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In bringing together some traits of female heroism, the aim has been to show the fortitude and devotion of which women are capable, rather in a feminine and domestic aspect than a brilliant one, and to exhibit acts of courage and presence of mind in characters distinguished by their conscientious fulfilment of the quiet, unobtrusive duties of every-day life.
Love of adventure, constitutional indifference to danger, and a consciousness of superior powers, have led women to the successful performance of many high and daring exploits ; but it has been wished to prove that such constitutional peculiarities are not required to make a heroine ; while the natural emotions of timidity and fear need be no hindrances to the development of true heroism.
It only needs that the mind, trained and disciplined to obey the will, shall have force to overcome the weakness of the body; that, clear. to see its duty, the heart shall be prompt, at any sacrifice, to perform it. Not that there shall be no natural fear or shrinking, but that the occasion shall be felt great enough to overcome them.' Every one who accustoms herself, in small as well as great things, to do at once, and in a cheerful spirit, wha to be one-who takes
herself the duties that fall to her lot--who uses no vain delays --Who does the thing she fears, and thus learns to know the joy and the strength that every such effort brings with it
-is educating herself to be a heroine. It may be that the even tenor of her life will never call out her full powers ; but, should the moment of action. ever come, noble impulses will be hers, and she will have strength to obey them.
Her heart and hand will be equal to the emergency that claims her aid.
When others are contending in vain against the slackness and indolence which, from long indulgence, have grown into habit, and unable to realize what the occasion requires of them, are bewildered with fear and overwhelmed and stupified by the present danger; she will feel a composure marvellous to herself; a power of guiding, directing, acting ; a serenity giving even the timid confidence, and sustaining her own spirit through all. Not till the danger is past—the long toil performed—the rescue effected—the flames extinguished--the dearly loved child saved-Will she have time for fear. While called upon to act, she had thought only of what was to be done, and she had been granted strength to do it: when all is a scene to look back upon, her woman's nature will assert itself — her heart will sink at the thought only of what it passed through unmoved—and while others praise her courage, she will think of it only to thank-if she thinks of her own daring, it will be to thank the Supporting Hand which had so wonderfully strengthened her weakness.
It is hoped that the general tendency of the following pages will be to show the importance and happy results of such a temper of mind.
Tales of Female Heroism.
MRS. JANE LANE.
Clarendon's account of the escape of Charles II., after the battle of Worcester, he remarks“ It was a benefit, as well as an inconvenience, in
those unhappy times, that the affections of all men were almost as well known as their faces, by the discovery they had made of themselves, in those sad seasons, in many trials and persecutions ; so that men knew not only the minds of their next neighbours, and those who inhabited near them, but, upon conference with their friends, could choose fit houses, at any distance, to repose themselves in security, from one end of the kingdom to another, without trusting the hospitality of a common inn ; and men were very rarely deceived in their confidence upon such occasions : but the persons with whom they were at any time could conduct them to another house of the same affection.'
It was this accurate and hardly-earned experience of character that enabled the adherents of the prescribed king to convey him from one to another faithful royalist family, safe amid innumerable hazards and dangers, till lie at length es