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(twenty years before his elevation to the throne,) he almost always adopted her counsels, and mainly owed to them that high reputation with his army, which induced his troops in Illyria to proclaim him emperor. Although Julia Domna has been accused, by the scandal of ancient history, of gallantry in her early days, (the common accusation of the compilers of anecdotes, who pass for historians,) all writers acknowledge that the follies of her youth were effaced by the virtues and the genius which glorified her maturity; and that, when seated on the throne of the empire, she surrounded it by whatever the declining literature and science of the day still preserved of the wise, able, and eminent.

Her husband esteemed her genius, and consulted her upon all affairs; and she, in some measure, governed during the reign of her sons, though she had the misfortune of seeing one slain by his execrable brother, whose excesses she inwardly murmured at, when she dared not openly condemn.


To the last hour of her son's life, Julia Domna, who had accompanied him to the East, administered all that was moral or intellectual in the government of the empire; and the respectful civility of the usurper Macrinus to the widow of Severus, might have flattered her with the hope of an honourable if not a happy old age, in the society of the lettered and the scientific, whom to the last she served and protected.

But the heart, if not the spirit of this great woman, and most unfortunate of mothers, was broken. "She had experienced all the vicissitudes of fortune. From an humble station she had been raised to greatness, only to taste the superior bitterness of an exalted rank. She was doomed to weep over the death of one of her sons, and over the life of another. The terrible death of Caracalla, though her good sense must have long taught her to expect it, awakened the feelings of a mother and an empress. She descended with a painful struggle into the condition of a subject, and soon withdrew herself, by a voluntary death, from an anxious and a humiliating dependence." She refused all food and died of starvation.


MOTHER of Alexander Severus, emperor of Rome, in 222, was possessed of equal genius and courage. She educated her son very carefully for the throne, rendering him a man of virtue and sensibility. Severus thought so highly of his mother that he consulted her in every thing, and followed her advice. Julia having heard of Origen, sent for him, and is supposed to have been converted by him to Christianity. She was murdered with her son, in Gaul, by the discontented soldiery, in 235.


GRANDMOTHER of Heliogabalus, emperor of Rome, was a great politician, and a virtuous woShe strove to counteract the bad counsels of the mother of the emperor, and bring him back


to common sense and duty. She saw that the Romans would not long bear such a shameful yoke, and she induced the emperor, who always retained his respect for her, to nominate his cousin, Alexander Severus, his successor. Julia Mosa attained a happy and respected old age, and was placed by Alexander Severus in the list of divinities.


MOTHER of Heliogabalus, emperor of Rome, was a native of Apamea; her father was Julius Avitus, and her mother, Mosa. Her sister, Julia Mammea, was the second wife of the emperor Septimus Severus. Julia Somius was made president of a senate of women, which she had elected, to decide the quarrels and affairs of the Roman natrons, an office of some difficulty, if not honour. She at last provoked the people by her debaucheries, extravagance, and cruelties, and was murdered with her son and family, in 222.


A VIRGIN and martyr of Carthage. At the sack of Carthage by Genseric, king of the Vandals, Julia was sold to a heathen merchant, and carried to Syria. Here she was discovered to be a Christian, by her refusal to take a part in some of the festivals instituted in honour of the female deities, and was put to death, in 440.


WIFE of Eustace de Breteuil, was the natural daughter of Henry I. of England. Her husband having confided to her the defence of the castle de Breteuil, in 1119, she defended it bravely against her father, at the head of a large army. Her father had taken her two sons prisoners, and given them to their enemies, who had mutilated their faces. When Julianna found that she could hold out no longer, she sent to desire an interview with her father, who, suspecting no treachery, went to meet her, when she attempted to kill him. Henry avoided the blow, and forced her to surrender. She was obliged to leave the castle ignominiously, and went to rejoin her husband at Pacy-sur-Eure.


AN Arabian heroine, who, in the famous battle of the Yermonks, between the Greeks and the Arabs, in the seventh century, rallied the Arabs, when they were driven back by the furious onset of their assailants, and, with several other of the chief women, took the command of the In army. leading the van, Khaula was beaten to the ground by a Greek, when Wafeira, one of her female friends, rescued her, by striking off his head with one blow. This courageous conduct so animated the Arabs, that they routed the Greeks with great loss. Khaula afterwards married the caliph




A MOORISH-SPANIARD, of a noble family at Corduba. She was a most accurate poetess, and also was skilled in philosophy and music. She died young, in 995.


THE beloved of Petrarch, is better known by that title, than by her own name of Laura de Noyes. She was born at Avignon, and married Hugo de Sade. Petrarch first saw her in 1327, and conceived a passion for her, which existed during her life; yet her chastity has never been called in question. Petrarch wrote three hundred and eighteen sonnets and eighty-eight songs, of which Laura was the subject. She died of the plague, in 1348, aged thirty-eight. She is said to have had a graceful figure, a sweet voice, a noble and distinguished appearance, and a countenance which inspired tenderness.

The poetry of Petrarch gave Laura a wide celebrity during her lifetime. It is recorded, that the king of Bohemia, arriving at Avignon, sought out this well-sung lady, and kissed her on the forehead, in token of homage. All this may appear very pleasant; romantic young ladies may even account Laura a very fortunate woman; but there is a dark side to the picture. The husband of Laura was not pleased with the notoriety which the devotion of Petrarch conferred on the object of his passion or his poetry. No wonder the jealousy of the husband, even an Italian husband, should have been awakened; and though no real infidelity of his wife was ever discovered, yet it was not possible he could enjoy the quiet happiness of domestic life, which is based on perfect confidence in the affections as well as principles of the married pair. The children of this illmatched couple showed either that their training was neglected, or their natural gifts very mediocre; both consequences unfavourable to the character of their mother. Of Laura's nine sons, not one was ever distinguished for sense or spirit;

and her only daughter conducted herself in such an irregular manner, that her friends were forced to shut her up in a convent. Such were the children of this "beloved of Petrarch." Surely, Laura's celebrity can be no object of envy to any good mother who has good children. And Petrarch-could he have been an honourable man, who, for twenty-two years, made love to another man's wife?



Or Granada, a Moorish-Spaniard, who was celebrated for her learning. She died in the early part of the thirteenth century.


JUSTIN DE, daughter of André Perotti, of Sasso Ferrato, a descendant of the illustrious house of Levi, was born at Cremona, in the fourteenth century, and was a successful writer of Italian poetry. She was a contemporary and correspondent of Petrarch. She addressed to him a sonnet, to which he replied by another. But, to avoid the appearance of rivalry with this celebrated poet, she determined to write only in French. She married Louis de Puytendre, a French gentleman, living on the borders of the Rhine, and was the ancestress of Clotilde de Surville.


MARIA VIRGINIA DI. Horace remarks, in an often-quoted sally, that many heroes worthy of because there was no bard to cast his sacred light renown have existed, acted, and been forgotten, around their deeds. The interest awakened by the poet, is indeed universal and far-spreading. Who, for instance, does not feel more alive to the identity of Agamemnon- the very king noted by Homer or of Andromache, or of Helen, than to the well-authenticated existence of many an actual prince or pretty woman, who, wanting the bard, is made known to us merely by chronological tablets? It is that sort of interest, inspired by being the subject of the pen of genius, that renders the Signora Di Leiva worthy a place in these sketches. Manzoni, in the best romance Italy has

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ever produced-we may say, one of the best romances to be found in any language - has given importance to the memory of an otherwise obscure gentlewoman. Those versed in Italian literature, need not be reminded of the interesting and strongly depicted account of the lady of Monza; but little is to be added to the episode of the "Promessi Sposi."

It must be stated, that the circumstances detailed in that work did not really happen at Monza, but in some obscure bourg, whose name cannot now be ascertained; the real name of the lady was Maria Virginia di Leiva. Her father, Antonio di Leiva, from an unjust ambition to endow his son with an excessive wealth, immured this unfortunate daughter in a convent, where she was forced to take the veil, without the smallest vocation or sentiment of religion. To recompense her for this sacrifice, uncommon privileges were extended to her; she was accountable to nobody for her time or actions, and this led to her ruin. A young nobleman, of dissolute habits and abandoned life, found means to attract her attention from a neighbouring house-to gain her affections, and to seduce her. Thus far Manzoni:-but the work called the Monaca di Monza, by Rossini, which affects to give a detailed and continued life of this lady, is entirely incorrect and without real foundation. The true end of her history is, that the scandalous life she led, was brought by report to the ears of the Cardinal Borromeo, who quietly withdrew her from the scene of her errors, placed her in another monastery, under strict overseeing, and in fine, by tenderness and spiritual exhortations, awakened her torpid conscience, instructed her in religious truths, and brought about a sincere repentance. She became as eminent for the saintly piety of her latter days, as she had been offensive from her early licentiousness. Her seducer, after a series of fearful crimes-among which murder was to be reckoned -came to an untimely and violent death.


A RELATION of St Boniface, the intrepid apostle of Northern Europe, was placed by him at the head of a convent which he had founded for women, in the midst of the barbarous tribes of Germany, not far from the monastery of Fulda. She was a very learned woman for that age, and was thoroughly acquainted with the writings of the Fathers, ecclesiastical law, and theology. The Bible was almost always in her hands, and even during her sleep she had it read to her. All her life, Lioba was considered a saint. She was the only woman who was ever allowed to enter the monastery of Fulda. When St. Boniface was massacred at Friesland, he requested to be buried near Lioba; "I wish," said he, "to wait with her for the day of resurrection. Those who have laboured together for Christ, ought together to receive their reward."


MOTHER and daughter, were Jewish women, and early believers in the Christian faith; they resided


at Lystra, a city of Lycaonia. Eunice was the mother of Timothy, who was the first bishop of the Ephesians, and the favourite convert and friend of the apostle Paul. As the husband of Eunice was a Greek, the religious education of Timothy must have been entirely the work of his mother and grandmother. This is proved by what Paul says in his epistle to Timothy regarding the 'unfeigned faith" of these two noble women. He judged the piety of this gifted young man by the measure of excellence they possessed; and if Timothy came up to this standard of the female soul, Paul was satisfied. Thus was the piety of woman held up as the pattern for the best of men, by the sternest and most masculine mind among the apostles. See Acts, chap. xvi., and 2 Timothy, chap. i.

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Or Savoy, countess of Angoulême, wife of Charles, duke of Orleans, and mother of Francis I., who succeeded to the throne of France in 1515. Immediately on his accession, he raised Angoulême into a duchy from motives of filial affection. Louisa had been eminently beautiful, and even then, time had diminished her charms but little, while the gifts of nature were carefully improved and embellished by cultivation. Gifted with strong talents, and a mind active, vigorous, penetrating, and decisive, she aimed at the acquisition of power, but, unhappily for the nation, her virtues were overbalanced by her vices; her passions were strong and impetuous, and to their gratification she sacrificed all a woman should hold dear; vain, avaricious, intriguing, jealous, and implacable, she thwarted the best concerted plans of her son,

and occasioned the greatest distress to the nation.

Francis, on his Italian expedition, left his mother regent of the kingdom, and, after his return from it, when his duchy of Milan was threatened by the Pope, and Lautrec was appointed its governor, Louisa, partly from avarice, and partly from an inveterate dislike she had conceived for Lautrec, who had spoken too freely of some of her intrigues, seized and appropriated the three hundred thousand crowns which had been raised for the pay of the Milanese troops. Lautrec performed prodigies of valour, but the Swiss mercenaries, who formed the greater part of the army, enraged at not receiving their pay, left him, and Lautrec was obliged to return to France. The king was so enraged at the loss of the Milanese, that he at first refused to see him; but, having at length obtained an audience, he justified himself by imputing the disasters of the campaign to the want of the promised money. Francis flew into a violent passion with Semblancy, superintendant of the finances, insisting on knowing what had become of the money he had ordered to be sent to Italy; the minister, a man of virtue and integrity, who had grown grey in the service of his country, confessed he had been obliged to pay it to the duchess d'Angoulême, who had taken the consequences on herself; but that infamous woman had the presumption to deny the fact, though Semblancy produced her receipt for the amount. When Semblancy had thus justified himself in the eyes of Francis, and continued to enjoy his place, the vindictive Louisa soon suborned one of his clerks to accuse him of peculation; he was tried by partial judges, condemned, and executed.

Louisa's affections had long been fixed on the duke of Bourbon, but finding her love rejected by a prince sincerely attached to his wife, in revenge she prejudiced the king against him. The death of the duchess of Bourbon revived her former tenderness, and she offered her hand to the duke. This being rejected with contempt, she doomed Bourbon to destruction. A law-suit was commenced against him, to recover some possessions he held in right of his wife; and the judges, overawed by Louisa, pronounced a sentence by which his estate was sequestered. Bourbon, driven to desperation by this injustice, entered into a treaty with Henry VIII., of England, and Charles V., of Germany, against the king of France.

At first, Francis was successful in repelling the confederate princes, which encouraged him to attempt, in person, the recovery of the Milanese; in vain did his mother and his wisest ministers dissuade him from it; he departed, leaving the duchess regent of the kingdom. After the battle of Pavia, at which he had lost his army and his liberty, he addressed the following note to his mother, "Madame, all is lost except our honour." The captivity of the king, and the loss of a flourishing army, added to a discontent prevailing throughout the kingdom, seemed to threaten a general insurrection. In this trying emergency, the magnanimity of Louisa was eminently displayed, and the kingdom, which her passions had

endangered, her abilities were exerted to save. She assembled, at Lyons, the princes of the blood, the governors of the provinces, and the notables of the realm, who generously resolved to ransom immediately the officers and soldiers taken at Pavia. The army and garrisons were recruited, and enabled to repel the Imperialists, while Louisa conciliated the favour of the king of England, whom she disengaged from the confederacy; and to her mediation Francis acknowledged himself indebted for his liberty, which he recovered in March, 1526. The terms of his liberation by the emperor were so exorbitant that he never intended to fulfil them, and the Pope absolved him from his oath.

Consequently, hostilities continued, till Margaret of Austria and the duchess of Angoulême met at Cambray, and settled the terms of pacification, whence the peace was called the "Ladies' Peace." Louisa died, 1571. In obedience to her counsels, Francis completed, after her death, her favourite project of annexing the duchy of Brittany to the



A DAUGHTER of M. Aurelius, celebrated for her youthful virtues and her beauty; and also notorious, at a later period, for her debaucheries and misfortunes. At the age of sixteen, her father sent her to Syria, to marry the emperor Verus, who was then at war with the Parthians and Armenians. Lucilla loved her husband passionately, and, at first, conducted herself with great modesty and discretion; but, seeing Verus plunge into dissipations of every kind, while he neglected her, she yielded to the fashion of the times, and became very profligate. After the death of Verus, she married, by order of her father, an old but virtuous senator. She was accused of incest with her brother Commodus; and when he treated her with coldness, she, with many of the senators, conspired against him. The plot was discovered, and Lucilla was banished, in 185. Soon after, she was put to death by her brother, in the thirtyeighth year of her age.


A VIRGIN martyr, born at Syracuse. She refused to marry a young man who addressed her, because she had determined to devote herself to religion, and, to prevent his importunities, she gave her whole fortune to the poor. Enraged at this, the young man accused her, before Paschasius the heathen judge, of professing Christianity, and Lucy was put to death by him, in 305.


BATTISTA, of Urbino. This very erudite lady was the daughter of Guido di Montefeltro, lord of Urbino. She was a pupil of Leonardo Bruni. She understood Latin, and was so expert in philosophy that she was able to hold public theses.

As a widow, she maintained a fair and wise government of her dominions, until having reached a very advanced age, she retired into the convent of St. Clara, where she finished her life in pious tranquillity. She died in 1460.


QUEEN-CONSORT of England, was daughter of Regnier, or René, titular king of Sicily, Naples, and Jerusalem, descended from the counts of Anjou, and brother of Charles V. of France. Brought up in the petty court of Anjou, her natural strength of mind was not enfeebled by indulgence, and she was considered the most accomplished princess of her time, when she was selected by cardinal Beaufort for the wife of Henry VI. of England. She was married in 1445, when only sixteen, to share with a weak prince a throne disturbed by rancorous and contending factions. She naturally threw herself into that party which had favoured her marriage, of which the earl of Suffolk was the chief; and when the destruction of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, was effected by their machinations, she was generally suspected of being privy to his murder. The surrender of the province of Maine, in France, to the king of that country, who was Margaret's uncle, in consequence of a secret article in the marriage treaty, aggravated the odium under which Margaret and Suffolk laboured; and the sacrifice of that nobleman, which followed, is said to have cost her more tears than are usually shed on the loss of a political ally.

Her son was born in 1453, while the national discontents were rising to a crisis. She was soon after called upon to exert all the vigour of her character in resisting the Yorkists, who had defeated the royal army at St. Albans. Though Henry VI. was taken prisoner, she raised troops, and defended the royal cause with so much spirit, that she effected a favourable compromise, and restored her husband to the sovereignty, The war, however, was renewed, and at the battle of Northampton, the Lancasterians were totally routed, and Henry again taken prisoner. Margaret, with her son, fled to Durham, and thence to Scotland. Returning into the north of England, she interested the nobles there in her cause, and collected a powerful army. With this she met the duke of York at Wakefield, and totally defeated him. The duke was killed in this battle, and, by the order of Margaret, his head was struck off, and, crowned with a paper diadem, was placed on the gates of York. His youngest son, Rutland, was killed in cold blood by the furious Clifford; several prisoners of distinction were put to death, and an example given of the cruelties which marked the progress of this unnatural war.

In 1461, the queen defeated the earl of Warwick, partizan of Edward, son of the duke of York, at the second battle of St. Albans, in which she recovered the person of the king, now a passive agent in the hands of friends and foes. She displayed her fierce and cruel disposition, by ordering lord Bonville to be executed, to whose

care Henry had been entrusted by the Yorkists, and to whom the powerless king had promised pardon. The approach of Edward with a superior force, obliged her again to retreat to the north, and that prince was elevated to the throne by the Londoners, and the lords of the Yorkists.

Margaret's influence, and the licentiousness in which her troops were indulged, increased the Lancasterian party to sixty thousand men. It was met at Towton, in Yorkshire, by Edward and Warwick, at the head of forty thousand men, and a battle was fought, March 1461, which was the bloodiest of these destructive wars. The Lancasterians were defeated, and Margaret and Henry, who had remained at York, hastily retreated to Scotland. After soliciting aid in vain from that country, she went over to France for the same purpose: and by offering to deliver Calais to the French, should Henry be restored to the crown, she obtained the succour of two thousand men, with which she landed in Scotland. Joined by some of her partizans, and a band of freebooters, she made an incursion into the north of England, and proceeded to Hexham. She was there met and defeated by a force under lord Montacute.

The unfortunate queen fled with her son into a forest, where she was seized by a band of robbers, who took her jewels, and treated her with great indignity. While they were quarrelling about the booty, Margaret escaped, and fled wearied and terrified into the depths of the forest. Seeing a man coming towards her with a drawn sword, she summoned up all her courage, and going to meet him, "Here, friend," said she, "I commit to your protection the son of your king." Struck by the nobleness and dignity of her manner, and charmed with the confidence reposed in him, the man, though a robber, devoted himself to her service. He concealed the queen and her son for some time in the woods, and then led them to the coast, whence they escaped to Flanders.

Margaret went to her father's court, where she remained several years, while her husband was imprisoned in the Tower of London. In 1470, the rebellion of the earl of Warwick against Edward, and his subsequent arrival in France, produced an alliance between him and the exiled queen. It was agreed that Warwick should endeavour to restore the house of Lancaster, and that Edward, the son of Margaret and Henry, should marry his daughter Anne, which alliance took place in France. Warwick landed in England, and Edward was forced to escape to Flanders. Margaret was preparing to second his efforts; but on the very day on which she landed at Weymouth, the battle of Barnet, April 14th, 1471, terminated the life of Warwick, and the hopes of the confederacy. Margaret, with her son, took refuge in the sanctuary of Beaulieu, in Hampshire, intending to return to France; but being encouraged by the increase of her party, she advanced to Tewksbury, where she was met by Edward, who totally defeated her, and took her and her son prisoners, the latter of whom was cruelly put to death. Margaret was confined in the Tower, where her husband died about the

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