Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

that the good dames had come so well furnished, filled the Council with panic. Dr. Melchior Hubner, who had been a miller's man, wished for a hundred musketeers to mow them down ; but the Town Clerk proposed that all the Council should creep quietly down the back stairs, lock the doors on the refractory womankind, and make their escape.

This was effected as silently and quickly as possible, for the whole Council “could confess to a state of frightful terror.” Presently the women peeped out, and saw the stairs bestrewn with hats, gloves, and handkerchiefs ; and perceiving how they had put all the wisdom and authority of the town to the rout, there was great merriment among them, though, finding themselves locked up, the more tender-hearted began to pity their husbands and children. As for themselves, their maids and children came round the Town Hall, to hand in provisions to them, and all the men who were not of the Council were seeking the magistrates to know what their wives had done to be thus locked up.

The Judge sent to assemble the rest of the Council at his house; and though only four came, the doorkeeper ran to the Town Hall, and called out to his wife that the Council had reassembled, and they would soon be let out. To which, however, that very shrewd dame, the Judge's wife, answered with great composure, “ Yea, we willingly have patience, as we are quite comfortable here ; but tell them they ought to inform us why we are summoned and confined without trial.”

She well knew how much better off she was than her husband without her.. He paced about in great perturbation, and at last called for something to eat. The maid served up a dish of crab, some white bread, and butter ; but, in his fury, he threw all the food about the room and out of the window, away from the poor children, who had had nothing to eat all day, and at last he threw all the dishes and saucepans out of window. At last the Town Clerk and two others were sent to do their best to persuade the women that they had misunderstood, they were in no danger, and were only invited to the preachings of Holy Week and, as Master Daniel, the joiner, added, “It was only a friendly conference. It is not customary with my masters and the very wise Council to hang a man before they have caught him.'

This opprobrious illustration raised a considerable clamor of abuse from the ruder women ; but the Judge's and burgomaster's ladies silenced them, and repeated their resolution never to give up their faith againsť their conscience. Seeing that no impression was made on them, and that nobody knew what to do without them at home, the magistracy decided that they should be released, and they went quietly home; but the Judge Seiler, either cause he had been foremost in the business, or else perhaps because of the devastation he had made at home among the pots and pans, durst not meet his wife, but sneaked out of the town, and left her with the house to herself.

The priest now tried getting the three chief ladies alone together, and most politely begged them to conform ; but, instead of arguing, they simply answered, “No; we were otherwise instructed by our parents and former preachers.”

Then he begged them at least to tell the other women that they had asked for fourteen days for consideration.

“No, dear sir,” they replied ; "we were not taught by our parents to tell falsehoods, and we will not learn it from you."

Meanwhile Schwob Franze rushed to the burgomaster's bedside, and begged him, for Heaven's sake, to prevent the priest from meddling with the women ; for the whole bevy, hearing that their three leaders were called before the priest, were collecting in the market-place, keys, bundles, and all ; and the panic of the worthy magistrates was renewed. The burgomaster sent for the priest, and told him plainly, that if any harm befel him from the women, the fault would be his own; and thereupon he gave way, the ladies went quietly home, and their stout champions laid aside their bundles and keys, out of reach, however, in case of another sum

not

mons.

However, the priest was obliged, next year, to leave Löwenburg in disgrace, for he was a man of notoriously bad character; and Dr. Melchior became a soldier, and was hanged at Prague.

After all, such a confession as this is a mere trifle, not only compared with martyrdoms of old, but with the constancy with which, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the Huguenots endured persecution, —as, for instance, the large number of women who were imprisoned for thirty-eight years at Aigues Mortes ; or, again, with the steady resolution of the persecuted nuns of Port Royal against signing the condemnation of the works of Jansen. Yet, in its own way, the feminine resistance of these good citizens' wives, without being equally hightoned, is worthy of record, and far too full of character to be passed over.

FATHERS AND SONS.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

B. C. 219 — A. D. 1642 — 1798.
NE of the noblest characters in old Roman his-

tory is the first Scipio Africanus, and his first appearance is in a most pleasing light, at the battle of the river Ticinus, B. C. 219, when the Carthaginians, under Hannibal, had just completed their wonderful march across the Alps, and surprised the Romans in Italy itself.

Young Scipio was then only seventeen years of age, and had gone to his first battle under the eagles of his father, the Consul, Publius Cornelius Scipio. It was an unfortunate battle ; the Romans, when exhausted by long resistance to the Spanish horse in Hannibal's army, were taken in flank by the Numidian cavalry, and entirely broken. The Consul rode in front of the few equites he could keep together, striving by voice and example to rally his forces, until he was pierced by one of the long Numidian javelins, and fell senseless from his horse. The Romans, thinking him dead, entirely gave way ; but his young son would not leave him, and, lifting him on his horse, succeeded in bringing him safe into the camp, where he recovered, and his after days retrieved the honor of the Roman arms.

The story of a brave and devoted son comes to us to light up the sadness of our civil wars between Cavaliers and Roundheads in the middle of the sev

enteenth century. It was soon after King Charles had raised his standard at Nottingham, and set forth on his march for London, that it became evident that the Parliamentary army, under the Earl of Essex, intended to intercept his march. The king himself was with the army, with his two boys, Charles and James; but the General-in-chief was Robert Bertie, Earl of Lindsay, a brave and experienced old soldier, sixty years of age, godson to Queen Elizabeth, and to her two favorite Earls, whose Christian name he bore. He had been in her Essex's expedition to Cambridge, and had afterwards served in the Low Countries, under Prince Maurice of Nassau ; for the long Continental wars had throughout King James's peaceful reign been treated by the English nobility as schools of arms, and a few campaigns were considered as gracesul finish to a gentleman's education. As soon as Lord Lindsay had begun to fear that the disputes between the king and Parliament must end in war, he had begun to exercise and train his tenantry in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, of whom he had formed a regiment of infantry. With him was his son Montagu Bertie, Lord Willoughby, a noble-looking man of thirty-two, of whom it was said, that he was “as excellent in reality as others in pretence,” and that, thinking " that the cross was an ornament to the crown, and much more to the coronet, he satisfied not himself with the mere exercise of virtue, but sublimated it, and made it grace.” He had likewise seen some service against the Spaniards in the Netherlands, and after his return had been made a captain in the Lifeguards, and a Gentleman of the Bedchamber. Vandyke has left portraits of the father and the son; the one a bald-headed, alert, precise-looking old warrior, with the cuirass and gauntlets of elder warfare; the other, the very model of a cavalier, tall, easy, and graceful, with a

« ZurückWeiter »