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Preeminent. He, nerving his young frame
* Afin d'empêcher les impressions que ce treillis de fer devait laisser sur la peau, ou avait soin de se matelasser en dessous. Malgré ces precautions cependant il en laissait encore; ces marques s'appellaient camois, et on les faisait disparaître par le bain.
Of admiration. Every gazing eye
The consecrated dome they reach,
Then bow'd her to the sword of * martyrdom.
Her eye averting from the storied woe,
* Such is the legend of St. Catharine, Princess of Alexandria, whose story has been pictured upon sign-posts and in churches, but whose memory will be preserved longer by the ale-house than by the altar. The most extravagant perhaps of Dryden's Plays is upon this subject. In my former edition I had, ignorantly, represented Catharine as dying upon the wheel, and the description of her sufferings was too painfully minute. Dryden has committed the last fault in a far greater degree ; the old Martyrologies particularize no cruelties more revolting to the reader than he has detailed in the speech of Maximin when he orders her to execution.
From a passage in the Jerusalen Conquistada it should seem that St. Catharine was miraculously betrothed to her heavenly spouse. As the Crusaders approach Jerusalem, they visit the holy places on the way,
Qual visita el lugar con llanto tierno,
Donde la hermosa virgen Caterina
La Angelica Rachel siendo madrina;
A trophied tomb Close to the altar rear'd its ancient bulk. Two pointless javelins and a broken sword, Time-mouldering now, proclaim'd some warrior slept The sleep of death beneath. A massy stone
Aquel Esposo, que el nevado invierno
Se cubrio con escarcha matutina,
Lope de Vega. The marginal note adds La Virgen fue Madrina en los desporios de Caterina y Christo.
Of St. Margaret, the other favourite Saint of the Maid, I find recorded by Bergomensis, that she called the Pagan Præfect an impudent dog, that she was thrown into a dungeon, where a horrible dragon swallowed her, that she crossed herself, upon which the dragon immediately burst and she came out safe, and that she saw the Devil standing in the corner like a black man, and seized him and threw him down.
Absurd as this legend is, it once occasioned a very extraordinary murder. A young Lombard after hearing it, prayed so earnestly for an opportunity of fighting with the Devil like St. Margaret, that he went into the fields in full expectation