home to
his house. He is a man of wit and learning; and
whether or no he is capable of writing good verse,
you may be sure that on such an occasion he would
not want the assistance of the best poets in the em-
pire. Thus the verses may be looked upon as a
sample of their finest poetry ; and I don't doubt you'll
be of my mind, that it is most wonderfully resembling
the Song of Solomon, which was also addressed to a
The nightingale now wanders in the vines:
Her passion is to seek roses.
I went down to admire the beauty of the vines:
The sweetness of your charms has ravished my soul.
Your eves are black and lovely,
But wild and disdainful as those of a stag,
80 LESSONS FR OM WOMEN'S LIVES.
The wished possession is delayed from day to day;
The cruel Sultan Achmet will not permit me
To see those cheeks, more vermilion than roses.
I dare not snatch one of your kisses;
The sweetness of your charms has ravished my soul.
Your eyes are black and lovely,
But wild and disdainful as those of a stag.
The wretched Ibrahim sighs in these verses:
One dart from your eyes has pierced through my heart.
Ah when will the hour of possession arrive ?
Must I yet wait a long time ?
The sweetness of your charms has ravished my soul.
Ah, sultana stag-eyed-an angel amongst angels!
I desire, and my desire remains unsatisfied.
Can you take delight to prey upon my heart ?
My cries pierce the heavens!
My eyes are without sleep !
Turn to me, sultana!-let me gaze on thy beauty.
Adieu !-I go down to the grave.
If you call me, I return.
My heart is-hot as sulphur; sigh, and it will flame.
Crown of my life !-fair light of my eyes I
My sultana!-my princess I
LAD Y MAR Y MONVTA G U. 81
I rub my face against the earth-I am drowned in scalding
tears-I rave !
Have you no compassion ? Will you not turn to look
upon me ?
I have taken abundance of pains to get these verses
in a literal translation; and if you were acquainted
with my interpreters, I might spare myself the trouble
of assuring you that they have received no poetical
touches from their hands.
To Mrs S. C.-Inoculation for the Smallfox.
ADRIANOPLE, April I, O.S., 1717.
Apropos of distempers, I am going to tell you a
thing that will make you wish yourself here. The
smallpox, so fatal and so general amongst us, is here
entirely harmless, by the invention of ingrafting, which
is the termjthey give it. There is a set of old women
who make it their business to perform the operation
every autumn, in the month of September, when the
great heat is abated. People send to one another to
know if any of their family has a mind to have 'the
smallpox; they make parties for this purpose, and
when they are met (commonly fifteen or sixteen to-
gether), the old woman comes with a nut-shell full of
the matter of the best sort of smallpox, and asks what
vein you please to have opened. She immediately
82 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
rips open that you offer to her with a large needle
(which gives you no more pain than a common
scratch), and puts into the vein as much matter as
can lie upon the head of her needle, and after that
binds up the little wound with a hollow bit of shell;
and in this manner opens four or five veins. The
Grecians have commonly the superstition of opening
one in the middle of the forehead, one in each arm,
and one on the breast, to mark the sign of the Cross;
but this has a very ill effect, all these wounds leaving
little scars, and is not done by those that are not
superstitious, who choose to have them in the legs, or
that part of the arm that is concealed. The children
or young patients play together all the rest of the day,
and are in perfect health to the eighth. Then the
fever begins to seize them, and they keep their beds
two days, very seldom three. They have very rarely
above twenty or thirty in their faces, which never
mark; and in eight days' time they are as well as
before their illness. Where they are wounded, there
remain running sores during the distemper, which, I
don't doubt, is a great relief to it. Every year
thousands undergo this operation; and the French
ambassador says, pleasantly, that they take the small-
pox here by way of diversion, as they take the waters
in other countries. There is no example of any one
that has died in it; and you may believe I am well
LAD Y MAR Y MONTIA G U.
satisfied of the safety of this experiment, since I intend
to try it on my dear little son.
I am patriot enough
not fail to write to some of our
particularly about it, if I knew any one of them that I
thought had virtue enough to destroy such a consider-
of their revenue for
the good of man-
not to expose to
all their resentment
undertake to put an
if I live to return,
ever, have courage to war with
in the heart
LINES WRITTEN SHORTLY AFTER HER MARRIAGE.
While thirst of praise, and vain desire of fame
In every age is every woman's aim;
With courtship pleased, of silly trifles proud,
Fond of a train and happy in a crowd;
On each proud fop bestowing some kind glance,
Each conquest owing to some loose advance;
While vain coquettes affect to be pursued,
And think they're virtuous, if not grossly lewd
Let this great maxim be my virtue's guide :
In fart she is to blame who has been tried,
He comes too near who comes to be denied.
84 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
Wisdom, slow product of laborious years,
The only fruit that life's cold winter bears;
Thy sacred seeds in vain in youth we lay,
By the fierce storm of passion torn away.
Should some remain in a rich generous soil,
They long lie hid, and must be raised with toil
Faintly they struggle with inclement skies,
No sooner born than the poor planter dies.
MRS BARB AULD.
RS ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD, to
whom the cause of rational education
is much indebted, was the eldest child,
and only daughter, of the Rev. John
Aikin, D.D. She was born on the 20th of June 1743,
at Kibv)orth IIarcourt, in Leicestershire, England,
where her father was at that time master of a boys'
school. From her childhood, she manifested great
quickness of intellect, and her education was conducted
with much care by her parents. In 1773, she was
induced to publish a volume of her poems, and
within the year four editions of the work were called
for. And in the same year she published, in con-
junction with her brother, Dr Aikin, a volume called
" miscellaneouss Pieces in Prose." In 1774, Miss
Aikin married the Rev. Rochemont Barbauld, a
86 LESSONS FROM WO MEN'S LIVES.
Dissenting minister, descended from a family of French
Protestants. He had charge, at that time, of a con-
gregation at Palgrave, in Suffolk, where he also opened
a boarding-school for boys, the success of which is, in
a great measure, to be attributed to Mrs Barbauld's
exertions. She took several very young boys as her
own entire charge, among whom were Lord Denman,
afterwards Chief Justice of England, and Sir William
Gell. It was for these boys that she composed her
"Hymns in Prose for Children."
In I786, after a tour on the Continent, Mr and
Mrs Barbauld established themselves at Hampstead,
and there several tracts proceeded from the pen of our
authoress on the topics of the day, in all of which she
espoused the principles of the Whigs. She also
assisted her father in preparing a series of tales for
children, entitled Evenings at Home," a volume
which has since become one of the most famous in
the English language; and she wrote critical essays
on Akenside and Collins, prefixed to editions of their
works. In 1802, Mr Barbauld became pastor of the
congregation at Newington Green, in the vicinity of
London; and, quitting Hampstead, they took up
their abode in the suburb of Stoke-Newington.
In 1803, Mrs Barbauld compiled a selection of
essays from the Spectator, Tatler, and Guardian, to
.which she prefixed a preliminary essay; and, in the
MRS BARBA ULD. 87
following year, she edited the correspondence of
Richardson, and wrote an interesting and elegant life
of the novelist. Her husband died in 1808, and Mrs
Barbauld has recorded her feelings on this melancholy
event in a poetical dirge to his memory, and also in
her poem of "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven."
Seeking relief in literary occupation, she also edited a
collection of the British Novelists, published in I8io,
with an introductory essay, and biographical and critical
notices. After a gradual decay, this accomplished and
excellent woman died on the 9th of March 1825. Some
of the lyrical pieces of Mrs Barbauld are flowing and
harmonious, and her "Ode to Spring" is a happy
imitation of Collins. She wrote also several poems
in blank verse, characterized by a serious tenderness
and elevation of thought. Her earliest pieces,"
says her niece, Miss Lucy Aikin, as well as her
more recent ones, exhibit, in their imagery and
allusions, the fruits of extensive and varied reading.
In youth, the power of her imagination was counter-
balanced by the activity of her intellect, which exer-
cised itself in rapid but not unprofitable excursions
over almost every field of knowledge. In age, when
this activity abated, imagination appeared to exert
over her an undiminished sway." Charles James
Fox is said to have been a great admirer of Mrs
Barbauld's songs, but they are by no means the best
88 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
of her compositions, being generally artificial and
unimpassioned in their character.
Her works show great powers of mind, an ardent
love of civil and religious liberty, and that genuine and
practical piety which ever distinguished her character.
In many a bosom has Mrs Barbauld, "by deep,
strong, and permanent association, laid a foundation
for practical devotion" in after life. In her highly
poetical language, only inferior to that of Holy Writ,
when "the winter is over and gone, and buds come
out on the trees, the crimson blossoms of the peach
and the nectarine are seen, and the green leaves
sprout," what heart can be so insensible as not to
join in the grand chorus of Nature, and "on every
hill, and in every green field, to offer the sacrifice of
thanksgiving and the incense of praise !"
With each revolving year, the simple lessons of
infancy are recalled to our minds, when we watch the
beautiful succession of nature, and think, How doth
every plant know its season to put forth ? They are
marshalled in order: each one knoweth his place, and
standeth up in his own rank."
"The snowdrop and the primrose make haste to
lift their heads above the ground. When the spring
cometh they say, Here we are The carnation waiteth
for the full strength of the year; and the hardy
laurustinus cheereth the winter months."
MRS BARBA ULD. 89
Who can observe all this, and not exclaim with her,
"Every field is like an open book; every painted
flower hath a lesson written on its leaves.
Every murmuring brook hath a tongue; a voice
is in every whispering wind.
They all speak of Him who made them; they all
tell us He is very good."
Such sentiments, instilled into the hearts of children,
have power, with the blessing of God, to preserve the
moral feelings pure and holy; and also to keep the
love of nature and the memories of early life among
the sweetest pleasures of mature, life.
In a memoir written by Miss Lucy Aikin, the niece
of Mrs Barbauld, and kindred in genius as well as in
blood, we find this beautiful and just description of
the subject of our sketch :-
To claim for Mrs Barbauld the praise of purity
and elevation of mind may well appear superfluous.
Her education and connections, the course of her life,
the whole tenor of her writings, bear abundant testi-
mony to this part of her character. It is a higher, or
at least a rarer, commendation to add, that no one
ever better loved 'a sister's praise,' even that of such
sisters as might have been peculiarly regarded in the
light of rivals. She was acquainted with almost all
the principal female writers of her time; and there
was not one of the number whom she failed fre-
90 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
quently to mention in terms of admiration, esteem, or
affection, whether in conversation, in letters to her
friends, or in print. To humbler aspirants in the
career of letters, who often applied to her for advice or
assistance, she was invariably courteous, and in many
instances essentially serviceable. The sight of youth
and beauty was peculiarly gratifying to her fancy and
her feelings; and children and young persons, espe-
cially females, were accordingly large sharers in her
benevolence: she loved their society, and would often
invite them to pass weeks or months in her house,
when she spared no pains to amuse and instruct
them; and she seldom failed, after they had quitted
her, to recall herself from time to time to their recol-
lection, by affectionate and playful letters, or welcome
In the conjugal relation, her conduct was guided
by the highest principles of love and duty. As a
sister, the uninterrupted flow of her affection, mani-
fested by numberless tokens of love,-not alone to
her brother, but to every member of his family,-will
ever be recalled by them with emotions of tender-
ness, respect, and gratitude. She passed through a
long life without having dropped, it is said, a single
Some of her prose articles are of extraordinary
merit; the one which we here insert has rarely been
MRS BARBA ULD. 91
excelled for originality of thought and vigour of expres-
sion. Its sentiments will never become obsolete, nor
its truths lose their value.
The other day I paid a visit to a gentleman with
whom, though greatly my superior in fortune, I have
long been in habits of an easy intimacy. He rose in
the world by honourable industry, and married,
rather late in life, a lady to whom he had been long
attached, and in whom centred the wealth of several
expiring families. Their earnest wish for children
was not immediately gratified. At length they were
made happy by a son, who, from the moment he was
born, engrossed all their care and attention. My
friend received me in his library, where I found him
busied in turning over books of education, of which
he had collected all that were worthy notice, from
Xenophon to Locke, and from Locke to Catherine
Macaulay. As he knows I have been engaged in the
business of instruction, he did me the honour to con-
sult me on the subject of his researches, hoping, he
said, that, out of all the systems before him, we should
be able to form a plan equally complete and compre-
hensive; it being the determination of both himself
and his lady to choose the best that could be had,
and to spare neither pains nor expense in making
92 LESSONS FROM WOMEN'S LIVES.
their child all that was great and good. I gave him
my thoughts with the utmost freedom, and, after I
returned home, threw upon paper the observations
which had occurred to me.
The first thing to be considered, with respect to
education, is the object of it. This appears to me to
have been generally misunderstood. Education, in
its largest sense, is a thing of great scope and extent.
It includes the whole process by which a human being
is formed to be what he is, in habits, principles, and
cultivation of every kind. But of this, a very small
part is in the power even of the parent himself; a
smaller still can be directed by purchased tuition of
any kind. You engage for your child masters and
tutors at large salaries; and you do well, for they are
competent to instruct him: they will give him the
means, at least, of acquiring science and accomplish-
ments; but in the business of education, properly so
called, they can do little for you. Do you ask, then,
what will educate your son? Your example will
educate him; your conversation with your friends;
the business he sees you transact; the likings and
dislikings you express; these will educate him;-the
society you live in will educate him; your domestics
will educate him; above all, your rank and situation
in life, your house, your table, your pleasure-grounds,
your hounds and your stables will educate him. It
MRS BARBA ULD. 93
is not in your power to withdraw him from the con-
tinual influence of these things, except you were to
withdraw yourself from them also. You speak of
beginning the education of your son. The moment he
was able to form an idea his education was already
begun; the education of circumstances-insensible
education-which, like insensible perspiration, is of
more constant and powerful effect, and of infinitely
more consequence to the habit, than that which is
direct and apparent. This education goes on at every
instant of time! It goes on like time; you can neither
stop it nor turn its course. What these have a ten-
dency to make your child, that he will be. Maxims
and documents are good precisely till they are tried,
and no longer; they will teach him to talk, and
nothing more. The circumstances in which your son
is placed will be even more prevalent than your
example; and you have no right to expect him to
become what you yourself are but by the same means.
You, that have toiled during youth, to set your son
upon higher ground, and to enable him to begin
where you left off, do not expect that son to be what
you were,-diligent, modest, active, simple in his
tastes, fertile in resources. You have put him under
quite a different master. Poverty educated you;
wealth will educate him. You cannot suppose the
result will be the same. You must not even expect