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If ever a man was happy to leave Boston,
Butter. Pray, did you call?
Call? Yes, I hailed the Swallow. Butter. That's not my nanie. My name is Edward Butter. You need not speak so loud.
Kemp. (shaking hands). Good-bye! Good-bye!
VIII.-THE HEROINE OF NANCY.
N the year 1476, Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy,
laid siege to the town of Nancy, capital of the duchy of Lorraine. In the absence of the young duke, René* II., who had gone to raise troops among the enemies of Charles, the town and its little garrison were left in charge of a brave
a and patriotic governor, who had an only daughter, named Télésile.† It is with the noble conduct of this heroic young girl that our story has chiefly to do.
2. Charles the Bold—who ought rather to have been called the Rash, or the Furious, from his headlong and violent disposition-had sought to erect a kingdom within the dominions of his great rival, Louis XI. of France. To extend his power, he had overrun provinces, which, as soon as his strong hand was withdrawn, took the first opportunity to revolt against him. Lorraine was one of these; and he now appeared before the walls of Nancy, resolved to punish its inhabitants, whom he regarded as rebels.
3. But, thanks to the governor and his heroic daughter, the city held out bravely, both against the assaults of his soldiers, and the threats and promises with which he tried to induce a surrender. While the governor directed and encouraged the defenders, Télésile inspired their wives and daughters. * Pronounced Ren-a'.
+ Pronounced Tă-lā-zēēl.
4. “Let us do," she cried, as did the women of Beauvais when this same cruel Charles laid siege to their town. Mothers armed themselves, young girls seized whatever weapons they could find,-hatchets, broken lances, which they bound together with their hair; and they joined their sons and brothers in the fight. They drove the invader from their walls; and so will we defeat and drive him back!”
5. “Put no trust in the tyrant!” said the intrepid governor, addressing the people. "He is as faithless as he
“ is cruel. He has promised to spare our lives and our property if we will accept him as our ruler; but be not deceived. Once within our walls, he will give up to massacre and pillage the city that has cost him so dear.
6. “But if not for our own sakes,” he went on, “then for the love of our rightful lord, Duke René, let us continue the glorious struggle. Already at the head of a brave Swiss army, he is hastening to our relief. He will soon be at our gates. Let us hold out till then; or, sooner than betray our trust, let us fall with our defenses and be buried in the ruins of our beloved city!”
7. Thus defended, Nancy held out until Charles, maddened to fury by so unexpected and so prolonged a resistance, made a final, desperate attempt to carry the town. By stratagem, quite as much as by force, he succeeded in gaining an entrance within the walls; and Nancy was at
8. In the flush of vengeance and success, he was for putting at once all the inhabitants-men, women, and children to the sword. A young maider, was brought before him.
Barbarian!” she cried, “if we are all to perish, over whom will you reign ?”
9. “Who are you, bold girl! that dare to speak to me thus?” said the astonished Charles.
“Your prisoner, and one who would prevent you from adding to the list of your cruelties!”
10. Her beauty, her courage, and the prophetic tones in which she spoke, arrested Charles's fury.
“Give up to me your governor, whom I have sworn to punish,” he said, “and a portion of the inhabitants shall be spared."
11. But the governor was her own father,—for the young girl was no other than Télésile. Listening to the entreaties of his friends, he had assumed the dress of a private citizen; and all loved the good old man too well to point him out to the tyrant.
12. When Télésile sorrowfully reported to her father the duke's words, he smiled. “Be of good cheer, my daughter!” he said. "I will see the duke Charles, and try what I can do to persuade him."
13. When brought before the conqueror, he said, “ There is but one man who can bring the governor to you. Swear on your sword to spare all the inhabitants of the town, and he shall be given up.”
14. "That will I not!” cried the angry duke. “They have braved my power too long; they have scorned my offers; they have laughed at my threats; now woe to the people of Nancy!”
Then, turning to his officers, he commanded that every tenth person in the town should be slain, and they at once gave orders for the decimation.
IX.--THE HEROINE OF NANCY.
THE inhabitants, young and old, women and infants,
were assembled in a line which extended through the principal street of the city; while soldiers ransacked the houses, in order to drive forth or kill any that might remain concealed.
2. It was a terrible day for the doomed city. Families clung together, friends embraced friends,-some weeping and lamenting, some trying to comfort and sustain those who were weaker than they, others calmly awaiting their fate.
3. Then, at a word from the conqueror, a herald went forth, and, waving his hand before the gathered multitude, began to count. Each on whom fell the fatal number ten was to be given at once to the sword. But at the outset a difficulty arose.
4. Near the head of the line Télésile and the governor were placed; and the devoted girl, watching the movements of the herald, and hearing him count aloud, saw by a rapid glance that the dreaded number was about to fall upon her father. Quick as thought she slipped behind him and placed herself at his other side. Before the old man was aware of her object, the doom which should have been his had fallen upon his daughter. He stood for a moment stupefied with astonishment and grief, then called out to the herald, “Justice! justice !"
5. “What is the matter, old man?" demanded the herald, before passing on.
“The count is wrong! there is a mistake! Not her!” exclaimed the father, as the executioners were laying hands upon Télésile,—“take me, for I was the tenth!”
6. “Not so," said Télésile, calmly. “You all saw that the number came to me.”
“She put herself in my way,-she took my place, -on me! let the blow fall on me!” pleaded the old man; while she as earnestly insisted that she was the rightly chosen victim.
7. Amazed to see two persons striving for the privilege of death at their hands, the butchers dragged them before Charles the Bold, that he might decide the question between them.
8. Charles was no less surprised at beholding once more the maiden and the old man who had already appeared before him, and at learning the cause of their strange dispute; for he knew not yet that they were parent and child.
Notwithstanding his violent disposition, the conqueror had a heart which pity could sometimes touch, and he was powerfully moved by the sight that met his eyes.
9. "I pray you hear me!” cried Télésile, throwing herself at his feet. "I am a simple maiden; my life is of no account; then let me die, my lord duke! But spare, oh, spare him, the best, the noblest of men, whose life is useful to all our unhappy people!"
10. “Do not listen to her!” exclaimed the old man, almost too much affected to speak; “or if you do, let her own words confute her argument. You behold her courage, her piety, her self-sacrifice; and I see you are touched ! You will not, you cannot, destroy so precious a life! It is I who am now worthless to my people. My days are almost spent. Even if you spare me, I have but a little while to live."
11. Then Télésile, perceiving the eyes of Charles bent upon her with a look of mingled admiration and pity, said, "Do not think there is anything wonderful in my conduct; I do but my simple duty; I plead for my father's life!”
12. "Yes, I am her father," said the old man, moved by a sudden determination. And I am something more. My lord duke, behold the man on whom you have sworn to have revenge. I am he who defended the city so long against you. Now let me die!"
13. At this a multitude of people broke from the line in which they had been ranged, and, surrounding the governor and his daughter, made a rampart of their bodies about them, exclaiming, “Let us die for him! We will die for our good governor !”
14. All the better part of the rude Charles's nature was roused. Tears were in his own eyes, his voice was shaken by emotion. Neither shall die!” he cried.
“Old man! fair maiden! I spare your lives; and for your sake, the lives of all these people. Nay, do not thank me; for I have gained in this interview a knowledge which I could