eminence in life, one of those points of out-look where
a man s past meets him and demands review, that it
may explain the present. He believed that he had
reached very nearly the end of his career, and in that
belief he began to weigh it for what it was worth.
In imagination he saw one writing the story of his life.
Sir Cliarlcroy ; the Suldicr of Fortune, 55
Sir Charleroy, the refugee, began faithfully to review
Sir Charleroy, the wayward youth, pleasure-seeker and
reckless man. The former dictated mentally to the
imaginary scribe : "Write, Charleroy de Griffin was
the son of a stalwart French Baron, used to duels and
trained to war. The boy inherited from his father a
splendid physique, of which he was unduly proud, and
a restless disposition that he never sincerely asked God
to control. By the death of the baron, his son, an
infant, was left to the sole tutelage of his English
mother. The latter was of high birth, by nature a
noble woman, and in every way worthy of a better son
than the one whom he had turned out to be. She had
idolized her brawny spouse in his Lfetime, and when
she had recovered from the shock his death caused, her
yearning heart, little by little, turned from the idol in
the tomb to the child he had left her. Ere long she
lived again in the rapture of a love all absorbing, all
bestowing, all ruling. She lavished her affection on
the youth, not because he was particularly lovable, for
he was not, but because he was the only one left her
to love, and she was so constituted that she must love;
the necessity of loving to her made it easy.
"Then there were many things in the features and
form of her son that reminded her of the man who, in
brighter days, had won entirely her maiden heart and
her young wife love. The child was wont to wonder
why his mother embraced him as she did sometimes,
with a wandering, startled, wild, passionate embrace ;
but when he got older he discerned the: meaning of
these outbreaks. He knew that the mother-heart was
having a vision of past wifehood, memory s grace-given
j6 rhe Queen of the House of David.
solace of widowhood. Besides this the embraces were
her appealings or warnings to death ; her heart sud
denly seizing as if to shelter and save her last and only
idol ; for the thought would sometimes come with
shadows deep enough, that perhaps the boy might
also die. Such love would have been a prized wealth
and blessing to some ; but in this case, on the one hand,
it unfitted this mother for the proper disciplining of this
son, and this son though, sometimes, when his conceit
permitted it, realizing that the love was given, not won,
began to expect it as his due or despise it for its lavish-
ness. In due time he entered the period expressively
designated, The monster age. This is the time
when expanding young life has outgrown the tender
ness of infancy and failed of putting on manly and
womanly graces ; a time when there is a mighty ambi
tion to put on the characteristics of adult life and a
mighty lack of ability gracefully to wear them. At this
period, perhaps, the majority of youths of both sexes,
are interesting chiefly for what they have been, or what
it is hoped they will be. They feel, conscious of their
growing powers, great self-conceit, and with their
growth comes an expansion of their capacities and wants.
The plenitude of their wantings makes them avaricious,
hence parsimonious toward others of every thing, espe
cially of gratitude. Reverence for elders, respect for
fathers, holy regard for mothers, tenderness toward
women, chief charms of youth, are buried in the tomb of
other virtues by great, selfish, ugly demons of desire.
The monster age came to Charleroy in its full virulence,
but his mother discerned little of his monstrosity ;
what she did discern, all unasked, she condoned. She
Sir Charleroy ; the Soldier of Fortune. 57
believed all things, hoped all things good of him,
although seldom comforted by an expression or act of
gratitude on his part. She was to be pitied; but it
may be said that the lad was to be pitied almost as
much as herself. It was the old story over ; she uncon
sciously went about destroying her own happiness and
though she would have willingly died if need be in his
behalf, she harmed him beyond estimate by her indul
gent loving. Then the youth was surrounded by those
who sought the favor of the baroness by constantly
sounding in her ears, and in the ears of the boy, praises
of the dead baron. They told of his daring, they des
canted upon his adventures, his powers, his wisdom.
He was the widow s idol, and the incense was grateful
to her, but the worst of it was that they befooled the
lad by continually assuring him that he was the image
of his father, and surely destined to equal, if not sur
pass, his sire in deeds of valor. A dangerous burden is
wealth ; whether it come as great name or great intel
lect, great physical strength or as much gold, it is a
fateful load which few can gracefully support. The
youth had wealth in all the foregoing directions; if he
had had a mother whose love loved wisely enough to
save, if it need be by pain, he might have been saved ;
but her love infatuated her. The youth s folly brought
him frequently into shameful entanglements ; but she
extricated him each time. Nobody ever heard of her
even rebuking him ; as to chastising him, that were a
thing abhorrent to her thoughts. His face always
bespoke his pardon in advance with her. She would
have smitten her husband s corpse, as it lay in its
coffin, as soon as she would have smitten the one
58 /^ Queen of the House of David.
whose features constantly reminded her of him her
heart had held most dear. Then she hoped, with a
mother s large-hearted faith, that each escapade would
be the last. But as the youth grew older his acts were
bolder. Again and again, without notice and with
heartless inconsiderateness, he left his home to pursue
some adventure, and again and again, mother s love
followed him, ever to find him at last in some sore
plight, and then quickly to forgive him. By the time
Charleroy had reached his majority, the family fortune
had been severely tried and depleted in paying the
penalty of his follies. He himself had become an old
young man, with too many gray hairs and too much
experience for one of his years.
" At that time, a few enthusiasts having determined
to make one last effort to secure the Holy Sepulcher,
Charleroy de Griffin ardently enlisted in the pre-
doomed enterprise, allured largely by its very desper-
ateness. The crusade spirit was then a fitful dying
flame throughout Europe. England and France were
left practically alone to furnish the men and the money
for the last crusade. Prince Edward of France was its
leader, and De Griffin, having in his veins the blood of
both of the supporting nations, a French name, a
splendid physique, together with a fearless, dashing
temperament, was enthusiastically hailed to the enlist
ment and pushed forward to leadership. Sir Cnar-
leroy de Griffin ! smilingly called out Prince Edward,
the day of review, before the one set for departure.
The young man s comrades, many of whom had been
his associates in former days of wassail, hearing the
Prince s word, shouted out with one accord, Knighted I
Sir CJiarleroy ; the Soldier of Fortune. 59
The prince has knighted de Griffin ! Hurrah for Sir
Charleroy ! The day following Sir Charleroy bowed
his head, as he stood on the quay ready to embark, to
receive the benediction of a bishop. As the sacrist
laid his hands on the young man s head, the latter,
throwing back his cloak, reverently touched the cross
he had attached to his bosom with his jeweled sword-
hilt. The young knight for a little while was very
complacent ; for he was enjoying a sentimental emo
tion of virtue, arising from sophistries with which his
mind toyed. Some way he felt he had become a sol
dier of the holy Christ, and somehow it seemed to
him he was making atonement for past follies by now
placing himself side by side with the pious and
noble. Though in reality only bent on seeking excite
ment, adventure, change, he looked forward to the re
wards of conscience belonging alone to the penitent,
and to a possible public canonizing as one going forth
to die for God. A little piety paralleling one s own
desires is of en made to do great service in silencing
the clamors from within. His proud, tearful mother
was by his side. Passionately she kissed his cross,
then his brow, then his eyes and then his lips; leaving
on the brow the glistening, dewy jewels that told the
story of the heart which bade him stay, yet go. The
young knight was for once in his Hfe very serious, but
tearless. After all this, in rapid steps, followed the
disaster at Acre; the desperate struggle outside the
city ; the flight toward Nazareth. Sir Charleroy finally
stands between the sea and the city, a mother s idol
ready to be broken ; at twenty-five, near the apparent
apex and end of a life, having had great opportunities.
6o The Queen of the House of David.
now, with all lost, he stands there an epitome of par
adoxes. He had made life a pursuit of pleasure only
to find the pursui ending in misery ; he had enlisted
to serve the Prince of Peace, but that service he had
undertaken with the sword ; he had championed, as he
said, the cause of Christ, the all-conquering, but he
meets utter defeat. He had taken for his patron saint
Mary, after years of libertinism. He elected Mary, he
said, because his mother was so like her. But Sir
Charleroy s mother demoralized her son by over-in
dulgence, while Mary, though informed by Gabriel
that her offspring was divine, followed her child as a
true mother, with the divinely appointed authority of
a mother, serenely, constantly directing his career up
to the feast of Jerusalem, where he began to reveal his
divine commission. Even then, motherhood affirmed
its rights in the very presence of God manifest, in the
question : Son, why hast thou dealt thus ? Nor was the
right challenged, for he went down and was subject to
father and mother! " At this point Sir Charleroy ceased
mentally tracing his own career, and lifting his eyes
looked intently toward Nazareth. "Ah," he said, but
so that none could hear his words, " my mother loved
as many another, in part selfishly, for the joy of
abandoned love, and I squander that patrimony like a
spendthrift, to my harm. Mary s love for her son
was like his for the world, a constant self-abnegation.
That love survives as an inspiration to the world. By
these contrasts I explain my failure in life, and the
present is the natural sequence of the past."
This is indeed the blessed Mary s land,
Virgin and Mother of our dear Redeemer!
All hearts are touched and softened by her name;
Alike the bandit with the bloody hand,
The priest, the prince, the scholar and the peasant.
The man of deeds, the visionary dreamer,
Pay homage to her as one ever present."
LONGFELLOW " Golden Legend."
I walked along the top of the hills overlooking Nazareth. A
glorious scene opened on the view. The air was perfectly serene
and clear. I remained for some hours lost in contemplation of the
wide prospect and the events connected with the scene. One of
the most beautiful and sublime prospects on earth,"
ROBINSON S Biblical Researches.
HE avenging Turks easily persuaded them
selves that they could serve God better by
participating in the sacking of fallen Acre
than by pursuing the conquered, fleeing
Christian knights ; so they let the latter escape
inland, while they themselves returned to the pillage.
Ere long, by stealth, good fortune and Providen
tial leading, the fugitives arrived unmolested at
the top of a hill, overlooking the little city of
Nazareth, forever memorable as having been once the
earthly abiding place of Jesus and Mary. On the way
62 The Queen of the House of David.
thither scarcely a sentence had been spoken, for each
felt that murmuring would be harmful, mirth inoppor
tune. They chose their course indifferently, all fol
lowing Sir Charleroy de Griffin because he rode bravely
and onward. The fugitives paused, partly sequestered
by the shrubbed hillock, forgetting for a time all else in
admiration of the outspreading panorama in view.
Heaven and earth were smiling at each other; thou
sands of leagues of sky were filled with the raptured
songs of larks, while as echo and challenge of the
songs from above, the thrush and robin of the grass
knoll and thicket responded. From the plains of
El Battaf on the north to Esdraelon on the south
Nature, God s flower queen, had decked the earth every
where with blossoms of pinks, tulips and marigolds.
"Those dusky cowards," spoke Sir Charlerey,
" though numbering ten to one, will not seek us here ;
they ll wait an opportunity to ambuscade us."
We ve broken our knight s pledge, never to flee
more than the distance of four French acres from
a foe, and yet methinks we ve made them respect
our swords ; that s something to say, though we ve
not made them respect our creed." It was a Knight
of the Golden Cross that spoke.
Sir Charleroy continued, while his eyes turned
toward the city : " I thirst for the waters of a fount
in Nazareth as did David once for one in Bethlehem."
" For all of our getting at it, Nazareth s water might
as well be in Ethiopia," spoke a Hospitaler.
" I ve a yearning that comes near to sending me on
a charge into the city."
"That would be a hot pursuit of death surely."
" A fair one, then, since death has been long
pursuing us." After a moment s pause Sir Charleroy
" Ah, death ! None can escape, none overtake him ;
see we are his prisoners now, yet he tantalizes us by a
show of immunity. As a sarcophagus is let down by
suspending ropes in tedious stages, with jogglings and
pauses, into the grave, so passes each through perils and
sickenings from life to death. No, no, an undue fear
of death intoxicates us until phantasmagoria possess
the brain. We call these hopes ; they are delusive !
But will any of you follow for a charge down to the
Virgin s fountain ? We can not more than die ; that
we must soon, in any event. I think I could die more
complacently, having cooled my thirst where she was
wont to cool hers."
" Ugh," exclaimed the Templar, with a shudder of
disgust, " the fountain flows out through an old stone
coffin! By my plume! while drinking there I d be
fancying that the ghost of the one robbed of his last
house were leering at me and reveling in the thought
that I d soon be poor and thirstless as he. Verily
the flavor of a drink depends much on the goblet ! "
We may have plenty of miserable fancies, if we
only court such ; for me, Templar, I prefer to comfort
myself by cheerier thoughts ; while I drank there, I d
think of the coolings of death s streams ; of her, that
at this fountain slaked her body s thirst and from the
chalice of death drank serenely at last. My sword,
the gift of my king, after having shed torrents of
blood, hangs uselessly at my side. It seems cruel as
powerless; ay, tis hateful ! My mother gave me, on
64 The Queen of the House of David.
my departure, better gifts by far; tears, kisses, undy
ing love, and the charge to call on Mary if ever evil
befell me. The latter I know not how to do ; but
still my weak faith, methinks, would be helped to
cry Mother to God, if I could only stand where
that mother stood who won the first love of the
infant Jesus, the last anxious thoughts of the God
"Sir Charleroy is unusually pious to-night; but
alas, though I ve been taught to say our church s
Litany, calling on the Virgin most faithful, Virgin
most merciful, Help of the Christian, Lady of
Victories, I can not use those phrases here. Where s
the help, the mercy, the victory now? The Litany,
belongs to England ! "
" We are in our present plight because we have
won heaven s neglect through having more vices than
" Whatever the cause, the mocking disappointment
is apparent. It is nigh thirteen hundred years since
the Holy son and His mother began proclaiming and
exemplifying the White Kingdom here. Now in all
this land of theirs, we thirteen, fateful number, alone
are left of those who openly own His cause. Yea, and
the city where He grew in favor, these nature-blessed
plains whose flowers gave Him picture sermons, are
all filled with burrowing monsters eternally at war
with Him and His."
" Faith will rest until assured that the Promiser is
dead, and that can never be, Sir Knight."
" My faith staggers at the sights of Nazareth. Chief f
The knights all now called Sir Charleroy chief, when
- " At what ? "
" The ruins ! "
" Ah, all that s left of our Crusader church. They
say it was built on the very spot where Mary fell
fainting, when she saw the Nazarenes in wrath drag
ging her son away to cast him down from the precipice
to death. But He escaped, though the church since
built did not! "
" True ; therefore it seems to me that the hand
on time s dial turns backward. This city is filled
with creatures having hearts as hard as the lime
stone walls of the cave-like houses they fittingly
inhabit. If Christ and His Mother were again on
earth as before, mercy s ministers, the present inhabi
tants of Nazareth would surpass His ancient persecu
tors in the zeal with which they would drag not only
Him but His mother to the cliffs."
" Over the door of yon ruined church, some hand
of faith carved the word Victory ! The word is there
yet, and though the hand that carved it is dead, the
faith which prompted it hath victory assured it."
" Victory, in ruins ! A meaningless boast, as it
seems to me, Sir Charleroy. Such victory as ours;
shadowy and very distant ! "
At that moment one of the Templars, who had been
secretly praying behind a cactus hedge, drew near and
the Hospitaler addressed him:
" Brother, any token ? "
J< Praise Jehovah ! yes, of peace."
" How came it ? "
f)6 The Queen of the House of David.
" In my communings, God brought to my mind how
the wondrous Deborah, not far from here, pushed the
pusillanimous Barak from his refuge among the pista-
cas and oaks, from waverings to courage and to glorious
victory over God s foes."
"A happy thought ; the stars on their course fought
against Sisera !
" Barak was called the thunderbolt/ but Deborah
was the lightning, The lightning gave force to the
bolt and God to the lightning."
Sir Charleroy, catching the last sentence, joined in
the debate :
" Gentlemen, there is another lesson on the brow of
that history; it is, that women, having more trust,
cleave closer to God in peril than do men. Men are
in a panic when their devices fail ; women have fewer
devices to fail, hence are less easily confounded. For
that reason God sent out our race in pairs."
" Hermon s breast holds the last ray of the setting
sun," remarked the Golden Cross.
" And the Transfiguration of Christ is recalled ! 1
think some angel of God is holding the sunlight there
for our instruction, now," exclaimed the chief.
" Our instruction ? " queried the Templar. " I do
not discern its meaning; campaigning I fear has
dulled my brain."
" The Son of Mary, on yon mount, met Elijah, repre
sentative of the prophets, Moses, representative of the
law; both called from the deathless land to proclaim
the fulfillment of all prophecy and law through His
" And still I question how this applies to us ?"
"A Knight of the Red Cross should easily discern
that suffering unto death for truth s sake is the way,
all prophecy declares that a reign of law transforming
things to spiritual splendor shall at last come to earth."
"Ah, Sir Charleroy, the interpretation is entrancing ,
but why did the glory need to fade into night, and to
be followed by Gethsemane and Calvary?"
" Life is but a series of temporary glimpses of the
glory that shall be revealed. Night and cloud come
and go, yet the sun never dies."
" But, Sir Charleroy, was it not hard that the loving
Immanuel should be forced to bide these pangs though
ever pursuing true righteousness?"
" Yea, Templar, but the glory of the Transfiguration
came to all that group while Jesus prayed ; as the
angel hastened to minister when Gethsemane was
darkest. These things teach that heaven watches its
own, with succor according to want ; great light at
hand to baffle great darkness and royal answers for
anxious prayers ! "
"You mean, Sir Charleroy, that we few, surrounded
by a sea of enemies, in an inhospitable land, far from
home, should despise each despairing thought ? "
" Good Templar, I am certain of this, anyway :
Suffering for the right has full reward, for after passion
as Christ s, so to His followers there comes the
" Amen," fervently ejaculated several surrounding
knights, and Sir Charleroy felt the glow that he felt
that time the English bishop blessed him.
As they thus communed, the sun had quietly suns,
down into the far-off Mediterranean, flooding the west
68 The Queen of the House of David.
with light like molten gold. Doubtless one thought
came to each at the sight ; for all smiled sadly when
one remarked; " The West is very beautiful to-night ! "
They thought with deep yearnings of home. But the
darkness quickly drew over the scene and the song ot
the baleful nightingales began to start forth here and
there from thickets which, in the darkness, appeared
like plumes of mourning on acres of black velvet.
One knight, for a while entranced by the grim, gloomy
spectacle, shuddered ; then looked up as if to say :
"When will the moon rise? the darkness is oppres
sive ! " Another tried to cheer his comrades by cry.
ing : " England s songsters know us and come to sing
us into hopefulness ! "
" Men, to rest; you ll need it." It was Sir Charleroy
who spoke. Responsibility made him motherly.
" Let us revel awhile in memories of better days,"
replied the Templar.
"But listen; do you not hear afar off" something
like the moaning of the winds before a storm?"
"What of it ? A storm could add little to our
" The sound you hear is the cry of jackal and wolf;
our omens. Forget now all unnerving thoughts of
home and steel yourselves to meet hard fortune.
For a while rest. Rest is now our wisdom ; night,
our mother ; for a time in safety she will swaddle us
within her black garments. And then
" Even so, good Sir Charleroy, and I m think
ing this is her last visit to us. She has corne, I
guess, to lead us to the portals of eternal day."
"When I say good-night to you. comrades, it will be
with the expectation of next saying good-morning
where the wicked cease from troubling," solemnly said
the Golden Cross.
" But," interrupted the Hospitaler, "while the pulse
beats we have a mortgage on time and a duty to plan
" Bravely said ; now tell us how to plan," exclaimed
" Merge all our orders into one, for the present ; elect
a leader, and The Hospitaler paused, for he
could not guess the needs or course of the future.
But the knights quickly acquiesced in the unity of
" Who shall lead ? " was the next question.
"I nominate," shouted the Hospitaler, "the one
whom we all believe must be under the especial care
of the good angels of these places sacred to all rever
ing mother Mary."
The knights, with one voice, responded, " Sir Char-
leroy de Griffin, Teutonic Knight of the Order of St.
The little band dared their danger for a moment by
a spontaneous cheer.
" We have no priest to anoint the chief of the
Refugees, but with God to witness, let each who would
ratify the choice place hilt to shield, as an oath of
service and defense."
Every hilt rang against Sir Charleroy s shield, as the
Hospitaler ceased speaking.
"Comrades," said Sir Charleroy, " I thank you for
your confidence in this hour when the issue is life or
deatb Let us seek the God of battles." The knights
/o The Queen of the House of David.
formed a hollow square about their leader, and al!
kneeled upon the earth.
Their wondering steeds seemed to catch the spirit
of their riders, and, drawing near, drooped their heads.
For a few moments there was awing silence, and then
in deep measured tones the Hospitaler began chanting,
" Kyrie Eleison " (Lord have mercy). The companions
responded, " Christi Eleison." Then, amid those
scenes of sacred history, the kneeling soldiers, together,