custom, at the cemetery of Notre-Dame du Sablon. The Archduke Albert
and the Infanta Isabella his wife had been invited to the sports. We know
from the chronicles of Brussels that Isabella readily took part in the
recreations of the people. The I5th of May, the day fixed for the celebration,
all eyes were turned towards the Archduchess, who, standing by the side
of her husband in the midst of the crowd of crossbowmen, took the bended
crossbow and after sighting for a short time let the arrow fly. Whether
by luck or by skill, to the inexpressible delight of all present, she brought
down the bird though it was set up as high as the steeple. A universal
shout of joy rose to heaven more quickly than that happy arrow fell back
again to earth. It seemed as if every one imagined that he had himself
struck the bird through the hands of his sovereign, who, in the midst of
all that applause and without losing anything of her usual dignity, accepted
the Kingship of the Confraternity and did not disdain to become a simple
citizen amongst simple citizens. The Princess was conducted in triumph
to the high altar of the Sablon Church and decorated with the insignia
of her new dignity.
' And to make it plain that she adopted, so to speak, the company of
crossbowmen, she gave every member of the Confraternity a robe of silk
of her own colours richly laced with gold. She also had built for them
close to her palace, a magnificent club house, that she might the more
conveniently attend their assemblies in her quality of Queen and direct
their fetes and feasts.
' The memory of this singular event has been preserved by a medal. [Fig.
' On the obverse, the bust of the Infanta covered with the richest ornaments.
' On the reverse, her monogram joined with her husband's between two
crossbows, below this a Saint George the patron saint of the Confraternity.
The monogram is surmounted by a crown, with the figure of the popinjay
she brought down. The initial letters of the monogram represent the names
Albert and Isabella, with the date 1615.
' The great success obtained by the Infanta Isabella on the 15th of
May, 1615, is the subject of a picture by Antony Sallaert, a Flemish painter
who was born in 1590 and lived later than 1648. This picture is preserved
in the Museum at Brussels.
' The municipality of Brussels on the occasion of this remarkable event,
made the Archduchess a present of twenty-five thousand florins, which she
graciously accepted with every mark of gratitude. Isabella proposed that
the income arising from this sum should serve to provide annually a dowry
for six marriageable young girls, or to facilitate their entry into a convent
if their inclination lay towards life in religion. It was then that a procession