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Normandy, took care of his estates during his absence in Palestine, and the historian says that under her rule the provinces were better governed than if he had been present. The lords of the village of Chatenai, refusing to set free several unhappy villagers who were languishing in prison, the pious mother of St. Louis, at the head of her people went to burst open the gates; and before the revolution the stick was still preserved with which she struck the door and commenced the attack with her own hand. Raymond Berenger, the last Count of Barcelona, instituted the order of the hatchet for women, to honor the bravery of the female champions who defended with that instrument the city of Tortosa when reduced to extremity. The city of Palencia, being defended by women, John I., King of Castile, ordered that they should be admitted into the order of the band founded by Alphonso, to enjoy all the privileges attached to it.
Herodotus describes certain lady knights among the Ausenses who met yearly to contend with each other in honor of Minerva. The women of the middle ages were not so expert, if we may judge from as amusing instance related by Biisching from an old poet of the fourteenth century respecting an event which happened in a fortress on the Rhine, where forty bold knights lived with, their wives. During the absence of the men on Sunday, who had left their army, the women laid a plan to hold a tournament; so they put on their husband's armor, mounted their horses, and took each her lord's name, all but one young maid, who therefore called herself Herxog Walrabe von Limburg, at that time one of the most renowned knights upon the Rhine. She tournayed with such skill that she sent most of the other women out of the saddleJ then they rode home and put up the horses, and put the wounded to bed, and forbid the pages to mention what they had performed; but when the knights came back they found their horses in a sweat, their armor out of its place, and many of the women in bed with bruises; so they asked their noble little pages, and they told them all about it. So they laughed heartily at their wives' folly, and the adventure soon getting wind, the Duke Walrabe determined to see the maid who had won such worship in his name. He accordingly came to the castle, and gave her one hundred marks for dowry and a warhorse, and she was soon afterwards married to a man of honor.
At the tournaments of Edward III.'s time, women sometimes appeared with daggers and in armor. Ramor Montaner describes a Spanish woman, in the reign of Peter of Arragon, who put on armor and took a French knight prisoner, having killed his horse. Many women appeared in armor in the ranks of the Crusaders. In "Tirante the White" women are represented in steel armor. In r628 a gardener digging up a tree on the spot in Paris where the Exchange now stands, found nine cuirasses, which had been made for women, as their form denoted; and in the museum of the artillery of Paris may be seen the steel armor which was worn by Elizabeth de Nassau, mother of the Marechal de Turenne.
The employment of Penelope was the favorite amusement of these noble women in the absence of their husbands. The Anglo-Saxon lady is described as weaving on curtains the actions of her lord. Cavendish says that when the cardinals waited on- Queen Catherine, she came out to them with a "skaine of white thread about her neck." When Brithnod, the Anglo-Saxon warrior, was slain in battle against the Danes, to honor the memory of her husband his widow, Ethelfleda, embroidered in silk the history of his exploits, and gave it, with several other presents, to the monastery which contained his ashes; and during the absence of William the Conqueror in England, his Queen, Matilda, was employed in weaving that famous tapestry which is still preserved at Bayeux.
Women in the middle ages frequently added to the ordinary accomplishments of their sex a considerable degree of learning. Anna Sforza, Duchess of Ferrara, was an example of a woman uniting all female graces with extensive learning. Cervantes describes the duchess as quoting certain Latin verses of Politian, and in his time many Spanish women of high rank were well skilled in classical learning. In 1459 Pope Pius II. was complimented by Hippolyte Sforza, daughter of Francis Sforza, in a Latin speech.
Before a tournament the candidates hung up their shields in some public place, and if one of them was known to have spoken lightly of any woman, she had only to touch the shield in token of demanding justice. It was not a duel which ensued; but the knight guilty of this defamation was beaten soundly by his peers. King Charles V. of France banished from court a man who had spoken lightly in the presence of a woman; such respect had men for female virtue. The right hand was given to a woman to show her honor: yet the ingenious gallantry of these ages provided for every case, by remarking that she on the left was nearest the heart of him who conducted her. It was not alone in England that the law of hospitality required women to kiss the stranger who arrived. In the Niebelungen, Rttdiger desires Trantine to kiss with all discretion the noble kings who arrive and their attendant; and when the Countess de Montford received Sir Walter Manny,
after his taking the Cade of Gmnsn.. it she best, "She came," says FraHsan. **scat -meat sea
and kissed, and made Uctl poc tmeit. axe cased all the noble men to have with bar m sic rassje." These examples from -.at sgt on •■cttxs.cj assy z 3 hoped serve to show what generaia sesennesxs were then in honor; how littlecanmanC>ac'XAtBe Xbe tached to riches; how free the sunds sc a&ex wer? from the infiedion of those base and Mesbsi emfs which in later times have been jc-yaastt. rai the gravity that belongs to tfae lrarhrre off
A TALK ON HEALTH. Br J. S. W.
A writer has said, "Though health may be enjoyed without gratitude, it cannot be sported w ith without loss, or regained by courage," a fact which almost all are ready to recognize, but very few are disposed to act upon. And yet the preservation of health is so sisterly secured in the majority of cases by proper attention to diet, exercise and clothing, that :: seems as if we must attribute debility, headaches, low-spirits, loss of appetite and most of the complaints so common among us, to little else than lamentable indifference to the elementary principles of hygiene. A statue of the goddess Hygeia sbocid occupy a prominent place in the sch"o'.-room and in the family circle; her precepts should be instilled by the teacher and practiced by the mother, before promiscuous eating and general impendence have undermined the child's coostirutioo. The extent to which indulgence is allowed the young in this respect is truly deplorable. Most of us no doubt can recall instances, perhaps personal experience tells, where puny frames, sallow faces and physical weakness, have resulted from either a mother's indifference or want of knowledge. For instance, rope-jumping has of late years been very popular with children; but few mothers or fathers think or care to caution their little ones against this dangerous practice. Not only is there an unnatural strain thus put upon the heart, but often serious injury is done to the knees and hips and to the spine.
Proper food and exercise are the principal conditions of health; but of course the amount of
either that a person needs, depends on Lb constitution, habits and work. In no better way can good health be preserved or restored than by paying careful attention to diet. Nor is it enough to know what to eat; we must learn how and when to eat. Regularity is as important as discretioc in meals. Some would have it that a good appetite must invariably be a criterion of good health; yet it may in most cases be proved that this is the rev ease of the truth.
Frenchmen or Italians are certainly as healthy, if not healthier than Americans; yet they eat half that we do. King Victor Emmanuel was a singularly robust man, yet he only ate one meal a dayIt will probably be admitted by most people that we take more food than we need, and that there must necessarily spring evil results where our stomachs are not gauged according to our special habits and mode of life. Our breakfast-tables have been and are still the cause of disease and much misery. Instead of plain, healthy food, we aim at having an absurd variety and quantity, much of which, even taken in moderation, is far from nutritious, if not injurious. It is no excuse for one to say that he requires a heavy breakfast; that arises rather from habit. It is more than probable that he would be better off with a simple dish of oatmeal, cracked wheat or rice and a pleatiful supply of coarse bread.
Experience will, in fact, convince one that an enviable state of health can be secured by careful attention to the quality and proper self-denial is the quantity of food taken, particularly at the breakfast-table. Then all meals ought to be seasoned with pleasant conversation, for such acts as a digestive, and gives wholesome recreation to one's whole being. If men could spare the time to take a hearty dinner at midday, the benefit would no doubt be great; but as the case is, it would be better to take but two meals a day—one at morning and one at night—than to depend for one's dinner upon a hastily-eaten meal of indiscriminate eatables. It is, moreover, a very desirable thing that those particularly who are in the habit of having "tea" at night, should take a crust of bread or something of the kind before going to bed, just as for the same reason one should take some little nourishment, whose time of rising and breakfast-hour are not close upon each other.
Our people have accustomed themselves to the use of ice-water to an extent truly alarming; for probably to this habit is largely due the prevalence of dyspepsia among young and old. It would be idle to enumerate the many pitiable forms of disease and distress that have grown out of reckless and irregular living in this matter of food and drink. Dyspeptics are painfully unhappy creatures; they have lost all merriment and jovial good-nature, and fail to sympathize with such as would carry out the adage " laugh, and grow fat."
They become morbid, indifferent, careless, irritable, and yet scarcely stop for a moment to consider what has been the cause of their condition, and what they can do to provide a remedy. It has probably never occurred to them to think that the stomach demands certain kinds of food, and that others it fails to assimilate; that some provide immediate nutriment, while others only weary and wear out the stomach. Avoid pies, cakes, confectionery, hot bread, ice-water, and in studying for variety in food, choose such as are nourishing and will not interfere with the organs of digestion. To see a man or woman neglectful of Nature's laws is not only suggestive of pig-headed ignorance but of unpardonable injustice towards those who are supposed to follow their example.
In so excitable an atmosphere as ours we need few stimulants; in fact we find that here we cannot eat, drink or smoke with such impunity as in a more humid climate. We need nourishing foods, and no country can furnish these in such abundance as our own. We have good beef, good wheat, and good milk, and what with excellent fruits and vegetables so particularly conducive to
a well-ordered system, there seems no excuse why every man, woman and child should not have palatable, nutritious, wholesome, and cheap food. It only remains then for the young to be taught and the old to be convinced as to the quantity and quality that they require, and the mode and manner of eating it. Some people, with the spirit of a Caleb Balderstone, strive to live on the meanest kind of sustenance, in order to make a conspicuous show in their outer life. They soon find out their folly to their own serious discomfort, and open up a Pandora's box of ills at which they never cease to make wry faces. No! Few of us learn to appreciate health until it has gone from us; then we grieve that we had not been more careful in what we ate, or that we had not had, as the ancients, "amethustoi" or sober stones to remind us of indiscreet indulgence.
Yet apart from proper food, the body requires well-timed exercise in order to be healthy; and this is within the reach of everybody, whether in or out of doors. We do not mean to insist upon the many forms of exercise that have lately become so popular. They no doubt have their social, moral and physical advantages; but, if not unnecessarily violent, they demand too much time for most people. The principal point to aim at in the matter of exercise, is constancy and regularity, and then the development is rapidly felt. Some vigorous action of the body after rising every morning, a brisk walk taken regularly an hour or so after a meal, but never on an empty stomach, a few swings of the Indian-clubs or the dumb-bells, will work wonders if properly practiced. It may seem at first very irksome to undertake anything of the kind, but such very soon enters into the routine of one's daily life. Only those who have tried it can at all realize the robust health, high spirits and bodily activity, that are sure to result from a few minutes' constant and regular exercise of the limbs. Our women complain of headaches etc., but do they ever stop to think that a little physical exertion on their part, and plenty of fresh air, would rid them of much if not all of their trouble? The assertion finds proof in the condition of our women when they are in the country or at the seashore, and we need not do more than refer to the physical development that has attended the recent enthusiasm in lawn-tennis, riding, rowing, roller-skating, etc.
Want of exercise, however, it may be urged, is but a comparatively minor cause of ill-health in women. Garters, tight and high-heeled shoes, are bad enough; but the most serious injury is in the corset, by which the heart and the adjoining organs are kept under suppression. There can be nothing so deserving of unabated censure as the system of tight lacing, and until they can learn to understand this and act upon it, we need not look for health among our women.
The mention of dress suggests that wide-spread tendency so prejudicial to health—the tendency to sacrifice one's physical well-being to the eccentricities of fashion, in the matter of outward appearance as of the inner life. There is little excuse indeed for the modern fashion that leads young girls to walk with drooping shoulders, and chest contracted to an extent that not only mars their beauty, but seriously interferes with proper respiration and physical development; such interference with Nature's intentions is not only ugly, but highly ridiculous.
Moreover, people will deck themselves with all that money can buy, will cater to all the demands of outward show, and yet will neglect to give even decent attention to the care and cleanliness of the body. A mere washing of the hands and face is about the extent of their daily ablution; but surely, the very idea itself of such a practice is suggestive of moral shortcomings. Certainly, anyone who has experienced the benefits of a daily
bath, could not fail to use his sponge and owns towel every day. It would be found in most case an excellent remedy for nervousness, and if practiced before going to bed, would prove of inestimable value against sleeplessness. But here agus the practice must be regular and constant; witl then the beneficial results will soon be perceptible. The Chinese could paint their porcelain with fishes and animals in such a manner that the figures never appeared to the eye, until the vases wcrr filled with water. Our perfection of mind and body is in a great many cases dimmed, so to speak, by improper care of our person. When due attention is given to the lessons of health, we tin trace the symptoms of vitality, manliness, and the moral virtues in transparency where before the were, as it were, opaque.
There may be something suggestive in the above notes, something that may stimulate a few to exercise wise judgment in the care of their own person and those of their household, it may be. Hygeit has her lessons to teach at home, in the street, and in the routine of everyday-life; in standing and sitting down, in walking and riding, in providing proper food and clothing for the body. If we could establish a friendly rivalry among our men and women to excel in physical as in artificial attractiveness, we would have among us a proportion of strong and healthy people that might well be envied.
MISS PRISCILLA'S COTTAGE.
By Margaret B. Harvey.
What a beautiful little cottage it was! It put you in mind of the daintiest of bird's-nests, halfhidden as it was by climbing roses and Virginia creeper, and overhung by the drooping branches of the chestnut and wild cherry-trees of the grove in which it stood. It was pointed out as the prettiest house in the village of Lawndale, and so it struck the passing stranger. And on this particular lovely morning in May, Dick Lindley stood before it, absorbed in contemplating its charms.
"The very thing I" he exclaimed, "I'll rent it for the summer, and May and I'll keep house together here, for a frolic. See if we don't have more fun than if we made ourselves miserable to
please other people at a fashionable summer resort. Odd, though, that it should look so deserted, I should think fifty would want it."
People shook their heads and looked wise, in answer to Dick's inquiries. The house hadn't been rented, they said, for half-a-dozen seasons, and most-likely never would be.
"Why, what's the matter?" asked Richard, Mi his blunt, straightforward way, "Is it haunted? Was anybody ever robbed or murdered there? Or what?"
"Well, is it unhealthy to live there? Anjdaease or malaria in the atmosphere?"*
'' No indeed, healthiest neighborhood in the world. But the truth is, nobody can get along with the landlady."
"Oho! And what is wrong with her?" "She's the queerest of queer old maids; the most prying and inquisitive of mortal women, with the most tattling and abusive of tongues."
"Is that all?" laughed Dick, "I guess I can risk that. There'll be no scandal in our house; we'll be as open as the day. We'll have the simplest of furniture, so there'll be nothing to excite her curiosity. We'll do nothing but enjoy ourselves, so she needn't feel especially interested in our actions. Finally, we'll mind our own business, so that she can't feel called upon to do it for us."
"Easy to talk, my dear young man," gravely remarked an old gentleman who had acted as his informant; "but if you take my advice, you'll keep out of Miss Priscilla's way."
"You'll be sorry if you don't," added a middleaged man.
Dick felt taken aback. The cottage was so beautiful, and his heart was set on having it. Suddenly, a slight feeling of indignation took possession of him. He glanced around the circle of men in the little country store and thought, "How contemptible 1 All these men set against one woman, and simply because she's old and queer. I'll stand by her, anyhow. I'll take the cottage. (Aloud.) Please direct me to Miss Priscilla's; I believe I'll try and rent her house."
It must be confessed, however, that his courage failed him somewhat on meeting the lady; for she really looked the character given her—she was cross and ugly. Her greeting was so snappish, her replies were so sharp, that Dick was glad enough to transact his business with as few words as possible. Only that his desire of renting the cottage was so strong—only that he thought from her poverty-stricken surroundings that she really needed the money it would bring—he would have gone away without accomplishing his errand. As it was, he was glad enough to get out of the woman's presence.
"Such a rookery I" he soliloquized; "within a stone's throw of that lovely little bower, yet living in a shanty hardly fit for civilized dogs. No paint, no hinges, paling loose, no grass, no flowers, bones and rags flung all over the yard, a dozen halfstarved cats under your heels. I must tell May we will have an operatic, open-air concert every
night without charge. No carpet, no curtains, not a book, a picture, or an ornament—what a panorama! Dowdy head, no teeth, no collar—can it be that such a looking creature ever had the heart and hopes of a woman?
"But I did rent the house, did'nt I? Yes, I did, and I paid the first month's rent in advance. Still, I said very little. I can hardly remember what. How funny it was that when she asked me how many there were in the family I said two, without saying that they were myself and sister, instead of myself and wife, or grandmother, or uncle, or who. No danger but she'll find out, though, quick enough. I hope, however, that May'll never meet her. She'd never have any peace if she did."
A few days later, and Miss Priscilla, at her post of observation, the window, concealed however by the blind, noticed a wagon-load of furniture standing before the door of the cottage. A few minutes' later, Mr. Dick was visible, superintending and helping, while the teamsters began their work of lifting.
"H'm!" sniffed the watchful maiden, "Iron bedsteads! Straw matting! Cane chairs! Poor people, eh! If I could'nt afford to have handsome furniture like rich people, I could'nt afford to put on airs, and take a cottage in the country! Sally Jane Wiggins ought to know of this; she can't abide people that try to live beyond their means!"
"Ho! ho! What's all that? Crockett, Bows and arrers! Fishing-rods! Ain't they got nothing better to do than waste their time with all that trumpery? It won't put bread and butter in their mouths. Besides, idleness is sinful. I believe its my duty to tell the minister.
"Oh, my, there's his wife! Rather pretty; but they don't have as pretty girls nowadays as they did when I was young. Wouldn't her feathers have dropped if she could have seen me, when I was all fixed up, with a white frock on? Who does up all them there ruffles, I wonder? She don't, I know; they're all too lazy to work in these days. Catch her puttin' them white hands in the washtub! Women ain't good for anything any more—Oh, my, no! They must play the pie-anna, and read, and be waited on like all creation!
"What kind of a mother had she, anyway, to let her get married so young? They ought to