Page:True stories of girl heroines.djvu/55

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ELSJE VAN HOUVVENING

FOR two years she had lived within the walls of a grim fortress ; a prison had been her home. Thirteen massive doors, secured by iron bolts and bars and huge locks, stood between her and the outer world ; and yet this maiden of nineteen summers was no prisoner ; she was here in this gloomy place of her own freewill.

And for what cause was she here? Was it to guard and tend one who was very near and dear to her, a father, a mother, a brother ? No ; it was none of her own kindred who were thus shut up, but her master, Hugo de Groot, or Grotius, as he is more generally known to history.

With the causes for the unjust captivity of this great and learned man, we need not deal here. They belong to the page of history, where they can be read in full. Suffice it to say, that Grotius was con- demned by the States-General of the Netherlands to a life-long captivity in the great fortress of Loevenstein, under the spiteful tyranny of its governor, Lieutenant

Deventer, who had an especial grudge against him,

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