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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
 
The Master Beggars
Leslie Cope Cornford (1867–1927)
 
Master Beggars, The, by L. Cope Cornford (1897), is a romance of “old heroical days” in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The title is the nickname applied to the troops of men, nobles and outlaws, who wandered through the Netherlands in rebellion against the rule of Philip II., and crying for the suppression of the Inquisition. Often engaged in heroic or chivalric deeds, the Beggars were too frequently guilty of excesses: rifled churches, burned monasteries, and tortured priests; and by no means confined their outrages to the clerical profession. The story is a vivid presentment of their reckless, vehement life, and their readiness to face danger or death for a cause, a leader, or a fair lady.  1
  Young Brother Hilarion, dedicated to God by his noble father, in hope that his prayers may expiate the sins of his ancestors, detests monastic life. His longing for the world is intensified by meeting the beautiful Jacqueline, the young Countess of Durbuy. She is betrayed into the hands of the Beggars, who plan to extort a large ransom for her return. Hilarion joins her captors, swears allegiance to the chief, the famous Wild Cat, and resumes his proper name of Seigneur Philip d’Orchimont. He proves abundantly both his heroism and his love for his lady, in a succession of startling Dumas-like chances which culminate in a terrible catastrophe; from which, however, both Jacqueline and d’Orchimont are saved, with the necessary, if improbable, good fortune of lovers in fiction.  2
 
 
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