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they reduced, that in order not to die of desperation, they were nearly determined to surrender the fortress.

Being on the point of submitting to this disgrace, Roiz one morning very early took a walk on the ramparts, to examine their state-he was in a very sorrowful mood. Not knowing how to act with the most honour, he asked of God that in mercy he would send him assistance, and above all, spare him the disgrace of being obliged to forfeit his honour by surrendering the castle.

Now, while he was in these imaginations, he beheld rising from the banks of the Mondego, which flowed hard by, a noble eagle, holding in his claws a very large trout fish; and as he took flight over the castle's turrets, the fish fell at Fernand Roiz's feet, on the ramparts, where he stood looking upwards. On seeing this beautiful trout-so large, so fresh-a thought struck him. He took it up, had it made into a choice pasty, then sent it as a present to the Count of Bologna, telling him that he might continue the siege as long as he liked; but that if it was by famine he expected to take the place, he had to consider people thus provided with dainty fare were not very likely to give their honour up by a disgraceful surrender. The count and those with him marvelled greatly, not knowing how this could have happened. The Regent believed the hand of heaven in it, and admiring the loyal con stancy of the alcaïd, thought it useless to prolong the attack, so drew off his men and returned. And to this day all of the lineage of Fernand Roiz bear on their shields an eagle holding a fish in his claws, in remembrance of heaven's goodness.

Such was the faithful vassal's conduct.

Now, in good time and season, all the strong places had fallen into the Regent's power, except only one, the castle of Coimbra, and that was the most honourable fortress of the kingdom, because it had the title of capital of the province, and served as the king's residence. He who commanded it was Don Martin Freitas, a renowned knight, and of high birth. The count having made every entreaty with him that the place should be given up to his power as regent, before he had recourse to arms, Freitas deceived his hopes by saying that so long as Don Sancho lived, he would not give up without his orders any trust reposed in his hands; that he, Don Martin, viewed death or punishment as trifles not to be compared with the loss of his honour and loyalty to the king; he might therefore dispense with threatening with perils and death, because he was decided to suffer every thing; that he was not now seeking to gain a place in life, but to preserve the place he had already gained with honour to his name. The count, therefore, laid siege to the fortress, and attacked it several times.

So much valour was exhibited on both sides, so many were the killed and wounded, and so often was the combat renewed, that the invincible courage of the alcaid and his brave companions repelled every attempt made against the place. The regent, highly indignant at his obstinate resistance, took an oath never to raise the siege until he had obtained possession of the castle, either by assault or by famine. So long he persevered in this determination, that water and provisions began to fail in the garrison; they were even reduced to eat their beasts of burthen, dogs, cats, and foul animals repugnant to the nature of man. The count, knowing the straits to which they were reduced, felt pained that so many loyal men should endure such hardships, summoned them to surrender, telling them that they were killing themselves without cause,--that they were wrong if they thought their conduct prowess, for it was rather folly, because they never could succeed. Don Martin answered, that if all his people left him alone, he would singly remain and die at his post.

Great indeed now became the misery of the gallant band,--much they urged Don Martin to listen to the proposal of the regent, well saying that everything had been well done to prove his loyalty to Don Sancho and his honour of a knight. "My friends, let me not persuade you to follow my steps, thinking as you do. May it please heaven to send you all succour in this hour of trouble, that you may hereafter have to tell your children with joy the faith you have preserved, it will be no slight lesson to your descendants." He went on to say that by obtaining a little food and drink their lives would be saved, but that life was short, and infamy lived for ever. These noble words assured their spirits, and to a man they determined not to quit Don Martin while one remained to second his courage.

Don Sancho had now been absent nearly a year in Castille, when one day the regent received certain intelligence of his death. Deeply grieving at the loss of so many brave vassals and noble-minded men who continued firm in their loyalty, he now sent them large munitions of food and good refreshment Sending at the same time a message to the brave alcaid, informing him on his honour, that King Sancho was actually no more, but that if he did not give credit to it, he was at liberty to make himself satisfied upon that head, and he would permit Don Martin honourable safeguard to Castille, and back to the castle again, to ascertain the fact; during which time he would not only desist from all attack on the castle, but supply its noble defenders with ample means of living daily.

Don Martin went personally to Toledo, and learned the fact of Sancho's death; he was shewn the place of his interment, yet not satisfied, he caused the tombstone to be raised, and when he saw that the body of the king was

truly there, he resolved to fulfil the tenour of his oath of fidelity, so that before numerous witnesses, he placed the keys of the fortress of Coimbra in the dead man's hands, then taking them again in his own custody, placed them in his bosom; by this attested act indicating that they had been honourably delivered up, and again confided to his trust.

On returning to Coimbra, he entered the castle secretly by night. On the following morning, he sent to inform the count that he might take possession of the fortress. The count of Bologna, now rightful king, went in person, and alcaid Don Martin himself opened the gates. Then taking his wife and daughter, an only child, by the hand, went forth, saying,-" Let us leave the castle to whom it now belongs."

Then kneeling on the ground before the king, with the keys in his hand, he addressed them, saying,-" Sire, since it has pleased God that your brother Sancho should die, take the keys of your castle. Henceforward, I hold you its master, and my lord the king." He then delivered the writing he had caused to be made at Toledo, for his honour and discharge.

A gentleman present interrupted him, asking why he did not beg pardon of the king for all the trouble and loss of life he had occasioned by his obstinate folly in retaining a place that no longer belonged to the king Sancho, who had fed his country, disgracefully excommunicated for his sins?

And as Don Martin Freitas was about to enter into some explanation, the king came to his help, saying, "Don Martin had no need to ask pardon,— that he never had committed any fault,--but on the contrary, his conduct was that of a loyal servant, and a brave knight; and worthy of every man's praise, as a bright example of fidelity." As a reward for his bravery, the king confirmed Don Martin and his successors in the command of Coimbra as hereditary alcaïds and governors of it to all perpetuity, without their taking the oath of allegiance now or hereafter-fully trusting to the honour of their noble name and heroic conduct.

Don Martin replied humbly to the king that "He held this act as one of great courtesy ; but that he would by no means accept it, and should launch his malediction against his child and her children, and upon all his descendants, if, for the command of a castle alone, they did homage to a king, or any other individual; but he would leave his dying blessing to them if by their valour and good services to their rightful monarch, they proved themselves deserving of such great honour."

And this they did most amply in after days; and to this time the house of Freitas remain constables of the castle. A castle with a chain round it being added to their family escutcheon.

So ends the history of the bad king and good vassal.
Such was the Portuguese loyalty.



AFTER the tragical end of the French monarch, Montgomery retired into England. But gifted with a restless activity and indomitable courage, often pushed to foolhardiness, he lent an ear to the seductive propositions of the Calvinists, openly espoused their cause, and placed himself at the head of a small army that carried trouble and devastation into several provinces. Nevertheless, Matignon, afterwards Marshal of France, who was opposed to the progress of this faction, so well knew how to take advantage of the local situations, and the disaffection of Montgomery's troops during their incursive progress, that he succeeded in beating them in detail; and finally took their gallant but thoughtless leader captive in the little town of Domfront, in Normandy.

The loyal Matignon was most anxious to save his prisoner's life, and made every human exertion to do so; but the vindictive Catherine de Medicis commanded him to send his prisoner for trial, without any conditions of compromise. Montgomery was conducted to Paris, locked up in the Conciergerie, and his trial forthwith commenced. On the 25th of June, 1574, he was condemned to lose his head, as a public malefactor, in the Place de Grève; and his posterity were declared degraded of their nobility. He listened unmoved to his sentence. An old faithful adherent exclaimed aloud, “How can nine intrepid gentlemen be degraded by their father's crime?" (Montgomery had nine sons.) At this remark the brave man turned to his friend, and answered in a loud voice,-" If they have not the valour of their nobility to sustain their rights heartily, I wish they may become degraded."

The night previous to the day appointed for his execution, at ten o'clock, a female, mounted on a palfrey, and attended by a single servant, stopped at the little postern of the palace which leads to the Quai des Morfondus. She dismounted rather clumsily, and rapped hastily at the massive doors.

Two men presented themselves, each bearing a flambeau. These were Claude de Lapeyrade, provost of Paris, and Michel de Gabaille, bailiff of Paris, and the late female visitor-Catherine de Medicis, queen of France.

"Have you executed my orders?" hastily enquired the queen, as she threw open the black taffety cloak that concealed her figure.

"Your majesty's orders have been faithfully obeyed; and if your majesty will deign to follow us we will lead to the traitor's prison," answered Michel de Gabaille.

"Is he chained?" asked the queen, casting a scrutinizing look at the provost.

"His irons will only be removed when he goes to the place of execution without it is your Majesty's especial command," was replied.

"Lead on then; the moments are precious to me. The Guises are still at the Louvre, and think me also there-quick, lead on! "

The Queen, preceded by two officers, with difficulty ascended the tortuous staircase of the tower, every now and then stumbling over the worn out stone steps. On the second floor the party stopped, and the bailiff quickly unfastened the triple locks of the iron studded door, which guarded the entrance to the condemned man's prison chamber.

"Do you remain at this door master Provost ; and you master Bailiff, fix your eyes on the loop hole that looks towards the Louvre. When you perceive a light at the king's balcony window, come instantly and inform me of it; and both of you be prepared to enter this chamber should I call for you. The queen entered, leaving the door unclosed behind her.

Montgommery was extended at full length on a stone bench. He had requested to be furnished with a Bible, which was granted, and by the quivering light of a small smoky lamp, was deeply absorbed in the holy passage opened before him.

'Do you know me, Montgomery?" said Catharine, raising the flambeau she had taken from the provost's hands.

"You are the Queen of France," he replied with an air of calm indifference, as he slightly raised his head, and again resumed his reading.

"Yes, I am Queen of France, and also the arbitress of your life and death, proud Montgomery !"

"I know it" said the earl coldly. "What wants the Queen of France with me at this hour? If Catherine was only an Italian woman, I might possibly guess, but your revenge is that of a queen."

· “Montgomery,”, said Catharine, as she placed the flambeau in a hole near the expiring lamp, "you have deeply offended me,-you have betrayed my cause, and deceived my hopes. I have reproaches to make you, and a punishment to inflict as a woman-a wife-and a queen."

"The parliament of Paris have left you but little to do, madam," replied Montgomery, with a slight convulsive contraction of his brow.

"You know, earl, if I have loved you," continued Catharine;" and you sacrificed my affection to the Marchioness de Saulx. After this, your fatal address deprived me of a husband whom I respected, though I could not love him, and finally, not content with doubly stabbing a heart whose weakness beat for you, you have leagued yourself with the sworn enemies of my throne --with the enemies of France, and you have ravaged my country with Eng lish troops and Huguenots. Is this acting as a loyal knight and faithful subject ?”

DEC, 1845,


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