Heinrich to Helen's Fire

Heinrich (Poor) “Poor Henry,” the hero and title of a minnesong, by Hartmann von der Aue [Our]. Heinrich was a rich nobleman, struck with leprosy, and was told he would never recover till some virgin of spotless purity volunteered to die on his behalf. As Heinrich neither hoped nor even wished for such a sacrifice, he gave the main part of his possessions to the poor, and went to live with a poor tenant farmer, who was one of his vassals. The daughter of this farmer heard by accident on what the cure of the leper depended, and went to Salerno to offer herself as the victim. No sooner was the offer made than the lord was cured, and the damsel became his wife (twelfth century).

(This tale forms the subject of Long-fellow’s Golden Legend, 1851.)

Heir-at-Law. Baron Duberly being dead, his “heir-at-law” was Henry Morland, supposed to be drowned at sea, and the next heir was Daniel Dowlas, a chandler of Gosport. Scarcely had Daniel been raised to his new dignity, when Henry Morland, who had been cast on Cape Breton, made his appearance, and the whole aspect of affairs was changed. That Dowlas might still live in comfort, suitable to his limited ambition, the heir of the barony settled on him a small life annuity.—Colman: Heir-at-Law (1797).

Heir of Linne of (The), a ballad in two parts, date and author unknown. Having spent all his money in riotous living, he sold his estates to John o’ the Scales for a third of their value, reserving for himself only “a poor and lanesome lodge, that stood far off in a lonely glen” —in accordance with his father’s dying wish—

For when all the world doth frown on thee,
Thou there shalt find a faithful friend.

After he had spent this money also, he hied to the lodge, and hung himself with a rope he found hanging there; this rope broke, and in his fall he discovered three chests full of money. He now went and asked John o’ the Scales to lend him forty pence, which he refused to do. One of the guests reproved him, saying he had made a capital bargain. “Bargain!” cried Scales; “why, he shall have it back for a hundred marks less than I gave for it.” “Done!” said the heir of Linne, and, to John’s mortification, laid the money on the table. Thus he recovered his estates, and made the guest who befriended him his forester and bailiff.

Heir of Redcliffe (The), a novel by Miss Young (1853).

Hela, queen of the dead. She is daughter of Loki and Angurboda (a giantess). Her abode, called Helheim, was a vast castle in Niflheim, in the midst of eternal snow and darkness.

Down the yawning steep he rode,
That leads to Hela’s drear abode.
   —Gray: Descent of Odin (1757).

HELEN, wife of Menelaos of Sparta. She eloped with Paris, a Trojan prince, while he was the guest of the Spartan king. Menelaos, to avenge this wrong, induced the allied armies of Greece to in-invest Troy; and, after a siege of ten years, the city was taken and burnt to the ground.

A parallel incident occurred in Ireland. Dervorghal, wife of Tiernan O’Ruark, an Irish chief who held the country of Leitrim, eloped with Dermod M’Murchad prince of Leinster. Tiernan induced O’Connor king of Connaught to avenge this wrong. So O’Connor drove Dermod from his throne. Dermod applied to Henry II. of England, and this was the incident which brought about the conquest of Ireland (1172).—Leland: History of Ireland (1773). (See also Florinda, p. 377.)

Helen, the heroine of Miss Edgeworth’s novel of the same name. This was her last and most popular tale (1834).

Helen, cousin of Modus the book-worm. She loved her cousin, and taught him there was a better “art of love” than that written by Ovid.—Knowles: The Hunchback (1831).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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