true soldier's gaudium certaminis
is all there, but modified and kept under by the patriot's forgetfulness of self and devotion to duty, which is shown by a certain eager and slightly anxious gaze upon the distance, as if watching approaching re-enforcements.
The rider recalls to our minds vivid suggestions of the knightly leaders of the medieval ages, the recital of whose deeds flushed our cheeks in boyhood.
He looks as Charlemagne may have done that summer morning in the good year of our Lord
778, when he heard of the chivalric death of Roland
and his whole corps in the gloomy defiles of the Roncesvalles; or as Alfred the Great
, of England
, that beautiful May morning when leading his troops at Ethandune; or as William the Norman, when he galloped over the green sward of Hastings
, through the soft October evening sunshine, leading to the final charge, his chivalry who had struck up the soulinspiring, three-centuried song of Roland
No-nor more stately was Robert Bruce
on the eve of Bannockburn, when he struck down from the saddle Sir Henry de Bohun
, than, at the battle of the Wilderness
, was Robert Lee
, in whose veins coursed the mingled blood of these four above-mentioned heroes of the middle ages.
Recently, while collecting material for writing a biography of Major-General Alexander Spotswood
from 1710 to 1723, I discovered that through him Robert Lee
, of Virginia
, was seventeenth in direct descent from Robert Bruce
, of Scotland
More-over, that of the five heroes who particularly distinguished themselves on the glorious field of Bannockburn, in driving back the invaders of their beloved country, Lee
, through the same channel, was the direct descendant of four, namely: King Robert; Thomas Randolph
of Moray; Walter, the High Steward
; and Sir Robert de Keith
, Great Marischal of Scotland
These facts have never been brought out in any of the biographies of Lee
. Indeed, until now, they were unknown to any of the descendants of Governor Spotswood
, during the present century.
I know this to be the case, for I have often conversed with my paternal grandmother, whose maiden name was Martha Dandridge
, a great-granddaughter of Governor Spotswood
, on the subject of the ancestry of the Spotswoods.
She was quite an antiquary, and knew many of the traditionary tales of the “Knights of the golden Horseshoe,” besides their romantic ride over the blue mountains of Virginia
, down to the cool waters of the silvery Shenandoah
The old lady, with pardonable pride, used to tell us children of her ancestor, the Governor
, being on the staff of the Duke
, and of his being wounded in the breast at the battle of Blenheim
, August 13, 1704; of the Governor
's grandfather, Sir Robert Spotswood
, of whom