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forest, and that the work indoors was harder in many ways than the work out of doors and far less varied and inspiriting. If we could get at the facts we should find that there have been more heroines than heroes in the long warfare of the race against foes within and without, and that the courage of women has had far less to stimulate it in dramatic or picturesque conditions or crises. It is much easier to make a perilous charge in full daylight, with flying banners and the music of bugles ringing across the field, than to hold a lonely post, in solitude at midnight, against a stealthy and unseen enemy.
Boys do not need to be taught to admire the bold rush on the enemies' position, the brilliant and audacious passage through the narrow channel under the guns of masked batteries, the lonely march into Central Africa, the dash to the North Pole; they do need to be taught the heroism of those who give the hero his sword and then go home to wait for his return; who leave the stockade unarmed and, under a fire of poisoned arrows, run to the springs for water for a thirsting garrison; who quietly stay at their posts and as quietly die without the inspiration of dramatic achievement or of the heartfelt applause of spectators; who bear heavy burdens without a chance to drop or change them; who are heroically patient under blighting disappointments and are loyal to those who are disloyal to them; who bear terrible wrongs in silence, and conceal the cowardice of those they love and cover their retreat with a smiling courage which is the very soul of the pathos of unavailing heroism and undeserved failure.
From the days of Esther, Judith and Antigone to those of Florence Nightingale, women have shown every kind of courage that men have shown, faced every kind
of peril that men have braved, divided with men the dangers and hardships of heroism but have never had an equal share of recognition and applause. So far as they are concerned this lack of equal public reward has been of small consequence; the best of them have not only not cared for it, but have shunned it. It is well to remember that the noblest heroes have never sought applause; and that popularity is much more dangerous to heroes than the foes they faced or the savage conditions they mastered in the splendid hour of daring achievement. Many heroes have been betrayed by popularity into vanity and folly and have lost at home the glory they won abroad. Heroic women have not cared for public recognition and do not need it; but it is of immense importance to society that the ideals of heroism should be high and true, and that the soldier and the explorer should not be placed above those whose achievements have been less dramatic, but of a finer quality. The women who have shown heroic courage, heroic patience, heroic purity and heroic devotion outrank the men whose deeds have had their inspiration in physical bravery, who have led splendid charges in full view of the world, who have achieved miracles of material construction in canal or railroad, or the reclaiming of barbarous lands to the uses of civilization. In a true scale of heroic living and doing women must be counted more heroic than
A writer of varied and brilliant talent and of a generous and gallant spirit was asked at a dinner table, one evening not many years ago, why no women appeared in his stories. He promptly replied that he admired pluck above all other qualities, that he was timid by nature and had won courage at the point of danger, and cared
for it as the most splendid of manly qualities. There happened to be a woman present who bore the name of one of the most daring men of the time, and who knew army life intimately. She made no comment and offered no objection to the implication of the eminent writer's incautious statement; but presently she began, in a very quiet tone, to describe the incidents of her experience in army posts and on the march, and every body listened intently as she went on narrating story after story of the pluck and indifference to danger of women on the frontier posts and, in some instances, on the march. The eminent writer remained silent, but the moment the woman withdrew from the table he was eager to know who the teller of these stories of heroism was and how she had happened upon such remarkable experiences; and it was noted that a woman appeared in his next novel!
The stories in this volume have been collected from many sources in the endeavour to illustrate the wide range of heroism in the lives of brave and noble women, and with the hope that these records of splendid or quiet courage will open the eyes of young readers to the many forms which heroism wears, and furnish a more spiritual scale of heroic qualities.
HAMILTON W. MABIE.
Adapted from "Stories from
the Greek Tragedians," by the Rev.
II. ANTIGONE. Adapted from "Stories from
III. IPHIGENIA. Adapted from "Stories from
IV. PAULA. Written and adapted from "The
V. JOAN OF ARC. Adapted from "Joan of
hontas," by Elizabeth Eggleston Seelye,
IX. FLORA MACDONALD. Adapted from "The
Heroines of Domestic Life," by Mrs.