Material Information

Series Title:
True story library, No. 2
Alternate title:
Wright, Julia McNair, 1840-1903
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A -- Board of Publication ( Publisher )
Westcott & Thomson ( Stereotyper )
Place of Publication:
Presbyterian Board of Publication
Westcott & Thompson, stereotypers
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
64 p. : ill. ; 13 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Reformation -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1870
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Julia McNair Wright.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
002447397 ( ALEPH )
AMF2652 ( NOTIS )
10771627 ( OCLC )


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Renee and Claude.
.Renee. See page 13.

._-- ._ I ;' _

PRenee and Claude.
Renee. See page 13.




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year
1870, by

in trust for the

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.

Stereotypers, Philada.

Plorenre R.QTrowef.


SHAVE told you the history
of that pious queen, Mar-
garet of Navarre. I must
now tell you something of her
cousin, Renee, a princess of
France. She was the daugh-
ter of King Louis the Twelfth
of France, and when she grew
up was married to a duke of


Italy the Duke of Ferrara.
She lived in the sixteenth cen-
Children sometimes think
that great people are always
joyous, and that riches bring
happiness. They say, "She
was as happy as a queen,"
about those whom they think
very happy.
This is a great mistake, as
well as a common one. Renee,
poor child, was far from happy.


She had great wealth, high
station, some power, but she
lacked much love and care
and joy that is shared by
many little children in very
poor homes.
God gave Renee, at last, a
gift which made up to her for
much that she had lost. He
gave her himself.
Renee, daughter of the King
of France, became also a
daughter of the King of kings.


From her splendid and often
unhappy home on earth she
has gone to a holy and happy
home in heaven.
We will tell you first some-
thing of Renee's family. Her
father, King Louis, was a good-
natured old man, who loved
ease and pleasure and hated
all noise or care.
Her. mother was Anne of
Bostagne, a proud, vain, en-
vious person.


Her sister was the princess
Claude, afterward by her mar-
riage the wife and mother-as
she had been the daughter-
of a king. Claude was a
gentle, lovely, but unhappy
Though Queen Anne, the
mother of Renee, had many
faults, she was careful that her
two children did not grow up
in the folly and vice of the gay
court. She kept them with


their teachers and servants in
a quiet palace away from the
city, where she sometimes
went to visit them.
Thus, you see, Renee's moth-
er, being full of the gayeties
and the splendor of the court,
and the king, their father,
busy in feasting and hunting,
Renee was left with her sister
Claude for her only near friend.
You can imagine these two
lonesome little princesses, go-


ing hand in hand about the
quiet gardens and in the deep
woods around their palace
home, or bending over their
books, reciting lessons to sol-
emn old monks, or kneeling in
the palace-chapel, praying to
the Virgin and the saints, for
these two princesses were
Catholics. They had no Bible,
no tracts, no hymn-book. In-
stead of them they had false
tales of saints and miracles.


Claude was the eldest of the
girls. The sisters were not
alike in looks or in feelings.
Claude was pale and delicate.
She was very soft and mild in
her nature, easily frightened,
ready to obey everybody, and
always believing what she was
told, whether it was right or
Renee, on the other hand,
was bright and gay. She had
a hot temper, a strong will, a


wise mind. She was brave in
doing right. She had a desire
to study for herself and learn
what was right, and then no
one could keep her from doing
as she thought she should.
Both the girls were kind to
the poor, and very fond of each
other. They would sit together
in the window of a high tower,
working embroidery. From
this tower they could see far
across the woods and plains.


Sometimes they would see the
coach of their queen-mother
as she came to visit them.
Sometimes they would see the
king, their father, riding out
to the chase, with splendid
horses, and servants in gold-
laced coats, and beautiful
hounds leaping along. When
they saw the deer running,
they always wished it would
get away from the dogs and
save its life.


"What shall we be when we
grow up ?" Renee would say.
"I'm afraid to grow up,"
Claude would reply. I had
rather always, live here, and
work tapestry and give to the
poor, and pray in the chapel
and have you with me, dear
Renee. I know that you love
But Renee had a bolder mind
and gayer hope than Claude.
She would answer,


"Why, sister Claude, we
should get so tired growing
old here! It does very well
for now, but by and by we
want something better. We
shall marry great princes, and
have palaces close together;
and we shall always see and
love each other, and have
plenty to love us."
"Well, Renee, maybe so,"
Claude would say, too mild
even to dispute.


What Renee fancied never
came true.
While the girls were very
young their mother died.
Then the king said Claude
must marry her cousin Fran-
cis, the brother of Margaret of
Navarre, and then she would
be queen of France.
Claude loved her cousin
Francis, but he did not care
for her. This made her very
sad. She was taken away


from Renee and the quiet old
tower, and married to Francis.
He had her live in a grand
palace, but Claude looked back
to the old tower and her sis-
ter's love, and sighed.
Then the king-the father
of these sisters died, and
Francis was king and Claude
was queen of France.
Claude had little children,
but they were taken away
from her for teachers to bring


them up, and she was more
lonely than ever.
She found a friend who loved
her nearly as well as Renee
had done, and that friend was
Margaret of Navarre, her hus-
band's sister.
Margaret told Claude of Je-
sus and his love, showed her
the true way of faith, and tried
to bring her into the Reform-
ed Church, as in that Church
they had Bibles to read, and


worshiped God instead of the
Claude was afraid of her
priests, and dared not leave
the Romish Church. She read
Margaret's Bible now and then,
and spent most of her time in
doing good. At last she per-
suaded the king to let her sis-
ter Renee come and live with
When Renee came to live
with Claude she was a very


lovely young girl. She became
a friend of Margaret of Na-
Margaret saw that Renee
had a much stronger and
braver mind than Claude.
She spoke much to Renee of
the wickedness and folly of
the Romish Church, and of
the need of a pure and simple
Margaret gave Renee a copy
of the Bible.


"Dear Renee," said Claude,
"I should think you would be
afraid to read that book, for
the Church forbids it."
"I have as much right to it
as the priests have!" cried
Renee. God's book is for all
his children. It is needful
that I should know the way of
the Lord more perfectly."
Margaret spoke to Bishop
Briconnet about Renee's feel-
ings, and the bishop very


gladly taught her more about
prayer and faith.
Renee also knew William
Farel, the great French
preacher, about whom I shall
write you in our next little
In France, at that time,
there were many good and
earnest men. Even at the
court of the king were pious
men and women; and you
know how the Bible tells us


that it is natural for those
who love the Lord to "speak
often one to another." Thus
Renee was more and more in-
structed, and accepted with
all her heart the belief of the
Reformed Church.
This was a blessed thing for
the young princess. She was
soon to leave her sister and
her friend Margaret and her
life at the court of France, and
go far away to another land to


a home of her own, where
many cares and trials and
duties were in store for her.
Only by the grace of God
could Renee walk through
them all.
As I dare say you feel sorry
for poor, mild, sad Queen
Claude, I will in a few words
tell you what became of her.
She was a very good woman,
and I hope that in her heart
she truly loved and trusted


Jesus. After Renee had left
her she was more lonely than
ever. The king was taken
prisoner and carried to Spain,
and then Margaret went to
Spain to visit her brother.
Separated from her husband,
her sister, her children and
her friends, Queen Claude,
though in a palace full of
wealth and servants, pined
away. She fell ill, and a year
after her husband was taken


prisoner she died. She was
but twenty-five years old. She
seemed very glad to die, and
said she felt that she was go-
ing to a good God, who had
sent her troubles to make her
better and to lead her to love
him and heaven.
Renee was, of course, much
grieved at the loss of her
A young princess can make
no choice for herself when she


marries. When her friends
choose, they select a prince,
such as they like, make all
the plans, and then the prin-
cess must go and be his wife
whether she like him or not.
Such was Renee's fate.
The king gave Renee to the
Duke Ercole, of Ferrara.
Queen Claude and Margaret
bade her farewell, and Renee
of France was taken to Italy.
The duke was a Pomuan Clatho-


lic. Very likely, if Renee had
been allowed a voice in the
matter, she would not have
chosen the Duke of Ferrara;
but, as it was, she meant to be
as good a wife to him as she
nould be.
The duke liked his wife
quite well. He thought her
witty and handsome, and did
not forget that she was the
daughter of a great king.
Renee was one of the wisest


women of her day. She was
a great scholar, and when she
was established in her own
red-stone palace, in the city of
Ferrara, like Margaret, she
called about, her poets and
wise and good men. The duke
liked this very well.
Renee was very kind to the
poor, and they loved her. She
did so much good in the duke's
country that the land im-
proved, and all was peace and


Renee and her Steward.
nee. See page 49,


joy and happiness. This also
was fine for the duke, for it
made his people willing to
obey him.
Renee had three dear daugh-
Now at this time the Re-
formed people were persecuted
and oppressed by the priests.
Many of them fled to Renee
for shelter, and when good
ministers were driven from
their homes they went to Re-


nee too, to be kept safe in her
city of Ferrara.
You remember Calvin went
to Renee, after he had been to
Queen Margaret of Navarre.
I dare say Renee was very
happy to see him, for he was a
famous preacher and writer,
and was very wise and holy.
A friend came to Renee in
another way. Andelot, a sol-
dier, was made a prisoner of
war and sent into Italy. Re-


nee heard of him, and she sent
him good books. He read
these books, and by the bless-
ing of God became a pious
man. He gave new courage
to the duchess, and sent news
of salvation by Christ to his
friends in France, many of
whom became Protestant
Another good man who
came to Renee was. the poet
Arnot. He fled from the


priests, and Renee gave him
a home.
The priests became very an-
gry at our lady Renee. They
hated her, and began to try to
make trouble between her and
the duke.
Her three girls were given
to Catholics to bring up. This
made Renee sad. She wished
her girls to learn the truth,
but she could not teach them.
A good mother can have no


greater trial than this, that
she may not lead her dear
children to God.
The priests could not accuse
Renee of any wrong. She was
kind to poor Roman Catholics,
and helped them when they
were ill or in trouble, just as
she helped those of her own
Renee owned a castle called
Montargis, and here she shel-
tered so many of the good and


poor that it was called by
people God's Inn," or hotel.
Renee was not ashamed of
-this name;- she was quite
ready to be an innkeeper to
the saints of God.
Renee's eldest daughter was
named Anne. When she was
quite young the duke married
her to a Frenchman, the Duke
of Guise. This man was very
rich and high in power, but
he was a bad man and a bit


ter Catholic. Anne was a
Catholic too; she had been
taught to hate her good moth-
er's faith.
Renee's new son-in-law did
not like her. He was a bold
and bad man; but Renee had
learned to do all the good she
could even to her enemies, and
she was kind to Guise and
gave him help in food, money
and men for his army.
Her steward said to her,


"Madam, you will make your-
self poor to make others rich."
That is nothing," said Re-
nee; "the Lord Jesus Christ
was rich, yet for our sakes he
became poor."
Renee, in fact, was like the
sun; she blessed all she shone
upon, being good even to the
evil and the unthankful.
Still, led by the priests, the
duke told Renee that unless
she would be a Catholic she


could not live in his house any
"I cannot sin against God
by leaving the Reformed
Church, where he has given
peace to my soul," said Renee.
The duke now gave her a
palace by herself, and would
not even visit her. He forbid
her to have any minister of
her own Church, but he let
two or three ladies who be-
lieved as she did live with her.


Renee begged him to let her
two children live with her.
"I will let them stay in your
house," he said, "with a priest
and some nuns to stay with
them, if you will promise me
never to say a word to them
about religion, and not to give
them a Bible or any of your
This was hard, but Renee
could do nothing for her girls
if they went to live somewhere


else. She .promised what the
duke asked, but she hoped
that her earnest prayers and
her good example would turn
the hearts of her daughters to
their mother's God.
In the midst of these trou-
bles Calvin wrote to her. He
told her to do right and fear
not. He said that God was
able to bring good out of evil,
and that she must learn to
bear these hard things meekly


for Jesus' sake, for Jesus did
yet greater things for her.
Let a priest begin to perse-
cute and he is never ready to
stop. It was thus in Renee's
case. The priests had made
her unhappy i her children;
they had parted her from her
husband; they had denied her
a pastor. Would they do
more? Yes; they would be
yet more unkind.
What next would they do?


They made the duke forbid
Renee to give any help to poor
people; they would not allow
her to bring any more Bible-
readers, any more good pious
poets, any more pastors to her
Renee loved to do good; it
grieved her that she might no
more be the keeper of God's
Inn;" but she must obey, for
the duke and the king made
the law.


More trial came still: the
two daughters who had been
left to her were taken away
from Renee's palace.
Yet more trouble: the Prot-
estant ladies who had lived
with good Renee were sent off,
and very cruelly used too.
The duchess was kept in her
castle like a prisoner, and
watched so that she could
send no letters to her friends,
and could get no more good


advice from Calvin or any of
her other pastors.
This was a cruel way, truly,
in which to treat a king's
daughter, a kind woman, who
had never done anything but
serve God and help the poor.
Queen Margaret was dead,
and King Francis, the hus-
band of Claude, was dead.
Renee's nephew was now King
of France, and he cared so lit-
tle for her that he said she


had better be killed or shut
up in a dungeon if she did not
turn Romanist.
Renee was not afraid of
death; she had read in the
Bible, "Fear not them. that
kill the body, and after that
have no more that they can
do; but fear him who is able
to cast both body and soul
into hell."
Yes, Renee had a holy fear
for God.


I never heard that the brave
Renee cried over her own trou-
bles, but I can tell you of one
time when she shed very many
tears. It was thus:
The Duke of Ferrara was
dead. Renee's daughters were
all married. Renee could no
longer be kept a prisoner in a
palace,. for she owned several
towns, and in one of them she
After a cruel battle, hun-


dreds of poor people, many of
them women and children or
very old people, faint and
tired and homeless, came to
Montargis, Renee's town.
Renee wanted to give them
food and shelter and care.
The king, led by the priest,
sent her orders to drive them
off. Renee wept.
Oh," she said, "if I were
a man, I would raise an army
and fight for these poor people.


I would not drive them off to
die on the road !"
Renee went out to the gate,
and told her poor friends that
the king would not let her
keep them in her town. Then
she gave them all her horses
and wagons, all her money
and all the food she had, leav-
ing herself without any of
these riches, to help the pious
poor. Said Renee,
"Jesus gave himself for us.


I can give these things for his
The King of France sent
men to Renee to say to her,
"You had better leave this
place and go away. We do
not want you here; you are in
our way. You can stay if you
will be a Roman Catholic; but
if you will not, go!"
I told you Renee was brave,
and not afraid to do right.
She held up her head and


made answer: "These towns
are mine; I will live in them.
These people are mine; I will
take care of them. The Re-
formed religion is the true one,
and I will never deny it. The
Bible is the word of God, and
I will read it every day."
Oh how noble a thing is
moral courage! We hope that
every little child will try to
have it.
You may ask me what came


of such a life as Renee's. How
shall we sum up her work?
First, you know there is
great power in a good ex-
ample. Re.nee shone before all
the world a true child of God.
She was like a city set on a
hill that cannot be hid. Her
light shone so that all could
glorify her Father in heaven.
In the folly, vice and pride of
her court home, Renee was
like a lily among thorns.


Again, you can think how
many sorry hearts Renee, by
love and kindness, made glad,
how many sick she comforted,
how many poor she helped.
The world was happier for her
having lived in it. God says,
"Inasmuch as ye did it unto
one of the least of these my
brethren, ye did it unto me."
Think of that--"one of the
least!" God's blessing fol-
lowed Renee.


And, lastly, in thinking of
Renee's life, we will consider
the good she did for the
Church, for the souls of men.
For many years Renee pro-
tected the Reformers. She
saved from persecution such
men as Calvin, and others of
the Huguenot and Reformed
pastors. In Italy, the very
heart and stronghold of the
Romish Church, Renee built
up a Church of Reformers, of


holy praying, Bible reading
men and women. Bibles were
scattered about, churches form-
ed by the help of this good
duchess, and she gave money
to build churches in other
All through Renee's life
there were troubles and ene-
mies and unkindness. When
she was old and ill her wicked
son of Guise sent an army to
try and turn her out of her


home, so that he could give
over the people of the town to
the priests.
I will die fighting for my
people on the wall," said Re-
nee true, brave child of a
king, and, far better, the brave
child of the King of heaven.
After a long voyage, after
storms and. head winds and
high seas, the strong ship
rides into the safe harbor at
last; so, after a long life, when


foes had been cruel and friends
false, when no rest had come
to Renee, and when even that
sister-love that had been hers
in the castle where she spent
her early days had been lost
in the grave, Renee, grown old
and weary of earth, entered a
rest that no man could dis-
turb, even the rest that re-
mains for the children of God.
The longest and most trou-
bled life seems short when it


is ended. Renee has been now
nearly three hundred years
with her Saviour. Do you
think she is sorry that she did
not deny her faith and live an
easy and merry life? No; she
thanks God, whose grace kept
her firm and caused her to
"stand fast in the truth."
Renee was persecuted for
her love of the truth. Though
a princess, she was made to
suffer. And how was it with


people of less rank ? Alas for
the poor and the humble in
Italy who looked to Christ and
not to Rome for salvation!
They were driven from their
homes, with the loss of every-
thing; they were imprisoned;
they were chained in dungeons,
while the irons on their wrists
cut into their flesh ; they were
led forth to be drowned in the
waters of Venice; they were
burned at the stake.


And why did they endure
these things? Why not live
at ease in their Italian homes?
Why have their limbs torn
asunder on the cruel rack?
Why be burned alive?
If they would but say, "I
will attend the Roman Catho-
lic Church; I will go to mass;
I give up heresy," they would
be let go. But no;. these peo-
ple had read the Bible, and
had learned that God forgives


sin for Jesus' sake. They had
found that the Bible forbade
the worship of saints and of
any but God alone. They be-
lieved that after death God
would take them to heaven;
so they were faithful; they
endured tortures; they died,
looking to Jesus; and they
thus entered into rest.
The power of the pope
crushed the Protestant faith
out of Italy. The darkness


came back to that land; but
now, in our day, the light
shines there again. The Bible
is sold and read there; the
gospel is preached, and many
are turning to God.
Ah, children, you can never
be too thankful that you live
in an age when you are as free
to worship as you wish as
God's blessed air and sun-
light; when you have no
priests to fear if you do not go


to mass and confession. Let
us, then, try to do all we can
to please and obey the merci-
ful Father who loves all of us
and has provided a Way where-
by we can all be saved-his
Son, Christ Jesus.